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Knife sharpening?

  • elbev Sep 16, 2009 07:10 AM
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Having trouble getting the garlic slivers fine enough, the ginger threads sliced through, etc. Does anyone know of a place to get knives sharpened, preferably in Cambridge or Somerville and reasonably inexpensive?

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  1. According to the website, http://www.unionsquaremain.org/commit..., a knife sharpener (Siraco) comes to the Union Square farmer's market every second and fourth Saturday, which means you could try for September 26. I have no idea of the price, but I keep meaning to go myself. In the past I've taken my knives to Kitchen Arts on Newbury St., but I can't recall how much it cost.

    5 Replies
    1. re: bella_sarda

      Sorry, that website is null. Do google search for Union Square farmer's market Somerville and you'll find it.

      1. re: bella_sarda

        http://www.siracosharpening.com/

        There is only a PO Box and phone number on the website, but says they are in Somerville

        1. re: bella_sarda

          Following up a year later, I had my knives sharpened by Siraco at the Union Square farmer's market last year and was please. At the market yesterday, sign said that Siraco's would be at the market Saturday, July 24.

        2. re: bella_sarda

          Siraco picks up scissors, clipper blades and medical instruments from my practice and they always do a good job on them.

          For kitchen knives, we do ours at home with the Chef's Choice 130 which is the model America's Test Kitchen rated as best. With a little bit of practice, you can have really sharp knives all the time- totally worth it.

          1. re: bella_sarda

            I brought some knives to this truck at the Union Square market a couple of weeks ago- I think I paid around $15 for 4 knives, and it only took about 1/2 hour. I am not a professional, but they knives seem to have been sharpened well.

          2. I used to take mine to Kitchen Arts, I think it was something like $5/knife.

            Since though I've learned to use wetstones pretty well (I have mostly high carbon steel knives) and with a few passes on the stones I keep mine screaming sharp with ease and no need to send them away. I highly recommend this approach to anyone who is interested in having truly sharp knives ready for use in their kitchen.

            1. I'm pretty sure Tags in Porter Square does knife sharpening. Not sure the price though.

              1 Reply
              1. re: greenzebra

                They send the knives to Siraco, so it can take up to a week. You're better off just meeting the Siraco folks at the Union Sq. Farmer's Market and getting it done right away.

              2. Oddly enough, but great all the same, European Country Antiques in the Huron Village neighborhood of Cambridge has a highly skilled "knife sharpening" guru-(not advertised) www.ecountryantiques.com-617.876.7485

                1. Does anyone know of any places that sharpen food processor blades? I emailed Siraco a few months back, but they don't do it. I know I could order a new one, but it seems like such a waste. Some of those hard parmesan rinds are tough on the blades.

                  1. Stoddard's is the nations oldest cutlery shop and many chefs get their knives sharpened there. They had stores downtown and at Chestnut Hill Mall, now they're located on Watertown Street in the area of Newton called Nonantum.

                    http://www.stoddards.com/

                    I won't get my knives sharpened at Kitchen Arts again as they really messed up one of my knives once.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: steinpilz

                      Rumor has it Stoddards will let you test-drive knives for an hour if you bring your own sack of potatoes. Can anyone confirm or deny?

                      1. re: enhF94

                        old thread, but it's important to say: I've now been to Stoddard's without a sack of potatoes. When I asked, they looked very reluctant, like they'd never done it before. I got the impression they'd tolerate an eccentric heavy-hitter chef, but not a walk-in. Which is too bad. They're the most serious knife shop in town, and it takes at least twenty minutes to get to know a knife.

                        1. re: enhF94

                          I think this is a bit ungenerous, and for that manner I recommend that everyone get their knives sharpened at Stoddard's in Nonantum.

                          While in Nonantum you can also pick up some great sausages and pasta at De Pasquale's, pastries at Antoine's, bubble tea at Boba-Licious, fish and seafood (including fried clams and lobster rolls) at Steamer's market, fresh baked breads at Vita Magni Bakery, and good food and beers around the corner at West Street Tavern. There's also a great fly fishing store, some computer and electronic repair places, and a variety of other good stuff.

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/147802
                          http://www.stoddards.com/
                          http://boba-licious.com
                          http://www.wickedlocal.com/newton/hom...
                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/359884

                          I'm a bit peeved because the all the hype for new Stoddard's restaurant downtown generated little PR for the original and existing cutlery business (and no my name isnt' Stoddard).

