Chef's Choice Model 120 EdgeSelect Electric Knife Sharpener, Black
This professional electric knife sharpener is another sharpening breakthrough. It incorporates conical 100% diamond coated disks in Stages 1 and 2 and a revolutionary stropping/polishing disk in Stage 3. In just seconds, an edge of unprecedented sharpness and durability is obtained on fine edge (straight edge) and serrated knives. The flawless, highly polished fine edge can be customized to suit the cutting task. High precision elastomeric angle guides eliminate all guesswork. Three-year limited warranty. Assembled in the U.S.A. UL/ETL and Canadian Approval.
I'm always on the lookout for the "best of the best", and over the past few years, the Chef's Choice electric sharpeners kept popping up in reviews and magazine articles and even books. Recently Cook's Illustrated magazine even awarded their top two spots to the Chef's Choice models 130 and 120 sharpeners. And now with the new models for Asian knives, the selection is even more comprehensive than ever! I recently purchased a book on knife sharpening and even he recommends the Chef's Choice line of electric sharpeners, and admits to using one at home! Hmmm... so why would I bother with stones and all that hassle and mess? By the way, you can also use most of these to also sharpen pocket and hunting knives. Remember: a sharp knife is a safe knife. Dull knives are more prone to mis-use and excessive force, leading to accidents.
If you're looking for a top-of-the line all-around sharpener, the model 120 3-stage electric is probably the most fool-proof. See the back of the box for exactly how it works its magic. By using variations on the stages used, you have flexibility in the type of edge you want to create, so you can customize your sharpening if desired to match the edge type to the type of knives and the material you're cutting (for example, a different edge for cutting meats vs. precision veggie slicing). By default it produces a strong and yet razor-sharp tri-bevel edge, with a polished edge on the tip and micro-serrations or "flutes" along the shoulders for great "bite" and slicing of tougher fibrous materials. In short, it's a complete system, ideal for dull and damaged knives as well as for daily touch-ups. You can use this instead of a steel or any other sharpening/maintenance system.
If you want the ultimate flexibility and want the option of creating a more "steeled" style final stage, then then new 3-stage model 130 electric is for you. This was rated #1 recently by Cook's Illustrated magazine (the #120 was their second choice!). See the back of the box for the different options and how they work together to give you the edge of your choice. You can use stages 1 and 3 to create a strong and sharp polished edge for ultimate slicing, 1 and 2 to create a strong and steeled edge (with micro-serrations which gives "bite" to the edge), or just 2 or 3 for regular maintenance of a polished or steeled edge. It's like having a 2 stage sharpener/polisher AND precision steel (with guides so it's fool-proof!) in one.
NOTE: be sure to read the directions for your sharpener BEFORE trying it out! It contains absolutely essential information to make sure you get a good edge and do not damage your knives.