Originally Posted by tlbrooks
My step mom suffered a stroke a couple years ago and lost some mobility in her left arm and hand. She loves to cook and it's very therapeutic too. My questions is because she finds it almost impossible to sharpen a knife with only one good hand will one of the Chef's Choice electric sharpeners be a good option? she has both German and Japanese knives and was looking at the dual angle model.
I have had the Chef's Choice 130 for some years. It sharpens to about 20° on each side. Its three stages do a really good job. This is the standard edge for most American and European blades. However, since we bought a cottage in the Outer Banks and I needed to supply it with good knives, I have taken them from home and have replaced the ones in my home kitchen with Messermeister Meridian Elite and Henckel Cermax, both of which come from the factory with 15° edges. So I purchased the CC 1520 which will sharpen both angles. Then, I liked the Messermeisters so much that I got a used set on Ebay for the cottage. The 1520 did a good job on the newer knives, but the used ones took a lot more work to get them back to 15° after they had obviously not been sharpened properly by the previous owner. Chef's Choice is always coming out with a newer and better sharpener. Enter the Trizor XV Sharpener. It is the best of the lot, and it will take a 20° edge down to 15° with very little effort. I just resharpened all my home knives, and they're sharper than ever before. I don't work for Chef's Choice, but I sometimes feel like I'm supporting them.
Here are what I think are the pros and cons:
The 130 has 2 sets of slots for sharpening and one for stropping (pro). It does a very good job on 20° edges. I no longer use it for my knives but keep if for sharpening friends' knives. They're all 20°, usually very dull.
The 1520 has only 3 sets of slots, one for 15, one for 20, and one for stropping either. (con) I don't like that it has only 1 stage for each type of knife. But this weekend I'll take the Trizor to the beach to give those knives a really good sharpening and leave the 1520 down there for stropping and resharpening....all those knives are now 15°.
The Trizor is exceptional. It just arrived a few days ago, and I'm truly amazed. Yesterday was the first time I'd sharpened the Cermax knives (had them for about a year or two) and they're truly sharper than they were when they were new. Also, with three stages for these knives, a combination of different stages will sharpen different knives for different uses. I did an old boning/fillet knife, a Forschner Super Blade that I got from Sam's about 15 years ago for $3.00. As per instructions I used stages 1 and 3 as recommended for field dressing and butchering. The edge has microflutes adjacent to the edge. That thing cut up a whole chicken like it was butter. For my very thin fish fillet knife, stages 2 and 3 left very fine microflutes adjacent to the edge. All three stages were used on all my other knives, chefs and santokus and paring, which leaves a polished facet adjacent to the edge for fine work..
So, will the Chef's Choice take off more metal than the traditional hand sharpening with stones? Probably, but it's a lot less than any other automatic sharpener, and with over a dozen knives at home and 8 or 9 at the beach, there's no way I'd put in the time necessary to use stones. Also, good knives don't need to be sharpened very often. They just need honing which just realigns the edge. I don't sharpen most of my knives much more than once a year.
Hope this helps,