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

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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.

    Jim

    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.

      Aloha,
      Kaleo

      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.

        Jim

        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.

            Aloha,
            Kaleo

            1. re: kaleokahu

              Ah, thanks.

              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:

              http://www.sygyzy.com/images/watanabe...

              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:

              http://cdn.cheftalk.com/b/b3/500x1000...

              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.

              2. Just an update: Got a hold of the manager, who was quite apologetic, and I'm bringing in the knife to get looked at by her and the knife sharpener and will get this resolved. I don't know if that means I'm getting it replaced completely, but I'm glad to hear that the manager was really interested in helping resolve the issue. Thanks everyone for your suggestions :)

                9 Replies
                1. re: bellaluna221

                  What brand and model is your knife?

                  Also, please be aware that a $100 MSRP knife has a wide profit margin built in it for the store assuming it is a normal commercial production model.

                  A manufacturing defect should be covered at the store by the manufacturer.

                  1. re: Sid Post

                    I was thinking that too

                    1. re: wekick

                      Messermeister. I emailed them asking them about their warranty and they pretty much told me that if the knife sharpener cracked it when he sharpened it, then it wont be covered under the warranty.

                      1. re: bellaluna221

                        Messermeister knives are pretty hard and factory sharpened more acutely than comparable German knives. If your knife sharpener guy isn't familiar with them, that's the problem. Blade munchers on the backs of electric can openers will destroy them too.

                        Messermeister's are very nice factory knives so, I understand your frustration with this whole mess. It sounds crazy but, my Santoku will be mailed to Japan if it ever needs sharpening I can't do by hand on a whetstone.

                        1. re: Sid Post

                          <Messermeister knives are pretty hard and factory sharpened more acutely than comparable German knives.>

                          True.

                          <my Santoku will be mailed to Japan if it ever needs sharpening>

                          I am sure there are creditable knife sharpeners in your area. If you are in San Diego, then our knifesavers (Jim) is a knowledgeable and caring knife sharpener.

                          You can send to famed knife sharpeners like David Martell (PA, USA), Jon Broida (CA, USA), Murray Carter (OR, USA), Ivan Fonseca (ON, Canada)....etc...ec.

                          http://www.japaneseknifesharpeningsto...

                          http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/

                          http://www.cartercutlery.com/knife-sh...

                          https://toshoknifearts.com/services

                          On the other hand, I know some Japanese knife manufacturers sharpen their knives for free, so maybe it makes sense for you.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            That Santoku maybe ceramic. If so, they are really difficult to do by hand.

                            1. re: JavaBean

                              If it is ceramic, do you have a Kyocera? Kyocera is probably the most famous ceramic knife maker.

                              There is a CA, USA site for sharpening Kyocera for free service.

                              http://kyoceraadvancedceramics.com/li...

                              If it is not the Kyocera, then there are still people who can sharpening ceramic knives. Good luck.

                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              Yes, I did some business with Murray Carter before he left Japan. However, my Santoku came from another source as you noted and I get a lifetime of free sharpening on a waterstone passed down from father to son for multiple generations.

                              1. re: Sid Post

                                <I get a lifetime of free sharpening on a waterstone >

                                Cool.

                  2. UPDATE: The store managers agreed that the only way to "right" this situation was to have the knife-sharpener-guy replace my knife. But all he did was leave a note with them that said "contact knife manufacturer." He's trying to say it was a "defect in the forging."

                    I've had this knife for over 6 years, and have had it sharpened before with no problems. I brought the knife in, in perfect (though dull) condition, and got it back to me completely damaged and ruined, AND I still had to pay for the sharpening services!!

                    I'm pretty flippin' pissed off right now.

                    The managers are going to talk to each other, and call me back, to tell me what they've decided to do. I'm just so beyond upset right now, I don't even know what to say to them. I don't know what my rights are. Any suggestions?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: bellaluna221

                      Hi Bellaluna,

                      I was afraid this will happen. Small businesses are run on very tight budgets, so they usually have very different warranties than larger companies. Unfortunately, this is a "he say, you say" situation. They can claim that the knife was already defected coming out of the factory, and now it has finally revealed its problem, or they can even claim you had been abusing the knife, and that the problem has finally revealed itself during knife sharpening. It will be costly (in time and money) to verify the source of the problem.

