The Edlund 401 Electric Knife Sharpener is a single stage, commercial-grade sharpener and one of only a few electric knife sharpeners that have received NSF certification for impressive health and safety standards. The Edlund 401's unique Easy-Track Guidance System allows for more control over the knife and makes the sharpener so simple to operate that it leaves almost no opportunity for user error. The knife guidance module is engineered to have an 11° set angle and, in one or two passes, it can sharpen any size kitchen knife from a small paring knife to a large cleaver (straight edge or scalloped knives only). The guidance system is also designed to sharpen knives all the way from tip to handle, unlike many other electric sharpeners that can leave an uneven edge where the handle meets the blade. To protect your knives from overheating and excessive grinding, the 401 sharpener is equipped with pressure sensors that automatically shut down operation of the motor if knives are being pushed through the guidance system with too much force. To help ensure a long life, the sharpener comes encased in a durable stainless steel and the grinding wheel and guidance module are both replaceable. For sanitization purposes, the guidance module is made with ABS plastic (no magnets) and can be easily removed for regular cleanings.
You can purchase the Edlund 401 Electric Knife Sharpener online for about $384-$533.
We give the Edlund 401 electric knife sharpener an A- because its superior knife guidance system offers a foolproof way to quickly sharpen any size blade from tip to handle. Designed for commercial use, the Edlund 401 is NSF certified and features a pressure sensitive motor that helps protect knives from excessive wear. Many commercial kitchens have replaced a professional sharpening service with the Edlund 401, and, as a result, they have realized not only cost savings on sharpening but also savings in worker compensation claims, production time, work efficiencies, sanitation and yield. That said, we had to deduct points due to the high purchase price and lack of less aggressive sharpening stages. Additionally, while the Edlund 401 may be used in a home kitchen, we probably wouldn't recommend it because, over time, its powerful motor and high grit abrasive grinding wheel may remove more material from your knives than is necessary to maintain a razor sharp edge and could decrease the useful life of your knives. However, if you have a high volume sharpening need and are looking for a simple, reliable sharpening solution, the Edlund 401 is an excellent choice.
Since the Edlund 401 Electric Knife Sharpener is used primarily as a commercial product, we weren't surprised to find very few personal use testimonials available online. However, the small amount of feedback we did see on the sharpener was very positive, and it is one of the few knife sharpeners to receive NSF certification. Edlund also told us that Darden Restaurants is currently using the 401 sharpener in all of their commercial kitchens as are a number of other restaurant chains.
In a study published on Edlund's website, the 401 sharpener performed exceptionally well in real world test at the Northeast Utilities' Eurest facility (Berlin, CT). According to the report, the sharpener has been proven to pay for itself and the cost of investment in high quality knives in a commercial kitchen by eliminating the expense of a weekly sharpening service. In addition to an increase in efficiency and overall production, commercial kitchens also realized considerable ancillary benefits as staff took ownership of their knives and developed respect for the tools of their trade.
Despite the great feedback on the 401 sharpener, we did feel the 1-year warranty was a bit short, so we contacted Edlund directly to ask them about it. The customer service agent said that they have had virtually no breakdowns or returns when it came to the 401 model. The only repairs they see are related to the knife guide assembly being removed and incorrectly being forced back into place. As a company, Edlund has an excellent reputation in the food service smallwares and light equipment arena, and it has been voted "Best in Class" 7 years in a row by food service operators, distributors and consultants for their manufacture of quality products. While we probably wouldn't recommend this knife sharpener for a home kitchen, it is a great investment for a commercial kitchen.
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