Chef’sChoice EdgeSelect 120 Knife Sharpener Review

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A few weeks ago, I was all set to buy a brand new set of knives for my kitchen. The ones I’ve had for years and years were so dull that they weren’t very useful any longer. Every so often I’d think about taking them to a knife shop to get them sharpened, but never did. I’d also thought about buying a sharpening stone to try sharpen them myself. Again, I never followed through. Let’s face it, I’m basically lazy and need the easiest solution possible for any task at hand. Luckily, I think I’ve found a super easy and fast solution for sharpening knifes… It’s the Chef’sChoice EdgeSelect 120 Electric Knife Sharpener.

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Package Contents

EdgeSelect 120 electric sharpener
Manual

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The EdgeSelect 120 is a counter top appliance with a footprint of 9-1/2″ x 4″ x 4″ inches. If you tend to shy away from devices that have too many switches, buttons, dials and gauges, you won’t have that fear with this sharpener. It has just one switch (for power) on the front.

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And special stage 3 disk dressing switch on the back that you might use once a year at most to reshape and clean the disks.

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This sharpener will allow you to sharpen both straight and serrated knives. The three stage sharpener uses two precision conical sharpening/honing stages with fine 100% diamond-coated disks and one final polishing/stropping stage to give your knives an incredibly sharp edge. The EdgeSelect 120 is a three stage knife sharpener. Each stage has a Left and Right slot that positions the blade of your knife in the perfect sharpening angle.

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The only way to review a knife sharpener is to… sharpen some knives! So, I grabbed a selection of my knives with dull straight and serrated blades.

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Using the EdgeSelect is extremely easy to use, but you really need to read the manual before you use it. If you don’t, you’ll probably use it wrong and be disappointed with the results. The manual explains when you use each stage.

Stage 1 – Used for excessively dull or damaged knives or for maximum edge “bite.” Diamond abrasives create first facet. You won’t use this stage very often. That’s why there is a removable cover over it.

Stage 2 – Used for routine sharpening / re-sharpening. Finer-grit diamonds create a second bevel.

Stage 3 – Patented material creates third micro bevel, and polished micro-flute cutters along the super-sharp edge. This stage is the only stage that you’ll use for serrated knives.

You just plug it in, flip the power switch, grab a knife and place it in the appropriate stage left slot with the handle as close to the front of the slot as possible. Then pull the blade towards you smoothly and evenly. It should only take about four seconds to pull an 8 inch blade through the slot. As you do, the built-in springs hold the knife blade securely against the angle guides, eliminating the guesswork and guaranteeing a properly sharpened knife. Then pull the blade through the right slot of the same stage to sharpen the other side of the blade. You always want to pull the blade through the left and then the right slot of the stage.

You’ll definitely know that you’re sharpening the blade, because you can hear it grinding in the slot. Sometimes you’ll even see tiny metal shavings fall out of the slots as you pull the blade through.

By the way, no honing oils or water are required for sharpening.

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Every so often, you can clean the metal shavings out of the sharpener, by removing the magnet out of the bottom.

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Here are the shavings from the 4 knives I sharpened.

The Chef’sChoice EdgeSelect 120 is so fast and easy to use that you don’t even have to think about it. I was very impressed that it quickly turned my dull knives into super sharp kitchen tools. Even the serrated knives were noticeably sharper. We make a home made bread in my house, so a good serrated knife that can saw through crust is a must. I didn’t even realize how dull my knifes were till I used the EdgeSelect sharpen them.

This appliance is expensive, but it seems like it is a perfect gift for your favorite chef or cook that will always need a sharp knife. And with the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to get those ham and turkey carving knives in tip top shape!

 

Product Information

Price:$139.99
Manufacturer:Chef'sChoice
Posted in: Home, Kitchen

{ 17 comments… add one }

  • MartinN October 13, 2009, 9:59 am

    I am a little surprised that it doesn’t use water, actually. The reason why you want water while sharpening your knives is that the friction heats up the blade enough that it may damage the blade’s hardening. It seems to me that this kind of device could actually ruin your knives! Or does somebody know something I don’t?

  • Kevin Dorff October 13, 2009, 10:40 am

    I have this same sharpener. We really like it.

  • theinformaticist October 13, 2009, 10:53 am

    regarding MartinN’s comment. Heating is an issue for certain types of blades. Most of us have inexpensive knives in our kitchens (you know the buy a set of 10 knives for less than $100). These are generally not heat treated and you shouldn’t have to worry about stage 2 and stage 3 settings.

    If you have GOOD knives that are forged / heat treated steel, only let a professional sharpen them (or learn how to do it yourself from a professional). If you have old carbon steel knives (technically antiques), you really need to worry about the heating issue.

    Remember a sharp knife is a safe knife (if you’re on the handle end).

  • Andrew October 13, 2009, 1:44 pm

    I use the Edge Pro to sharpen my knives (http://www.edgeproinc.com/Professional-Model-Edge-Pro-System-c2/) but I have $10,000 worth of knives… If I was using beaters, I would not worry about using an electric system like this.

