Also want to mention the Sharpen This booth where you can get your knives sharpened while you shop! We took all of our kitchen knives there this morning and we were very pleased with the results. The price is comparable to what you would pay at Sur La Table ($1.00 per inch), but the results are better, in my opinion. Plus, you get your knives back within an hour, instead of waiting days.
I noticed Sharpen This at the Bethesda Farmers Market in May and made a mental note to give it a try since we missed the window for Sur La Table that we usually do.
Alicia came into this several years ago when she recognized a need for reliable quality sharpening services for hairdressers and barbers. From that, she got into residential knife sharpening after some training. She uses a custom designed machine with fine sandpaper belts and a leather polishing belt. I don't think her prices have changed much, if at all, in the three years since LauraB mentioned ST in the Bethesda Farmers Market thread. She doesn't have a fixed location but sets up at Bethesda, Williams Sonoma in Mazza Gallery and in Alexandria and maybe a few other spots. Her website always has the upcoming schedule.
I wanted to create a new topic for Aiicia because it might help her and because the business deserves support.
I brought 4 or 5 Henckels and Wustof knives to her a week or so ago. She told me to come back in 30 minutes and, when I got back an hour or so later, they were ready. When I got home, I tried two of them with the famous "tomato test" and, while they'd clearly been sharpened, I wasn't sure they were as sharp as they could be. Mostly a question of how much pressure had to be applied to the tomato with just one of the blades. I emailed Alicia that night and she replied near instantly, encouraging me to bring them back to her for a re-sharpening at no charge.
So I did. She was at Bethesda again this past weekend. And, it definitely helped. All four knives now slice heirlooms with virtually just the weight of the blade as pressure. Alicia was absolutely happy to run them again and I love that she did that.
A reasonably priced independent business with a real focus on quality service. Have to like that.