Manufactured in Sheffield, England, the Chantry Knife Sharpener has a fine reputation and is even on permanent display at the New York Museum of Modern Art. The honing action mimics the effect of a butcher’s steel, resetting the edge of the blade without removing metal.
Two rotating steel hones fixed in the cast iron housing provide the sharpening action. The angle of the honing rods is fixed at the standard European bevel of approximately 25 degrees. That’s not as acute as the bevel of harder and narrower Asian cutlery, so don’t use this sharpener on high-end Asian knives like Shun. Nearly any American or European knife will fit, but worn knives may take some work before the edge fits the sharpener and the device produces really good results.
If beginning with very dull and worn knives, you may need to restore the edge with whetstones or have the knives professionally refurbished. Knives in good condition usually only require resetting, since at a microscopic level the softer European style of steel folds over slightly during use instead of chipping or wearing away. Stroking the edge along a harder steel rod sets that invisible edge straight again.
Use enough downward pressure to rotate both honing steels as you pull the blade through the sharpener. Keep the blade vertical in the slot, and only a half dozen strokes should set the knife right again and restore razor-sharp cutting action. The Chantry manual sharpener from Messermeister is available in four colors including black, white, silver and red.
For a handy knife hone set at the correct bevel angle for Asian cutlery, see the Chef’s Choice 463 Pronto.