Close to 17 years ago, when my wife and I were planning our wedding, we filled out a wedding registry. I always found it to be an odd practice and I remember being quite uncomfortable selecting a bunch of items I want my family and friends to buy me for my upcoming wedding. The one consolation was that it is a common tradition and does make it easier for people to know what to buy the happy couple. My favorite items to pick in the registry were for the kitchen. Oh that was fun, picking the items and brands that we wanted to make up our new kitchen. FUN! Something that I really wanted for the kitchen was good quality knives and we picked J.A. Henckels knives. These knives are great quality and once we were married and received these as a gift I quickly discovered the difference between cheap knives and quality knives.
Almost 17 years later these knives are still used every day and they have held up remarkably well. I have added some knives to the collection and they all get a workout. As knives get used they dull and require sharpening. I have tried many different methods to sharpen my knife collection. I have a sharpening steel and a sharpening stone. Both have worked ok, but require precision to make a sharp blade. Along with those methods, I have also taken them to stores that specialize in sharpening knives. The knives turned out great but it is not cheap when you have a large collection of knives. There is also a man who sharpens knives and he drives a van through various neighborhoods ringing a bell, letting people know he is in the area. One time I got him to sharpen a few of my knives and he actually almost destroyed them. I do not know what he did, but I will not ever do that again. I had never used a high quality electric knife sharpener before, so when Chef’s Choice offered to send me one of their units, I was eager to give it a try on my knife collection.
Chef’s Choice makes many products and one of there specialties are knife sharpeners. They make both manual and electric sharpeners and have many models in each category. The model that Chef’s Choice sent me to try was the EdgeSelect 120. This is a 3 stage electric knife sharpener for European blades. They also have models for Asian style knives and some hybrid sharpeners.
The three sharpening stages work to create an extremely sharp blade. Stage 1 has diamond coated discs and it works to clean and set the groove. Stage 1 can wear down some of the metal if overused, so they recommend using this stage only for extremely dull knives (like the ones I had!). Stage 2 creates a second bevel on the blade, a couple degrees larger than the bevel on the first blade. Stage 3 uses fine abrasive discs to create a third larger bevel. It also polishes the knife. The abrasive action in stage 3 also polishes and sharpens the bevels made in the first 2 stages. If a knife is reasonably sharp, just using stage 3 should resharpen the knife quite well. Stage 3 is also used to sharpen serrated knives. Bread and steak knives can be restored back to their original condition.
I was eager to give the EdgeSelect a workout with my knives and here is the list of knives I sharpened:
- 8″ and 6″ slicing knife
- serrated bread knife
- meat cleaver
- vegetable knife
- steak knife
- pocket knife
- miscellaneous cheaper knives
The sharpening work really well. The knives were all sharper than I ever remembered. I put them through their paces afterwards, cutting raw meat, cooked meat, vegetables, bread and more. The meat cleaver broke down a whole chicken with ease and the bread knife easily sliced a loaf of fresh French bread. What impressed me more than anything was when I used my slicing knife on a tomato. I personally find that slicing a tomato reveals how sharp a knife really ease. I rested the knife on the tomato and started to slice it. I did not put any pressure on the knife but, as I began the slicing motion, it cleanly went through the tomato. I was impressed and the knife was able to make very thin slices without any problem.8″ chef knife
The knife is one of the most important tools for a cook. Therefore making sure that they are sharp is essential. I have a lot of knives in my kitchen and it is expensive to go and get them sharpened. The EdgeSelect is well worth the price as it will pay for itself in no time. Not only that, it is very convenient to be able to sharpen knives right in your own kitchen whenever you need that sharp blade. You can get this blade and others here – Chef’s Choice.
Disclaimer: Chef’s Choice provided me with the EdgeSelect. They did not pay me for this review and the views expressed above are my honest reactions after trying the product.