Should You Choose DIY or Professional Knife Sharpening Services?

You might assume that knife sharpening is a simple thing. Just swipe it across a metal rod or a whetstone a few times, and you’re done. While this might work for an already-sharp blade that just needs a refresher for precision work, it’s not going to work for a dull blade.

Here are the advantages of hiring a professional in blade sharpening instead of trying to go it alone.

Honing vs sharpening

The difference between the two is that honing, which is what you do when you swipe your knife against steel, doesn’t actually sharpen the blade; instead, it corrects any tiny imperfections and straightens the knife’s edge. It makes the knife seem sharper because it’s easier to cut with. It’s a good idea to pass the knife over the steel a couple of times after every use.

Knife sharpening, however, removes some metal from the blade to create a new edge. If you have damage to the blade, this will likely require you to grind off the edge completely and create a new one from undamaged metal.

Blade sharpening by the pros

The reality is that you can’t get the same results at home. An expert will have a high-end electric sharpener that you likely don’t have in your kitchen. Additionally, a professional will use a whetstone which is kept wet while they work. This is done to avoid overheating the blade, which can wreck the metal’s temper, making it vulnerable to damage.

Beyond the equipment, a professional will be able to assess the knife edge’s angle and recreate it exactly. This angle is referred to as a bevel, and even knives made by the same brand don’t all have the same bevel. An expert knife sharpener will ensure that no more metal is removed than absolutely necessary. This will extend the knife’s life, as each time it’s sharpened, it loses a bit of usable metal.

Frequency of sharpening knives

If you use your knives frequently, then you should have them sharpened once every three months. For those who use them moderately or less, once every six months to a year is probably enough. Once you get them back, you’ll be amazed at how much better a rejuvenated blade cuts, and you won’t be able to go back to those dull knives you had before.

Finding knife sharpening pros

Many cookware and hardware shops offer these services. There are also online services that offer this for a fee plus shipping costs. Some higher-end knife companies offer guarantees on their blades and will renew yours. Of course, this requires you to send in the knife, meaning you won’t have it for a while.

Whether you need knife sharpening or materials for your next DIY project, the experts at Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. are here to offer a helping hand. We’ve served the community for more than 80 years, offering everything from construction materials to paint, tools and lumber. Give us a call right now to find out more about our products and services.