For some reason, many of us who are used to using professionals for all kinds of other household tasks – such as mowing the lawn, cleaning the carpet, solving problems with our computers – are not used to using a professional sharpening service for our kitchen knives. Why is that?
(Possible reasons – from personal experience).
1) We don’t know they exist
2) We don’t know how to find them.
3) We fear that even if we find them, they will be too expensive.
4) We fear that non-standard equipment will ruin our favourite knives.
5) We don’t have time to deal with these things, or even if we could buy time, we doubt very much whether it is worth it.
John Boos and Co. cherry papers with grain
It’s a very cool painting, I’ve never seen anything like it. The extreme cherry wood grain with wooden legs and an Asian touch is also available in maple. As I said, Angry is known for its quality. Beauty and intelligence … what’s not to love?
John Bos & Co. Cherry Board, 20 x 15 x 1 @ Amazon
Responses to the five reasons above :
number oneis it is-re. Some connoisseurs may not even be aware that such professional grinding services exist for consumers and that they serve both consumer and professional chefs. There’s a big world of knife sharpening. Avoid an invaluable resource.
number two– where? Thanks to the Internet, making a short list of possible candidates for a particular service is no longer as hairy as it used to be. I just googled this puppy. Try the knife sharpening service and see how endless scrolling fills your screen. And if you want to send Messer somewhere – and there’s no reason for that – you have a long list to choose from, different approaches and some top candidates. That’s where we came in…
number three– how much? No matter how luxurious it may seem to send sharpening knives somewhere, it can cost less than $6 per knife, depending on the service. For example: A 4-inch cutting knife can work for $5 to $7 and a standard 8-inch cook’s knife for $6 to $10. Most services charge fees that depend on the size, such as $6 per sheet between 7 and 10 inches in length, but some charge more accurately per inch. Anyway, considering you’re getting professional treatment, they’re damn cheap.
A package with two 8-inch knives for the cook and two 4-inch knives can only cost $33.00, including shipping costs.
Of course you have to pay for the delivery if you do not deliver it yourself or if you use a team of highly trained, overloaded carrier pigeons. But if you install the good old USPS at night instead of something as expensive as FedEx, it won’t pay as much as you might think. In addition, the more knives you send in a parcel, the better you can spread the shipping costs, i.e. you can sensibly produce at least three or four knives at the same time.
For example, a package of two 8-inch knives for the cook and two 4-inch knives can cost as little as $33.00 including delivery. That’s all I’m saying. (It’s hardly the price of a movie date, booze and popcorn.) Doesn’t that seem too much? Think about what you get – the kind of sparkling brilliance a professional chef holds in his hands every day. It may take up to a year or more before it needs to be ground again. (Well, if you grind it regularly)
Considering the lifespan of your knives, the cost of buying new knives and the hassle of boring knives, it’s not really much.
Foreigners – if this still seems too expensive, consider buying your own sharpening system and learn how to do it yourself. But in addition to the initial cost of investing in a quality do-it-yourself system ($120 or more), it takes time (depending on the system – a serious piece) to master and maintain the grinding skills. Especially in the beginning.
MILLING SYSTEMS Here are two grinders I recommend for study – one with power supply and the other with instructions for use. I have researched both carefully, although I have not used them personally.
Power supply: The Master Grade® premium knife sharpener is compact, easy on the eyes and does the job perfectly. It is small enough to fit on the counter, but can also be stacked. What I like best is that, unlike many other brands of electric grinders, the two grinding wheels used for grinding are not stiff, but rather soft and pliable. This means: 1) they fit better on the blade than hard wheels, which gives a smoother chamfer and 2) they make the metal vibrate less. NOTE: You should be very careful with food systems, because they can eat your knives in a short time. Always practice first with a knife you are not interested in. Like most electric counter grinders, this machine does not use a knife with a buffer hole. Ideal for knives like Japanese hybrids.
Manual: The Edge Pro sharpening system is precise, well designed and extremely versatile. The best of this system is: 1) It makes sure you always grind at the right angle, and 2) it uses waterstones, which are softer on your blades than twigs (or diamonds), and protects you from removing as much metal as you need. (Yes, it is expensive, and believe it or not, I don’t get a penny for this recommendation).
Number four– Indestructible death. How do you know if one of the services you were looking for on the internet is good? How do you know they won’t chew your kitchen knives instead of returning them to their original factory herbs? This is a very good and important question, so I will tell you more elsewhere on this site: a) Read my article Finding a Professional Grinder, which gives advice on how to find a quality service. b) Or better yet, read my article Feedback on Professional Grinder, which covers the services I use and can recommend.
Suffice it to say that I’m sure that thanks to the Internet (or other means) and my advice, anyone can find a service that will satisfy even the most demanding client (of which I am one).
Number 5– Time, time, time. Maintaining a good knife, whichever way you go, will take more time. I’m sure you do. Just like you did with your car and the lawn mower and, Mom, everything. But if you decide to send them to a specialist, and in the breaks between grinding itself, it will be a matter of minutes, not hours. Sixty seconds every few days. It’s not the number, it’s the order that’s gonna change everything. If you want the knives to be sharp, a little work is enough.
Sharpening my kitchen knives with a quality sharpener has breathed new life into my culinary life.
The good news is that the mail destruction service is designed to save time and simplify the process. Most have simple and clear instructions (often including a downloadable form to print) and standard payment methods (credit card or PayPal). The steps required to pack and ship the knife boxes correctly can be completed in 20 minutes. Yeah, you’ll have to learn how to roll them without scratching. (Or you can just buy a set of knife protectors.) But after you’ve done it once and slowed down the whole process, the next time there’s a catch. What’s more, KitchenKnifeGuru is always there to help and guide you!
A real confession: Sharpening my kitchen knives with a quality sharpener has breathed new life into my culinary life. I’m not exaggerating. She sprayed a grumpy complaint I’d had on the back of my head for years, moaning: Our kitchen knives aren’t sharp enough, but what can I do about it? She gave me back my beautiful daughter for a price more than worth it. Simple tasks, such as cutting melons for breakfast instead of hurting yourself with a lazy body, are carried out smoothly and quickly. Now I enjoy quality knives every day without having to sharpen knives on my already long list of tasks and groceries.
Do yourself a favor and seriously consider a professional knife shop. And if you need something convincing so you don’t have to sharpen your knife yourself, read Kitchen knife sharpening: Five good reasons not to tighten.
(Photo credit : Thanks to Chi-Chatty on Flickr.com for the picture of the sharpness wheel ).
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