If there is one little happiness in life that I like to enjoy when I cut my tomatoes, it is working with a super sharp knife. What can be worse than applying excessive force on a food that is crushed by a knife that does not do its job, that is, cut?
Because I try to minimize the space that objects in my life take up, I don’t have a knife block on my kitchen counter. I prefer to buy them individually instead of having 10 and always using the same two. And when my work tools wear out, I want them to be sharpened. If, like me, you have recently tried to find a professional who offers this service, you know there is hardly more!
Certainly, when you really do search, you may be successful in finding a shop, or even an appliance repairer, that offers this service. But they are rare. You can also try your luck at a specialty store that sells knives. But, again, it is not because a company sells knives that offers sharpening service.
And when you find a place that does, most of the time you can’t just show up at the store, sharpen your knives, and go home quietly. You have to make an appointment or drop off your knives and come back to pick them up three or four days later.
In the past, the problem could be solved by dealing with the mobile sharpeners who roamed the streets with their mobile workshops. They sharpened our knives on the spot! However, they have almost disappeared from the Quebec landscape.
Easy to buy at a good price.
But where have the pencil sharpeners gone? Curious, I asked Cédric Lévesque, owner of the Aiguisage CL mobile workshop. According to him, the situation is similar to that of shoemakers. “These days, inexpensive knives are easy to find in supermarkets. Going to take them to a professional, spending a few days without them and having to return three days later, that cools many consumers, “he says.
Deprived of the services of increasingly rare sharpeners, what do people do with a knife that no longer cuts? They throw it away. After all, why bother moving around, finding a place to park, and coming back three days later to pick up a knife or two? Why bother doing all of this when you can ditch one and get a cheap one at Walmart or Costco? The less expensive the knife, the greater the temptation to throw it away rather than sharpen it.
Parenthesis: I have average quality knives and often wonder if I will get a good deal to sharpen them. Am I wasting my time and money? No, Cédric Lévesque believes. “The quality of the steel only influences the duration of the sharpening,” he replies. For example, sharpening a Japanese knife of exceptional quality will last longer than the same treatment on a lower quality knife. After being sharpened, the one that has a lower quality steel will also have a good edge, it is just that it will keep it for less time ”.
Regarding maintenance, Mr Lévesque explains that the ideal is to use a sharpening gun (also called “rat tail”) after each use. “People who are good at technique don’t need to hire a professional to sharpen their knives,” he explains.
Give it up … or not
However, Mr. and Mrs. All obviously don’t know how to proceed. This is when pencil sharpeners should come into the picture. Except, alas, there are few! When you only have one or two knives to sharpen, it becomes tempting to put off the process indefinitely. Then time passes and oops! – we buy the same knife instead of sharpening the one in the drawer.
Don’t throw stones at me, that’s not what I’m doing. For years, I have taken the time to have them sharpened by a professional. But I have no merit: I always manage to find one in a reasonable time. Unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky. And for these people, it is tempting to go the easy way: buy, throw away, buy, throw away. What a pity !
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