Electric sharpeners are quite expensive compared to other sharpeners & i was wondering if they're any good, & worth spending the extra on!?! I've never used one, but would like to know what they're like!!!
I've wondering the same thing for my mother in law.
Only electric sharpener I own is the one that looks like a bench grinder.. with a fine grit stone wheel that spins vertically. I use that to sharpen the cheap house knives and the burr on the knives are harder to get rid of. Plus, I always finish on oil tri stone.
I don't think that's the kind of electric sharpener you're thinking though.
If you have good knives, then they deserve caring and love which only the owner can give. I always use my steel and sharpen my knives before they get dull. I wipe my knives after each use. I talk to them, tuck them in my knife bag at the end of the night and sing them lullabies while I rock 'em back and forth on my shoulder on my walk to the car from the restaurant.
I have a small two sided stone (800 & 1000 grits) maybe about 8" long.. I'm not 100% sure but that was around $30. It works great. If don't use the 800 side because I sharpen my knives often enough.
Sharpening knives is a skill which I think a cook should learn before starting an expensive hobby of collecting knives.. which is inevitable for cooks. All in all, I personally don't think it's worth it. Maybe because I'm cheap. I have never used one but I am, somehow, sure that whet stones do the job just as well if not better.
Most of the Chef's Choice sharpeners are pretty good for the right person in the right situation. If you're the type of person who can't or won't learn to use benchstones skillfully; can't or won't use an expensive tool and jig like the Edge Pro; and can't or won't find someone to take care of your knives for you as frequently as they need care -- they're the best option. Better than a Sharp Maker, better than crock sticks, much better than a carbide pull through, much much better than expecting a steel to also sharpen, etc., etc., etc., all the way down the parade of horribles.
They aren't perfect, don't last forever, require some cleaning and mainteance, and aren't the best or even the second best solution to "the best possible edge," but they work well enough and are convenient enough to use often enough that you'll have sharp knives.
Not to beat a dead horse, they're as good as it gets for quite a few people.
Most of the other electric systems of which I'm aware (and that's quite a few) won't work nearly as well for most home users.
If you're asking about using an electric sharpener for your own knives you can get a better answer by describing your particular situation rather than asking so generally.
My father just purchased a Chef's Choice sharpener with the 3 different settings of grinders and it really works amazing, I've used a sharpening stone and that works good to but you can do such a large amount of knives very quickly and they come out very sharp, I don't think the 3 different settings is necessary if you take care of your knives, maybe the less expensive one with 2 settings would be better.
I have a Chef's Choice that I use at our summer place to sharpen the eclectic assortment of cheap knives there that are abused by house guests every weekend. It is very fast and works well, leaving the edges very sharp indeed. However, I just can't bring myself to put my good knives at home into that device...they get sharpened by hand.
One of my friends uses a Chef's Choice to sharpen his knives (various Wusthofs). I looked at one of the knives. The bevel was uneven (wide in some spots, narrow in others), the edge was slightly wavy and palpably rough. That said, his knives were sharp enough for his and most people's needs, and without the convenient machine, those knives would probably never get sharpened at all. So I think the Chef's Choice is a pretty workable solution unless one is a knife geek. Which most cooks are not.