                      Looking on the bright side, at least it seem like the store manager is asking the knife sharpener to contact the knife manufacturer and not asking you to do it. It sounds to be me that the knife sharpener and the knife manufacturer will figure out whose is at fault between the two of them.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        No, the knife sharpener is telling ME to send my knife back to the manufacturer. He's walking away. The manager is calling him tomorrow to "get more information on the situation," and then she said we can "proceed from there."

                        1. re: bellaluna221

                          <No, the knife sharpener is telling ME to send my knife back to the manufacturer.>

                          That's no good. It is too time consuming and time costly (the shipping fee). Let 's wait for manager calls the knife sharpener and see what happens from here on. Good luck.

                    2. *sigh*

                      So-o-o-o many questions....

                      Some pictures would really be ideal.

                      Are you sure you got your own knife back?

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: Eiron

                        And it's TWO knives. Go figure...

                        1. re: kaleokahu

                          What? No, it's only 1 knife. One chef's knife, has 2 cracks on it. And yes, it's definitely my knife that I got back from the sharpener.

                          1. re: bellaluna221

                            Can you go back to the original store and see if you can straighten this mess out? If you're getting no help there, and they're passing the buck to the sharpener, who is passing the buck to the manufacturer, I'd stick with the store, and push them a bit. THEY are the folks you surrendered your knives to!

                            Is it possible to speak with the sharpener? I mean, he did manage to sharpen 5 of your knives without incident. I know he doesn't want to be on the hook for an expensive knife, but still....

                            1. re: blaireso

                              The two managers of the gourmet grocer want to talk to the sharpener to "get all of the information" from him. All he did was leave a note on my knife that said "send back to manufacturer." (Because he doesn't think he's responsible.) So the managers are going to call him, "gather information" and then she said "we can go from there."

                              Pretty much, no one wants to take responsibility.

                              I left a nasty review on the knife sharpeners Yelp, and the owner commented that the store has nothing to do with their knife sharpening services. What? Seriously? You're the same company. So I took my review down.

                              1. re: bellaluna221

                                <I left a nasty review on the knife sharpeners Yelp, and the owner commented that the store has nothing to do with their knife sharpening services. >

                                Just make sure it is not two companies with very similar names.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  I did. http://perfectsharpening.com/ --and-- http://www.perfectedgesharpening.com/ are the same. I think she was trying to tell me not to post a nasty review on their storefront listing, when this incident happened with their travelling sharpening services.

                                  1. re: bellaluna221

                                    Give them sometime. However, I see no reason why you cannot post your view on their storefront listing. One is responsible for other. We are not talking about two different companies. Of course, I could be completely confused about this.

                                    By the way, Messermeister makes nice knives. They used to be at a lower price point than Henckels and Wusthof.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      Yeah, unfortunately they told me that the warranty isn't covered if someone else ruins the knife. They said that if the blade gets too hot while sharpening, that could cause it to crack. They encouraged me to send my knife in to them, so they could look at it... but I'm guessing they'll just blame it on the sharpener and send it right back to me.

                                      1. re: bellaluna221

                                        <They said that if the blade gets too hot while sharpening, that could cause it to crack. >

                                        I was hoping that the knife sharpening service would have taken upon itself and deal with Messermeister. Afterall, it is a dispute between them. Then again, the truth will never really settle between them.

                                        <They encouraged me to send my knife in to them, so they could look at it... but I'm guessing they'll just blame it on the sharpener and send it right back to me.>

                                        That is the most likely outcome.

                                        1. re: bellaluna221

                                          If you can get a letter from the manufacturer that states the crack was due to the sharpening, go back to the sharpener with it. Tell them you have a letter and will be pursuing legal channels.

