Reviewed by Jane Warwick
The AnySharp Pro Knife Sharpener claims to be the world’s best knife sharpener so let’s put it to the test! It arrived in a clear-plastic box inside a cardboard sleeve and these safely protected it during transit. The cardboard sleeve contains simple pictorial instructions which are easy to follow. More importantly, the sleeve contains a QR code which can be read by any smartphone QR code reader. This takes you straight to an on-line instruction video where a butcher demonstrates how to use the tool to sharpen a variety of knives. The same technique is used in all cases and is very easy to follow.
The Knife Sharpener consists of two tungsten carbide blades which form a V shape with each blade at 20 degrees (apparently the best angle for getting a sharp edge). The knife to be sharpened is simply pulled through the V a few times and then wiped clean. The blades are set on a suction pad which firmly affixes the gadget to a work surface using the lever thus ensuring that the knife can be sharpened without any slippage. It only takes a few seconds to learn how to use it and if you are in any doubt, the video is very clear so that you can be confidently using the tool correctly within minutes of receiving it.
The results are fantastic! Traditional sharpening techniques such as using a sharpening steel or a sharpening stone require true skill, and if the correct angle is not maintained the knife edge can be ruined. With the AnySharp, the correct 20-degree angle is automatically maintained and any one can obtain a good, sharp edge with very little practice. On the instruction video, it is shown how the gadget can be used for different materials such as stainless steel, carbon steel, drop forge and carbon steel blades. It can also be used on blades of various sizes; from small paring knives to huge butchers’ knives and even axes can be sharpened in the same way. Some serrated knives, for example bread knives, can also be sharpened but the gadget cannot be used for ceramic knives.
There are two versions of the AnySharp available using exactly the same sharpening mechanism. These look very similar and are the same size (59mm x 59mm x62mm). The cheaper AnySharp Classic has a body made of ABS plastic, weighs 58g and is guaranteed for 8 years. Whereas, the AnySharp Pro which I have is made of metal alloy, weighs 154g and is guaranteed for 10 years. Both are equally effective at sharpening knives, but the Pro is of sturdier construction, looks much smarter and should last longer.
The sharpener has been endorsed by a number of Celebrity Chefs including Prue Leith, Jamie Oliver, and Ken Hom and this speaks volumes for both its effectiveness and value for money. It is readily available from numerous outlets including Amazon, John Lewis, Robert Dyas, Lakeland and Wilko. The RRP for the classic model is £14.99 although Amazon sell it for £8.00. The RRP for the Pro model is £24.99 and John Lewis sell it for £25. Again, a bargain is to be had from Amazon who sell it at £19.25 (prices are subject to change).
Every chef will emphasise the importance of having sharp kitchen knives and without one it is very difficult to thinly slice fruit and vegetables, fillet a fish or bone-out a chicken. The AnySharp ensures that you can always have a sharp knife available and it really does work. I would have no hesitation in recommending it and it would make a great gift for Christmas and certainly should be on your own Christmas list.