The curious case of the knife sharpener.
Okay. So. Here’s what you’re looking at:
They’re all the same. Identical. Okay, almost. The only discernible differences are in the color/opacity of the plastic guide slot, and the addition of a stamped logo on item C. All three sharpeners have “FISKARS” embossed underneath, and all are made in Finland.
I was at Muji about a month ago and picked up item B, noticed the Fiskars stamp, and then put it back after seeing how pricey it was. A week or so later, we were at IKEA, and I saw what looked the exact same sharpener, item A. Sure enough, it was also stamped Fiskars underneath (I think this marked the first time I’ve seen a non-food item at IKEA with another company’s branding on it). But the price was so much lower.
Yeah, I bought it. We needed a compact, manual sharpener to keep at the apartment, and this fit the bill perfectly. (It works really well, by the way!)
Just for fun, I checked Amazon tonight to see if the Fiskars sharpener is available elsewhere, and sure enough, item C popped up. The price there isn’t much higher than IKEA (though the list price is $11.99), so it appears Muji is the odd man out here. It’s not like Muji is some tiny store, either—it’s a massive company that specializes in well-designed, low-cost goods. I’m kind of confused.
Anyway, if you need a little knife sharpener that’s well designed and made in Finland, IKEA is your place. Buy with confidence!
UPDATE: The fabulous food writer and critic Ruth Reichl just added this knife sharpener to her holiday gift guide. This time, it’s masquerading as something called the SR-2 Rollsharp, $16.50. IKEA still wins!