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Aug 6, 2013 12:34 PM

Took my knife to get sharpened and they cracked in 2 places. What should they do?

I took my knife to get sharpened at a store that has a guy who comes around once a week to sharpen knives.

My $100 8" chef's knife now has two, big, cracks on the blade side.

I want them to replace my chef's knife, but feel like it's not going to happen anytime soon.

The manager of the store "isn't around today," and the sales girl suggested I call the knife-sharpener guy directly because "maybe he can fix it."

Has this happened to anyone else?

I don't know what else to do except keep calling the store back, until I reach the manager.

I've thought about calling their other store (they have 2 locations) and talking to that manager, because they used to use the same knife-sharpener guy, but I don't think that Location-#2 would be able to help me, since the damage was done at Location-#1.

Any suggestions?

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  1. There is no fixing a crack.
    I sometimes get knives with cracks and point them out to the owner and tell them pursue it as a warranty claim.

    I can think of nothing in the sharpening process that would cause a blade to crack.

    IMO the manager should replace your knife and take up the issue with the sharpener guy.


    8 Replies
    1. re: knifesavers

      Hi, Jim: "I can think of nothing in the sharpening process that would cause a blade to crack."

      You could catch it on a wheel... The OP should check to see if "the guy" has all his fingers and toes.


      1. re: kaleokahu

        OK. Outside of an error or industrial accident nothing should crack a blade in any sharpening process I've used.

        Last week a guy brought in an Analon chef knife with a crack on the spine near the handle curving down about 12-3/4 of an inch. The blade would flex about 1mm side to side on the crack.

        I told him try to make a warranty claim on it if not he needs to replace it. It is not a safe knife.

        I won't sharpen a cracked blade.


        1. re: knifesavers

          For the sake of curiosity, I did a little research this am.  It seems cracks are often the result of a manufacturing defect or stressing / bending the blade just short of snapping.  Supposedly, if the area around the break is clean, it's manufacturing error, whereas if the area around the break is bent, it's stress related. 

          Personally, I struggling to see how sharpening would cause it.

          1. re: JavaBean

            Hi, JB:

            Sure, there can be a manufacturing origin (stress risers in the heat-treat being a biggie) or the problem might be abuse after manufacture.

            Abuse at the sharpener's could include dropping the blade, having it thrown off a wheel, attempts to restore the heat-treat after getting the blade too hot, etc.

            With all these modalities, the thinner and harder the blade (i.e., the more "Japanese" it is), the more likely it will be to crack.

            My rule of thumb for making is to always leave at least 1/16" of flat where the edge will ultimately be when the blade gets heat-treated. Much thinner than that, you tend to get stress risers and the resulting cracks--which may not *show* until someone like the OP gets them back from the sharpener. Yes, it's $ work to grind that safety margin away after the steel is hardened, which is a reason why makers fudge and flirt it sometimes.


              1. re: JavaBean

                Sometimes it's just ordinary negligence. ;)

          2. re: knifesavers

            Obviously not relevant here but using a 10" blade to cut a still frozen ice cream cake will do it.

            Don't ask me how I know, just trust me that I know.

            1. re: hambone

              Ouch, that's gotta hurt. Other unexplainable ways might be to whack it accidentally on the edge of a granite countertop (actually, that was more of a knick) or trying to cut a really, really big cheese wheel and accidentally twisting the knife.

              The longer you live, the more opportunities you have to make new mistakes!

      2. Find the president of the company, and send him a letter with photos of the damage. Be polite. I feel they should give you a voucher for a new knife if applicable or pay for a new knife, but I don't know if you will be able to get that. In the letter, you need to say what you feel is an equitable settlement. In the letter, you need to specify dates, names and times.

        Ultimately though the person at fault is the knife sharpener.

        1. I'm sure that they have a policy that goes something like "Store is not responsible....blah, blah," And I am certain that the guy who did the "sharpening" will claim that the blade was already damaged. I don't know if it is reasonable to expect o be refunded or credited the full value of the knife, but do think they ought to hook you up with a decent replacement if they want to keep you as a customer.

