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Aug 23, 2013 09:48 AM

Knife Sharpening

I have some knives from my grandfather, a butcher, that need sharpening. I am looking for recommendations for a professional knife sharpener for them. These were his tools of the trade, and are good quality professional tools, so I do not want just any old guy with a whetstone. I am in Morris Co, but will travel to get to the right person/business.


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  1. Far afield, but my uncle takes his knives and the tools that he uses to make prints here: (Warren Cutlery


    Alternatively, you might consider calling Bridge Kitchenware in Hanover and finding out who they recommend.

    2 Replies
    1. re: adamhh

      Thank you for the recommendation, though it is a bit far at nearly 3 hours from me. It might be worth it if they sharpen them in a water bath though. Do you know if they utilize that method?

      1. re: PuniceaRana

        No - I don't know how they do it. I'm sure that they will let you know. You could always combine it with a trip to the Culinary Institute which is not far from there. Just a thought.

    2. I have had excellent results from Ziggy in Hillsborough. Check out his website at

      Chef and sharpening business, he knows knives

      1 Reply
      1. re: ThanksVille

        Thank you for the recommendation. Does Ziggy do this out of his home as a side business? I am a little concerned that there is no drop off place. Of course I am further then his 10 mile radius for pick ups, so I'd have to be mailing everything. I also wonder if he uses a waterbath method.

      2. I made and sold custom made knives of many types for a lot of years. After more than 50 years I retired, but I would like to make a suggestion, go on some of the knife boards where there are custom knife makers. If they can make 500-$1,000 plus knives they can sure sharpen them for you.

        A word of caution; most are old guys now and since the young people would rather pay then learn you may want to pass these old dinosaurs by.

        1 Reply
        1. re: PineyPower

          I have no problem using, as you call em, old dinosaurs. These knives are very old, some of them have carved ivory handles, and were special occasion knives of my grandfather, who was an old time German butcher. I used to have my father sharpen them, however that is no longer possible since his passing. I know the knives are of high quality and date back to the 20's and 30's, so I want to be very careful with them. Can you direct me to the knife boards you are speaking of, I am not familiar with them.

        2. I don't know the area sharpeners, but if you're ever interested in learning to sharpen for yourself, we can help you in the cookware section.

          IME, water bath sharpening (by which I assume you mean a water cooled grinding stone, though correct me if I misunderstand you) is much more common in knife making than it is in knife sharpening. It's used more for grinding than for finishing an edge. Even knife makers/sharpeners who have such a device (and it is expensive) often don't bother using it just to sharpen a blade. It's not really necessary if all your knives need is a new edge.

          3 Replies
          1. re: cowboyardee

            I have regularly used the steel on the knives, and as I mentioned above my father, who was taught to so it the "right way", by my grandfather, used to take care of the sharpening for me. I remember them both saying that you had to use a "waterbath" to properly sharpen the knives, or you'd overheat the steel and cause it to become brittle. I do not want to risk ruining these knives, not only for sentimental reasons, but because I am told they are quite expensive, and sought after. (not that I will ever part with them!)

            1. re: PuniceaRana

              I'm just giving you a heads up that you might not find what you're looking for in your area. And that even if you do, it's no guaranty that the guy with a water cooled system will do the best job. The person using the equipment matters more than what equipment he's using (assuming we're not talking about someone running a Chefs Choice in the back of a Sur la Table or something).

              A lot of sharpeners are doing good work with low RPM belt sanders and similar devices, cooling the knife in between passes to ensure that they don't mess up the temper. And frankly, the safest route is actually hand sharpening on whetstones, though you might not find anyone doing that well in your area either (too labor/time intensive to be profitable for a pro with a lot of knives to sharpen).

              BTW, if you've been steeling your knives for several years without sharpening, you might find that the profile has changed slowly - make sure your pro knows how to evaluate and fix this. It's not as big of a problem for butcher's knives as it is for chef's knives, but it's a common problem with older blades. I made a thread a while back about fixing this kind of problem if you're interested.

              1. re: cowboyardee


                Thanks for the information and the link. I also have a couple of chef knives very similar to the one you purchased and rehabbed. I have been very careful regarding the use of my steel, and have done a little "polishing" on a whetstone with water. It is just the knives are needing more than I feel comfortable in doing. I am kicking myself that I never asked my dad to teach me how to sharpen knives, all I was taught is how a "good cook should maintain her good quality knives" by my grandfather. I know what to avoid, and what to look for, and enough to know, I need to utilize a professional occasionally to keep these knives in top shape. Fortunately none of the blades have any nicks, bends, or uneven edges. Guess there is something to be said about learning at the hands of an anal retentive German butcher. (lol)