                        2. UPDATE 8/15: So... Monday and Tuesday went by, and I heard nothing. I called the gourmet store on Wednesday, and the manager still hadn't spoken with the knife sharpener. She attempted to call him, left him a message, and called me back to let me know she left him a message. Today (Thursday) went by, heard nothing again. I'm getting really p*ssed off. Over the phone, I've been polite, and have said "thank you," and all that other nice bullcrap; but now I'm angry. My knife isn't even with me anymore, it's at the gourmet store! They told me to bring it in this past Sunday so they could look at it. Tomorrow, they're getting an angry phone call.

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: bellaluna221

                            I know you are upset. However, you should let the gourmet store talk to the knife sharpener guy in person.

                            If he wants to continue working both of their locations, he CAN"T avoid them in person. Burning your relationship with the store management won't do much to help you get the resolution you want. Sure the process is slower than you want but, but angry rants at the people who must help you resolve this won't really help you.

                            I know good customer service says the customer is always right but, when someone is yelling/threatening/etc it is MUCH HARDER to help them. It's a fact of life, the nice people are going to get more help then the horse's a$$. Getting upset, angry, and venting at the store MIGHT make you feel better but, will it get your knife replaced?

                            1. re: bellaluna221

                              Sorry about the on-going struggle. I know it is very frustrating, not only because it is taking longer than you want, but also because it is not clear anyone is taking the responsibility. In your next visit/phone call, you should make your position and situation very clear. That is, you have been waiting for a week now, and that you expect some levels of progress and that the gourmet store manager should have spoken with the knife sharpener by now (a week). Tell them that you want them to take this seriously and to put this as a high priority matter because it is very important to you and this is basic customer service. You can even tell the that you are frustrating about this situation.

                              However, l also suggest to held back your anger emotion. First, raw anger rarely help the situation as Sid Post said. Basically, you want them to know that you are upset about situation, but not direct your angry toward the people. Be firm, but not angry. Second, the person (a clerk maybe) who you will be talking to will simply be a middleperson. This person most likely has done nothing to do with this. For example, I will never yell at a waitress/waiter for horribly prepared food because I know the he/she actually has nothing to do with the food execution.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                I'm mostly upset because when I called the gourmet store manager yesterday, the first thing she said was, "Oh... shoot..." in a tone that sounded like she got caught not doing anything about it, and was hoping I'd just go away/that I was bothering her.

                                I'm considering calling the knife sharpening company and seeing who is in charge of the sharpeners for their drop-off services (a manager or over-seer of some sort)... because I don't seem to be getting anywhere with the gourmet store manager.

                                1. re: bellaluna221

                                  <Oh... shoot..." in a tone that sounded like she got caught not doing anything about it, and was hoping I'd just go away/that I was bothering her.>

                                  Nah, I won't say that she want you to go away. In my mind, it sounds like they forgot to call, so they said "Oh.... shoot". I tend to do that when someone asks me about something I should have done, but didn't, like "Hey, have you submitted your abstract for the up coming meeting", and I would said, "Oh... Sh*t!!!"

                                  If you were to call the grocer again, then make sure you end up the phone call with "When may I call you back again to get an update because this is very important to me? Do you mind I call you back in 2 days". This, I think, will put pressure on them, but not too overly aggressive.

                                  Good luck.

                                  1. re: bellaluna221

                                    I know you've be patient and very diplomatic, but you need to let the store & sharpener do their thing. If not, there's the small claims court route.

                                    If there's a bright side,when this is all over, you get to get a new knife :)

                                    1. re: JavaBean

                                      I always feel like small-claim court is not worth it because of the time and energy but that is just me.

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        Same here. Went through it twice, and even though the other party admitted they were wrong...in court!, the judge ruled the case null or in my favor w/o any compensation.

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          But a corporation must be represented by a lawyer in SCC and it's usually not worth it for them to pay for the legal services. The company would just make good on the issue, it's cheaper.

                                          1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                            I see what you mean. This is informative.

                                            1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                              FYI, this is not true in all jurisdictions. In some states, corporations do not need to hire an attorney to prosecute or defend a case in small claims court.

                                              1. re: MrsPatmore

                                                Thank you, I can only speak for NJ. Never assume.

                                        2. re: bellaluna221

                                          I think the advice that Chemicalkinetics has given you is sound and strategic.

