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knife sharpening

a
autopi Jan 22, 2012 06:39 AM

any recommendations on where to get knives -- in particular, serrated bread knives -- sharpened?

the guy at the wychwood barns pretty much knocked all the serrations off my bread knife, and so i'm looking for someone who can repair the damage.

bike or TTC accessible ... thanks!

  1. j
    Jean Georges Feb 18, 2012 10:58 AM

    This seems to be a common question on this forum....to a high end chef their knives are the tools of their trade and they would never give them to a sharpening service. In chefs school they learn to periodically sharpen their own knives using whetstones, and keep the edge honed using a smooth steel rod. It's really not that hard to learn and the stones and steel will last a lifetime, so it's not a big investment either.

    Butchers or meat counters or low end restaurants will rent their knives from Nella who will replace them with sharpened knives on a regular basis. But these are not great knives and would not be used by a serious chef.

    A broken or abused serrated knife should be discarded and replaced with a new one. The Henckles Twin Master 9½ in Bread Knife is only $30. These are the yellow handled knives you can purchase from a restaurant supply store, and make great bread knives. Here is a link to a Canadian site where you can buy this knife.

    https://www.crs-online.ca/sagro/store...

    My last point is that a serrated knife should be only be used for bread and nothing else. It should last for many many years before it needs to be replaced. It does not need to be sharpened.

    Yes, I am a knife snob.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Jean Georges
      s
      szw Feb 18, 2012 11:34 AM

      I am a knife snob also but the high end/low end restaurant thing is totally whack. There are tons of really great chefs out there who don't know a thing about knives/don't care and a lot of high end restaurants use nella's rental service as well. Similarly there are a lot of line cooks out there who are into knives and will bring in their own and take great care of them. In fact I'd go as far to say most high end chefs have really bad knife knowledge....I mean look at gordon ramsey's videos showing how to take care of knives...oh my god they are bad.

      I also disagree about serrated knives only being used for bread and not needing to sharpen. Yeah you wo'nt use it for everything, but there are useful times to take it out, and keeping it sharp is a must for a knife snob.

      1. re: szw
        j
        Jean Georges Feb 18, 2012 11:50 AM

        What do you use a serrated knife for besides bread and why wouldn't you use a sharp knife?

        1. re: Jean Georges
          s
          szw Feb 18, 2012 12:03 PM

          I mean its not mandatory to have but after watching this guy on youtube I got hooked on using it for large fruits like watermelon and pineapple. It works very nicely.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvNs4zB6zXg

          Here is an easy and cheap way to keep your serrated knives sharp
          http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/sho...

          1. re: szw
            c
            Chatty Cathy Feb 18, 2012 12:40 PM

            I use my serrated knife for large fruit like watermelons and pineapples too, but it's especially useful for slicing ripe tomatoes. That being said, while my other knives are good quality Henckel 4-stars, my serrated knife is a cheapo one (the kind they used to hawk at demo booths at the CNE) but it came with a lifetime warrantee and has never needed sharpening for over 20 years.

      2. re: Jean Georges
        The Chowhound Team Feb 18, 2012 12:05 PM

        Folks, there are many discussions on the Cookware board about knives and their care and use. Please continue this conversation over there by starting a new thread or continuing an existing thread. Thanks!

      3. elvisahmed Feb 13, 2012 05:49 PM

        I have also seen a sign for knife sharpening in the Loblaws Downtown at Jarvis and Queens Quay. Its at the ground floor where the optical and travel agency is. Never used it though,

        2 Replies
        1. re: elvisahmed
          d
          Danybear Feb 18, 2012 06:04 PM

          I tried this "knife sharpening service" The man also fixes shoes and boots with the same equipment and doesn't know anything about knifesharpening

          1. re: Danybear
            elvisahmed Feb 18, 2012 11:34 PM

            Seriously uses the same tools that he uses to fix boots! Thanks for sharing I am glad I read this as it was a convenient location for me and I might have given it a try.

        2. m
          magic Feb 10, 2012 10:28 AM

          Maybe Personal Edge? They are in many large malls. Certainly the Eaton Centre, which is right on the Yonge line.

          1. PoppiYYZ Feb 10, 2012 06:51 AM

            Took a few of my knives into a place near Rogers and Caledonia and they wiped off most of the serrations on my bread knife AND scratched the crap out of the handles too. Finally broke down and replaced the bread knife (using the new one, but still can't bring myself to through the old one away...).

            Anyone recommend a great home sharpening kit ? I've had a V-shaped sharpener using two 10" ceramic rods placed in a wooded base that has worked pretty good, but it is worn out now.

            11 Replies
            1. re: PoppiYYZ
              c
              CocoTO Feb 10, 2012 07:12 AM

              not sure if this is what you're looking for PoppiYYZ?

              http://www.leevalley.com/us/gifts/pag...

              1. re: CocoTO
                PoppiYYZ Feb 10, 2012 09:19 AM

                Thanks Coco,

                I have a Henckel version of that and it is so-so. I was wondering if anyone has found something that creates or maintains a first class edge.

                1. re: PoppiYYZ
                  s
                  slacker1 Feb 10, 2012 09:28 AM

                  I have a Sabatier chef's knife that I got from Lee Valley many moons ago. The blade is carbon steel - it turns black regularly and gives up staining to tea towels when I dry it. I keep it sharp with a tungsten v-groove sharpener I got from Canadian Tire. It is so sharp that you learn quickly to keep your hands away from the blade. I have cut myself just by accidentaly brushing a finger against the cutting edge. The tungsten is not so great with the stainless steel blades, but does a reasonable job on a Vicoronix(sp?) stainless steel thin blade.

                  1. re: PoppiYYZ
                    a
                    autopi Feb 10, 2012 07:02 PM

                    using waterstones is not too hard; that's what i use for my regular (non-serrated) blades.

                    1. re: PoppiYYZ
                      d
                      Dave5440 Feb 13, 2012 05:43 PM

                      Edge Pro Apex
                      http://www.chefknivestogo.com/edgepro...

                      1. re: Dave5440
                        PoppiYYZ Feb 14, 2012 10:39 AM

                        Thanks Dave5440

                        Lee Valley has something that looks somewhat similar
                        http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page...

                  2. re: PoppiYYZ
                    PoppiYYZ Apr 1, 2012 05:35 AM

                    Given up on finding a place to get blades sharpened or restored in Toronto, so :

                    1) tried the Lee Valley "system" : sucks. Sharpening angle changes up and down the knife if you don't reposition clamp repeatedly.
                    2) bought two Henckel double sided stones (250/1000 and 3000/8000) : took a little effort but my 25+ year old 8" is singing again !!
                    3) bought an extra fine serrated sharpener Diafold DMT FSKE on amazon : wont refurbish a ruined serrated knife, but will keep one very sharp. Tapered steel works on all serrated sizes.

                    If someone finds a good service in TO or SO, please let us know after they try them.

                    1. re: PoppiYYZ
                      aser Apr 1, 2012 06:39 PM

                      um, didn't you read the thread? people recommended you tosho and knife, go check them out.

                      1. re: aser
                        PoppiYYZ Apr 2, 2012 06:06 PM

                        Thanks aser,

                        Read it all, looked into it, and was looking for a confirmation. Have you tried either of them ?

                        Also thought some might be interested in a youtube / do it yourself approach. Worked out very very well and although it wasn't the cheapest approach, it's great to see the resurrection of an old blade.

                        1. re: PoppiYYZ
                          TeRReT Apr 2, 2012 06:28 PM

                          The best sharpening for non-serrated knives are Tosho and Knife. For serrated you're on your own. For easiest sharpening, the Edge Pro Apex is best, as David suggested above. It uses whetstones, but sets the angles for you. Failing that, learning to use whetstones on their own will be the best for you, Knife and Tosho both have lessons to help you learn yourself. You can get by with one combination stone or two stones at the start or even just one 1000 grit stone can be sufficient if your knife isn't completely dead.

