Electric Belt Knife Sharpener 101: The Basics in Sharpening Your Knives

May 27, 2021

If you've been in the trade long enough, you've probably observed that not all knives are equal in sharpness. While some attribute it to brand name or material, it all boils down to how you maintain your knife edge to its optimal bevel angle.

Professional chefs commonly use a motorized electric belt knife sharpener to get such razor-sharp edges. Without leaving the kitchen premises, the best knife sharpener options usually present an accessible and convenient solution to maintain your kitchen equipment.

Moreover, these sharpeners are incredibly straightforward to use: pull your knife through the slots and boom: sharpened! Do you happen to have any western knives? Knives from Japan? Knives with serrations? There are electric blade sharpeners especially designed for particular knife types.

An electric work knife sharpener uses fast-moving belts, outperforming other sharpening options out there in terms of speed. Such devices have made their way into home applications in recent years.

When looking for the best belt-driven knife sharpener, there are a few factors to consider. Keep reading to learn these easy-to-miss things!

Basics of Belt Sharpening

Before you think of getting one, there are quite a few things you need to be aware of. For all you know, you might not even need one, costing your business an unproductive expense. First, you must acquire a broad knowledge of this technology so that you can determine what suits your needs best.


If you’re a beginner in the knife sharpening arena, a belt sharpener will feel almost like a cheat. It allows you to get remarkable, factory-like edges with minimal effort and in record time. The belt’s constant grinding and rotation shortens the knife sharpening time by almost half, with twice the precision you would expect from the hands of a novice sharpener.

Another benefit of using belt sharpeners is their versatility. If you’ve ever manually sharpened blades, you know that different edge types require different grinds and amounts of attention. But for a belt sharpener, serrated and straight edges all look the same, which provides an incredible leeway and convenience to kitchen workers looking to have their equipment in top condition right away.

One example of an outstanding belt sharpener is the Work Sharp Knife Sharpener, which has excellent compatibility with different blade edge types.


Like all attempts at automation, belt sharpeners have their own set of limitations. Firstly, belt sharpeners are relatively new to the market and therefore come with an almost prohibitive cost. Moreover, you’ll have to spend more on the textures and grits that enable the renowned versatility of the belt knife sharpener.

One other factor to consider is that belt sharpeners produce plenty of friction, translating into excess heat energy. If you’re not too careful, you might accidentally dull the blade edge of your knife. While this doesn’t always result in a shattered blade, it can affect the quality of your knife’s edge over the long run. And in our book, that’s never good news.

Professional kitchens spend thousands of dollars on top-notch kitchen knives. Despite the belt knife sharpener’s user-friendliness, owners must do their homework and familiarize themselves with all the belt speed settings to avoid any overheating incidents as much as possible.

How to Use an Electric Belt Knife Sharpener

  1. Start slow. An electric chef knife sharpener is available at a variety of speeds. Learning to work with the slowest setting first will save you from harming your blades by removing too much metal. Furthermore, it will avoid excessive heat.
  2. Remove that burr. The wire edge is a natural result of knife sharpening, independent of the method used. Sharpen only one side until you feel the burr.
  3. As a rule of thumb, the belt should only be in motion when it comes into contact with the knife edge. Furthermore, placing the blade on while the electric sharpener is in motion might cause problems and damage to the belt.

A Word on the Knife Angle

Position the knife angle accordingly. Breaking the angle down to a science is not easy: you need to find out what angle the manufacturer used and guesstimate that angle as consistently as possible. It might not be practical, but it gets the job done more quickly unless you opt for a professional sharpening service, which could cost you a lot.

The typical Western or Asian kitchen knife comes with an angle of 15–23 degrees, with the latter usually being the narrowest. While a smaller angle translates to more sharpness, this quality also makes the knife brittle and prone to shattering upon contact with undesired surfaces such as frozen food. On the other hand, wider angles are usually not as sharp but are incredibly steadfast in the face of various hard surfaces because they have more metal around the edge.

Why Buy a Belt Knife Sharpener

An electric knife sharpener is the “cheat code” of today’s kitchen. Do you want to save time, energy, and money? Get a belt knife sharpener. Most traditionalists wouldn’t dare touch one, but if you’re in a modern kitchen looking for efficient solutions, a belt knife sharpener will give you that. While it will never come close to the knife-edge quality from a master sharpener’s hand, it gets really close.

We strongly suggest knife sharpeners for blades subjected to heavy or regular use. We also recommend buying from known brands like Work Sharp or Chef’sChoice knife sharpener if you’re just looking to get your toes wet in the belt-sharpening world.


Belt knife sharpeners are an exquisite technology that’s making waves in kitchens everywhere. While the upfront costs can be discouraging, they may just pay for themselves over the long run.

A belt knife sharpener can get a knife up and running in no time at all. However, it doesn’t mean you can throw your sharpening fundamentals out the window. To operate the belt knife sharpener successfully, you still have to know what speed setting or texture would serve your knife best. On that note, the classic whetstone hasn’t lost its place. In fact, it’s even become more instrumental for kitchens looking to cut on costs while perfecting their manual sharpening techniques.

An electric belt knife sharpener is quick and easy to use. If you’re looking for a more straightforward and more convenient tool to use than manual sharpeners, start learning to use an electric sharpener.

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