#1 RATED KNIFE SHARPENER BY COOK'S ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE
Rated "Best Overall" by the Wall Street Journal
Chef'sChoice® Professional Sharpening Station #130, BRUSHED METAL HOUSING
The newest breakthrough in sharpening technology, the M130, presents all your sharpening options in one compact appliance. It professionally sharpens, steels or strops all brands and types of knives; straight edge or serrated, kitchen, Asian style, sports and pocket knives in seconds. Three stages make it possible to obtain a "better than factory" edge quickly and effortlessly. Stage 1, using 100% diamond abrasives, sharpens the edge. Stage 2 is a manual (non-motorized) super-hardened miniature steel that develops a shaving sharp edge with ultra-sharp microscopic teeth, providing a superior edge "bite". In stage 3, a revolutionary flexible stropping disk polishes the edge to hair-splitting sharpness. Using these stages in different combinations produces custom edges, suited to a particular cutting task. Built-in, high precision, user friendly elastomeric angle guides guarantee fool-proof sharpening. Assembled in the U.S.A. Limited three year warranty. 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.
NOTE: This version has a brushed metal housing.