Which kitchen tool comes to the rescue whenever you want to sharpen your knife in a blink? Why, your electric knife sharpener, of course! Only after you own one do you realise what you were missing out on. It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s very reliable.
Since you rely on it so much, this thought must have crossed your mind: “how long do electric knife sharpeners last?” This article will answer all your queries related to the lifespan of your electric knife sharpener. I’ll cut the long story short (with my freshly sharpened knife) and dive right into the details!
Related: Do Manual Knife Sharpeners Wear Out?
Do Electric Knife Sharpeners Wear Out?
Electric knife sharpeners tend to wear out quicker than pull-through knife sharpeners and whetstones. On average, electric knife sharpeners will last anywhere between one to five years.
But don’t despair! It all comes down to you. With proper care and maintenance, you can increase the lifespan of your sharpener.
How Do Knife Sharpeners Wear Out?
There are a variety of knife sharpeners available. Each works in its own special way to sharpen knives, therefore each wears out in a specific way too. If you want to know the mechanism behind the wear and tear, you will first have to understand the dynamics of the machine.
Electric knife sharpeners are designed with two or more sharpening slots. Each sharpening slot is composed of small orbiting plates which are fixed at set angles on the slots. The plates on every slot are composed of different abrasive materials. The first slot is the most abrasive and the level of abrasiveness decreases progressively.
When you run your knife through the slot, it comes in contact with the orbiting plates. This grinding action removes metal from the knife edge, thus restoring its sharpness. When the sharpening plates grind against the knife, material from both the knife, as well as the plates, is removed. So every time you sharpen your knife, the material is lost from the sharpener too.
How to Sharpen a Knife With an Electric Sharpener?
As with any appliance, one thing that ensures longevity is to use the appliance in the correct manner. Even if you are an experienced knife sharpener, the first thing that you should do after purchasing a new electric sharpener is going through the user manual.
Using an electric knife sharpener is pretty straightforward. For now, I will be highlighting the general guidelines that you should practice when using it.
- Place the sharpener on a flat surface like your kitchen counter.
- Plug it into the power supply.
- Based on the type of knife that you own, select the appropriate slot. (most knife sharpeners let you choose between Euro, American, Asian or serrated knife blades)
- Place the base of the knife in the coarse sharpening slot. If you sharpen your knives regularly, then you can skip this step and just begin with fine sharpening.
- When everything is in position, switch the sharpener on.
- Slowly and effortlessly pull the knife towards you till you reach the tip.
- Now lift it straight up into the air.
- Repeat this stroke another 8 to 10 times.
- Now switch to the fine sharpening slot. Run your knife through this slot in the same manner as you did earlier. Make 4 to 5 strokes.
How To Increase the Life Expectancy of Electric Knife Sharpeners?
The best knife sharpener is one that lives up to your expectations! To get the most out of your sharpener, there are a number of practices that you must adhere to and some that you should avoid.
- Purchase a knife sharpener which is best suited for your set of knives. You will be surprised how a little bit of research will be of tremendous use later on. There are many electric knife sharpeners available in the Australian market, as well as online. Choose one that suits you and your knife type best.
Additionally, look for a sharpener with a 5-year guarantee. Even if you intend to use it carefully, it won’t hurt to be on the safe side.
- If you own an expensive set of knives, make sure you invest in an equally superior knife sharpener. A cheap sharpener will wear out too soon and will not even provide the result that you are looking for.
- Read the instruction manual carefully and make it a rule to go by the book. Nobody knows your sharpener better than the manufacturer.
- When running your knife through the sharpening slot, go slow and effortlessly. The device will take care of the rest. If you press your knife too hard, the sharpening process will get hindered and it will slow down. This will cause the motor to go into overload and will ultimately shorten the lifespan of the sharpener.
- Make sure that the device is unplugged at all times, whenever it is not being used.
- At the start of the sharpening process, ensure that the switch on your appliance is in the “off” position. Only then, should you plug it into the power supply.
- If your knife is bent or out of shape, fix it before running it through the sharpener.
- Pass a clean knife through the sharpener. It should be free of oil, grease, dirt or food particles.
- Keep the sharpener on a flat and even surface when it is being used. This way it won’t slip away and you will eliminate the risk of damaging your appliance and your body too!
- If your particular electric sharpener does not cater to serrated knives, do not attempt to sharpen your serrated knife with the device.
- Keep the appliance away from water, especially the plug and cord. Do not attempt to immerse these components in water.
- Do not try to touch any of the moving parts of the device while it is switched on. Similarly, the cord should not be hanging loosely, close to the parts in motion.
- Do not let the appliance cord or the appliance itself come in contact with anything hot.
- Do not over sharpen your knife. This is detrimental not just for your knife but your knife sharpener too. Only sharpen your knife when the blade seems dull. Furthermore, whenever you are sharpening it, do not use more strokes than are necessary.
When Should You Replace Your Electric Knife Sharpener?
Electric knife sharpeners are composed of many different components. As a rule of thumb, the more components a sharpener has, the faster it will wear out. You must consider replacing your electric knife sharpener whenever you notice any of the following changes:
- The plastic handle is disintegrating.
- Your knife is not being sharpened anymore. It is taking longer than usual or the edge comes out bumpy and jagged.
- The sharpener refuses to get powered on! In this case you obviously don’t have a choice to delay replacing it.
FAQ – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Electric knife sharpeners have become a kitchen must-have for most people. You have a sharp knife in no time without even learning the art of knife sharpening. However, these knife sharpeners will not last as long as a whetstone or a pull-through knife sharpener.
There are certain practices that you can follow which can prolong your electric knife sharpeners life. The most important is to learn how to use the device correctly. Additionally, take all the safety precautions as instructed in the user manual.
If your appliance does approach the end of it’s knife sharpening life, accept it, and move on! Perform another careful round of research until you find the perfect fit for youself and your knife.