The Knife Sharpest

Tonight I visited The Knife Sharpest, an all-service knife shop located at 4703 Burnet Road in the Rosedale neighborhood of Austin. In the past several weeks I’ve noticed my knives weren’t cutting as well as they used to, and with lots of holiday cooking in store I decided to go get them sharpened.  Since the shop is open until 6 PM on weeknights, it was an easy errand on my way home from work.  Bad news first: I forgot my camera.  Now good news: they did a great job sharpening four of my kitchen knives, total cost $16!

I was a little intimidated when I walked up to the little stone shop.  As I walked to the shop’s front door from the backyard parking lot, I saw a line of wood targets used for knife throwing! (The Knife Sharpest apparently offers regular tomahawk and knife throwing classes.) The front of the store is bright yellow, but since the shop is so small it’s easy to miss along Burnet Road.

Image courtesy of The Knife Sharpest

The shop interior is pretty no-frills.  There’s a wall of kitchen knives on the south side of the store, and several glass display cases with all manner of throwing stars, straight razors, and specialty blades in the center of the store.  At the back right of the room is the counter, where I dropped off my kitchen knives and noticed the big “Cash Only” sign on the register.  The knife sharpener was real friendly; when I explained that I’d need to run get cash, he told me how much the knives would cost to sharpen and promised to have them done when I got back.

Boy, did he deliver! Within 15 minutes, he had sharpened my paring knife, serrated bread knife, santoku knife,  and a chef’s knife.  I paid $16 including tax and left with four like-new knives. Tonight I am happy to report that my little paring knife peeled persimmon’s tough skin like butter, and I used the chef’s knife to chop apples with much less effort than before it was sharpened.

This was my first experience with a professional knife sharpener, and I am much happier with these results than my at-home attempts.  The serrated blade and the large santoku knife, in particular, have a much nicer finish than I have achieved in my kitchen. In a few weeks comes the ultimate knife test, though: carving a turkey!

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12 responses to “The Knife Sharpest

  1. Kathryn, I’m so disappointed. I know for a fact that you own multiple sharpening stones… 🙂

  2. What did you make with the persimmons? I have 4 to use and am not sure what to do with them. I made cookies last time and they weren’t that good….

  3. Oh, Stefani. One of my favorite things about cooking as opposed to that OTHER THING WITH KNIVES is that I can just pay someone to sharpen my knives once a year. 🙂

    Sydney! I used 4 persimmons to make apple/persimmon tarts for the clothing swap tomorrow. Are you coming? I have some extra apples that I’d be happy to bring you so you can make the recipe with your persimmons. (Or if you don’t want to bother with the crust, just the filling. It’s delicious over ice cream or oatmeal.)

  4. That place is a little scary looking. I’ve yet to venture in. I just con my husband into sharpening my knives when he does his. I’m a little ashamed to admit I have no idea how to use a sharpening stone.

  5. I SO wish I could come tomorrow. I have a wardrobe consultation tomorrow. I have apples AND persimmons. Can you share the recipe?

  6. Hey, I just stumbled upon your blog… Nicely done! However, I noticed from the picture that the shop seems to be called “The Knife SharpIst” (as in the person that sharpens) and not Sharpest… Just FYI! Keep it up!

  7. Hey Pablo, thanks for stopping by. The spelling of the shop’s name is actually somewhat ambiguous. The storefront, as you noticed, spells it “Sharpist.” However, the website URL is “KnifeSharpest.com” and all their online text uses the “Sharpest” spelling. I guess they’re just doing their part to keep Austin weird!

  8. Hi Kathryn,

    I love Knife Sharpest and our knives are long overdue for some love there. Thanks for the reminder! It was great meeting you last night. Thanks for coming out and I hope to see you soon!

  9. Thanks, Jodi. I really appreciated the chance to meet Joan and all the other food bloggers last night. I hope we get to hang out again soon!

  10. i only get knives sharpened here. did you read any of the literature in the shop? i love going there. fascinating!!!

    • I ended up running down the street to get cash while they sharpened my knives, so I didn’t get to read the literature. I spent about 5 minutes gawking at the throwing star/tomahawk case after I paid, and I felt like a creeper, so I didn’t stay any longer. 🙂 Thanks for the comment, btw!

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