Chef’s Choice knife sharpeners are made by the EdgeCraft Corporation out of Avondale, Pennsylvania. They make a variety of equipment for home and commercial kitchens aside from their line of knife sharpeners, including cutlery, food slicers, waffle makers, and hot beverage appliances. They were founded in 1984 and right out of the gates, EdgeCraft released the Chef’s Choice line of electric sharpeners and have remained a powerhouse in the electric knife sharpening arena.
Chef’s Choice 320 Diamond Hone Knife Sharpener
This review will focus on one of the high end electric knife sharpeners on the market, the Chef’s Choice 320 Diamond Hone Knife Sharpener. This sharpener is targeted at serious home chefs or outdoorsmen/outdoorswomen. This sharpener has two stages: Stage 1 with 100% diamond coated disks and stropping/polishing disk in Stage 2. This sharpener has the capability to sharpen standard, straight edged knives as well as serrated knives, like bread knives or some steak knives. This final stage guarantees a finely honed sharpness for your knives.
It is important to use the right stage for the sharpening job. Stage 1 is the coarsest of the two stages and should be used for dull blades when a new edge needs to be created. This actually does remove some metal from the knife blade but that is a fact of life when sharpening blades. You cannot obtain a like-new cutting edge without removing some metal. Chef’s Choice states that 98% of the resharpening will take place in Stage 2, the stropping/polishing stage so rest assured that only microscopic amounts of metal are removed.
The Chef’s Choice 320 has the capability to sharpen serrated knives and Stage 2 should be used for this task. This will realign and straighten all your serrated knives. Stage 2 will also sharpen each of the serrated tips on your knife blade. However, since Stage 2 is the stropping/polishing it is worth noting that I believe you will not be able to sharpen a very dull or damaged serrated knife. Please keep this in mind when selecting a sharpener. In the case of a very dull or damaged serrated knife blade, I would recommend a manual sharpening system like the KME KFS Knife Sharpening System.
Chef’s Choice 320 Knife Sharpener is a highly versatile sharpener and can handle any sharpening task for high quality gourmet knives, butchering knives, sporting knives, pocket knives, survival knives, and serrated knives. For butcher knives, pocket knives, sporting knives, and, survival knives, I would recommend using Stage 1 only many cases. The slightly coarser grit and grind that is provided by Stage 1 can make the blades have a better “bite” which can be helpful depending on the task. This sharpener provides your blades with a 20° angle which is ideal for a wide range of blades and a very good compromise for a person with many different kinds of knives on a budget.
Pros and Cons: User reviews from Amazon are quite positive overall with 4.5 out of 5 stars on average. One owner felt this sharpener was so valuable due to the time savings over manually sharpening his or her knives. He or she also pointed out that they had used the sharpener over 40 times which is a testament to the durability of this sharpener. Another user had issues with the sharpener stating that only one side was sharpened. This user most likely did not follow the manufacturers instructions. It is critical to use the sharpener as directed and be sure to utilize the great documentation that is available on the Chef’s Choice web site. Alex, a reviewer from Amazon, stated that his Wusthof knives were restored to a like-new condition and that his $3 knives were sharpened to a level that rivaled the Wusthofs!
The Chef’s Choice 320 is available in several colors including black, white, brushed metal, chrome, and platinum.