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?
We are not currently sharpening at any farmers markets.
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 locker section below.
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?
Using a rod steel
Using the Mousetrap Steel
*Important Note: When steeling a curved blade (such as a boning/fillet knife), it's important to follow the curve of the blade when pulling the knife through the Mousetrap Steel. That way the entire blade gets steeled.
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: