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is Ross Cutlery on Broadway and 2nd St. DTLA the best option for Knife Sharpening near me?

I'm in Silver Lake, cooking Thanksgiving for 20, and my knives are so dull they won't cut an onion! Help!

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  1. Japanese Knife Imports in Venice is probably among the most knowledgeable and diligent sharpeners in your area. But not among the cheapest.

    Take your knives to him if you use Japanese knives, or if you want anything special done or repairs or improvements made, or if you just want to learn a thing or two. If you're looking for a cheaper option just to get Western knives sharp, you'd probably be better off looking elsewhere, though I don't have any recommendations myself.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cowboyardee

      Venice is in "your area" if you're in Silverlake?

      1. re: perk

        Apologies - I'm not in California and not familiar with Silver Lake. I saw that this was posted on the LA board, and I know that the guy at JKI is one of the rare professional sharpeners I'd trust fully with Japanese knives.

    2. yes or Gary's Knife Sharpening. He's at the Hollywood Farmers Market on Sundays


      2 Replies
      1. re: TailbackU

        Last couple of times I looked for Gary at the farmer's market, he was a no show. I talked to someone at information desk and they said that he had been pretty inconsistent about coming lately. I would call or email and confirm that he's going to be there before lugging your knives to the farmer's market.

        1. re: bg90027

          oh that sucks. good to know though.

      2. What kind of knives do you have? I agree with cowboyardee. If you happen to have high quality Japanese knives, then Japanese Knife Imports is a very good place to go to. If you have good German or French knives, then most knife sharpeners can handle them. If you have low-medium kitchen knives, then I think anything will do just fine.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          They are high end German. I'm going to try out Ross this week, mainly for proximity's sake.

          1. re: jdwdeville

            I think Ross will work out very well for your knives (based on reputation). Good luck.

        2. I take ALL my knives to Ross, once a year (a personal birthday gift) and have never regretted it. I have mostly European knives although there are a couple of Santukos, Chinese Cleavers and a Henkels' Cermax in there. LOVE those guys. They do great work, never dinged or otherwise damaged or burned my blades. Their prices are reasonable to competitive, Grand Central Market is across the street and big bonus, the Bradbury Building is virtually next door, always worth a visit.

          1. I somehow bent a 1/2 cm of my forged Calphalon 8" chef's knife and chipped of the tip, and they restored the thing to almost-new condition. In order to restore the tip, they had to take a noticeable amount off the width of the blade, but at 1"/inch it was much cheaper than buying a new blade.

            Mr Taster

            2 Replies
            1. Ross Cutlery does excellent work. I have had all my knives sharpened there, including a Kyocera ceramic utility knife that I chipped and it came out great. They also make my Tim Kramer Chefs knife look like it just came out of the box every time I bring it there. Highly Recommended. And from Silver Lake you don't even need to hit a freeway...

              6 Replies
              1. re: bluebandit

                Do you mean Bob Kramer? Love his stuff but just can't get behind the maintenance required.

                1. re: Steve2 in LA

                  Sorry, yes, Bob. No real maintenance if you can put up with some staining on the steel.

                  1. re: Steve2 in LA

                    <Love his stuff but just can't get behind the maintenance required.>

                    What maintenance were you referring to? Do you mean the fact that his knives are carbon steel knives and therefore discolor, oxidize or rust? If so, I won't say his knives are any different than other carbon steel knives in this regard. Or do you mean the fact that some of his knives have Damascus pattern? Just curious. Thanks.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      I was referring to his carbon steel blades. Had the 8" chef's for a while (returned it, although it is one hell of a blade) but realize I'm simply not disciplined enough to do it justice. Used to sell cutlery so I'm very familiar with what's required.

                      I'm not willing to monitor what I'm cutting in order to carefully wipe off my blade and re-oil immediately after every usage to keep it protected. I know it's only a few minutes but I'm unwilling to take the time with one more blade. Unless one is dilligent, oxidation not only damages the steel (discoloration at a minimum but rusting and pitting as well) but discolored steel passes a metallic flavor into foods, my primary objection.

