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.
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!