Best Knife Sharpeners

Transforming the day's catch into fine table fare calls for a sharp fillet knife, for more reasons than one. First off, safety is a key concern. The old saying "a sharp knife is a safe knife" is well-founded, because if you try to compensate for a dull blade by applying extra force to make a cut, your risk of injury skyrockets.

Efficiency is also a prime factor. If you've ever endured the misery of butchering fish with a blunt blade, you can appreciate the need for sharp steel. A dull knife wastes meat, makes intricate tasks like removing a pike's Y-bones all but impossible, raises the frustration level, and lengthens the whole process immeasurably.

Since even the best knives need touching up from time to time, having the right tools to hone your blade is critical to safe, speedy and efficient fish cleaning. There are countless options on the market, ranging from inexpensive pocket and pen-style models to electric sharpeners and complete systems of stones and strops. It's worth noting that power-driven grinding wheels not designed specifically for cutlery are seldom recommended by knife makers, since they can burn the temper off the blade, making it vulnerable to chips or cracks—and often void the warranty.

To speed your search for the best knife sharpeners that fit your needs, we've assembled the following lineup of 11 top choices sure to help you keep your edge.

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