For years I used knives with blunt edges, not making the connection between hating cutting things and the fact that the blades I’m using are about as sharp as a teaspoon.
You could say I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.
Through a friend I discovered the joys of using a sharp knife, and the affinity I developed for a sharp blade since has rubbed off on my wife and even the odd friend.
Once you start sharpening your blades, you’ll refuse to waste your time with a blunt edge.
This is the third knife sharpener I test. The other two, a Lansky Deluxe and a Warthog V2, are both phenomenal. The Lansky sharpens an axe edge so well you can shave with it and the Warthog doesn’t need electricity, so it’s great for camping.
The Linkyo is supposed to beat both the Lansky and Warthog at sharpening speed, and should be accurate enough to give a consistent angle, sharpen after sharpen.
But does it deliver?
We own a set of Zyliss knives. They’re cheap but they work well, even though they need a lot of sharpening.
I wasn’t impressed by its performance.
That said, the price is too magnificent to pass up on owning it, since it gives you a better experience than having to cut with a blunt knife.
Here’s my full review…
In the box
You can see that Linkyo cares about getting their product to you in good condition, since the sharpener was securely packed between two pieces of Styrofoam.
The Linkyo’s box contained:
- 1 x Linkyo knife sharpener.
- 1 x instructional pamphlet.
How to sharpen a blade
You need a steady hand to sharpen a knife with the Linkyo, else you’ll end up creating an uneven cutting edge.
Follow these five steps to sharpen a blade:
- Switch on the Linkyo.
- The single on-off switch on the front of the Linkyo makes this an easy step.
- Without applying aggressive downward pressure, pull your knife three to four times through the left slot of station 1, starting from the heel (the back of the blade, nearest the handle).
- Then pull your knife three to four times through the second slot of station 1.
- Then pull your knife three to four times through the first slot of station 2.
- Finally, pull your knife three to four times through the second slot of station 2.
If your blade’s not sharp enough after this, repeat steps two to five.
You need a steady hand
It’s important to keep the blade’s cheek resting against the Linkyo’s inner wall while you’re drawing it through the Linkyo. If you don’t, the knife won’t have a consistent cutting angle along the edge.
Now, Linkyo refers to the inner wall as the automatic blade positioning guide.
I’m not sure why they call it that, because there’s plenty of play inside the guide. There’s no way to lock the knife into position to give it the same angle along the whole edge, which means you must have a steady hand for sharpening.
And this is where the Linkyo falls a bit flat.
It’s not so easy to keep the knife’s cheek at a consistent angle when you’re pulling it through the machine, especially if the knife tapers to a point and starts running out of cheek.
These are the blade lengths of the knives I sharpened:
- Red knife – 7.56 inches (192mm)
- Yellow knife – 5.9 inches (152mm)
- Green knife – 5.19 inches (130mm)
- Blue knife – 5 inches (127mm)
I did a simple hair removal test for each knife.
With some persistence I got the blades sharp enough to shave my arm hair.
The blue knife (a santoku) was the easiest to sharpen, since it has a consistently wide cheek from heel to toe, thereby allowing better guidance.
But in all honesty, the Lansky and Warthog both do a far better job of sharpening a straight edge blade.
How to clean the Linkyo
Cleaning the Linkyo is a simple affair.
Follow these steps:
- Unplug the Linkyo.
- Turn it upside down.
- Remove the two plugs at the bottom of the Linkyo.
- Shake out shards, dust and filings into a bin.
- Push the two plugs back into place.
Your Linkyo is ready for another round of sharpening.
Can it sharpen serrated blades?
The Linkyo cannot sharpen serrated blades.
To be clear, they claim that you can sharpen the flat side of a single-side serrated blade.
I’d advise against it.
If you want to sharpen a serrated blade, you need something like the Lansky Deluxe, but…
The Lansky by itself isn’t sufficient for sharpening serrated edges. You need special triangle or round sharpening stones for the Lansky to sharpen serrated edges.
The Linkyo offers only one sharpening angle.
For home use this is sufficient.
I’ve tested the Warthog on different sharpening settings, and although it’s nice to know I can sharpen at different angles, I’m content with a single angle.
Remember, sharpening to a new angle takes a long time; time you could spend sharpening more knives.
Replacement sharpening stones
I emailed Linkyo asking where I could buy replacement sharpening stones (if possible), how much they’d cost and whether there’s a guide to show how to replace them.
I received this email reply:
Thank you for contacting us.
Please keep in mind our LINKYO Electric Knife Sharpener – 2 Stage Knife Sharpening System is made with diamond grind wheel we do not have a sharpening stone in there this is not replaceable. Please let us know if you have any other questions.
So the sharpening stones are not replaceable.
The Linkyo comes with a 1 year warranty, IF you register the product. That’s a generous offer for a tool with many moving parts.
The Linkyo isn’t big, so it won’t take up much kitchen counter top space.
Here are some tech specs:
- Length: 8.26 inches (210mm)
- Width: 5.19 inches (132mm)
- Height: 3.46 inches (88mm)
- Weight: 36 oz (1.02kgs)
- 110V electricity supply.
- Body material: plastic.
- They don’t stipulate whether it’s made from BPA-free plastic.
As stated at the beginning, I’m not too fond of the Linkyo. Or perhaps I’m not as fond as I thought I’d be.
Durability. Since the Linkyo’s body is made of plastic, it won’t be long before the guides start wearing away.
Accuracy. It takes practice to get a consistently accurate cutting edge. You must steady your knife’s cheek against the guide and not twist it while running it through the Linkyo. But because the Linkyo’s guides are so wide, and there’s no way to fasten or lock the blade into position while sharpening, I suspect you’ll suffer a great deal of accuracy. All of this is fine, except, this tool was built to make sharpening your knife super simple, which it fails in doing.
Quick sharpening. Once you get the hang of how to use the Linkyo, sharpening is quick. Click the on button, run your blade through the 4 slots, three to four times per slot, and you’re done. Not quite sharp enough yet? Do it again. It should take you no more than ten minutes to sharpen a blade. (Much quicker for touch-ups.)
Consistent sharpening angle. If you have a steady hand, the Linkyo will give you a consistent sharpening angle. If, however, you don’t manage to keep the blade’s cheek securely against the guide, your blade will have inconsistent angles along the edge.
Mediocre edge. The Linkyo gives a better edge than a knife just removed from its packaging. But it’s no more than an average cutting edge.
Easy to clean. The Linkyo is super easy to clean. Unplug it, turn it upside down, remove the 2 plugs and shake out the shards and filings.
It’s cheap. This is the clincher for this product. If it were expensive, I’d advise you to steer clear. But you pay next to nothing for the Linkyo, so even if it’s a dud, it won’t hurt too much.
The only excellent thing about the Linkyo is the price. It’s so cheap you won’t feel like you’ve been ripped off when you buy it.
And I don’t believe the maker of the product is trying to rip off anyone.
I think they’re selling a product they think is genuinely good. The packaging seems to convey that message.
But it’s a middle-of-the-road product at best.
The Warthog 2 does a far superior job of sharpening straight edged blades. It gives a sharper edge, and does so more easily than the Linkyo.
But if you have some cash to throw away, buy the Linkyo knife sharpener. It might make a good Christmas gift for someone you think might like an intro to knife sharpening.