Manual vs Electric Knife Sharpeners

There is an absurd amount of different types of knives out there, and we all have and use at least one type on an almost daily basis. However, with the intense use of these tools, it’s inevitable for their blades to become dull. When this happens, you can only do one of two things, more precisely to either throw the knife out or sharpen its blade. Obviously, the smart thing to do is to sharpen the blade of the tool, this way saving money and getting to keep a reliable knife that you feel comfortable using. But then comes the problem of deciding between a manual knife sharpener or an electric knife sharpener.

To make sure that you’re buying the type you feel most comfortable working with and that will do the best job at sharpening the blade in the shortest time, you must know more about each type. In this article, we will talk more about both manual and electric models, looking at their most important pros and cons, and we will note the major differences between them afterward to help you decide what is the perfect type for you.

Pros and cons of manual knife sharpeners

Manual knife sharpeners are a popular choice for those who want to sharpen their kitchen knives. On the downside, they’re not the most reliable type of sharpener to go with if you want to sharpen a lot of different types of knives as some knives can’t be sharpened manually. For example, if you have many serrated knives and knives with waved edges, you might have the unpleasant surprise of noticing uneven results as the manual model won’t be able to fully sharpen them. On the other hand, manual models do give you more control over the sharpening process, being perfect for those who like to be in control of such actions.


  • Full control over the sharpening process
  • They come at a cheaper price
  • Perfect for kitchen knives
  • Extremely safe to use


  • They don’t work well for serrated knives and knives with waved edges
  • You have to put more effort into using them
  • They’re not as fast at sharpening the blades

Pros and cons of electric knife sharpeners

What definitely stands out the most about electric knife sharpeners is the fact that they provide faster results when compared to their manual counterparts. Obviously, they don’t require you to put effort into the task either, but rather pull the blade through the abrasive. This makes them a preferred choice by many, but they do come with their own set of downfalls as well.


  • Fast method of sharpening blades
  • Better results when it comes to the sharpness of the blade
  • Easier to use as it requires no effort from your part
  • They work with all types of knives


  • You won’t feel as in control as you would with manual models
  • They come at a more expensive price

Important differences between manual and electric models

Now that we have listed their pros and cons, you probably have a better idea of what are the major differences between the two types of sharpeners. Of course, the most important difference between them stands precisely in the manner in which you operate them, the manual types requiring more implication from your part as you will do the entire process of sharpening the blade with your own two hands, while the electric models require you to simply pass the blade through the abrasive.

When you look at the pricing of these two types, on the other hand, manual models win as they are cheaper. Also, they are a lot safer to use when compared to electric models. Nonetheless, the odds are still in favor of electric models because they come with advantages that weigh more, advantages that we have talked about in the previous section of this article.

What we advise you to do is to pay attention when looking at the advantages and disadvantages of both types and take a final decision based solely on what you find to be better for you. For example, although we do recommend the electric models more, if you want to sharpen only kitchen knives that have straight blades, it’s cheaper, safer, and more satisfying to go with manual types, obviously. Therefore, you must think well before taking a decision.

Our recommendation – Electric knife sharpeners

If you still find it hard to make up your mind regarding what’s the best option to go with, either a manual or an electric sharpener, what we recommend is for you to invest in an electric model. Undoubtedly, the advantages provided by modern electric knife sharpeners surpass those offered by manual units, being more convenient to use.

Considering the fact that electric sharpeners can improve the blade quality of various types of knives, depending on the model that you choose, there’s no limit to how you can use these small devices. Some of them can be used to sharpen both straight edge and serrated knives, such as the Presto 08810 Professional electric sharpener, and some can be used to even restore the sharpness of ceramic knives, such as the Shenzhen Knives SZSHARP model.


  1. James Corben says:

    I own both a manual and an electric knife sharpener, but I personally prefer the manual model more. I have to admit that I’m a bit of a control freak, this being the most probable reason why I prefer to lose time but feel more in charge over the sharpening process by using the manual sharpener.

  2. Tina says:

    I actually own a Presto electric sharpener, and I have to say that it really makes a big difference when switching from a manual to an electric model. I spend way less time on sharpening the knives now!