Wasabi Knives Iki Ruixin Pro Sharpener + 4 Whetstone Set Review

This sharpener proved cumbersome to set up, confusing to use, and not any better than more conventional options

Wasabi Iki Ruixin seen set up in a kitchen sharpening a chef's knife Photo: Paul Hope/Consumer Reports

If you were to scroll through my Instagram feed, you’d learn two things about me pretty quickly. First, I love food. Second, I love kitchen gadgets almost as much.

When I began assessing knife sharpeners as part of Consumer Reports’ Outside the Labs program, I included some conventional sharpeners, sure—but I was most excited to get my hands on the Wasabi Knives Iki Ruixin Pro Sharpener, $119. The sharpener is all over my social media feeds, shown in one compelling video after another as it sharpens knives to a razors’ edge. I particularly love watching knives effortlessly glide through paper after a minute or two on the tool.

I evaluated it the same way I did other sharpeners, by repeatedly dulling and then sharpening two of my favorite knives from our recent chef’s knives test: the J.A. Henckels Forged Premio 8-Inch Chef’s Knife, a German-style knife, and the Global G-2 8-inch Chef’s Knife, a Japanese blade.

But I quickly realized that the Iki Ruixin Pro was cumbersome to set up, confusing, and not any better than more conventional options.

If you grew up playing with model trains and erector sets, I’m willing to wager that you’ll love using the Iki Ruixin Pro sharpener. If, on the other hand, you’re the type to struggle with Ikea furniture, this sharpener will leave you longing to assemble a Billy bookcase.

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It arrives as little more than a pile of metal rods and clamps, without any real assembly directions—and it somehow gets worse from there. It feels like a prototype for a knife sharpener someone wanted to build, and they just assumed the kinks would get worked out once they scaled up production. 

Once you’ve assembled the tool from a reference diagram—my finished product didn’t quite match the picture—you clamp the tool onto your countertop and then clamp your knife into the sharpener. That requires loosening and tightening five fasteners with two different types of screw heads. An Allen wrench is provided, and I assure you, it’s the least they could do.

If you’re still reading at this point, I’ll jump ahead and say that once the tool is assembled, the basic idea is that you’re clamping a knife into the tool, then dragging a sharpening stone—which is secured to the tool with a pivoting metal rod—across the edge of your knife. To find the correct angle, the instructions direct you to open a leveling app on your smartphone—there’s no alternative provided—then hold your phone, on edge, against the part of the tool that holds the sharpening stone. You adjust the angle of the stone holder manually (while also trying to hold your phone in place) until you’ve reached the correct angle for your knife. 

While you’re assembling the tool, you also need to soak the individual sharpening stones in water for at least 10 minutes. You attach a single stone to the sharpener, then begin the process of dragging it across the edge of your blade. The clamped knife is flipped halfway through, and you sharpen the other side of the blade. You can progress to ever-finer sharpening stones—there are four in total—until you’re done. You need to reset the angle if you’re sharpening a different kind of knife, but not in between stones. 

The punchline here is that if you’re willing to do all that legwork, knives do emerge exceptionally sharp. The problem is that the setup is so insanely cumbersome, you’d never want to do it again. You also wouldn’t want to leave it permanently in place, either, because it takes up a fair amount of space.

If I was going to put it anywhere, it would be a workbench where I could leave it set up, to use when I needed it. But for all the work required, I’d steer you toward traditional sharpening stones, instead. 

Where to buy: Wasabi

This product evaluation is part of Consumer Reports’ “Outside the Labs" reviews program, which is separate from our laboratory testing and ratings. Our “Outside the Labs” reviews are performed at home and in other native settings by individuals, including our journalists, with deep subject matter experience or knowledge and are designed to offer another important perspective for consumers as they shop. While the products or services mentioned in this article may not currently be in CR’s ratings, they might eventually be tested in our laboratories and rated according to an objective, scientific protocol.

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Paul Hope

As a classically trained chef and an enthusiastic DIYer, I've always valued having the best tool for a job—whether the task at hand is dicing onions for mirepoix or hanging drywall. When I'm not writing about home products, I can be found putting them to the test, often with help from my two young children, in the 1860s townhouse I'm restoring in my free time.