          Maybe you can express your displeasure at store #1, and explain that if they can't help you out, you will no longer be patronizing that store, AND that you will tell all of your friends, family co-workers not to patronize that store. If they have another location in town that uses this guy, you might want to mention the situation you have with store #1. Store #2 shouldn't be expected to help you out directly, but may go to bat for you.

          Retail is a tough racket...stores can't tee off customers and expect to stay in business. If they know what's good for them, they will try to work something out.

          2 Replies
          1. re: MikeB3542

            Yeah that's what I'm afraid they'll try and say too, but I didn't sign anything that said "the store isn't responsible..." I did sign a piece of paper saying that I brought in 6 knives, and received 6 knives back. It was a very simple form, with no fine print. And then I paid for the sharpening services. So hopefully they don't try to tell me that they aren't responsible, because I didn't agree to it.

            1. re: bellaluna221

              It sounds like you went to Store #1, paid them to sharpen your knives with the understanding that they were going to send them out. They are warranting the competence of the sharpener by accepting your knives to be serviced. I agree with Sueatmo, send the president a letter. Let him/her know that you have attempted to resolve the issue with the store manager, who has been unavailable and not returned your calls. If you have a record of your attempts to contact the manager, and who you spoke with, include that. And copy the manager, maybe this will get his attention. You should be clear about what you'd like to resolve the issue. Good luck!

          2. Buy a new knife and show them the receipt for payment for payment.
            If they refuse, small claims court.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dave_c

              While this sounds interesting and even funny, I feel this can escalate the issue faster than it needs to be. Many people will dig their heels in when being challenged.

            2. <My $100 8" chef's knife now has two, big, cracks on the blade side.>

              Do you think you can share a photo? I wonder if these are deep crack or what I call chips. For example, these are what I usually call chips:


              Cracks are worse. They may not be as visible, but they are far difficult (impossible) to fix. These are deep cracks. You can see the lines:


              If yours are chips, then the guy can fix it by remove the metal, and moving the edge profile up. If yours are cracks, then I don't know there is anything to fix it.

              Either way, you should contact the manager.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Chemical - They are definitely cracks, and not chips :) I don't have a photo though... I've tried contacting the manager, but she's out for today. So I'll try again tomorrow, and the day after that, etc. The sales associate was clueless. I have a feeling I'm not going to get anything from these people, besides a refund for the sharpening fee.

                1. re: bellaluna221

                  < They are definitely cracks, and not chips>

                  Ouch. In which case, I agree with others. I don't know there is anything they can do to fix the problem. I am sorry to hear this. Well, get whatever you can from them. Hopefully, they can refund a knife for you. Maybe not a brand new knife, maybe a compromise for the price of an used knife. Your knife was $100 brand new, right? So, it probably worth $30-50 as an used knife. Maybe they can give you money for that. Good luck.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    I always hate answers like this. It was HIS used knife, not some rando used knife. Buy the guy a new knife. They owe him that. They took his knife, cracked it and owe him a brand new one that he can wear out to his hearts content. { x 2 since it happened to 2 out of 6}

                    I sympathize with the poster and hope the store steps up.

                    1. re: Snorkelvik

                      <It was HIS used knife, not some rando used knife. Buy the guy a new knife. >

                      Because sometime when you push hard, they dig their heels in and you get nothing. Of course, it is better to have a new knife, but you don't want to close the door on every outcomes. If you go to a store and say "You own me a brand new knife", you may end up not getting nothing and walk out angry. They will say "the knife was like this when you bought it in" or they will say "this is a defected knife by the manufacturer. Go find the manufacturer (Henckels or Wusthof or whoever)"

                      Now, you have to prove the knife was perfect before you bring it in, and you have to send the knife back to the manufacturer to let the manufacturer determines if the knife was defected on day 1....etc.

                      I have seen defected knives from big name manufacturers. I have seen a Henckels knife snapped in the middle inside the box. No one has used it, and it snapped during shipping.