Chef’s Choice 120 Diamond Review
There’s wide ranging opinion on this little number from Chef’s Choice. The unit is priced at the mid-range bracket, however in our opinion you are actually better off going for the 130 model.
Anyway, the mixed reviews come from several reputable sources. When Joe Yonan and Bonnie S.Benwick of the Washington Post gave their appraisal (a review process that involved the use of a knife sharpening professional), they stated that the Chef’s Choice 120 delivered better results that all other knife sharpeners tested.
Praising the three-stage sharpening process, (pre-sharpening, sharpening and polishing) the reviewers exclaimed that the 120 created an edge that could slice through paper at the slightest touch.
Foodie Magazine also gave the unit a 5* review, giving further support to this being one of best mid-range knife sharpeners available.
However, delve deeper into commentary on the Chef’s Choice 120 and you will find conflicting opinion.
LA Times columnist Pete Thibodeau, states that the results are merely “acceptable.” He also describes the unit as being aggressive in its sharpening, with the finer wheel taking off too much metal.
Likewise, the editors of the cooking website KeepRecipes.com thought the same, with the 120 only getting an average score.
It seems the Chef’s Choice 120 divides opinion among the so called experts. However, what do the actual users think? It is only the customer who knows through regular use of tool how it actually stands up over time.
Here the reports are more consistent, and forms the main reason why the unit found its way into our top ten list, (as you can probably tell, we were not able to get our hands on a review mode for this one).
While we did find some comments about the unit taking off too much metal, and a couple complaining that the unit had scratched along the length of their blades, the overwhelming majority of owners have state that the knife sharpener delivers a great edge.
Ease of use
The Chef’s Choice 120 is described as a simple knife sharpener to use, (with the caveat of ‘after a little practice’). However, ease of use can be a little subjective at the best of times.
The unit contains the built in knife guides you will find on much of the Chef’s Choice range. With springs holding the knife in place at the correct angle, the user only needs pull the blade through to sharpen. (Fool-proof has been bandied about in more than one review).
Unfortunately, the 120 is bogged down with a often cited complaint with EdgeCraft products in that the manual is not overly clear. (Download a copy here). For first time knife sharpener users it seems, the unit is less than intuitive its operation.
As we stated in the opening paragraph of the review, us at Sharpen-up believe you are better off buying the Chef’s Choice 130. That particular knife sharpener is a reliable mid-range model and gives a better overall performance than the 120.
Overall however, the 120 does deliver. It made it into our top 10 list for that reason. If you take heed to read the manual carefully, you should not go wrong.