Who are Horl
Horl got in contact recently and asked if I would be interested in trying their knife sharpening product. If I am honest I had never heard of them but with a little help from Google, I quickly found them and their lovely-looking product.
Horl is a German company based in Freiburg in Southern Germany, which not only headquarter there but manufactures their product in Germany. They want to ensure the quality of their product and having manufacturing-based locally together with many of their suppliers helps them ensure this.
From the minute I saw the Horl 2 Knife Sharpener, I immediately thought what a great-looking product it is. It is something that I would definitely be happy sitting on my kitchen work surface rather than shoved away in a drawer, like other knife sharpeners I own.
The Horl 2 comes in either a Nut or Oak colour, but both are equally pleasing to the eye. They also do 2 other models in the range; the Horl 2 Cruise entry modules and Horl Pro, both of which offer different features and colour variations, at different price points. Click on the product names to find out more about them.
It comes really nicely packaged, with the packaging reminding me of a top-end electronics product. The first thing that struck me getting it out of the box was the weight of the Horl 2, which is heavier (in a good way) than I expected. It feels like a good, solid, quality product.
So What Exactly is the Horl 2 Knife Sharpener?
I have a couple of ‘traditional’ knife sharpeners, where you have fine and coarse slots you run your knife along, before finishing the process with a knife sharpening rod. The Horl 2 is nothing like these sharpeners and is very unique and I would also argue very innovative.
You have the Angle Support, which is a ‘wooden block’ and at each end a 15° and 20° angle with a silicon S-Pad. These are magnetic and hold your knife in place which is really effective. You then roll the Horl 2 cylinder, back and forth on your knife to sharpen the blade. The press assembly and built-in ball bearings, ensure that this is a pretty effortless process and just takes a little time.
On one side of the Horl 2 is the Diamond Grinding Wheel, which when used properly, never has to be replaced. Speaking to Horl they seem to pride themselves on the quality of the product and would have no qualms replacing this if there was a defect. You start off by rolling this back and forth against your blade. Depending on the condition, the blade will be sharp in 1 to 5 minutes using this process.
On the other side of the Horl 2 is the Ceramic Honing Wheel that refines the grinding result. You only need to do this a few times and the result is a smooth and cleanly ground knife edge.
Using the Horl 2 Knife Sharpener
I’ve used the Horl 2 on my full knife set over the past few weeks. This includes my range of Wüsthof knives, the Starrett BBQ set of knives to my ‘special’ ones from Blenheim Forge. Across these, there are different types of knives all in a range of sizes.
I was a little worried about some of my larger chef’s knives that they would be too large. The Horl 2 had no problem with the ones up to 2″ in depth. The diameter of the Horl 2 is 2″ so as long as you don’t have a knife bigger than this the Horl 2 will work fine.
In terms of the process, it could not be simpler to do. It really is effortless, and it actually feels very controlled. This gave me confidence that I was getting consistent results, as the process feel very precise. This is very true if I compare it to using the ‘traditional’ knife sharpener.
I also had no reservations about sharpening my Blenheim Forge knives using the Horl 2, which I had never sharpened since having them. This was because I was nervous about my knife sharpening skills and was concerned about damaging them. I had considered paying someone to do them (or asking my local butcher nicely) but now there is no need.
In terms of time, the estimate of 1 to 5 minutes is really spot on and the results are fantastic. I did all my knives in one sitting and found it a pretty relaxing process.
Horl also offers a number of video tutorials to help you when using the product for the first time but it really is very easy.
So you have probably gathered from reading this article that I am a fan of the Horl 2 Knife Sharpener. Aesthetically it looks fantastic but it is not a case of form over function. It performs great, and for someone who was not great, and maybe lacked some confidence when it came to sharpening knives, this product hits the mark for me. It really is simple to use and produces great results.
I’ve posted a few tweets about the product and whilst responses have been positive, the price point could put people off. It currently retails at £139.99 which will definitely be restrictive for some people. However, what this did get me thinking about is that many of us BBQ’ers spend a significant sum on our knives, and yet I know personally I haven’t invested in a decent sharpener to keep the knives at their best. The Horl 2 certainly helps there.
The Horl 2 is really well built and feels like a quality product. It is really easy to use and the end results are exactly what you would expect. The price may put you off, but this is a quality product made in Germany and will help you maintain your knife sets, that you may have made a significant investment in. If you buy this product I don’t think you would be disappointed.
Feel free to get in contact if you have any questions.
You may also be interested in a video review The Smokin’ Elk did recently on the Horl 2. Watch the video below to get his thoughts and a really nice demo: