This article explains are self-sharpening knives worth it or not? Why people are interested in it, and how it can save you time when you are in a hurry.
I would say, self-sharpening knives are one of the best kitchen tools for beginners who don’t know too much about knife sharpening.
Are Self-Sharpening Knives Worth It or Not?
Self-sharpening knives are definitely worth it if you want to maintain your knife’s daily functionality. Its self-sharpening functionality allows the knife to maintain a bite to its edge and achieve optimal cutting ability when in use.
Nonetheless, the sharpening block or sheath they come with alone isn’t enough. You will still have to have your knife thoroughly sharpened at least twice or three times a year, depending on the use. The self-sharpening knife design is only sufficient to hone and maintain sufficient bite to your knife’s blade edge.
How Does a Self-Sharpening Block Work?
Typically, a self-sharpening block integrates ceramic sharpeners inside the slot of the holder to which you fit in the knife.
Therefore, when you slide in your knife for storage, the sharpeners hone the blade at the ideal angle to give it a newly polished fine edge.
Each time you remove and return the blade, it automatically gets sharpened. However, a sharpening block only works for fine-edged knives like chef, slicing, or paring knives.
Self-sharpening knife blocks with slots for serrated knives, like bread or steak knives, don’t feature ceramic sharpeners in the respective slots.
Related Post: How Do Self-Sharpening Knives Work?
Why Do You Need This? How It Can Help You?
Investing in a properly designed self-sharpening knife block improves your knife-cutting ability with daily use.
Every time you put the knife into the sharpening block, it gets honed to produce a newly polished edge, keeping it sharpened at all times. As a result, you will enjoy a more efficient and safer cutting function.
Can a Self-Sharpening Block Sharpen the Knife Perfectly?
For the most part, a self-sharpening knife block maintains your knife’s edge and leaves the blade smooth. However, it doesn’t truly sharpen the knife.
Therefore, you cannot really use a self-sharpening block entirely for your knife sharpening needs. Instead, you should use it as a supplemental method to maintain your knife’s edge and cutting abilities.
How Often Do I Have to Run a Knife Through the Block?
You want to run your knife through the self-sharpening block after every use. The block is designed so that every time you place and remove your knife from the block, it is automatically sharpened.
Generally, you should store a knife in its block to prevent possible damage or rusting on the blade. This, in turn, means that your knife gets automatically sharpened every time you store it away and remove it from the block.
Can It Sharpen a Serrated Edge?
A knife sharpening block typically sharpens straight-edged knives, like chef’s knives and paring knives. However, it doesn’t sharpen serrated-edge knives.
In fact, sharpening blocks feature special slots for serrated knives which lack built-in ceramic sharpeners. After all, serrated knives don’t require sharpening due to the toothed blade edges that remain sharp even after a long period of use.
What to Do When the Block Isn’t Working Properly?
Issues with a block not working properly can be associated with the poor angling of the blade if you attach the knife at a too-high angle, you may risk blunting the edge, therefore, you want to be extra careful when attaching the knife.
Alternatively, you can slip in and remove the knife multiple times until it feels smooth during cutting. If you still experience issues with your block, you can consult a professional to assist.
Advantages of Self-Sharpening Knives & Blocks
- Hands-free and convenient sharpening
- Prolongs the knife’s durability
- Block automatically fine-tunes the blade’s sharpening angle
- Creates a newly polished fine edge every time you remove the knife from the sharpening block
Disadvantages of Self-Sharpening Knives & Blocks
- Doesn’t truly sharpen the blade
- Blade easily loses sharpness when not stored in the block
- Angles may sometimes be too standardized and not ideal for every knife
What Are Some of the Popular Self-Sharpening Block Sets?
Here are my top 3 self-sharpening block sets to own in your kitchen this year;
Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening 15-pc Knife Set
The Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening 15-Piece Knife Block Set is a beginner’s golden token thanks to its generous knife availability.
With up to 15 pieces, the block set incorporates an 8-inch chef, a 7-inch santoku knife, a 6-inch utility knife, and 4.5-inch paring knives, each fitted into a slot with a built-in ceramic sharpener.