                                          Building on that, I'd encourage you to think about what you consider to be a "fair" outcome. Hopefully the time will arise when you will either be asked what you are looking for in terms of compensation or, you will be presented with an offer.

                                          If you are clear on your ideal outcome and, at a minimum, the outcome you are prepared to live with, you will be in a stronger position to negotiate.

                                    2. I thought a representative from PerfectEdge signed up and posted on this thread. How did that turn out? Was their post removed for some chowhound violation?

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: seamunky

                                        I have yet to call her, because I'm trying to give the gourmet grocery store a chance to handle the situation. But I was thinking about calling PerfectEdge today and seeing if they can help.

                                        1. re: bellaluna221

                                          IIRC, the representative from Perfect Edge that posted asked you to call her directly...I don't think it hurts at all to call her and let the gourmet store continue to work on the problem. I would tell the P.E. rep. the store is also working on the issue so she has complete information. Once you get resolution, let the other party know right away.

                                          1. re: gourmanda

                                            She did, but I was trying to give the gourmet store a chance to right-their-wrong, and I didn't write down her phone#, and somehow her comment got deleted :(

                                            ETA: also, I believe she was a part of the northern California stores, and not the SoCal store.

                                      2. UPDATE 8/16: Spoke with the knife sharpener myself (I don't know why the gourmet grocer had such a hard time getting a hold of him. He picked up on the second ring for me.)

                                        I guess he got me confused with another customer, and the manager then got confused because he was confused. It was a communication mix up. I've been asked to specify this in my thread here.

                                        In the end, he agreed to replace my knife with one of similar quality. I don't know what brand, but it'll be another 8" chef's knife. He said I can pick it up next Monday afternoon, at the gourmet grocery store.

                                        So, the problem is solved.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: bellaluna221

                                          Solved only if it's of similar quality TO YOU!

                                          Good luck!

                                          1. re: bellaluna221

                                            Cool. Thanks for the update and congratulation on the final result. On the other hand, it sounds like the grocer is making a relatively difficult situation much more difficult.

                                            I do have one suggestion. Ask them what knife they are willing to replace. Obviously, they will try to replace a similar quality knife which is cheaper. It is very possible that they have a purchase discount for that particular brand or that the brand itself is cheaper like F. Dick (which is good knife).

                                            <He said I can pick it up next Monday afternoon, at the gourmet grocery store.>

                                            Interesting that you will picking up at the grocery and not their site, but matters not.

                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                              If it's the sharpener who's replacing the knife, it wouldn't surprise me if they had an old wusthof or something similar sitting around in reasonably decent shape. No way to know yet though. I once gave an old customer an old henckels (4 star line) I had inherited from my grandfather cause she kept on bringing me one of their international series knives that I couldn't get to take a decent edge. I've inherited a few used but respectable knives just because friends and familiy know I like em and sharpen em. But I don't use em all and they don't have much resale value, so I've placed a few in good homes. Wouldn't surprise me if other sharpeners wind up in the same situation, especially if sharpening is their main profession.

                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                He called me back tonight. He's going to send the knife back to Messermeister and make them take care of it.

                                                Messermeister already told me the following: "Our products carry a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects. The guarantee does not apply to damage caused by normal wear or misuse of the item. Defective items are to be returned to us for evaluation. Upon confirmation of the defect, a replacement will be sent."

                                                But the knife sharpener, and his boss, strongly feel that my knife had a defect that caused it to crack in two places when they sharpened it, so they want Messermeister to replace my knife for me. So they're going to take it from here.

                                                In the meantime, he's lending me a chef's knife so I don't have to go without (which is pretty nice.)

                                                So now here's hoping Messermeister cooperates.

                                                1. re: bellaluna221

                                                  <But the knife sharpener, and his boss, strongly feel that my knife had a defect that caused it to crack in two places when they sharpened it, >

                                                  That's great. I was hoping that they will resolve this problem between the two parties.

                                          2. UPDATE 8/19: I dropped my cracked knife off at the gourmet grocer, along with my address, because the knife sharpener is going to contact Messermeister and make them replace my knife (somehow?). MM already told me if he broke it, that's not covered under warranty. So I dunno what he thinks he can say to make them change their mind?

