Sharpeners are a quick but much less effective solution for knives.
Commercial sharpeners intended for the general public are somewhat “gadgets.” They can be useful for emergencies when you have a dinner to prepare and haven’t had time to have your knives sharpened… It’s okay, but their use should be limited as they are only a temporary solution. Most sharpeners (angle rods on a platform, those with a slot to slide the knife, etc.) provide a much too obtuse sharpening angle that won’t last long. Moreover, sharpeners do not provide any finishing or polishing.
As for the honing steel or honing rod, if you don’t use it correctly, you can cause more damage to your knife than good. In fact, they are not even designed for sharpening and should not be considered sharpeners. Originally, they were made of harder metals and are used to realign the knife edge and remove tiny shards. There seem to be many techniques, but the right one is easy to learn, and you can see how to do it by watching the video on the page about using the honing rod.
The closest thing to proper sharpening is to use a sharpening stone or whetstone. If you know how to use it correctly, it provides an excellent sharpening that can last. However, like the other methods, it requires proper skill; otherwise, you risk doing more harm than good to your knives.
Nothing replaces a carefully done sharpening, taking into account the intended use to choose the right technique and appropriate tools. This is what we advocate at the Knife Sharpening Specialist. In the long run, we believe that this service is the most advantageous choice for you.
Seek advice from a specialist.