Do electric sharpeners work?

Yes, but...
There are nuances
Electric sharpeners do work and can be a convenient tool for sharpening knives, scissors, chisels, and other home-shop tools. A home-use electric sharpener usually has a motor and a set of grinding wheels to sharpen the tool. Some industrial models have adjustable settings for different types of blades, according to the thickness of the blade. However, it's important to note that not all electric sharpeners are created equal and some may not work as well as others. Nonetheless, even a simplest electric sharpener it better than a pull-through sharpening tool.
Electric sharpeners are designed to simplify the process of sharpening knives. They are generally faster and easier to use than traditional sharpening methods, which typically require a sharpening stone and some degree of skill and experience. On the other side, an electric sharpener will give each knife the same cutting edge angle, which may not be ideal for knives with different blade thickness.

Additionally, some electric sharpeners may be more expensive than traditional sharpening methods, so it's important to weigh the cost-benefit of investing in an electric sharpener. If your household has only a couple of knives, it is irrational to purchase an electric sharpener for $100-$200. These low-end electric sharpeners will be helpful on a short run but as you keep using it, the cutting edges of the knives will wear unevenly and leave excess material at the heel of the knife.
This is what I have in the shop.
And it's collecting dust..
Overall, electric sharpeners can be a valuable tool for those who use knives and other blades frequently and want a convenient and efficient way to keep them sharp. However, it's important to choose a high-quality model and to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully in order to achieve the best results.

While electric sharpeners can be a convenient tool for sharpening knives and other blades, some people may prefer to use a whetstone for several reasons.

Firstly, a whetstone allows for greater control over the sharpening process. With a whetstone, you can adjust the angle and pressure of the blade against the stone to achieve the desired level of sharpness. This level of control is not always possible with electric sharpeners, which may have fixed settings for sharpening angles and pressure.
Secondly, using a whetstone can be a more cost-effective option in the long run. While an electric sharpener may have a higher upfront cost, whetstones are generally more affordable and can last for many years. Yes, it will take time to learn how to sharpen a knife with a whetstone, but you can start by reading the Knife bevels article.

This 6000 grit stone has sharpened hundreds of knives over a few years and still going strong
Lastly, some people simply enjoy the process of sharpening their blades with a whetstone. It can be a meditative and satisfying activity that allows you to connect with your tools and take pride in keeping them in top condition. Overall, the choice between an electric sharpener and a whetstone ultimately comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of the user. While electric sharpeners can be a convenient and efficient option, some people may prefer the greater control and cost-effectiveness of using a whetstone.

So yes, electric sharpeners do work and are valuable tool. There are a few downsides to it:

  1. It doesn't suit every knife category
  2. Electric sharpeners may cause uneven wear of the knife blade
  3. The price of an electric sharpener may be higher than you expected
  4. Abrasive disks will wear off eventually
  5. You still need professional sharpening to shape your knives

But also a few upsides:

  1. Chipped blades are less of a problem for you
  2. You start saving money in the long-run (depends on the cost of a sharpener you buy)
  3. Electric sharpeners give results faster than any other sharpening method
  4. You get consistent results with minimal training
It is up to you what you want to do with your knives and tools. Mr. Sharp is here to help you do it yourself, or do it for you.