Jump to content

Knife Sharpening


Al Dente
 Share

Recommended Posts

I third or forth the Eastern Market suggestions.  I personally prefer Union Meats, across  from Mel's poultry and the flower shop.  I have requested a specific cut and if they don't have they can usually get it in a day or two.  Not to mention they do a great job sharpening knives.

I'll have to disagree with you on the knife sharpening situation. At least with my one experience, the job they did to my knives was pretty shabby. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just had mine done last week at La Cuisine in Old Town (on Cameron St. more towards the River). I am very pleased with the work, esp since one was in terrible need of repair. Very reasonable prices too. For one repair and 2 sharpenings, I paid $8.

In addition, it is just the best store to browse around in!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just had mine done last week at La Cuisine in Old Town (on Cameron St. more towards the River).  I am very pleased with the work, esp since one was in terrible need of repair.  Very reasonable prices too.  For one repair and 2 sharpenings, I paid $8.

In addition, it is just the best store to browse around in!

How long did that take? Assume just sharpenings and no repairs. "Browse around the store" time? Go for lunch somewhere time? Come back next week?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

How long did that take? Assume just sharpenings and no repairs.  "Browse around the store" time? Go for lunch somewhere time? Come back next week?

Sorry! I dropped mine off Saturday and they said they would be ready Tuesday.

But it is a great place to browse in either way, even if you have to come back next week!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I noticed the topic heading said "Chef's Choice Isn't Going to Cut It", but that's what I use - the salesperson at Sur La Table told me it's virtually the same sharpener that they were using at the store when people brought in their knives to sharpen, and it's incredibly easy to use. And I'll say this a million times - I NEVER use a knife unless it's been through a steel a few times (this is honing, not sharpening!) and I tell everyone the same - most cutting accidents are due to a dull knife which is easily preventable! Chef's Choice cost me a bit over $100 but it's a time saver and I cook alot - oh, you can also use it for serrated knives, that's special!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There' a guy at the Friendship Heights Sur la Table who sharpens knives--I don't know his name, but he's an older, somewhat portly fellow who looks like he knows his way around a meat case and a kitchen. Occasionally, they do special promotions where they sharpen knives for free there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took the knife skills class at La Cuisine yesterday. The class was a bit on the basics, but well worth it in terms of hands on help. We started with some sharpening basics, especially learning to use the steel, and then basics with onions, potatoes, garlic, carots and then finishing with deboning a chicken. There were three of us in the class (was suppose to be 5) and the instructor for 2.5 hours. In addition, the $50 dollar class fee inculded a one time 15% discount in the store, and a coupon for 6 professional knife sharpenings.

http://www.lacuisineus.com/

I would like to take a advance course just in knife sharpening, but this course helped me out alot.

Scott

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a chef's choice and have never been very impressed by it. You have to be careful if you drop your knives off because often you never know the methods they use or the knowledge of the person using the sharpener. Using a regular stone works, but it takes lots of experience and you may ruin some knives in the process. My favorite method currently is using a clamp system that keeps stones on a constant angle to the knife blade. It's a weird looking system, but with a little patience if have been able to get a great edge on good quality knives. The one I have is made by Gatco but there are other brands on the web. I see several chefs on a daily basis and I have often sharpened their knives and they have been impressed, so something must be working right.

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was much happier with the job that La Cuisine did with my knives than Sur La Table.  Personally I would rather pay for the better quality job.

Or just buy a stone at an Asian store and do it at home for essentially nothing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to buy a steel and don't know whether it's worth putting the money into a good one.  Is there something I should look for?

The first thing that you should know is that a steel is for keeping an edge and not for sharpening. It is a good idea to give your knife a few passes with a steel before using it each time.

As for which to get? I would just get whatever one matches the knives you have. If you have mix and match, then just about any decent brand's steel should work fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or just buy a stone at an Asian store and do it at home for essentially nothing.

"I hate to disagree with you, Malcolm."

