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Knife Sharpening?

kgebhard Aug 27, 2007 12:52 PM

Anyone know where I can get my knives sharpened? Downtown Toronto would be preferable... Thanks in advance.

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  1. Recyclor RE: kgebhard Aug 27, 2007 01:01 PM

    ..just got the scoop myself, although I haven't dropped 'em off yet I am planning to bring my jap and german blades to Nella about a block north of Bloor on Bathurst. They said it take 4-6 days, they send them to their warehouse in Mississauga, the guy showed me a sample global they just did, blade couldn't have been better...they do the standard 2 sided sharpen and the single sided bevel sharpening. Oh, and he said it's around 6 bucks a knife...

    14 Replies
    1. re: Recyclor
      Jean Georges RE: Recyclor Aug 27, 2007 04:50 PM

      Recyclor, Did Nella say how they sharpen the knives? By hand or on a machine? What grade sharpening stone do they go up to? Nella sharpens knives for a lot of restaurants, butchers, etc, but often these aren't good quality knives. You mentioned Japanese knives, so that probably means you know something about knives. Let us know how your knives turn out. I sharpen my own knives but I'm not that good at it, so I'd be interested in a outside company that I can trust.

      1. re: Jean Georges
        dinin and dishin RE: Jean Georges Aug 27, 2007 05:23 PM

        JG, here is the link to a recent article on Nella in the Star.
        I think it will answer all your questions.


        1. re: dinin and dishin
          Jean Georges RE: dinin and dishin Aug 27, 2007 05:43 PM

          Thanks! It says Nella's Mississauga plant (1655 Finfar Court, near Erin Mills Parkway and QEW, 905-823-1110) offers same-day service at $3.50 a knife. Bring your knives in before 1:30 p.m. and they'll be sharp again by 3:30.

          I wonder if that's the machine sharpening and hand sharpening is $6 as Recyclor wrote.

          My first real knife was a Nella butchers knife that they reground into a chef's knife, so I have a soft spot in my heart for Nella.

          1. re: Jean Georges
            Recyclor RE: Jean Georges Aug 27, 2007 06:39 PM

            I believe it is done on a machine with 2 different grits, the price might be wrong I quoted, like I said he showed me a Japanese Global knife they just sharpened for someone else, looked like a smooth edge & razor sharp...one that I talked to him about, that I have, is a totally destroyed Global vegetable chef knife, was sharpened by somebody who didn't have a clue and has now no edge, he said they would fix it or return it with no charge -- nothing to lose...I'll let you know how it goes...hey, and props to you for learning to do it by hand, I was so close to going for it but I didn't want to spend the cash on the stones and then risk damaging my trusty blades...

            1. re: Recyclor
              mikeb RE: Recyclor Aug 27, 2007 09:15 PM

              I had mine sharpened recently at their Norfinch location. I have Global, Henkel and Wusthofs. They did them right away plus a good job to boot.

              1. re: mikeb
                Davwud RE: mikeb Aug 30, 2007 08:07 AM

                Word to the wise about Nella on Norfinch.
                I've taken my Wustof chef's knife there to be sharpened twice. After two sharpenings, there is a spot at the back of the blade that does not touch the board anymore. So when I chop peppers or celery or something like that, they stay attached. Really made me mad.


            2. re: Jean Georges
              pinstripeprincess RE: Jean Georges Aug 27, 2007 09:09 PM

              i dropped my knives off at the bathurst location and picked them up a week later ($4 per knife) but was disappointed with the job they did.

              it just wasn't a consistent edge. on my chef's knife towards the hilt it was sharp but towards the point it was dull dull dull. the opposite with my paring knife... i've yet to call and complain, we'll see how they respond.

              1. re: pinstripeprincess
                Mila RE: pinstripeprincess Aug 28, 2007 06:47 AM

                I would say definitely let them know you were not happy. They have been super accommodating with issues I've had in the past.
                They are my go-to knife sharpeners.

                1. re: Mila
                  Recyclor RE: Mila Aug 28, 2007 06:51 AM

                  Whew! Glad you posted that Mila, I dropped 2 knives off there this morning...

                  1. re: Recyclor
                    Jean Georges RE: Recyclor Aug 28, 2007 10:34 AM

                    The article in the Star mentions that George Nella sharpens the public's knives himself, and if he works at the Mississauga location then perhaps the reason pinstripeprincess was disappointed was that she used the Bathurst location.

                    From the article" The commercial knives are sharpened on hollow grinders, reviled by some chefs for weakening the blade but easy to do.

                    The public's knives are done by hand, and usually by George Nella. His movements are graceful and sure. He starts with a sandstone wheel – sparks fly with a high-carbon cleaver – then moves to an Indian oil stone before buffing. To check the sharpness, he licks his inner forearm and shaves off a few hairs."