                          For more info on knives try searching through the cookware forum, but for knife services in Toronto, Tosho and Knife are the way to go.

                          1. re: PoppiYYZ
                            TeRReT Apr 2, 2012 06:33 PM

                            Apparently the edge pro can do serrated, though I've never tried doing so.

                            http://www.edgeproinc.com/sharpen-serrated-17.html

                            This would sharpen, but wouldn't really reprofile a knife

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCqby2...

                    2. aser Jan 22, 2012 07:17 PM

                      if the serrations are all gone then they need to be reground, that's basically only something a factory will do. Both of those stores are using whetstones to sharpen knives, which won't do what you're looking for.

                      Unless I'm understanding wrong, because my impression is he turned your serrated knife into a flat regular knife.

                      1. n
                        nuggieg Jan 22, 2012 08:12 AM

                        The only place to go:

                        http://knifetoronto.com/

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: nuggieg
                          petek Jan 22, 2012 08:22 AM

                          There's also

                          http://toshoknifearts.com

                          1. re: petek
                            a
                            autopi Jan 22, 2012 01:01 PM

                            thanks for the leads! i will check these two out and see whether they'll deal with serrated bread knives. i am actually rather attached to this knife, as it's part of a matching set. i sharpen all the other ones myself with waterstones, but figured it'd be easier to let someone else deal with the serrated knife. i wish the guy at wychwood would've told me that he was just going to file the damn thing down rather than actually sharpen it properly!

                            1. re: autopi
                              damonster Jan 22, 2012 03:23 PM

                              Be sure you have a look at the websites before you go, maybe call. A bread knife is pretty hard to sharpen especially a serrated knife, and from my look at both sites they specialize in Japanese knifes and you're not gonna see anything close to a 'bread' knife for sale. You will however find some knives that are crazy sharp and pretty much cut anything.

                              1. re: damonster
                                g
                                ggom1 Jan 24, 2012 04:45 PM

                                No serrated sharpening at Knife - I was there a couple weeks ago with a serrated bread knife trying to get it sharpened lol

                          2. re: nuggieg
                            jennjen18 Jan 22, 2012 07:19 PM

                            ...does not have bread knives!

                          3. f
                            Flexitarian Jan 22, 2012 07:17 AM

                            Check out this story from a couple days ago at the Toronto Star. I would definitely use this guy:

                            http://www.thestar.com/living/food/ar...

                            But, he does have a minimum charge (mentioned in the article) as he travels around to your location.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Flexitarian
                              petek Jan 22, 2012 07:22 AM

                              Nice find Flex! It's worth a shot..

                              1. re: Flexitarian
                                PoppiYYZ Feb 10, 2012 10:42 AM

                                I REALLY don't think someone with a prized knife would let a guy with a bench top grinder anywhere near his/her knife. Yikes !

                                I know many/most restaurant have gone to "disposable" knives they simply rotate with a service, but there are many chefs, all (?) sushi chefs, and passionate home cooks who have cherished blades. Where do they get them sharpened (including serrated knives) ? ! ?

                                PS I have asked a few of times while sitting at a good sushi bar, and got some very shifty noncommittal answers...

                                1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                  TeRReT Apr 2, 2012 06:30 PM

                                  I would be surprised if the chefs at sushi places didn't have a set of stones and took care of their knives themselves. If they don't, Tosho and Knife specialize in Japanese knives, but I'd be really really really surprised if a sushi chef wasn't sharpening his own knife.

                              2. s
                                Scary Bill Jan 22, 2012 06:52 AM

                                I agree with pet. Nikolaou is a great store on Queen. They can also tell you of a good sharpening service for the future.

                                1. petek Jan 22, 2012 06:46 AM

                                  Unless you really love this particular bread knife,I would suggest buying a new one from a restaurant supply store.
                                  Putting the serrations back on the knife is going to take some time and skill=$$

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