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Re: Local knife sharpening business ideas

Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:28 am

Antonio, that is very well spoken advice!!

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Ken

Re: Local knife sharpening business ideas

Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:35 pm

My experiences are vastly different than yours Antonio. Folks have no problem bringing their knives to my house and the cost is very rarely an issue. I use whetstones on every knife, regardless of the quality but only after I repair it on a belt sander, I never sharpen on a beltsander though.


Just a different scenario for me I suppose, perhaps I am lucky and I was able to develop a regular clientele quite quickly.

However, in my case it is not my only line of work, I have a full time career so I guess I am fortunate. I sharpen for several restaurants and chefs, I've had chefs bring their knives to me in fact. I can see my particular situation not working if this was something I had to live off of though. In that case, I would not even attempt it because the joy of sharpening would vanish. There is one of those places in town that some restaurants use, they can sharpen a knife in 3 minutes and have loaner knives for restaurants. (they are the best thing that has ever happened to my business actually)

If I can't sharpen a knife with my stones or EP Pro, I'm not interested. Having said that, the belt sander was one of the best investments I have made.

Re: Local knife sharpening business ideas

Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:16 pm

Sailor wrote:My experiences are vastly different than yours Antonio. Folks have no problem bringing their knives to my house and the cost is very rarely an issue. I use whetstones on every knife, regardless of the quality but only after I repair it on a belt sander, I never sharpen on a beltsander though.


I'm pleased you have managed to build up a loyal clientele - I can only surmise that the socio-economics in the restaurant trade downunder are very different.

But beltsander ???

Custom knifemakers use beltgrinders to make knives. Until you invest in a quality variable speed beltgrinder and the appropriate range of belts you will not be able to appreciate what you can achieve with this system. Used in combination with paperwheels for 'budget' knives the results speak for themselves.

Re: Local knife sharpening business ideas

Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:40 pm

The belt sander I use utilizes Trizact sharpening belts.
I think we are operating on different frequencies.

Re: Local knife sharpening business ideas

Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:28 pm

You may call it a sander or a grinder depending on where you live and what you use it for but they're the same machine. While I have maybe 50 synthetic and 13 Japanese natural water stones I'd hate to be without my Kalamazoo 1" x 40" machine. It's fantastic for repairs and will get a knife hair splitting sharp when used for that purpose.

Re: Local knife sharpening business ideas

Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:49 pm

I wholeheartedly echo the comments I have read here. I plan to do knife sharpening as a business/hobby when I retire (3 years).
I already have a complete belt sander setup, and a paper wheel setup, these work very well on the $20 and under stainless knives that you will mostly be working on.
I also have a buffer for polishing out scratches and handles. It's amazing what a little sandpaper and some brown tripoli rouge can do buffing wood handles, that invariably find there way into a dishwasher.
I can sharpen a knife in a few minutes, and since you are only charging a few dollars, you have to be able to get results quickly.
I plan to go to a local knife sharpening school some day to broaden my expertise, especially on using waterstones. You have to charge a customer a lot more when they bring you a high quality knife with hard steel that needs to be sharpened on stones. Also it's a big investment in supplies.
I got some good ideas on marketing my services. I do not plan to rent a store, since this is a retirement gig, just something I want to do to keep my busy in my retirement.
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