                          1. re: steinpilz

                            I would strongly second the sentiment that this is the place to go. If you do have an interest in learning how to sharpen, or in learning anything about knives for that matter, Dave is an excellent resource and a nice fellow to boot.

                            Also let's not forget that Russo's is just a stone's throw away, over the bridge and a bit to the west in Watertown.

                          2. re: enhF94

                            Sorry, I must have been unclear: I wasn't annoyed about the potatoes thing, but instead trying to correct the wrongitty-wrong rumor that I reported some years ago.

                            I didn't mean to imply that Stoddard's gives crappy or tiered service. Instead, I meant to imply that a customer walking in with a sack of potatoes would likely be the first person to have ever done so, and that it'd probably come across as weird.

                            I think twenty-minute test-drives would be a fantastic idea, though. I love my new Kikuichi but I'd have been more confident in the purchase if I'd had a sack of potatoes!

                      2. Stoddard's, European Country Antiques, Siraco--does anyone know if any of these places sharpen by hand, on a wetstone?

                        I have some crazy sharp and thin Japanese blades, and I've never found in Boston a place I trust to sharpen them. I worry when I cut root vegetables with some of them, so the thought of a belt sander or mechanical sharpener makes me cringe.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: rlove

                          Rlove,

                          See my comment above. Japanese knives are the reason I learned to sharpen myself, and I can tell you that it's not that hard, and in fact will give you a better understanding of the knives. It can also be very "Zen" to do....and you can easily keep them all razor sharp or more. I would NEVER send one of these babies off to a commercial sharpener. But, if you must, go to Dave who you will find lots of info and comments by on knifeforums.com He is far and away better than I will ever be and you can definitely trust him to do fine work.

                          http://japaneseknifesharpening.com/

                          1. re: Zatan

                            I brought a very good knife to Kitchen Arts once. I wouldn't call what they did "sharpening." It seemed like they ground a new edge onto the knife rather than sharpen the existing edge. It seems like they took a substantial amount of metal off the knife. It's more like "edge replacing" than "sharpening." I won't go back.

                        2. I have my knives sharpened once a year (at the Holidays )at Ace Hardware on Commerical St in Malden, they are very reasonable, I think it's $2 a knife, but they keep them a few days and do a great

                          1. I use a mobile sharpening service, great work and convenient. www.ExpressEdge.com

                            1. german knives are pretty easy to sharpen by yourself with a stone block. i cheat quite a bit and have changed the angle of the edge from a factory default of 20 degrees down to about 15. i also swipe in the opposite direction of cutting, which may be wrong too. when i feel the metal curling on itself slightly, i turn it around and do the other side.

                              it might be completely wrong, but the blades are super sharp and can keep up with my japanese knives, which i haven't quite figured out yet. the metal is much softer on those, and the angle is pretty extreme. i have a shun sushi knife that i won't dare to attempt, the thing is so long, and the metal is pretty hard and the angle very extreme. luckily, shun offers lifetime sharpening for free on those.

                              knive sharpening seems to me a bit like golf, you can do it wrong but if you practice, you'll get there. but for sure, wet stone blocks, no machines. unless you have two sets, i think you should sharpen yourself.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: tatsu

                                I concur. Learn to sharpen yourself, and you'll be able to put a good edge on anything that feels good in your hand. (For me anyway, finding a knife that's comfortable in my hand for several hours, not the sharpness of the edge, is the hard part, but that depends on my being able to fix the edge as needed.

                                I can recommend the book _An Edge in the Kitchen_ by Chad Ward, which goes into pretty much every variety of sharpening technique and tool. I happen to use DMT diamond stones for my knives, and they're sharp enough for the jobs I use them for, but the book covers pretty much everything you could possibly want to know. Apparently the author also has a Web site.

                                http://www.chadwrites.com/

                              2. Check out the knife sharpener on rte 109 in Westwood, MA, awesome job! at great prices !
                                this guy does knife sharpening while you wait by appointment only !

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: salarmi

                                  I just had my knives sharpened at KitchenWares on Newbury St. and they did a good job. "Larger" knives" which includes pretty much everything except a paring knife, are $6 and smaller ones are $4. Dropped off on a Sunday afternoon and they were ready the next day after 11am. You must pre-pay but I guess that's to prevent people from leaving them there and forgetting to come back.

                                  1. re: misscucina

                                    I've never tried it, but I did notice that the Fabric Corner on Mill Street in Arlington has a knife sharpening drop off every Tuesday ( I think). You may want to call and double check, but it's certainly easy to get there from Cambridge/Somerville.