FAQ

Where can I find you to have my knives sharpened?

I sharpen for the public at 4 Farmer's Markets and 5 Ace Hardware stores once a month.  
You can always find my schedule on the front page of my website.

Can you e-mail me when you are sharpening?

You can use the email button on the home page to give me your email contact information, as well as the the location where you wish to find me, and I will notify you once a month a few days before I'm there.  The lists are all completely private, no junk solicitation, just a heads up, each month.

What can be done to rejuvenate wood handles?

We recommend using mineral oil, particularly if the wood has shrunk near the handle and created a gap between the steel and the wood into which food then bacteria collect. Put the knives on a baking sheet with raised sides in an eighth of an in or so of the oil, setting the oven at it's lowest setting, usually about 175 or less, the heat in this process helps the oil to diffuse into the handle.  Let the knives lie in the oil for a couple of hours on each side and if you can lean them up or on each other, allow their spine (back) to be in the oil for a couple of hours.  I did have a customer bring in a set of Chicago Cutlery knives that were very dry but not shrunken yet, to show me her results having used coconut oil.  They had a slight coconut odor but they looked great!

How do you sharpen?

We analyze each knife before sharpening and then use a multiple step process with graduated abrasives, finishing with a soft wheel, creating a smooth, strong, extremely sharp, ribbon of steel without needlessly shrinking the blade.  Our equipment took years to develop and our sharpening techniques cannot be duplicated without training and about 75,000 knives to practice on.    Come in and see me, I'll show you!

How do I maintain my knife edge?

Scroll down on the home page and check out my 2 minute video on using a ceramic rod.
A sharp edge is a thin edge which needs to be straightened periodically depending on the way you use it (see “Good Habits”  question below).  Other types of honing rods diamond or striated, cut teeth in the extremely sharp edge we create,  it tears the food initially feeling like it is sharper , the teeth wiggling back and forth eventually break off on your board or into the food, and beneath them there is of course a dull edge.  Using a smooth ceramic rod on your edge the way we recommend, only when it needs it, enables you keep it the way we sharpened it, for as long as possible.

What honing rod do you recommend?

We recommend a smooth ceramic honing rod.      

What is bloom?

In the restaurants bloom is the amount of time ingredients last.  In the case of chopped, sliced, machine processed ingredients, the sharper the blade, the longer ingredients last in storage.  A dull blade crushes cells as it cuts, essentially bruising the product.  Food processors, blenders, are particular offenders due to the high speed of their cutting blades.

What are some good knife habits?

Focus.  Try to learn the technique that curls the tips of your fingers under while chopping  (video attached).  Don't scrape food sideways on your cutting board, it limits the life of your edge, use the back side of the knife to move things.  Chopping the blade down quickly makes a fun sound, but it's hard on the edge.  Cut from tip to heel, rolling the blade, sliding it forward, pulling it back to reset for the next cut, and sliding it forward again.

Why have a sharp knife?

Safety first, a dull knife can slip off an onion or green pepper and into your hand.  It's not sharp enough to cut a tough vegetable skin, but easily bites the hand that feeds it.  An extremely sharp knife cuts thin, as in thin slicing a tomato to use in a wrap, but, YOU MUST PAY ATTENTION, don't let distractions cause you to cut yourself.

I have a traditional Scimitar, can you sharpen it?

Scimitars, African throwing knives, hunting knives, swords, many others, done them all.  
Warning; some collectors knives aren't very sharp when originally purchased, once I sharpen them the way you show or use them requires attention to safety.

Do you sharpen serrated knives?

We cut new teeth into serrated knives.  It's not uncommon for us to put new teeth on knives that were worn away by improper sharpening done by our competitors.

Do you sharpen Japanese knives?

Yes, we are experts at sharpening single bevel knives such as Yanagi-ba or Deba.  We were the only nationally authorized sharpener for SHUN knives.

Do you sharpen ceramic knives?

Yes, we use a diamond impregnated sharpening medium to sharpen these 'Glass' knives.  You don't have to send them back to the manufacturer.

Do you sharpen paper cutters?

Yes, if the blade can be unscrewed from the cutting arm.

Do you sharpen Japanese Convex Hair Shears?  How much do you charge?

We use Japanese water stones, and have worked with the experts perfecting techniques.  You can rely on our skill to not damage your shears.  We charge $30.

How much do you charge to sharpen knives?

The short answer for most knives, is 'a buck per blade inch', $6 minimum.  Please see our Pricing page.

Do you make house calls?

We do with a trip charge.  Contact us for more information.

How long will the edge last?

Most home culinarians bring us their knives in 6-8 months, even though they are still sharper than when they brought them in originally.  There is power in using a fine edge.  Recently one of our chefs working at the Herringbone restaurant who uses his knife for several hours every day, commented that it “stayed as sharp as a razor for 4 weeks”.  That's what we like to hear and it tells us, that he has good habits, MORE ON HABITS LATER.

 
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