                                            HOWEVER... in the meantime, he gave me a loner knife. A $17 chef's knife. It's so awful. :(

                                            I don't know when/how long it's going to take for him to contact MM, send MM my knife, and have MM agree to replace it and send it back. I'm probably look at 4-6 weeks here. So bummed.

                                            This loner knife is just absolutely awful.

                                            15 Replies
                                            1. re: bellaluna221

                                              Can you make out the brandname of the knife? Is it really called Loner? Yes, I think it will take about 3 weeks to 6 weeks.

                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                I think it says Icel (?) It has a plastic handle, and feels just awful in comparison to my Messermeister :(

                                                1. re: bellaluna221

                                                  Thanks. Icel actually makes good knives. You probably got the stamped knife version of Icel for commercial use:

                                                  http://www.amazon.com/Portugal-8-inch...

                                                  It feels light in your hand, but the steel is good steel. Icel uses X50CrMoV15 steel. Messermeister uses X55CrMoV15 steel. I know some people compare it to Victorinox knives which would be a real praise.

                                                  Nevertheless, if you don't like it, you don't like it. I hope they will get you a new knife soon.

                                                  1. re: bellaluna221

                                                    MM does do a lot of little ergonomic things to their knives that you are not going to find on a stamped blade. Likely anything you would not like the feel as much if you are used to MM.

                                                    Icel's have OK steel but none of the nice ergonomic touches that MM has.

                                                    Hopefully it gets straightened out soon but I know Henckels takes about a month for warranty.

                                                    Jim

                                                2. re: bellaluna221

                                                  Have you thought of contacting the Better Business Bureau? Also, here in Maryland, we have a consumer protection division in the States Attorney General's Office.

                                                  1. re: Vidute

                                                    Seems like this guy is trying to do the right thing.

                                                  2. re: bellaluna221

                                                    No offense, but...

                                                    I never would have agreed to take a loner knife in your situation, unless it was one that serves as an acceptable replacement for yours. IMO, it is unlikely that Messermeister will replace the knife. It is enormously likely that the sharpener will blow you off indefinitely now that you have a replacement and he has a plausible cover story that you've agreed to ('just waiting to hear back from the manufacturer'). You were owed an adequate replacement or acceptable payment since day one. The knife broke while under the sharpener's care, and likely due to his error.

                                                    I'm not clear on exactly what happened with this whole exchange, but it sounds as though your knife was returned cracked and payment for sharpening was accepted with no promise at the time to right the situation. If that is the case, the sharpener and probably the store have shown their willingness to screw you over from day one. It is unprofessional in the extreme to return a damaged knife to a customer while accepting payment for sharpening. Correct me if I got the details wrong though.

                                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                                      Well originally he was going to just give me a knife, "of similar quality." But then I guess he talked to his boss and they want Messermeister to replace it, because they think the knife was flawed. There's no way MM is going to replace it, because they'll see it's been sharpened and will probably just pass-the-blame onto the sharpener.

                                                      I didn't want to go this route, but they both found this thread, and I got a call from him and he was really pissed off and almost yelling at me. He also found my negative Yelp review, and had it taken down. (I have over 200 reviews on Yelp and am an "Elite" member. I'm not just some hack who writes back reviews once in awhile. I take reviewing pretty seriously.)

                                                      I didn't feel like I had any choice but to accept this solution, since obviously neither him nor his boss are willing to take the financial hit and just give me a replacement knife themselves.

                                                      1. re: bellaluna221

                                                        <There's no way MM is going to replace it, because they'll see it's been sharpened and will probably just pass-the-blame onto the sharpener.>

                                                        There is a chance. MM will use a high power microscope and look close into the crack lines and determined if there is a clear manufacture defect. It may even crack the knife blade in multiple places to "sample" the steel structure. It could be a quality control problem, but the chance is not high. I think MM will be rather honest. If it is a manufacturing defect, MM will replace it. It is a very small cost for a larger company like MM, and it would actually be happy to find out that it has a quality control/quality assurance issue so that it can improve it. The truth is that it will cost the company nearly as much just to examine the knife for you, so it is not trying to cheapen you.