Of course that takes practice and repetition to ensure you're getting the right angle and pass on the stone. So, practice with knives you don't give a crap about for a while. mdt is right that doing it at home costs nothing. Learning to do it home right takes practice.

mdt: I'm bringing my knives to your place instead of Surly Table to learn. K?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I hate to disagree with you, Malcolm."

Of course that takes practice and repetition to ensure you're getting the right angle and pass on the stone.  So, practice with knives you don't give a crap about for a while.  mdt is right that doing it at home costs nothing.  Learning to do it home right takes practice.

mdt: I'm bringing my knives to your place instead of Surly Table to learn.  K?

It is not really that hard once you are shown.

And to counter my own point of doing it at home. Considering the lack of use most home knives get you really don't need to sharpen them that often at all. So having them professionally done would not really be that much of an added cost.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just had mine done at La Cuisine and was happy with the results.  As advertised earlier in the thread, I dropped them off Tuesday and they were ready today, and ran $8 for the two.

Sounds like a good deal to me! Are they sharpened by hand or on a machine?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is not really that hard once you are shown.

And to counter my own point of doing it at home.  Considering the lack of use most home knives get you really don't need to sharpen them that often at all.  So having them professionally done would not really be that much of an added cost.

Agreed. But I need to say that I was shown once. I said to the dude doing it on the oiled stone "Ah, so that's how you do it! That doesn't look that hard." Dude says, "Here, give it a go." Uh. Wow. Yeah. Um. That takes some practice.

So, yes, costs nothing to do at home. And, yes, you need to be shown how to do it. But I'm still just sayin', it takes time and practice to learn to do it right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, is there a good place on the Maryland side of the Potomoc to get your knives professionally sharpened?

Also, WRT the Chef's Choice Electric Knofe Sharpener....Are there any downsides to using one of these (I have not as I do not own one) versus taking your knoves to somebody to do them for you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, WRT the Chef's Choice Electric Knofe Sharpener....Are there any downsides to using one of these (I have not as I do not own one) versus taking your knoves to somebody to do them for you?

Assuming you're sharpening ubiquitous high-carbon stainless European-style knives, no serious downsides, as steel knives can nearly always be reshaped by removing more material. I have a CC EdgeSelect 120 that I run my Wusthof blades through when they need sharpening and I'm feeling lazy. Note that if your knives have a bolster that blends from spine to edge at the handle, it will interfere with the very first few mm of the sharpening stroke.

However, I wouldn't use it on a carbon steel knife or a good Japanese blade. The CC is effective, but crude. There is a visible frequency to the grind pattern even after using the finishing wheels, which is fine for hard-to-sharpen stainless, but which will never achieve the razor-sharp, mirror-smooth edge that full carbon steel is capable of. It also only cuts a symmetrical, multi-angle edge grind, and would ruin the asymmetrical edge on Japanese knives. For these, you must hand sharpen. It's really eye-opening to see what even a Wusthof is capable of after someone like Chiharu Sugai has sharpened it by hand, compared to what it did out-of-the-box.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Strosniders Hardware Stores apparently does knife sharpening. I've never taken mine there before so can't comment on how well they do it. I think they do the sharpening in the Bethesda store so you should be able to take it there and get it back in a few minutes, which is a HUGE advantage over all the other places I've heard of. Of course, one hopes that they do it properly. To be honest, I've only had my lawn mower blades sharpened there and I know that's NOT the same! But they advertise knife sharpening as a specific service they provide so maybe they know what they're doing.

I'm cooking a huge meal tomorrow and the amount of slicing and dicing is going to be tremendous. My Wusthof is severely dull so maybe I'll take it into Strosniders this afternoon and we'll see how good a job they do (hopefully people won't be calling me Lefty when I'm done).

ETA: I just called them and while they do the sharpenings in the Bethesda store, their sharpener only comes in on certain days. So their policy is that knives dropped off at the store will be available either on Tuesday or Friday. So no same day service :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Addendum to my long ago post about Strosniders. The Silver Spring DOES do sharpenings for all knives except serated ones. I just took in my chef's knife and had it nicely sharpened for only $4!! The guy comes in Friday nights to do it so you could drop it off Fri afternoon and pick it up just before they close!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We're you happy with the results? I'd like to be able to use somebody so close by.

