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IKEA Skärande Review: A Terrific Knife Sharpener

IKEA isn’t just for furniture — they’ve got kitchen gadgets too. We put the Skärande knife sharpener to the test, and here’s our verdict.

Sharpening knives used to be a task I’d gladly outsource—whether to my local hardware store, a mail-in service, or even the knife’s manufacturer. But then I bought this gadget from IKEA for fifteen bucks, and everything changed.

Like many others, I own a honing steel and use it almost every day to keep my knives’ blades straight. But honing can only do so much by keeping the blade from curling over; eventually, the blade becomes dull and needs to be sharpened. That’s where my love-hate relationship with knife sharpening comes into play.

I tried getting into sharpening stones but never quite shared the same enthusiasm for manual knife sharpening as the YouTubers who raved about it in their videos. This left me feeling somewhat guilty, as if my approach to kitchenware was flawed. So, I began searching for an alternative.

My search began with conventional three-stage knife sharpeners—the kind with a handle you grip in one hand and slots lined with diamond edges, forming a triangle through which you slide the knife back and forth. The results were passable but not exceptional. I found these knife sharpeners to be “convenient” and “foolproof,” just like many review sites describe them, but they just don’t yield a sharp enough edge.

Then, several months ago, my wife and I moved to a new house.

While shopping for some long-coveted cookware pieces at IKEA—items I’ve always wanted to review for you, like the Ändlig knife set or Sensuell frying pan—I stumbled upon the IKEA Skärande knife sharpener (don’t worry; I don’t know how to pronounce it either) and decided to give it a try.

The IKEA Skärande is a manual, handheld knife sharpener featuring three color-coded slots: blue for coarse sharpening, pink for medium, and white for fine. Each slot contains a wheel with a circular abrasive material.

The knife sharpener’s three slots

To achieve a good edge, you run the knife back and forth through the wheel 15 to 20 times. Unlike most other knife sharpeners, the Skärande has a water container, which you fill with tap water before use to facilitate the knife’s movement and cool its blade.

Cleanup is a cinch: as long as you drain the water from the container and pat the gadget dry, it will stay clean and require minimal maintenance. The translucent plastic cover can be opened and closed conveniently using a clip mechanism, both facilitating fill-up and clean-up.

The body of the IKEA Skärande is made from plastic, and the handle is rubberized. Unlike most home kitchen knife sharpeners, which have a side handle that can make them unstable and difficult to angle correctly, this one features a top handle. This seemingly minor design choice significantly improves ease of use—making the Skärande easier to operate than any other knife sharpener at its price point that I’ve owned or tested.

From the very first use, this product paid for itself multiple times over.

To say that the results from using the IKEA Skärande on my knives are amazing would be a major understatement.

Thanks to this simple gadget, I can now keep all my chef’s and utility knives razor-sharp—enough to slice through paper—without the hassle of a hardware store visit or mailing them out for professional sharpening. From the very first use, this product paid for itself multiple times over.

The other day, I accidentally chipped the edge of my favorite knife against the sink—a hazard of cooking at 3 a.m. after a lively dinner party. I ran the blade through each slot of the IKEA Skärande 20 times, and by the end, it had removed enough stainless steel to eliminate the chip and restore the blade to working condition. This experience finally prompted me to write this review, which I had been procrastinating on for no reason other than writer’s block… AHEM, sheer laziness for a third week in a row.

It’s biggest flaw: it’s tall and bulky.

However, the same design choice that makes this knife sharpener easy to use also introduces its biggest flaw: it’s tall and bulky.

It takes up considerable space in my drawer

Since it’s a single-piece gadget, the handle can’t be unscrewed for more compact storage. This means you’ll either need to stash it in a tall cabinet standing upright or lay it sideways in a spacious drawer. And if you don’t, be prepared for it to take up valuable countertop space (a luxury that, let’s be honest among ourselves here, was a given only to home cooks of yesteryear).

In conclusion, while there are battery-powered knife sharpeners with more features available, if you’re looking for the best option in the $15 to $20 price range, the IKEA Skärande should be at the top of your list. The only reason it doesn’t appear on “the best knife sharpeners for under X dollars” lists is likely because most publishers can’t earn affiliate commissions from links to IKEA—a consideration that, as a consumer, shouldn’t matter to you at all.

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Written by

Dim is a food writer, cookbook author, and the editor of Home Cook World. His first book, Cooking Methods & Techniques, was published in 2022. He is a certified food handler with Level 1 and Level 2 Certificates in Food Hygiene and Safety for Catering, and a trained cook with a Level 3 Professional Chef Diploma.