Most knife buffs turn up their noses at electric sharpeners, and for good reason. There are enough crummy ones out there that it’s usually good advice to just avoid them altogether. The worst of them will chew up your edges, taking off a good chunk of metal while leaving them jagged and dull.
But, there are exceptions. Chef’s Choice makes excellent sharpeners that are well-respected, even by the pros. And, if you’re not willing to take up manual sharpening as a new hobby, a Chef’s Choice electric model can be a convenient solution.
Chef’s Choice (aka EdgeCraft) makes a few models that are appropriate for Asian knives. The 1520 is a very interesting model for one good reason — it allows you to choose your angle of sharpening.
Got a mixed bag of knives in your kitchen, some European and some Japanese? The 1520 is for you. You can set it to sharpen at a 20 degree angle for your European and a more aggressive, sharper 15 degree angle for your Japanese knives.
Don’t need that kind of versatility? Or maybe you’ve moved your kitchen exclusively to Asian knives? You may be able to save some money and go with the Chef’s Choice 316 instead.
The Chef’s Choice Asian Sharpeners will resharpen both single-bevel and double-bevel edges.
The one thing it doesn’t have is an aggressive pre-sharpening stage intended for reworking badly conditioned knives. Those types of stages are usually to be avoided anyway, since they can remove quite a bit of metal. If you’ve got one of those knives, you probably want to send it to a pro to get it back in working shape.
Then use the 1520 for your normal, everday maintenance.
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