                                                        The problem is that this scenario is unlikely, so MM will write back to the sharpener and say that it is a sharpening error. At least this will give you a leg up, and the sharpener should pay for your knife.

                                                        <He also found my negative Yelp review, and had it taken down.>

                                                        Based on what? I didn't know people can down negative reviews. If so, every restaurants can take down any bad reviews. There must be some criteria to remove a review.

                                                        <since obviously neither him nor his boss are willing to take the financial hit and just give me a replacement knife themselves.>

                                                        Part of it is the financial cost for the $90 knife, but part of it is the reputation. It may not want to admit that he can make mistake. Some sharpeners are like that, right? They can get very confident, and from his perspective, he will say that he has sharpened thousands of knives and have never cracked any knife until now. Therefore, it must be a defect.

                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                          I agree, also find it strange he could have a Yelp review taken down.

                                                          When it all shakes down, you'll probably find yourself with the Icel replacement knife. You really are in the position of having to wait for all concerned to batt the ball back and forth. Once they tell you it's whoever's responsibility, you'll be offered a solution. Hopefully it's one that is acceptable, and includes something for the pain in the a.. it has all become.

                                                          For future, there are many reputable sharpeners, some of whom are on this website. We all have coulda woulda shoulda experiences, and no doubt the store and sharpener are regretting not contacting you immediately once the knife was cracked and discussing the options with you. Communication is always better than blowing you off and making this more of a deal than it needed to become.

                                                          Mailing a knife away, or driving across town, is probably a wise move. So sorry for your troubles.

                                                          1. re: blaireso

                                                            The good thing about letting the sharpener to handle this is that at least he paid for the shipping of the knife.

                                                            The only suggestion I have at this point is for
                                                            bellaluna221 to contact Messermeister or the knife sharpener and have them include bellaluna221 in future emails. No matter what the Messermeister finds out, bellaluna will get an email copy. This is especially helpful if Messermeister finds out the fault lies with the sharpener.

                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                              Good idea, Chem.

                                                        2. re: bellaluna221

                                                          At this point I would just write the knife off as a loss and an expensive lesson learned.

                                                          Then I would contact the corporate heads of both the gourmet grocery store and the knife sharpening company and explain your negative experience with their store/service.

                                                          I would Tweet about my experience. I would post about it on FB. I would review the store/service on other review sites if possible. I would write about my negative experience on other free sites that allow you to publish your work and then I would share the link to that on FB and Twitter.

                                                          There are lots of other ways to get the word out aside from Yelp. I don't use Yelp but I write reviews and stuff on other sites and have had hundreds of thousands of views. I've also had bad customer service experiences turned into good ones once companies realized that I had nooooooo problem with sharing my thoughts and experiences with the world.

                                                          1. re: bellaluna221

                                                            He has NO reason to be pissed off at you if your comments were factual. I don't understand how a Yelp review can be taken down, I mean, can't he respond and that would be that? Check out Njchicaa's suggestions! Seems like the concensus is hopeful but not optimistic.

                                                        3. re: bellaluna221

                                                          You can also try the NYT Haggler: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/bu...

                                                          This is the classic case he writes about. I'm thinking about writing to him myself, about another customer service nightmare I'm trapped in!

                                                        4. You are way too nice.
                                                          The store and the sharpening service are jerking you around. This should have been a simple matter.

                                                          Post reviews on yelp and other service and post your pictures since they tell the story about the runaround and the passing the buck.

                                                          Small claims court.
                                                          Sue both the store and the sharpening service. The store can try to pass the blame, but the store was the one that offered and advertised the service.

                                                          1. UPDATE 8/23: So I've had this ugly, god awful "loner" knife for a week, and finally decided to really give it a good try... until I looked at the blade. There's a bunch of red dots on it. As if someone dipped it in red Kool Aid, or red sand. I tried washing it a bunch of times, and it hasn't come off. Does anyone know what this red sand stuff could be? I put the damn knife back in the drawer and walked away. If I don't hear anything from the knife sharpener by next Friday, about the status of MM replacing it, I'm calling him.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: bellaluna221

                                                              Hi, bellaluna:

                                                              Dave C is right. You've been nice enough with both the store and the sharpener--they're now jerking you around.

