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Apr 2, 2007 06:22 AM

Knife Sharpening - Avoid Sur La Table

If you want your knifes to actually be sharp, avoid Sur La Tables knife "sharpening". First off, it's over priced. They charge by the inch. Secondly, and most importantly, they don't get them sharp. What is the point if they aren't going to sharpen them. Sure, you'll leave with fancy little bag and your knifes in branded cardboard sheaths, but they won't be any better then when you brought them in.
I wasted my money on this service earlier this year but they wouldn't give me a refund over the phone and living in Lincoln Square I hadn't had the occasion to stop back by the Lincoln Park store for a refund. Thanks guys.
The good part of this is that I too the advice and drove down to Northwest Cutlery on Lake street. It's in warehouse section underneath the green/pink line tracks. They know what they're doing! They use large spinning stone sharpeners and it's 3.50 per knife, no matter the length. My knifes have never been so sharp and I'm loving cooking those pesky green onions again.

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  1. I agree 100%. Sur Le Table did mine once and I didn't notice any improvement. Fortunately they did it for free, so I literally did get what I paid for.

    Went to NW Cutlery on Lake and my chef's knife is like new again. FYI, they also stock the full line of MAC knives which are used by many top chefs (Thomas Keller, Charlie Trotter, etc.) as well as an intersting selection of chef's supplies.

    1. I just received an email from sur la table today offering free knife sharpening! Glad to see your post, I'll skip it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: xena

        Yeah, I received that email this morning also. That is what prompted me to write this post. I'd been meaning to for a while, but this was good impetus.

      2. Thanks for the recommendation. I've been meaning to get my knives sharpened for a while, but had no idea where to do it since, as you know, it's hard to find a trusty place to get good knives sharpened. Next time I head to Chicago, I'll have to go to Northwest Cutlery. Do they sharpen knives while you wait, or do they take a few days?

        1 Reply
        1. re: kcchan

          They did it in a few minutes while I waited.

          Lots of neat stuff to see while you are there too, including a box of beat up old butcher knives on a shelf near the floor - handles all nicked up, one with electrical tape around it. Look like old props from a slasher movie. Thought about getting one just to get a rise out of my wife next time I quarter a chicken.

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          1. I know NW Cutlery and the are good at what they do BUT they will gladly take your $3.50 no matter what would be best for your knives... If you you have some VICTORINOX/Forschners , Dexters , older Laguioles or other "butcher style" blades that need some knicks cleaned up, deburred, and re-edged head right over.

            Similarly if you need a F. Dick Dickoron steel they have the best prices and selection. AND EVERYONE NEEDS A Dickoron!!!!

            NW is NOT the place to go to have a Global (or other Asian) blade tuned-up, nor would I recommend taking a quality German knife to them.

            I am sure this will sound pedantic, but the best way to approach knife sharpening is to FIRST begin by correctly steeling your knifes MORE OFTEN than you think they need it.

            If you've already whacked up the edges seek out someone who truly cares about putting a better than factory edge on cutlery:

            1 Reply
            1. re: renov8r

              I took a pair of Wustoff Culinar knives in and they came back nice and sharp. However, I don't have much to compare it to. I just know they are sharp as all get out.