Laser Knife Sharpener Explained: Is It a Tool or a Term?

July 21, 2021

You shop around knife sharpeners to find what works best for your dull kitchen tool. In your search, you come across the term "laser knife sharpener." It piques your interest, especially with the word "laser" in it. It could be a sharpener that sharpens blades fast and sharp, so you want to know more about it.

Learn about laser sharpeners in this article. For a little overview, you might be tapping on a tricky concept about this knife sharpener. People think differently, so it's natural for some to think about laser knife sharpeners either as a type of tool, a brand, or a marketing term.

But what exactly is laser sharpening? How does it work? Keep reading to find out.

Laser Sharpening Machine: Does It Work?

When looking for a knife sharpening tool, you'll want to ensure that it's a useful purchase. You might ask yourself: do laser sharpeners work?

However, in the case of laser sharpeners, you should consider changing the question entirely. Instead of asking if it works, ask yourself, “do laser sharpening machines even exist?” We have two answers to this question.

The first answer is that it’s no more than a slightly misleading marketing term. The "laser" here describes a sharpening tool with "razor-sharp" quality. Unfortunately, no tool or method uses lasers in the actual sharpening of knives.

The second answer is a knife sharpener manufacturer includes "laser" as a part of its brand name. However, they don't make sharpeners that use lasers, either. They only use it as a marketing term that means "as fast as a laser beam."

Laser as a Knife Edge Reader

That being said, there's an existing laser tool that allows you to measure the sharpness of a knife's edge instead of sharpening it. What you do is insert the knife blade on the center then a laser pointer produces beam light to an angle scale placed in front of it. The sum of the readings (left and right sides of the tool) measures the knife edge's angle.

How does it help determine if the knife is well-sharpened or not? According to various sources, if a knife is well-sharpened, the reflections on both sides should appear clean and curved. Meanwhile, if it's not sharpened well, the reflections would be blurry.

You must use it with both hands and a steady position for accurate measurements. Using this tool is pretty challenging if you cannot keep your hands steady for a while.

Factors to Consider to Secure a Good Knife Sharpener Purchase

Now that we're clear on where the "laser" in "laser knife sharpeners" stands, let's move on to another important subject. You might ask yourself this: "Do knife sharpeners work?" Yes, they certainly do, but only if you use it the right way.

Even if you have a top-tier knife, it still needs a good sharpener. Therefore, selecting a knife sharpener should be done as meticulously as choosing your knives. We've enumerated four considerations below to serve as your guide.

laser knife sharpener whetsone

Required Time

How much time (and patience) do you have for a sharpening session? Consider this when you buy a knife sharpener online.

Do you have a time-sensitive schedule? Or are you not much of a patient person? Then, you need a knife sharpener that does the job fast. An electric knife sharpener has the greatest advantage when it comes to speed. Professional knife sharpening services are also an option, but you might have issues with budget or entrusting your knife to others.

Meanwhile, if you're not in a hurry and prefer traditional methods, you may opt for sharpening stones. It requires more skills and time, but the results are exceptional, so it'll be worth the effort.

Size and Portability

Size and weight affect workspace and convenience. For example, if the sharpener has a large size, it occupies a lot of space in your kitchen. If it's heavy, it won't be easy to maneuver it from one surface to another. If these factors matter to you, consider them when choosing a knife sharpener.

As long as it gets you good, laser-sharp results, you might not have any issues with the weight and size. However, considering them will add some advantages. For example, you can easily move or switch the tool's position and occupy only minimal space in the kitchen.

Sharpening Stages

Sharpening and honing are the primary stages of knife sharpening. However, some electric knife sharpeners have three steps, the third one being polishing or refining. You'll usually find three-staged sharpeners at a costly range, but it's only optional.

Meanwhile, manual sharpening uses separate tools for different stages. For example, you use a honing steel or rod for honing and a whetstone for sharpening. Whatever your choice of a good knife sharpener, always remember to go through all stages to ensure proper sharpening procedure.

Japanese vs. Western Knives on Sharpeners

Knife sharpening needs more meticulous care than you think. It reaches a point where you should consider whether it's a Japanese or Western knife before sharpening. One example is the angle required for electric sharpeners. A Japanese knife requires a 15-degree sharpening angle, while a Western knife requires a 20-degree angle.

There are also general rules for other types of sharpeners. For instance, you can use water stones for both knife styles, but pull-through sharpeners are a big no for brittle blades like Japanese knives. With these considerations, you can easily find the knife sharpener you’re looking for.


We hope this article has helped clear the air on laser sharpener mix-ups. In summary, it's a marketing term to describe sharpeners as "laser-sharp" or tools that work as fast as a laser beam. Naturally, it catches the massive (and confused) attention of buyers. With this article, you're no longer a part of the muddled crowd.

That being said, we also hope you can find the knife sharpener that you need. It's always a little challenging at first, but purchasing will be easier if you know what to inspect.

If you want to know more about specific sharpener brands, such as a Work Sharp knife sharpener or a Chef's Choice knife sharpener, feel free to browse our website for more information.

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