Electric Knife Sharpener vs. Whetstone: Which One Is Better?

If you have the habit of sharpening your own blades, you’re probably wondering which is a better investment: an electric knife sharpener vs. a whetstone.

Without a doubt, whetstones have been used since ancient times and they can sharpen different steel objects easily. Once upon a time, they were used to sharpen sword blades!

They’re easy to use and are said to maintain the blade’s longevity due to the slower process, unlike the faster sharpening that’s common with the electric options.

On the other hand, though a newer concept, electric sharpeners are increasingly popular because they provide quick results, sharpen the blades optimally, and do the job for you, unlike with a whetstone where you have to make a manual effort to accomplish the results.

The man using whetstone to sharpening chef knife

Below, learn the main benefits of each sharpener so that you can make an easier decision when choosing between the two.

Why Choose an Electric Sharpener?

Modern and innovative, electric knife sharpeners are becoming more and more favored among avid knife users. This is a tool that will help keep your blades in optimal shape and always ready for cutting, dicing, and chopping.

Both professionals and enthusiasts praise eclectic sharpeners, mostly for their speed. Unlike whetstones, electric sharpeners do the job in only a few seconds. You can go back to using your blade shortly after.

Electric knife sharpeners are designed compact and simple to use. Usually, the device only needs to be turned on and then the blade is slided into the appropriate slot several times. You need to pull it towards yourself and end the stroke with the tip of the blade.

Similar to sharpening stones, electric options usually have three levels/slots, i.e. a honing one, a coarse one, and a polishing slot.

Here are some of the best reasons why investing in an electric knife sharpener is a smart decision:

  • It’s versatile
  • It finishes the job fast
  • Sharpens the blade flawlessly without any breakage
  • There’s no need of manual effort for the sharpening to take place
  • Simple to use
  • Convenient and easy to take with you on the go
  • Designed with multiple slots to meet all your sharpening needs
  • Easy to clean

Electric knife sharpeners are highly recommendable for people who want a fast and easy-to-use option to sharpen their blades.

It’s also great for people who’re less savvy and experienced in manual sharpening, which is usually necessary to do a fine job with a manual sharpener.

Electric knife sharpeners today are made compact so you’ll only need a corner on your countertop to place it. Keep it where you can do the sharpening interrupted and where you can keep a consistent angle which is pivotal.

At first, it may be challenging to keep the same angle with every slide of the blade, but it’s essential to keep the low angle so that you get the best possible results.

However, an electric sharpener will require bigger spending than a manual option. Electric knife sharpeners can cost between $15 and $70 whereas the commercial-grade options can cost up to $150 or more.

On the other hand, quality manual sharpeners like whetstones can be purchased for between $10 and $50.

If you want an electric knife sharpener, feel free to go with the less expensive option because most of their features are the same among all models. With certainty, despite some of its cons, an electric knife sharpener is an efficient, economical, and ergonomic option!

Why Choose a Whetstone?

Whetstones are the good old, classic way of sharpening blades.

They’re a type of sharpening stone. All of the processes is done manually, unlike with an electric knife sharpener where most of the process is done by the appliance itself.

Manual sharpeners require some practice, but you can quickly learn to do it well and you’ll do a great job. Whetstones are sturdy material blocks designed with several grits to be suitable for any sharpening stage or for any type of blade.

Most models have two sides, one finer and one coarser. The coarser is used for pre-sharpening or grinding off burrs and rough edges while the finer one is for polishing and transforming the dull blade into a sharp one.

Generally speaking, a whetstone is any type of sharpening stone, no matter the fluid that can be used with it.

Many people think that because whet sounds like wet, a whetstone is to be used wet with water, but this isn’t always the case.

All water stones are whetstones, but not all whetstones are water stones and a whetstone can be used with or without a lubricant.

You can choose between a variety of whetstones, including Arkansas, oil, water, diamond, or ceramic ones.

Here are some of the best reasons why a whetstone is a good investment:

  • Enables better control over the angle
  • It’s less expensive than an electric option
  • It’s great for kitchen knives
  • More portable, compact, and lighter than other options
  • Safe to use because you control the speed and angle of sharpening
  • Helps you learn a useful skill which you can apply wherever you are

Despite these benefits, a manual sharpener may not be the best option for you if you’re not very skilled at sharpening, if you need to do the sharpening faster, and if you want to sharpen your waved blades.

If this is the case, an electric sharpener would perform much better.

Final Thoughts

When talking about electric knife sharpener vs. whetstone, it’s essential to know what we need/expect from a sharpener to say which one is a smarter investment.

Both types have their pros and cons, with the electric one praised for its fast and accurate performance and whetstones for its enhanced control and compactness. Whichever you choose, you’ll get a quality sharpener that will maintain your blades in top-notch condition.

If you have to pick between the two, it’s good to know that electric ones are very versatile and can be used with plenty of blades types, and are also awesome for the less experienced in manual sharpening.

However, if you need something that’s less costly and you prefer good old-school sharpening where you control everything, from the angle to the force applied, a whetstone is a more reasonable pick for you!

Leave a Comment