I first learned to sharpen knives in 1971 when I took a year off from college and went Europe to work and ski. There was no snow in the Alps that winter so I traveled to Munich and got a job in the kitchen of the fanciest hotel in town. There, one of the chef’s taught me how to sharpen knives. After a while I was sharpening the knives for many of the Chef’s in my spare time to make extra money. I used a large three sided sharpening stone much like those used by professional chefs here in the U.S.A. When I returned home I got a job as a carpenter and cabinet maker which I did for 25 years. We sharpened most of our own edge tools in the shop. Many were just big knives. The tools That we sent out to be done, we sent to an old man named Leo Green in South Portland. Leo and I became friends and every time I dropped off or picked up tools he taught me a few tricks. I never made the decision to become a sharpener, it just happened slowly over the years. I started sharpening for friends and family then it grew into a business. I have about 40 years of experience.
I do not grind your knife. Very little metal is removed in our three step process. No heat is generated in the sharpening.
I use a slow speed water cooled sharpener. Each knife is individual done after a careful assessment. Japanese knives which are very hard steel are sharpened at 17 degrees. Other kitchen knives which are softer steel are done at 2o degrees. Specialty knives are sharpened correctly.
I use a three step process to sharpen cutlery.
First I reshape the correct angle on the knife. I do this on a slow speed wet wheel. The low speed and water cooling remove only a small amount of metal from the knife. It does not heat the metal thus not changing the temper of the steel.
Second: I run the knife against a diamond wheel to remove the burr left by the grinding process.
The last step is to hone the edge on a ceramic wheel.
Japanese Knives are then honed on a leather wheel.
This whole process removes very little metal from the blade and leaves a sharp smooth edge which will stay sharp for a long time. Most knives come out sharper than when they were new. The quality of the edge, however, will vary somewhat with the quality of the metal. I also repair broken tips, reduce bolsters, remove chips and reprofile.
Scissors and and shears are done on a “Twice as Sharp” scissors sharpening machine.
The professional machines I have will sharpen a variety of tools, knives, scissors, axes, chisels, plane blades and more. I have a variety of hand tolls too. I still have my sharpening stones which I do not use much now I have more advanced equipment.
All knive are guaranteed to be Wicked Sharp. My business has insurance and required permits and licenses.
If you come to one my farmer’s market you can watch me sharpen your knives and I will be glad to explain the whole process or answer any of your questions.