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good (local) knife sharpening

w
will47 Dec 15, 2006 08:03 PM

Any recommendations for someone in LA who does a good job with knife sharpening, using a whetstone or edge-pro type system (i.e., no electric grinder type thing like I've seen the guy who does it at some of the farmers markets do).

I've looked at some mail-order places, but I imagine there's somewhere good that's local.

I'm on the east side, work on the west side, but can travel if necessary.

  1. s
    sel Dec 15, 2006 08:36 PM

    I use Standard and have been very happy. Talk to the guy with longish white hair as he does the actual sharpening. Folks on this board have rec Ross but I have not used them. A visit to Ross is very worthwile not only to check out their store but to see the inside of the Bradbury Building, an L.A. treasure!

    Standard Cutlery & Supply Co
    9509 Santa Monica Blvd
    Beverly Hills, CA 90210
    310 276 7898

    http://www.rosscutlery.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: sel
      s
      sel Dec 15, 2006 09:02 PM

      I'm sorry, I did not read your initial post carefully enough. Standard does use a grinder but this is not the typical grinder from your local tool supply/chain hardware store. I suspect that Ross uses similar equipment as does the guy who is at the Culver City and some other farmer's markets. These are LOW SPEED/WET (water bath) units that will not remove the temper from the edge of a knife by overheating the steel. IMHO they are excellent for nearly all knives from Europe and elsewhere. If a chef/cook has very expensive >$300 hand-made Japanese knives then that person should perhaps learn to hand-sharpen them on high quality stones.

    2. Cicely Dec 15, 2006 08:40 PM

      I usually go to Ross and really like them. The Times food section recommends them also (not least I imagine because they're just a block away from the office!). It's very old-school, so I imagine they might sharpen the old-fashioned way, but I don't know for sure that stuff is in the back - you drop off the knives one day and pick them up the next.

      1. k
        kjs Dec 15, 2006 09:02 PM

        i take my knives to hows market on huntington - they do max 5 per visit, but if not busy, they'll do more...to be honest, not sure what they use to sharpen the knives...but hey...it's done by the butcher...they are constantly using the knives and they do good work - i take them in every other month - i have primarily trident knives...and yes, i sharpen between visits to hows...i will be there next week and i'll ask if they simply use an electric sharpener...also...it's free. also - they have good meats and every week they have a special ...usually on prime cuts

        1. s
          slacker Dec 15, 2006 09:04 PM

          Ross Cutlery is great. They've been at their location at the Bradbury Building for many years. Very personal service, and their store is very well stocked. Parking could be a problem. Since I don't work downtown anymore, I try to go when they open in the morning on saturdays, it's the only way to find street parking.

          1. w
            will47 Dec 16, 2006 02:04 AM

            I replied, but it seems to have disappeared; sorry if it shows up later and this is a duplicate.

            Anyway, I decided to check out Ross, given all the recommendations, and was not disappointed. Machine or not, they put a razor sharp edge on 3 knives - a brand new Mundial 8" chef knife with a factory edge, a somewhat sharp Wusthof santoku, and a fairly dull Henckels 8" chef knife.

            They made a big improvement in all 3 cases; the knives were razor sharp (the owner cut paper with them after he finished sharpening them), and they cut much better now. The edges *look* nice too.

            For an extra dollar or something (per knife), they'll sharpen them while you wait.

            2 Replies
            1. re: will47
              s
              sel Dec 16, 2006 02:16 AM

              I'm glad Ross worked out. I didn't know that they would do it while you wait. When I asked a few months ago I was told that I had to leave them and pick up the next day. Did you have a chance to go in the main Bradbury Bldg. entrance north of Ross's entrance to have a look?

              BTW your other follow up post is on an old thread, scroll down a bit.

              1. re: sel
                w
                will47 Dec 16, 2006 02:33 AM

                I didn't check out the building, though maybe I should have while they were waiting. I'm down that way for work a lot, so maybe I'll stop by some other time.

                D'oh (re the other thread)...

            2. w
              Wes Dec 16, 2006 02:17 AM

              Hows market butchers will sharpen 3 knives at a time FREE.

              I can only surmise that they know what they are doing

              1. f
                fooddude37 Dec 16, 2006 11:51 PM

                Just wanted to throw this in there as a cautionary note: I would only take non-Japanese knives to someone to sharpen. My guinea pig for this is a $140 Global that I bought years ago...the knife is at least an inch or two shorter and misshapen due to poor sharpening habits. It's been whittled down to a shadow of its former self.
                I have a Sabatier and Messermeister that are suitable for very coarse(i.e. heavy handed) conventional stone sharpening because of their high carbon content. These won't get eaten away as much as the Global did.
                On the other spectrum, I have a Misono as well as an Ittosai that I *only* use a ceramic stone with, and these get by far sharper than any other knives I've ever used, the downside is they're more high maintenance.
                Make sure whoever sharpens them knows the difference.
                From what I've observed, most butchers use affordable, somewhat "utility" Forschners and Russels, knives that cost anywhere from 15-60 bucks that can take abuse and require coarse stones to sharpen to a razor's edge.

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