My knives need an edge…

October 6, 2006

IMG_1928.JPGIMG_1926.JPGBesides gun owners and golfers, there are perhaps no group of people who talk more about their gear than cooks. We love our tools. We love to discuss our pots and pans. I’ve had an hour-long conversation about the pros and cons of my Kitchen Aid mixer. Heck, my wife loves to tell the story of when we registered for gifts when we were getting married. I told her to stop obsessing over the price of everything, only to find out when we got home that we registered for a $120 pepper mill — and it was already purchased before I could make amends for my hubris. (But it’s a really, really nice pepper mill.)

So two weeks ago, I bought my wife a new knife. She had decided to join me in the kitchen, and the Wustof Grand Prix I’s we’ve had since we moved in together years ago were never quite right for her smaller hands. Her beautiful, razor-sharp Shun knife made it even clearer that my own knives need serious sharpening.

I’ve been looking for a solution for sometime. I have considered buying a sharpener, but I hear bad things. I have considered taking a national retailer up on their offer to sharpen them. And I know that I could always do it myself — but I must admit that I’m not inclined to learn on my own good knives.

So, I am looking for assistance from my readers. How do you sharpen your knives? Professionally? Personally? Do you trust those chain stores to whack away at your blades? And which ones? Any and all advice is welcome.


  1. My father, who was a chef, sharpened his own knives with one of those long thin sharpeners. My husband has a knife that self-sharpens (you stick it in a holder). My Victorinox knives never seem to need sharpening.

    I don’t think this is too helpful, but. . .

    Everyone needs a good peppermill.

  2. We are firm believers in sharp knives as well. In the past, we have given knives to those fellows who drive by in their trucks (they ring a bell as they drive by) but generally my husband sharpens our knives. However, I’m afraid I’m lazy when it comes to sharpening them and just tell my husband which one(s) need work.

    Then he happily sharpens them. If they are very very dull, he uses a whet stone lubricated with dish soap. He says that this site has really good tips on knife sharpening:

    If our knives are not terribly dull, he uses the steel.

    Hope that was helpful!


    P.S. Came across you via stickydate.blogspot.com (I’m intrigued by Food Bloggers’ Geography #1 and hope that I’ll be able to participate. Don’t know which “south” we’ll feature though.)

  3. We use the long sharpeners as well, and it works really well once you get the hang of it. In France, my mum takes her knives to the local butcher who sharpens them for her a couple of times a year.

    looking forward to the challenge as well, although having trouble classifying myself as anything southern…

  4. Your knives will be scary sharp.


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