Moreover, the block set features non-sharpening slots housing a 6-inch serrated utility knife, eight steak knives, and kitchen shears.
To improve accessibility, knives fitted into slots with sharpeners are clearly labeled for easy identification. In addition to the beautiful wooden block base, the set’s knife guarantees incredible quality.
Each straight-edged knife features a durable forged carbon steel blade while the steak knives integrated stamped steel blades. Moreover, the knives feature triple-riveted contoured polypropylene handles for improved comfort and grip.
J.A. Henckels International 14-pc Self-Sharpening Knife Block Set
The J.A. Henckels International Knife Block Set combines style, quality, and functionality to give you superior value for your money.
The knife block features a stylish brushed stainless steel top cap paired with a stained wood ash base to boost its aesthetics and durability. To complement the stylish block are premium stainless steel knives.
Even better, each knife features a seamless transition from blade to handle, providing better balance, safety, and improving cutting performance.
Slots incorporating built-in ceramic honing wheels house the 3-inch paring knife, 5-inch prep knife, a 7-inch santoku knife, and an 8-inch chef’s knife.
In slots that lack sharpeners, you will find a handy 5-inch serrated utility knife, 8-inch bread knife, six 4.5-inch steak knives, and kitchen shears.
For even better usability and to prevent unwanted damage to the blades, each slot features a clear placement slot label.
Sabatier Self-Sharpening EdgeKeeper Pro 12-pc Block Set
The Saber Self Sharpening Knife Block Set features a crisp and modern metallic look to complement the aesthetics of any kitchen counter. However, the block set’s superiority isn’t limited to the look alone.
It features a 12-piece knife ensemble each paired with an innovatively designed EdgeKeeper sheath that automatically sharpens the blade after each use. The EdgeKeeper sheath has a built-in ceramic wheel to hone the blade for razor-sharp performance.
On the other hand, the knife ensemble includes an 8-inch chef knife, 8-inch slicer knife, 5-inch chef knife with kullens, 4-inch utility knife, and a 3.5-inch paring knife.
Additionally, the set comes with six 4.5-inch steak knives and specially designed shears. The shears feature a built-in sharpening sleeve and high-carbon stainless steel blades to improve your cutting tasks.
Investing in a self-sharpening knife shouldn’t replace your standard knife sharpening methods. Nonetheless, self-sharpening knives remain worth it as they maintain the everyday cutting needs and performance.
Their design does a great job at honing and maintaining excellent honed edges to make cutting easier and safer daily.
Plus, without worrying about the labor of manually sharpening your knife or losing the required blade edge daily, a self-sharpening knife is the right choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are self-sharpening knives a better choice?
From my personal experience in the kitchen, I can tell you that self-sharpening knives are an excellent investment, especially if you highly regard efficiency and convenience. The beauty of these knives lies in their well-thought-out design: they are crafted to maintain their edge for extended periods and are equipped with an inbuilt mechanism to refine their edges with every use. So, each time you reach out for your knife, it’s ready to deliver precise cutting, slicing, or dicing, redefining your cooking experience. You may find a good selection of such knives at kitchenware stores.
How does a self-sharpening knife work?
Should I opt for honing or sharpening a knife first?
As an amateur chef and knife enthusiast, I can tell you that both honing and sharpening play essential roles in the longevity and performance of your knife. But there’s an order to follow. First, you have to sharpen the knife to establish a sharp edge, a step you can’t miss. Following this, maintaining this keen edge requires regular honing. Consider honing as the maintenance routine that helps the knife retain its sharp edge, prolonging its lifespan. So, the mantra you need to remember is, first sharpen and then keep it sharp with consistent honing. You can refer to this guide about how to sharpen a knife correctly.
What’s the recommended method for sharpening knives?
Based on my trials and years of expertise, though challenging to master, the whetstone, also known as a sharpening stone, is typically favored by professionals and I agree with them. Its USP is that it removes the least amount of material from the blade, preserving your valuable knife. Before you can start using a whetstone, immerse it in water for about an hour. Then, position your stone on a towel placed over a stable surface such as a cutting board. Diving into this process can seem intimidating at first, trust me I’ve been there, but with practice, the perseverance pays off.
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