How often should I have my knives sharpened?
Well, that depends on how often you use your knives and how well you maintain them between sharpening. Most home chefs should have their knives sharpened between once per month and once per quarter.
Professional chefs and commercial kitchens should have edges sharpened a minimum of once or twice a month.
How do I know when my knives need to be sharpened?
The simplest way is to test the CuttingEdge of the knife on your fingernail or the side of a plastic ballpoint pen. (We also sell edge testers.) Be sure to do this on both sides of the knife. Hold the knife at a 45° angle to your nail or pen and if the knife slides off your nail or down the pen on both sides, it needs sharpening. If it only slides on one side of the knife you should be able to hone the CuttingEdge back to life (see the knife care section below). Also, are you able to accomplish your cutting tasks with minimal effort? If not, it needs sharpening. If your knife has never been professionally sharpened, it needs sharpening. Because you are on this website, your knives need sharpening.
Shall we go on?
How should I care for my knives between sharpening?
Only use your knives for their intended purpose - FOOD (that does not include chopping at frozen food or prying apart frozen food with the tip). Use a honing steel either before or after each time you use your knife. Only use your knives on wood or HDPE "plastic" cutting boards. Don't put your knives in the dishwasher; although many knives are technically dishwasher safe - don't do it. They can get banged around and become nicked and dull prematurely. Wood handles are especially susceptible to degradation from the rigors of a dishwasher. Hand wash your knives and place them on a towel to dry.
It's best to store your knives on a wall knife magnet or in a wooden knife block. Placing them in a drawer willy-nilly will dull the edges quickly.
Why should I have my knives professionally sharpened?
Most new knives will be fairly sharp when you get them home but the factory only puts a primary CuttingEdge on knives. They will dull more quickly, will not respond to steeling, and will be much harder to sharpen for the do-it-yourself sharpener. A professional sharpener will establish a secondary bevel and then put on the primary CuttingEdge (making them easier to keep sharp with steeling). Professional sharpening achieves a level of sharpness that is hard to reach consistently. A good sharpening that extends the life of a beloved knife is one of the best investments you can make. Norman Weinstein, knife-skills instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, recommends using a reputable professional instead of trying to sharpen your knives at home "because the learning curve for doing it yourself is so high." (Wall Street Journal 1-21-2010).
How does sharpening at the farmers market work?
The idea is for you to drop off your items to be sharpened when you first arrive at the market. Then go shop, eat, visit, have fun & pick up your items on the way out. The amount of time it takes strictly depends on the number of orders before you. We've been experiencing two hour wait times so we ask that you plan accordingly. Since we're only at farmers markets the third weekend of each month, we suggest you get on our monthly mailing list. It's been the best way for people to remember when we'll be there. If you are interested in being added to our 'newsletter', simply email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org
How long does sharpening take?
Customers on a mobile sharpening route are serviced on-site and it only takes between 30 to 90 minutes. We do have loaner knives available for use while yours are being lovingly sharpened. Locker service customers, please see the locker section.
ACE Hardware drop-off items are sharpened over the weekends so get your items in by Thursday at close and we'll call you when they are ready for pickup (no later then Monday at close).
Prescott Meat Co. drop-off items are available for pickup after 4p the first Saturday if you drop them off that week OR the third Thursday if items were dropped off after the first Saturday.
For in-person sharpening events, we ask that you plan on a 1.5 hour wait time. Pat needs time to lovingly put a keen edge on your items.
What does it mean to steal a knife?
To unlawfully take possession of a knife. Oh, you meant steel. Know that a honing steel is designed for just that - honing (used to keep a sharp knife sharp, not sharpen a dull knife). How is a steel used? The very best way to steel a knife is...whichever way is the easiest and achieves the best results for you.
How do I steel a knife?
Steel Rod Method
Razor Edge Systems Mousetrap Steel*
*Important Note: When pulling your knife through the Mousetrap Steel, follow the edge of the blade. For instance, if you're steeling a filet knife, curve the knife up as you pull it through so the tip of the blade also touches the Mousetrap Steel.
How does the drop off/pick up locker system work?
Drive to Bob's C.A.R. at 1080 S. Highway 89 in Chino Valley, AZ. Place your knives inside one of the lockers. Fill out the form. Make sure the locker door is locked and take the key with you. Call or text us so we know you made a drop. Wait for Pat to contact you with a total amount due and notification that your knives are ready for pickup (within 24-48 hours). Pick up your knives and leave your payment WITH the key inside the locker. Close the locker door and be sure it's locked. Just like that, you're all set. Now stay sharp!
Here are the basic parts of a knife: