bonnie_webBonnie: Chefs and most serious cooks know the importance of keeping their knives sharp.

I generally keep the edges of mine sharp using a knife steel; the steel cannot sharpen a dull knife, but keeps sharp a knife that’s already sharp. Oddly, I find it somewhat cathartic and mesmerizing to slide the blade diagonally along the steel at an angle to sharpen it.

But for those of you who don’t regularly use the steel tool that came with your butcher block set of knives, you need a knife sharpener — like this one from Chef’sChoice — to sharpen dull knives. You know who you are – you’re the ones with knives that haven’t been sharpened since you purchased them.

BTW, Chef’sChoice (EdgeCraft) also has high-end electric knife sharpeners that work spectacularly well. They’re great, but are the type of “appliance” that you store in the cupboard… something you won’t use as often as you will this manual one as it’s small enough to keep in your tool drawer.

That’s why we’re featuring this reasonably priced ProntoPro. It’s a manual sharpener that works on Asian and Western/European knives. Asian knives have 15-degree edges and European/Western style knives 20-degree edges. The 100 percent-diamond abrasive wheels in ProntoPro will sharpen both, plus serrated edged and pocketknives, too.

BiteoftheBest bloggerBryan: EdgeCraft is pretty much the standard-bearer when it comes to knife sharpeners. The company, based in Pennsylvania, manufactures its Chef’sChoice brand of small kitchen gadgets, including the world’s largest selection of electric and manual knife sharpeners. EdgeCraft actually pioneered the category, introducing its first electric knife sharpener in 1985. Heck, that’s almost before the Internet started! Its revolutionary product took the knife-sharpening world from its rather primitive roots straight to the 21st century, gaining fans as renowned as Jacques Pépin and Julia Child along the way.

So, if EdgeCraft’s been doing this since 1985, why are we talking about it now? Well, it’s gone and done this again with its newest release, a triple threat (manual) sharpener that allows users to choose their bevels. What’s that, you ask? Well, not all knives are the same. Let me explain… Over the years, Western countries have designed their kitchen knives to best prepare foods common to their cultures, namely heavier foods including a wide variety of meats and root vegetables. As a result, Western-style knives are generally heavier, thicker, and sharpened with a sturdy 20-degree facet. In stark contrast, Asian knives are lighter, designed primarily for seafood. Consequently, many Asian knives are thinner and sharpened with a more delicate 15-degree facet.

In recent years, as cultures and foods of the Eastern and the Western worlds have become so entangled, knife selections also have become more intertwined, with knives commonly associated with both food styles becoming more widely available. Many European and American brands now sell Asian-style blades and certain traditional European-style knives are now sold under Asian brand names. The world is coming together, at least in the kitchen, and EdgeCraft is there for all your new sharpening needs!

An additional interesting phenomenon is the new adoption of the 15-degree edge by the leading European knife manufacturers. Consumers apparently prefer the smaller 15-degree edges, which are perceived often as being sharper. With a growing consumer preference for the 15-degree edge, Chef’sChoice introduced, over the past few years, a number of professional electric and manual sharpeners for Asian-style knives, including sharpeners specifically designed to convert knives with traditional 20-degree edges to 15-degree edges. The Chef’sChoice triple sharpener is truly the perfect manual sharpener for any home (or professional) chef who owns both Asian- and European-style knives. It’s the company’s fastest manual sharpener yet. EdgeCraft uses precise angle guides and diamond abrasive wheels to sharpen your blades. A separate stage polishes the edge for simply flawless performance. The best part is that this device will sharpen all your knives, from straightedge household and kitchen knives, to Asian-inspired blades, pocketknives, and even serrated knives.

If you haven’t cut something with a newly sharpened blade in a while, get ready to have your kitchen world blown.

Eric (2 sunglasses)Eric: The newest addition to Chef’sChoice’s knife sharpener portfolio, the ProntoPro Diamond Hone manual sharpener, is all about convenience. Upon trying it, I almost had flashbacks to the era of the door-to-door salesman touting this product for its “revolutionary” technology; “It’s so easy even a child can use it!”

The reason we’re touting the ProntoPro is due to its convenience in sharpening a variety of knives for the aspiring at-home cook. There is nothing worse than prepping your dinner with a dull blade — although I might have to vote that slicing your hand open with a dull blade is substantially worse. The ProntoPro offers a manual approach to sharpening any style of blade be it serrated, Western, Eastern, Buck Knife or the old, half-rusted Swiss Army Knife collecting dust in the junk drawer. For the price point, there is currently no better choice on the market. I hope you’ll take my suggestion the next time you’re screaming at your steak for looking like it was just macerated….

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