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We've all been there, chopping vegetables with a knife so blunt it would be more effective to use a teaspoon. In that moment, you reflect on how you got there: your knives were sharp as razors when you bought them but now, three years down the line, they're thoroughly inadequate. "I should've sharpened my knives" you think to yourself. Shoulda, coulda, woulda but I didn't.

Most of us don't bother to sharpen our knives. It's an extra bit of effort and when you're just trying to make dinner, faffing around with a sharpener is the last thing you want to do. But what if it wasn't..?

We decided to make a knife block which incorporates a mechanical knife sharpener. A sharpener right next to your knives - and solar powered so you don't even need to bother charging it! This build is super straightforward and you end up with a great final product which would be a helpful addition to any kitchen!

For this make you will need:

Step 1: Knife Block Design

Picture of Knife Block Design

The basic knife block design is a curvy cuboid with a detachable lid and a space for a solar panel in the front. The lid has slots for the knives. To figure out how big the block needed to be and how wide the knife slots would be, we measured the knives we wanted to put in and designed accordingly.

To power the rotating sharpener, we decided to use a solar panel to keep the design cordless (you don't want to plug another thing in the kitchen) and remove the hassle of recharging batteries. Also, chances are that unless you're a serial knife sharpener, a solar panel will provide plenty power.

The electronics are pretty simple to put together. For power, you need one rechargeable battery - preferably 18650 lithium ion. To charge it, you’ll need a solar panel - we used 5V, 500mA because we had one spare, but a smaller one would be perfectly fine. You’ll also need a battery protection circuit and something to put the battery in.

The whole thing will be controlled by a simple button which sits in the top of the knife block. To operate the sharpener, the button needs to be depressed. This is actually a pretty good safety mechanism because it means the sharpener will stop turning as soon as you let go of the button. On the end of the motor, there’s a small grinding stone which I found online.

AndrewG3283 months ago
I like the sharpener idea, when I first looked at the knife block I thought it was going to have a speaker built in but it was a solar panel. Looks great!
t3chflicks (author)  AndrewG3283 months ago
A speaker could be fun, but I’d prefer to add more kitchen style stuff onto it. Have you got any ideas apart from a bottle opener?
Right? People always want bottle openers. lol. I'll throw some ideas out there, not trying to turn your project into frankenblock. How about a fan to rapidly cool your food down, a kitchen timer, a little drawer or lazy Susan style hidden cutting board, mallet holder. Since the power option is there perhaps a bag sealer for chip bags, USB charge port, acrylic base with LED lights. its impressive already... Have a great day!
t3chflicks (author)  AndrewG3283 months ago
Haha some fun ideas, Swiss army kitchen knife block it is
sdavidson08193 months ago
Looks cool. If possible, I would reorient the slots horizontally so the knives aren't resting on their sharp edge. That tweak should increase the time needed between sharpening.
t3chflicks (author)  sdavidson08193 months ago
Nice idea, I’ve never seen a knife block horizontal slots