~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Product Review...Chef's Choice Manual Knife Sharpener

Product Review...Chef's Choice Pronto Manual Diamond Hone Sharpener 464...
The wonderful and very generous people at EDGECRAFT, home of Chef'sChoice, has sent me a product that I was very excited to try out and review. While Chef'sChoice has a variety of other Products, I tested their PRONTO MANUAL DIAMOND HONE 464 KNIFE SHARPENER.
I've always known that every chef should have their knives sharp before working with it Basically, just about every time you pick it up. I have always "sharpened" my knives with the metal rod that comes with my knife set. The rod only provides a mild tune up or just straightens the edge. But it really doesn't sharpen the knife to its original 20 degree angle, a commonly used angle for most kitchen knives. A knife sharpener cuts away at the metal and restores the 20 degree angle of the knife. Now, some people send out their knives to be sharpened professionally. But for the home cook, it would be ideal to be able to sharpen the knives yourself. Usually, an electric or manual sharpener with diamond abrasive wheels would be an ideal choice. Being that Chef'sChoice is part of a leading brand in knife sharpeners, I was curious to see how the manual knife sharpener would stand up to the test... tested by a home cook. I tried out my new sharpener soon after it arrived...
I carefully read through the directions a few times, so that I could fully understand its use.
Here is my review...
The Pronto uses 100% diamond abrasive wheels that are conically angled. The wheels sharpen both sides of the knife simultaneously and provides a precise 20 degree angle. I really like that, because it eliminates any guess work on your part. Do I have the 20 degree angle or not? Well, the sharpener will do that job for you. Diamond is used for its durability and the ability to sharpen any alloy. It also holds its shape and lasts a very long time. The pronto has a 2 stage sharpening mechanism. The first stage is where the sharpening occurs. The #1 slot creates and hones a sharp edge using fine diamond abrasives. The second stage is where the polishing takes place. The #2 slot uses micron size diamonds to ultra hone the edge of your knife. It provides the final sharpness. It is also where you can sharpen serrated knives. Yes, it sharpens serrated knives as well. And, that's pretty neat! This simple two step method puts the perfect angle,edge, and sharpness on your knife.
How I tested the knife sharpener...
I took out all the knives I use on a regular basis.
In order to find out if they were dull, I tested them using the "paper" method. The paper method is used to test the sharpness of your knives. If your knife is sharp, it should cut right through a piece of paper, cleanly and smoothly. Well, I tried my knives out to see if it could cut through a piece of paper cleanly. I had a hard time cutting cleanly through the paper with my knives. So I immediately went to the Pronto to try it out.
First of all, I loved the compact size. It has a soft touch handle and provides a firm grip. Its small rubber feet provide stability on any dry and clean surface. So, I went through the steps outlined in the manual by first sharpening the knife in stage 1 and then moving on to stage 2. After I was done, I picked up the paper and hoped to cut through it cleanly. Wow!! I was cutting through the paper with minimal resistance. I kept cutting, because I couldn't believe it.
How could I sharpen a knife so quickly and efficiently?! I was very much impressed. I continued to sharpen the rest of my knives. To further test the sharpness of the knife, I took out a soft tomato and started slicing. I was able to thinly slice the tomato. Beautiful.
I really love the fact that I am able to sharpen my dull knives quickly and safely. The Pronto is very simple to use. You really don’t have to be an expert knife sharpener to be able to master this unit. It does a quick and thorough job for basic sharpening tasks. It also does so at a fraction of the price of an electric sharpener. This is a tool that every kitchen could use for quick “touch-ups”. When resharpening the knives, you will not need to use stage one as often. Generally, you will just make a few strokes using stage 2 only. You don't want to overuse stage 1, as it can remove too much metal from your knives.
Clean up is a breeze. You just use a damp soft cloth to clean the exterior. From time to time, you will need to shake out the metal dust that accumultes. But that is no big deal. There are no oils necessary for lubrication. Nice.
Besides the fact that the Pronto does the job, storing it is a breeze. It doesn't take very much space, just place it in a drawer and you are set for next time. No more dull knives...I can now enjoy having sharp knives to work with.
I really loved this knife sharpener, not only because it does the job, but because it essential to have. I LOVE my "new" sharp knives! I highly recommend this product for its ease of use and for getting the job done.


Justin said...

I have one of these myself and I love it, but just a word of caution. Using it too much, especially the "Heavy" setting, will actually destroy your knives over time.

Every time you use it, you're shaving off metal, so use it lots and lots and you'll end up with a nice expensive sliver of metal instead of your lovely sharp knives.

Ellie said...

Justin, Thanks for the feedback! The instructions recommend you resharpen your knives with just a few strokes. But they also mention that, generally, you will only need stage 2 for resharpening. Even in stage 2 you should only do a few strokes. And yes, you don't want to abuse your knives by "sharpening" them to death:)...

Thanks again for your feedback and for the valuable warning. I have edited my review to include that valuable information(which is in the manual) ~Ellie

Anonymous said...

In the home, to over sharpen a knife to the point of ruining it is pretty difficult. Our knives get virtually no use compared to restaurant chefs and its rare they can't get over 5 years out of a knife.

Sharpen all you want. The notion you will ruin the knife stems back to days when steel making was still in its infancy.