    Something important to remember is that many knives (notably the Shun knives) have grind angles particular to the construction of the steel and it is unwise to use systems like this. In those cases, call a professional or spend HOURS learning how to do it yourself as I did.

    Also remember that many manufacturers offer lifetime sharpening services for free. Just call em up!

  • Julie October 13, 2009, 3:08 pm

    @Andrew 10k worth of knives? Wowza!

  • MartinN October 13, 2009, 3:14 pm

    Thanks to “theinformaticist” for that information. My forged Zwilling knives will have an appointment with a professional when that time comes ;-)

  • theinformaticist October 13, 2009, 5:08 pm

    Having ruined a few tools (axes, chisels, etc) by overheating the blades, I learned the hard way. The dope slap from my father (a ferrous metallurgist) after I told him what I had done, helped too.

    Andrew’s point () about grinding angles is well taken. No all knives use the same grinding angles.

    I’m still using my middle-class everyday knives and my very good antique knives (family heirlooms), but I aspire to having both $10K worth of knives and, more importantly, the knowledge and skills to use them properly. :-)

  • Andrew October 14, 2009, 3:21 pm

    @Julie
    I know, huh? Start off with a few Chris Reeve’s (http://www.chrisreeveknives.com/), a few Shun’s (http://www.kershawknives.com/searchresults.php?search_by=category&search_value=24&brand=shun), a few customs and after a while you realize you have a problem.

  • Andrew October 14, 2009, 3:23 pm

    Aargh… The Chris Reeve URL is: http://www.chrisreeve.com/ :P

  • Keith Anderson October 14, 2009, 4:12 pm

    GAAAHHH! These things have ruined far more knives than they have helped. I agree with theinformaticist. Learn how to sharpen your knives by hand properly, and do it as little as possible. Electric sharpeners take off a lot of metal and heat the blade. Most knives don’t need to be sharpened, they just need the burr straightened with a few licks of a steel. Learn to use a steel properly and you won’t have to sharpen your knives all the time.

  • Keith Anderson October 14, 2009, 10:36 pm

    Personally, I love my Globals. I have the 8 in chefs and a smaller parer. They are the best knives I have ever owned bar none. They are lighter than most European blades, but keep the traditional blade shape, and the balance is fantastic.

  • Dennis Jarrell October 16, 2009, 12:15 pm

    We have a set of Cutco’s that my wife bought from a starving college student. After I got over the initial cost, I find myself liking them. That being said the Chefs Choice electric knife sharpener does an excellent job in sharpening them…including the serrated edge knives. I have also used it on the set of Henkels (sp) we have at work.
    If you use your knives in the kitchen and sometimes find them being abused, the Chefs Choice will be a great addition to your arsenal for knife sharpening.
    I guess that if I had 10k invested in knives, I would look to a different sharpening method, but, to me, knives are a tool. If you take care of them (keep them sharp) and handle them accordingly, they mearly become an extension of your hands.
    fwiw

  • Glen July 11, 2011, 2:11 pm

    The Chef’s Choice, like most modern electric sharpeners, uses diamond sharpening discs. NO water is required. With the low grinding speeds generated by this unit, there is NO danger to the temper or heat treatment of the blade. Manual sharpening systems using diamond sharpeners also need no water ( or oil).

    Tests have shown that all lubricants do is cut friction and extend sharpening time, while clogging the pores of standard sharpening stones. Plus, the floating metal debris particles in the lubricant interfere with the process of obtaining a fine polished edge.

    In fact, the only time water (or any lubricant) is required for sharpening is when using japanese or synthetic waterstones.

    No electric sharpener can possibly equal a good manual diamond sharpening stone/system or belt sander when used by a skilled user. However, it’s that ‘skilled user’ part that is troublesome. Many a knife has been ruined by botched attempts to manually sharpen a knife, even with systems that guarantee specific cutting angles (frequently the system is misadjusted by the user, who chooses the wrong angle for the back bevel and final edge)

    The CC Model 120 is a fine choice to give to non-knife people who don’t have, and will never obtain, the time or patience to learn proper knife sharpening skills – i.e. the majority of the population in the USA.

  • Reelthing July 21, 2011, 1:42 pm

    It flat works very well – now I do not use it on my globals but nor do I let vistors to the house touch my globals either they get to use the knives in the wooden block – that are very sharp in 2 minutes thanks to the CC 120.

  • Daniel Knife June 21, 2013, 3:31 pm

    Thank you for this great and in depth review of the chef’s choice knife sharpener. I have been looking to purchase an electrical knife sharpener for a couple days now, and was going back and forth among the different models that chef’s choice have available – the M130 used to be my favourite, but now as i run into this edgeselect option i am reconsidering. Thank you for all the work you put into this.

  • Phil October 27, 2013, 7:17 pm

    DEAR REVIEWER,
    HOW ABOUT A MACRO PHOTO OF THE END RESULT, THAT IS, AFTER YOU PASSED YOU KNIVES THROUGH THE ELECTRIC SHARPENER.
    WHAT DID THEY LOOK LIKE?

  • Julie Strietelmeier October 27, 2013, 8:00 pm

    @Phil it’s been a few years since I wrote that review. I no longer have the product, so I can’t add a macro shot.

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