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Feb 7, 2007 12:53 PM

Knife sharpening @ Nob Hill . . . DON'T!!!

Nob Hill and sister Raley's and Bel Air markets offer free knife sharpening. Drop off up to three knives per visit at the meat counter and they're ready for pick up within 24 hours. I inquired about the service in Salinas and learned that the butchers sharpen the knives in-house.

Sounded safe to me, so I decided to try it with one of my mom's paring knives, a 4" Henckels. The lady in the meat department said she could do it right away if I wanted to wait. I did a little shopping and returned to pick up the knife, swathed in a cardboard scabbard and a lot of plastic wrap.

When I got it home and unwrapped it, I could help but SCREAM with shock just to look at it. The blade had been ground down significantly losing the original honed cutting edge. Now it has a chiseled edge bevel and the blade is much narrower than before. Wish I'd measured it before taking it in as this difference was immediately noticeable to me and my mother, who said, "what happened? it's so skinny!" Also, the point has been blunted and there's an ugly gash in the knife's bolster from the crude grinding. This was a hack job all the way around.

This fine knife is ruined. I'm glad I did a test run with a less expensive blade first. Live and learn.

Edited to add: This all happened on Monday, and my words are far more measured today than if I had posted then. Here's the photo of the damage -

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  1. Holy crap...looks like they let the blind apprentice practice sharpening skills on that knife...

    1 Reply
    1. re: ricepad

      Going in, I thought to myself, how bad could it be? Worse than I could have imagined. I've never seen a knife damaged this badly before.

      I have two of these Henckels paring knives in my own kitchen. I think I owe it to my parents to swap one out for my experiment with free sharpening gone bad. Then I'll have a constant reminder in my own house of this folly.

    2. I had a very nice knife sharpened at another grocery store once, and they also ruined it. I took it to the manager and he replaced the knife with a brand new Henckel. (The original wasn't Henckel.)

      They owe you a new knife, or at the very least, a gift card worth the value of the one they ruined. Talk to the service manager!

      4 Replies
      1. re: mudster

        Was it a free or paid service? Guess I'm a little reluctant since I didn't pay for the sharpening, but I should at least let the manager know what a terrible job they did.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          By all means, let the manager know. S/he needs to know just as surely as if the baker was using his navel to shape cookies.

          1. re: ricepad

            I sent an email, and I'll keep y'all posted on the response.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              My condolences, Melanie. That photo is clear-as-day evidence! Let us know if you get a response...

      2. I don't know if they are still available, but I got my dad one of the knife sharpening tools that used to be sold through the old CH boards -- really liked it. Reminds me that I need to take my blades over to my parent's the next time I go. I think they were called Morty's knife sharpener or something like that.

        1. Oh My God - when I was Twenty-Something I brought my Henkels to a sharpener. They came out Serrated!

          Only bring your knives to a well respected sharpener.

          You can't get back what they took off! Supermarkets probably can't do it

            1. re: LBeff

              To add insult to injury, the knife isn't very sharp. And when I tried to slice an onion with it, the roughly ground bevel on the edge catches and pulls. It's horrid.

              Here's a link to the pointer I posted on the SF Bay Area board, as Nob Hill's service area extends to the San Jose area. More comments there.