                    1. re: Jean Georges
                      pinstripeprincess RE: Jean Georges Aug 28, 2007 10:38 AM

                      the reason why i got my knives back after a week is because they send them to the mississauga location.

                      1. re: pinstripeprincess
                        Recyclor RE: pinstripeprincess Aug 28, 2007 05:44 PM

                        ..that is what I am expecting aswell...buddy said they send them out there...

                      2. re: Jean Georges
                        Davwud RE: Jean Georges Aug 30, 2007 08:09 AM

                        "To check the sharpness, he licks his inner forearm and shaves off a few hairs."

                        Note to self.
                        Wash knives after George Nella sharpens them!!!


              2. re: dinin and dishin
                lamaranthe RE: dinin and dishin Aug 29, 2007 12:24 PM

                They are the best. High end restaurants have their knives sharpened there. Fast, good service and reasonable price.

          2. c
            cybergod RE: kgebhard Aug 29, 2007 05:51 PM

            I'm not sure actually who does their sharpening for them, but I took three knives (2 Henkel, 1 Wusthof) that had been totally destroyed by another knife sharpener to the Cook's Place on the Danforth and they came back beautifully restored. Their guy had to regrind and sharpen the edges completely, including reshaping the entire blades, because the previous sharpener was such an idiot that he brought the blade edges above the actual back heel of the knives: if I set the knives on a cutting board I could actually see light between the board and the blade... Arghh! And, he does it by hand...

            I was ready to throw the knives out, so I'm extremely happy with the outcome. And, after about six weeks of use the edges are holding up nicely, with only minor honing required every week or two (they see a lot of usage).

            Yep, there's truth to the statement "don't let the guy who offers to sharpen your lawnmower blade touch your high quality kitchen knives." What was I thinking??? ;-)

            7 Replies
            1. re: cybergod
              Davwud RE: cybergod Aug 30, 2007 08:10 AM

              Where on Danforth??


              1. re: cybergod
                bluedog RE: cybergod Aug 30, 2007 08:45 AM

                How much? Cook's PLace is better for me....

                And by the way, avoid those guys who sharpen knives on their trucks. It's quaint with the ringing bell and all, but we did it once and our knives were never the same...

                1. re: bluedog
                  cybergod RE: bluedog Aug 30, 2007 11:00 AM

                  488 Danforth Ave. (416) 461-5211

                  I can't remember exactly how much it was per knife, but it was definitely under $10 a knife including the full reshaping of the blades, and definitely cheaper if you're just getting them sharpened.

                  re: knife trucks, yep, that's who wrecked my knives in the first place too.

                  1. re: cybergod
                    bluedog RE: cybergod Aug 30, 2007 12:18 PM

                    I asked Cooks Place about prices and here is what I got (pretty reasonable):

                    "Knife sharpening prices depend on the length of the blade. Up to 7" is $5.
                    8" is $6. After that its $.50 per inch. There are additional charges for
                    serrated knives, repairs, etc.

                    Our knife sharpening is done by a professional. He usually picks knives up
                    early Monday morning and returns them the next week. This week he's on

                    1. re: bluedog
                      Jean Georges RE: bluedog Sep 6, 2007 02:05 PM

                      Hey Recyclor, did you get your knives back?

                      1. re: Jean Georges
                        Recyclor RE: Jean Georges Sep 6, 2007 02:36 PM

                        Funny you should ask...the girl just picked 'em up for me! She called me about an hour ago to say so...I'll post how they are this evening...stay tuned!

                        1. re: Jean Georges
                          Recyclor RE: Jean Georges Sep 6, 2007 06:54 PM

                          Just checked out my knives, a Global veg chef knife and a pairing knife, both were damaged very badly, the chef knife was sharpened improperly by a "profesional" and the pairing by an old roomate of mine with my Henkel sharpener, i thought it was ruined...both have straight razor sharp blades now! I'm very happy with the results, oh and it took 8 days (long weekend in there though) and cost 8 bucks! *sweet* ...if you are going to have someone else sharpen your knives for you I'd recommend Nella.

                2. ultrablue RE: kgebhard Sep 9, 2007 10:19 AM

                  Professional Instuction.
                  Alton Brown video.

                  Acme Malacarne Grinding Ltd.

                  Address: 468 Gilbert Ave
                  York, ON
                  M6E 4X5

                  Telephone: (416) 789-0644
                  Ask for Joe.
                  Never tried them,or asked for Joe...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ultrablue
                    Jean Georges RE: ultrablue Sep 10, 2007 08:23 AM

                    I remember this egullet post from years ago and it's very informative. Thanks for digging it up.