Today, I just saw the sign on the chalkboard while picking out smoked bones for my pups :D My knives are beyond dull (and bent and...) so I think I'll give them a try and report back. Other than that, La Cuisine sharpens (Cameron St.).

I kind of like the idea of the butcher doing it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anybody have any recommendations for kife sharpening (besides Sur La Table) in the Tysons Corner area? Like others, I am lazy and don't want to go too far. :D

Just curious - why not Sur La Table? They've always done a good job for me, they charge $1/inch, and twice a year (April/October?) they will do the first two knives free.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know this is going to sound heretical, but I have a Sabatier electric sharpener that works well in combination with a stone (and using a stone is easier than you think) on my steel knives and brilliantly on my stainless. Takes about 30 seconds and you never have to leave the kitchen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know this is going to sound heretical, but I have a Sabatier electric sharpener that works well in combination with a stone (and using a stone is easier than you think) on my steel knives and brilliantly on my stainless. Takes about 30 seconds and you never have to leave the kitchen.

I use the Chef's Choice Model 130 electric knife sharpener and it works like a champ. The only downside is that it ain't cheap.

I think these devices work until your bevel is worn down, correct? Or does it make a new bevel each time? My chef's knife needs a new bevel, and I'm not good enough with the stones I have to make one, although I can sharpen pretty well for a few years in between. I didn't realize how dull my knives were until I got a new Santoku and cut the towel drying it. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just curious - why not Sur La Table? They've always done a good job for me, they charge $1/inch, and twice a year (April/October?) they will do the first two knives free.

I was planning on using Sur La Table but figured I would check to see if there were additional options.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or does it make a new bevel each time?

Yes. It completely reconditions the knife. You can read about the 3 stage process of the Chef's Choice here. I am no shill for these folks, but this product has done a wonderful job with my 20 year old knife set.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes. It completely reconditions the knife. You can read about the 3 stage process of the Chef's Choice here. I am no shill for these folks, but this product has done a wonderful job with my 20 year old knife set.

I think for now, at $4 a knife, I'll drop them at the butcher's. What I really want is an Edge Pro, although it seems hard to justify one for the few knives I have trouble sharpening with my Arkansas stones. Maybe Santa can bring me one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think for now, at $4 a knife, I'll drop them at the butcher's. What I really want is an Edge Pro, although it seems hard to justify one for the few knives I have trouble sharpening with my Arkansas stones. Maybe Santa can bring me one.

I've had an EdgePro for a few years now, and probably run my knives through it a couple times a year. Just line 'em all out, grouped by their bevel (my French and German knives are less acute than Globals) and do 'em assembly line style. Puts a good edge on them.

Much better than the Chef's Choice electric sharpener I used to use, and which couldn't get to the end of the heel of blades with a bolster (e.g., Sabattier).

Better too than I can do by hand with stones -- I can't keep the bevel accurate through the multiple passes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bit of a knife-nerd thing here-since I've expanded my kitchen knife collection, I've also expanded my sharpening tools-I have a Spyderco Sharpmaker, lots of Japanese waterstones-Shapton glasstones, Chocera, Suehiro, & asstd. strops & hones. I'm also planning on taking a class w/ Dave Martell of Japanese Knife Sharpening- JKS this fall, to improve my skills-I'm really looking forward to it...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know nothing about this, but saw it in today's Daily Candy and thought it was worth passing along:

Weekly Knife Sharpening

What: Let the pros get your blades a cut above the rest. It’s free, too!

Why: Give yourself an edge.

When: Sat., 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Where: Union Street Public House, 121 S. Union St., Alexandria (703-548–1785).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bumping the topic again, I just ran all my knives through my Edge Pro that Mr. lperry gave me. Mine has optional Japanese waterstones, and the edge it makes is fantastic. I can shred paper with them, and the citrus I just cut sliced like buttah and as thinly as my mandoline. For those who have sharpeners at home, how frequently do you use them? I've been going maybe six months, but I don't have a smooth or ceramic steel to use in between, just the grooved one that I know isn't so great for the edge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...