Cutting things seem to be the number one time sink when I cook. I use bought some random knifes and use them. And I keep them sharp by a machine which looks like this :

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I am completely unsatisfied with my experience with knives. I searched on internet on how to have a better knife experience, and it seems so that many people suggest a chef knife. The problem is, many of these cost an absurd amount above (200 euros at minimum), and for sharpening them, whetstone slabs are suggested which is another 40$.

And, another insane part is, if one messes up something they can apparently irreversibly damage the expensive knife they use... which seems too risky for me...

Having provided my details, I state my question, what would be the most economical and time saving way to go about this issue? Are there knives which cuts well and can easily be maintained with less time which I can get without spending a lot of money?

I simply want a knife which makes cutting easier and I don't have to struggle a lot for it.


1 Answer 1


Let me try to push some thoughts into something approaching an actual answer.

Firstly - knives aren't cheap or expensive because they're inherently bad or good. It's more complicated than that.

As has been pointed out in comments, you can get a good cheap knife. You can also get a lot of abysmal cheap knives. Quite often they don't really tell you what they're made of either. Even if they do, you need to be a metallurgist to make any sense of it. One of mine says on the blade Stainless Steel X50CrMoV15. Now, this turns out to be 'pretty good' if you look up geek lists of 'what makes the best knife'. It's not 'the best' but by heck it works.
$£€ 12 from Ikea - can't complain. It keeps its edge well. I hone it when needed, once or twice a week, as I'm not an actual pro chef, just a housey cook, so I'm only making one big meal a day really. It goes through the actual sharpener maybe twice a year, maybe not even that.

Now… honing & sharpening is another thing altogether.

There are so many 'miracle' devices out there that it's almost impossible to choose.
I have never found any drag-through system that was any good for anything other than honing. My own honer is a drag-through & i've had it maybe 25 years. I'd send you straight to a shop for it… but they stopped making it years ago & I've never found anything similar. One thing you have to be reasonably sure of for a sharpener is that it's made for the type of knife you want to sharpen. As a general guide, European-style knives are set at 20° whilst Japanese-style are at 15°. Having the wrong sharpener will either blunt a Japanese blade or never even reach a Euro blade edge, so it won't ever sharpen it. In my admittedly not comprehensive search for a good drag-through, I found most were for 15° blades… but almost all my knives at the time were 20°, so it just didn't really work at all.

After 40 years of disappointment I eventually bit the bullet & bought a good electric sharpener - but at £170 that is right out of budget for this question.

BTW, you won't usually 'irreversibly damage' a knife blade by sharpening it badly, but you will make it far more of a task for either you or an expert to get it back in shape.

I really can't recommend a sharpener that isn't expensive. People will talk about using a whetstone, but if you have neither time nor patience to learn, or an abysmal lack of aptitude as I proved to myself, then you wasted your money & blunted all your knives. You can get guided blade systems, which I was once investigating - but the good ones are again out of budget.

  • So impossible to cut things without breaking my hand when at a budget?
    – Babu
    Oct 1, 2023 at 12:18
  • 1
    For zero budget you can get an Ikea knife & a drag-through sharpener. It will be better than nothing.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 1, 2023 at 13:14
  • But don't I need to hone my blade rather than sharpen it? @Tetsujin
    – Babu
    Oct 1, 2023 at 13:50
  • Yes - but as at no point have you actually told us what your existing equipment is ['a bit like this' doesn't help] we've got nothing concrete to go on. We don't know if you have a 20° knife & a 15° sharpener, or just a really soft knife…
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 1, 2023 at 13:54

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