                    It's interesting, the Alton Brown video says "Never sharpen your own knives, always use a professional".

                    1. re: Jean Georges
                      jayt90 RE: Jean Georges Sep 10, 2007 05:16 PM

                      The trouble is, you never know if the pro will overdo the grind, and gouge the blade. They may use some heavy duty tools, worse yet, expediently.
                      How much harm can you do with a 1000x Japanese stone, under a trickle of water?

                  2. d
                    Deimos RE: kgebhard May 24, 2008 04:46 PM

                    okay my question is whether this Nella gentleman is legit. i have a couple knives that i want razer sharp... but i dont want them ruined like the last guy did. (sharpened with a bench grinder for sure) [im also stupid for believing that he could do it]. the other kicker for me is that they are both high grade steel. one is D2 and the other is a close second. Can he do it?

                    ps these are folding knives. 2-3" blades

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Deimos
                      Alacrity59 RE: Deimos May 25, 2008 04:56 PM

                      Well ok I've not sharpened my knives for a bit, always do my own cause I'm a nut. I'm going to try them out see how they do. I'll let you know how they do. I just have regular knives not the super hardened sword steel.

                      1. re: Alacrity59
                        Deimos RE: Alacrity59 May 30, 2008 09:34 PM

                        You get your knives back yet?

                        1. re: Deimos
                          Alacrity59 RE: Deimos Jun 3, 2008 10:57 AM

                          Yes indeed. At the Mississauga location Nella Cutlery charges $4 per knife and has a one day turn around. The knives are at least as sharp as when I do them by hand on 1000x water stone. The biggest difference I see between when I sharpen vs. their job is that there is a lot more bite (mini serrations) on the knives now. I'm thinking this may be a good thing in the long run for slicing tomatoes etc. I think they did a good job. I'll have to qualify this a bit in that I don't actually look for razor sharp except for what I shave with, just practical sharpness.

                          1. re: Alacrity59
                            Alacrity59 RE: Alacrity59 Jun 15, 2008 02:23 PM

                            Ah a while later. Been a couple of weeks since I dared to have a couple of knives sharpened by a firm that does a heck of a lot of sharpening . . . the bite thing I spoke of is really happening. I usually like to slice peppers from the inside out . . . but with the knives as they are now . . . they pass right through the outer side of the peppers wonderfully. I'm thinking I need a rougher stone before I finish on 1000x . . . or for $4.00 a knife I know where to go.

                    2. Pastryrocks RE: kgebhard May 26, 2008 06:27 AM

                      A number of years ago my Wusthof was damaged; the tip was bent, this happen when a dishwasher used it to make chocolate shavings. I was in the bake area and I could hear this funny sound every second or so. This was not a sound that I ever heard before in the bakery. So after 15 minutes or so I had a chance to check out what was making this strange noise. So here was my $150.00 (much more $$ today) knife being tortured, what was happening was that the dishwasher was catching the side of the sheet pan with the tip of the knife. I thought my knife was ruined.
                      About a month later I was at a food show and asked the fellows at the Wusthof display what can be done. They said that Acme Malacarne Grinding Ltd. at 468 Gilbert Ave, Toronto are authorized by Wusthof to repair there knifes. When I picked up my knife a week later, it was a little shorter but super sharp. In fact my knife has never been as sharp as it was when I pick it up after being fixed, not even when it was new.
                      However, I still use a stone to sharpen my all my knives. I find it easier and faster than taking my knives to Acme. If I were to go somewhere to have my knives sharpen, I suppose I would use Acme. Also, I remember something about the warranty not being invalid by using Acme.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Pastryrocks
                        Deimos RE: Pastryrocks May 26, 2008 02:39 PM

                        thanks you two. so this Acme company can do it? high grade steel too? what sort of pricing am i lookin at? and the other thing is that normally i would sharpen it myself... if it were any other knife but the one is worth 300 bucks and the other is 120 so im a little unsure of myself lol.

                        1. re: Deimos
                          Pastryrocks RE: Deimos May 26, 2008 03:57 PM

                          It’s been 10-12 years or so since I brought my knife to Acme, so I don’t remember the cost. But I know it was not very much to fix my knife, considering the cost to replace the knife. So I would assume the cost to sharpen would not be more that what others are charging.
                          My Wusthof cooks knife is my favorite knife, chopping, cutting meat, skinning salmon, and making chocolate shavings, my Wusthof is one I use. My wife will not use the Wusthof; it is a little big for her hand.
                          Based on my one experience I believe Acme knows what they are doing. Also, despite the knife being a little shorter, it is still balanced perfectly!!

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