                      Frankly, I prefer carbon-steel as a blade material because it takes such a superior edge but I do pretty well with my high-carbon steel blades and all I have to do is rinse them. Lazy, lazy me.

                      1. re: Steve2 in LA

                        Got it. It sounds like that you don't like carbon steel blade knives in general and not just Bob Kramer's knives. Just want to know if his knives are more reactive than other carbon steel knives -- which is possibly. Just want to make sure.

                        <carefully wipe off my blade and re-oil immediately after every usage to keep it protected>

                        I do have a few carbon steel knives. I wipe them off within 5-10 minutes, but I rarely wipe them off immediately, and I never used oil. I think oil is only for long term storage through.

                        <passes a metallic flavor into foods>

                        Agree. Brand new carbon steel knives do have a metallic smell. However, after a patina is formed, the smell and favor decrease a bit.

                        <Lazy, lazy me.>

                        Nah. Everyone has different priority and schedule. You know our CHOWHOUND contributor, petek? He is a professional cook, and he was very much in love with the high quality Japanese carbon steel knives from Moritaka. I have one, and it does take on an amazing edge. petek slowly realized that the care and maintenance for the Moritaka knife is just too much for his busy professional kitchen, so recently he has moved toward a semi-stainless steel knife from Konosuke HD. Quote:

                        "3)This is a tough one.As much as I love my Moritaka,there's no comparison between the 2.Apples and oranges.Semi stainless vs highly reactive blue "


                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Appreciate the input. Happy Thanksgiving!

                2. Thanks everyone. Dropped my babies, err, knives there today (Saturday). Was told they'll be ready on Monday. Maybe the sharpening person has weekends off? Anyway will report back when the knives are in hand.

                  1. It sounds as though your knives are already at Ross, but I just wanted to assure you that you won't regret it. We've been taking our knives to Ross for a few years, they do amazing work for a reasonable price.

                    1. Quick update:
                      Just picked up my knives from Ross and... HOLY CRAP! I feel like I am the guy in the Ginsu commercial cutting cans in half and slicing tomatoes mid-flight!
                      Wow. Great service, and at $24 for 3 big knives it was affordable.
                      Thank you everyone for the input.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jdwdeville

                        And thank you for reporting. Your report encourages other posters who have helped you, and more importantly, help answer the same question for future chowhounders who will be in the same situation as you were. Thanks.

                      2. To update this post, I almost fainted today when I walked up to the Ross location in (adjacent to?) the Bradbury Building, three knives in hand for their annual sharpening, only to find it locked up and empty. Then I learned they've moved a few storefronts south, next to the McDonald's. Whew!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Cubancoffee

                          I experienced the same shock last weekend. The place is at least double the size it was before.

                          Mr Taster

                        2. Question, do y'all rely ONLY on sharpening shops for 100% of your sharpening, or do you sharpen them at home in between professional sharpenings? If so, what devices do you use at home and are you happy with them?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: jgilbert

                            < do you sharpen them at home in between professional sharpenings? If so, what devices do you use at home and are you happy with them?>

                            I don't take my knives to professional sharpeners. I sharpen my knives on my own all the time. I use sharpening stones -- specially waterstones.

                            1. re: jgilbert

                              I have ceramic waterstones (a 1000 and a 6000, I think), as well as a more conventional waterstone that's a bit coarser. Occasionally I'll strop on newspaper or on some chromium oxide scribbled on a piece of paper.

                              I think I'm just Ok as a sharpener - certain knives are trickier to sharpen than others, so I will take them to a good sharpener if I can't get a good edge on them.

                              I have had good luck with Japanese Knife Imports, mentioned above (though it is quite a drive from a lot of parts of LA). Also, he was happy to let me watch, and explain his process (he's got a lot of videos online), and he will do hands-on classes. He does use a small belt grinder for certain work, but everything is finished on stones.

                              Personally, I would avoid Ross, particularly for expensive Japanese knives.