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Jul 17, 2013 02:16 PM

Where do you take/send your knives for sharpening?

I find myself not reaching for my Wusthof knives b/c I have had them for about 10 years and they have dulled. I do have a Chefmate sharpener, but I'm apprehensive about using it b/c I don't want to ruin my knives. Shouldn't have even purchased it!

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  1. By Chefmate, do you mean the slicer that also sharpens knives?

    Or a Chef's Choice electric slicer?

    Or something I haven't heard of?

    AFAIK, there is no national chain that does good work on knives. There are some sharpeners who take mail orders, but that is both expensive and time consuming.

    Your best bet to find a decent local sharpener would be to post on your local board and ask there who they recommend in your area.

    BTW, even though I'm kindof a sharpening snob about my knives, I have to admit that even just using a $10, stupid-easy-to-use Accusharp is much better than having dull knives for a long time.

    Here is some basic info on various kinds of home sharpening systems, if you can't find a decent pro in your area.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cowboyardee

      <Here is some basic info on various kinds of home sharpening systems, if you can't find a decent pro in your area. >

      This list is a bit better:


    2. My own kitchen. I sharpen my own knives. If you have not sharpened them in 10 years you are going to need to have a new edge put on them. Do you have any kitchen stores ear you? Many of them do sharpen knives. Don't go to a butcher shop for sharpening as some people have mentioned doing. The knives the meat cutters use are not of the same quality and get a lot of grinding and abuse.

      I have 2 pull through sharpeners from Wusthof. One is for Asian knives (a 15 degree angle) and one for western knives (a 20 degree angle). These are simple, the hold the blade at the proper angle and I use them routinely to hone my knives when using them. I do have a Chefs Choice electric sharpener, 3 stage which also keeps the knife at the correct angle and another electric from Shun for my Asian knives. Chef's Choice now makes and electric sharpener that is capable of both styles. I may use the electrics ebery other month or so.

      1. You can talk to who ever cuts you hair. Most Salons have a guy who comes by to sharpen scissors. The better stylists keep their scissors as sharp as a razor. I sure the same guy can touch up your knives.

        12 Replies
        1. re: mike0989

          <Most Salons have a guy who comes by to sharpen scissors.>

          Really? I didn't know that.

          I will add that many (not all) WIlliams Sonoma and Sur La Table chains offer knife sharpening. I have never tried their service though.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            "<Most Salons have a guy who comes by to sharpen scissors.>

            Really? I didn't know that."

            Chem, hair shears, not scissors, are about as expensive as Japanese knives. Cheap student ones are about $100 each and fancy can get stoopidly expensive. Ask your stylist.

            They are their own specialty to learn how to sharpen and maintain using damn expensive gear. Usually those sharpeners that do them also do knives but not always.


            1. re: knifesavers

              Yeah, but I didn't know the sharpeners will come by the salons as opposed to the salons send out the knives.

              1. re: knifesavers

                Hair shears are fascinating. I wish I knew someone who could really teach me the ins and outs of em. I touched up a pair for a friend (who knew I didn't have experience with em). Touch up sharpening following the existing geometry wasn't too hard, but I understand that repairing or reprofiling shears that are even slightly damaged is quite tricky.

                Anyway, I imagine that anyone who can sharpen hair shears well can also sharpen knives, since knives are comparatively simple. Whether they are willing to sharpen knives or will do so at a decent price, I don't know.

              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                My stylist's salon has a guy comes by. I'm not certain if he does them in his van, or takes them back to a shop. I do know it's not easy to sharpen a good pair of scissors sharpned right. The point is, if you can find the schedule, I'm sure you can get your knives done with her scissors.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  I gave her a call. It is a mobil service that comes by every other month and he is setup in the back of his van to take care of them on location. He does do knives as well. Knives are a relative bargain at $10\each. Her scissors (she calls them shears) cost $30\each.

                  1. re: mike0989

                    < he is setup in the back of his van to take care of them on location>

                    Thanks for the information. It sounds like the knives/scissors/shears can be done on the spot and gotten back within a hour or so.

                2. re: mike0989

                  Similar idea, check with a butcher or a market that has an actual butcher counter. They also may have a service that takes care of their knives.

                  My local market has a sharpening visit monthly and if you drop off your knives the day before you can pick them up in the afternoon. They charge about $10-15 per knife depending on the knife's condition.

                  1. re: mike0989

                    My stylist has these crazy expensive Japanese shears and she said that she has to send them to the US service center to get them sharpened because they use a special steel and very acute grind with some degree of convexity. It wouldn't be too bad if you only had to sharpen 1 blade freehand, but the angles need to be just right so it's better for the shop to have a jig.

                    1. re: zinFAN

                      I think the edge angle is more often than not about 45 degrees, but there is some variation, and the edge is generally convex. The backsides are often concave with flat spots at the edge, just like the back sides of a yanagiba. The blades themselves have a gentle curve that has to be JUST RIGHT. It seems a lot of shear sharpeners (but not all) use specialized gear that employs a slightly curved wheel of abrasive to match the curve of the blade. And a locking blade holder that pivots freely from one set angle to another set angle in order to create a smooth convex grind by twisting the blade without risk of going too obtuse as might happen when sharpening by hand.

                      Here is a video:

                      There's more to it than that, and other shear designs that don't follow that pattern. And also, I hear that you can sharpen a pair of shears so it looks and feels just right coming off the abrasive, but then it still doesn't cut well when they're fastened and tightened because of some minute discrepancy in their geometry. Cool stuff.

                  2. I meant Chef's Choice, sorry :-). It is an older model but was highly rated at the time.

                    Thanks all for your suggestions!

                    1. Why not run one of the less used Wusthof knives like the 4-6" utility knife through the Chef's Choice? Or test using a cheap kitchen knife around the house.

                      I'm not a fan of electric sharpeners due the aggressiveness of the diamond abrasives which can remove metal too fast. But since you're knives are very dull, they can benefit from the diamond abrasives. The first time, you may have to run it through stage 1 a few times. This is so that the sharpener can install it's primary bevel profile. But you should read the manual.

                      Do a before and after paper test. So you can gauge the performance the electric sharpener. Then decide whether or not to run the reset of your knives through the machine.

                      I sharpen my knives freehand with whetstones from Japan. I would not want to be the one sharpening a Wusthof knife set because that's at least a whole day's work for me.