                                                              I would tell them that if the same model Messermeister (or a check for the same) is not in your hand in 10 days, you will sue them.

                                                              If the deadline passes, file a small claims court case against BOTH of them.

                                                              I'm not licensed to practice law in your state, but in MY state, you can file such a claim in District or Superior Court, and THEN both companies MUST hire a lawyer. Visualize the first client conference where the sharpener's lawyer asks for a $2,000 retainer to defend your claim for $100. And it gets even better: Here, we have a small claims attorneys' fees statute that allows the prevailing party (that would be you) to also recover its OWN attorneys' fees. My point here is that, in the context of a civil action, it becomes VERY high stakes pool for idiots like these to continue to jerk you around.

                                                              Aloha,
                                                              Kaleo

                                                            2. GLORIOUS UPDATE 8/24: The knife sharpener called, and told me that my brand new, MM chef's knife was waiting to be picked up. Hooray! I don't know if he ended up going through MM to replace the knife... it doesn't seem like it, considering it's only been a week. I'm assuming that his boss just told him to replace it, himself.

                                                              For those of you who have been following along, it took me 10 days to get a hold of the knife sharpener (while playing phone-tag with the gourmet grocer manager,) and then another 8 days to finally get it replaced.

                                                              So this whole process took 18 days.

                                                              And the only way it got done? I had to call the knife sharpener directly.

                                                              The gourmet store did nothing but d*ck me around for a week (btw I still haven't gotten a call back from the manager regarding this issue. I don't think she thought I was going to pursue this issue and was hoping I'd just go away).

                                                              I just wanted to thank everyone who has been giving me advice on here. I really appreciate it. I took the supportive attitudes you all gave me, and used it to make this situation right (because neither the knife sharpener, nor the gourmet grocer manager wanted to). Thanks, everyone :)

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: bellaluna221

                                                                Great. Thanks for the update. I am glad that it came through. I think you approached this incident in the correct fashion. You made it clear that you want the knife to be replaced and you were persistent. You didn't go and want to resolve the issue, and you didn't overdo it and kept it professional.

                                                                You would think the gourmet store is responsible for this since you dropped your knife at the gourmet store and not the sharpener's store.

                                                                < my brand new, MM chef's knife was waiting to be picked up>

                                                                Hopefully it is the same style.

                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                  Since they have the broken original, I hope they would replace it with the same model.

                                                                2. re: bellaluna221

                                                                  I'm glad things worked out for you. Now, to avoid things like this in the future, have you considered learning to sharpen yourself or at least maintain your edges to stretch how quickly they need to be sent to be sharpened?

                                                                  Your knife is not your average "yuppie" purchase at the shopping mall so, you need to be very choosey about who you send it to in order to avoid situations like this in the future.

                                                                  1. re: Sid Post

                                                                    Time for a knife maintenance discussion? What do y'all do on a daily basis? I use a ceramic hone, a couple passes after washing and drying, before putting away. In Las Vegas, this works great, but if I was still living back in Nashville I'd probably hone immediately before using out of deference to the humidity. Anybody else? If you only get your knives professionally sharpened yearly, obviously you have to assume responsibility for regular edge maintenance.

                                                                    I've also seen recommendations on this site for reputable knife sharpeners, and this takes awhile since you probably have to mail your knives to them.

                                                                    Since your knife sharpener stepped up and provided the service the store should have, I think I'd put something out there about your experience, and write the president of the store about it. I used to work for the CEO of a corporation and dealing with complaints was part of my job. This kind of treatment would not have been tolerated.

                                                                    1. re: blaireso

                                                                      <Time for a knife maintenance discussion?>

                                                                      If you want a in depth discussion, then it may be easier to start a new thread. It is up to you, of course.

                                                                      < If you only get your knives professionally sharpened yearly, obviously you have to assume responsibility for regular edge maintenance. >

                                                                      I blur the line between annual knife sharpening and regular maintenance. Because I use harder steel knives, they don't get dull easily and do not require honing. I maintain my knives about once every 2-4 weeks by lightly sharpening them on stones.