Where Do You Get Your Knives Sharpened in DC?

by moderndomestic on January 12, 2010

Knives

My knives are dying a slow death.

My chef’s knife really needs to be sharpened. I’ve known this for a while – it’s been getting progressively harder to slice an onion, let alone a tomato. But I knew things had gotten really bad when it was having problems cutting through an eggplant the other night. It’s one dull blade that won’t slice through an eggplant.

I have a sharpening steel (God only knows if I actually use it correctly), which hones the edge, but I’ve never actually gotten this knife sharpened. According to Martha Stewart, the steel is good for removing scratches and realigning the edge, but knives still need to be sharpened on a whetstone. And yes, in case you want to learn how to do that yourself, Martha will tell you how – but I think I’ll leave my sharpening to the pros.

I put the call out to the Adams Morgan listserv, and the good people of AdMo suggested the following places for knife sharpening. The Sur La Table got the most recommendations, but it looks like several of the local hardware stores sharpen knives as well.

Logan Hardware
1416 P St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 265-8900

Pfeiffer’s Hardware
3219 Mount Pleasant Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20010-2137
(202) 462-1431

Sur La Table – Friendship Heights
5211 Wisconsin AVE NW
Washington, DC 20015
202.237.0375

Sur La Table – Pentagon Row
1101 South Joyce Street
Suite B-20
Arlington, VA 22202
703.414.3580

True Value on 17th
1623 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202-462-3146
Fax: 202-387-4503

I’ll be making a trip to one of these locations this weekend – but does anyone else have any place to add? Where do you get your knives sharpened in DC?

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Amelia January 12, 2010 at 9:52 am

Oooh, good to know. Thanks for posting this. I have a couple of knives that need sharpening, so maybe I’ll stop by one of the hardware stores soon.

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Ty January 12, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Hey Jenna. Kayanna pointed out this point. I’m told there’s a place in Eastern Market that does it for a few dollars per knife. A friend spoke highly of them. I’ve got a very, very dull carving knife that needs a little work. Let me know when you find somewhere you’re happy with.

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restaurant refugee January 12, 2010 at 7:40 pm

I am very fond of the job that the guys at Eastern Market have done on my knives.

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moderndomestic January 13, 2010 at 11:34 am

Which booth in Eastern Market?

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mamatrekkie January 12, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Yikes. According to Martha knives need to be sharpened “several times a year” in a whetstone. That seems excessive. Do you think it really shortens the life of the knife to go a year or two? Maybe it depends on how much cutting you are doing. I imagine Martha does more cutting than the average cook.

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moderndomestic January 12, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Well, I mean, if you’re a professional cook, you probably sharpen them more than a couple times a year. But I think it depends on how finely skilled you are at chopping stuff (if I could dice an onion the way they could on cooking shows, I’d probably need a really sharp knife too).

Actually, I think I vaguely remember that Bill Buford talked about knives in “Heat” (his memoir of volunteering in Mario Batali’s kitchen at Babbo). I think he said that some cooks had crappy knives, which they sharpened all the time until the knife was unusable, and then they just replaced them.

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Sue January 13, 2010 at 8:10 am

At home — the Chef’s Choice multi-stage electric sharpeners are great. They sharpen well and require no skill on your part. Once through my whole knife collection and it paid for itself. Now I have sharp knives all of the time. Can’t imagine going back to having someone else do it.

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moderndomestic January 13, 2010 at 11:33 am

That does sound tempting – especially the part about it requiring no skill.

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Megan Gray January 13, 2010 at 8:48 am

I also recommend Alicia Groncki, she has a company called SharpenThis — and she can come to you. She also is at the Bethesda Farmer’s Market every weekend and can do it while you wait. She was immensely knowledgeable. I was not aware of all the options in the neighborhood. Please post all the price quotes that you get — I must say, getting all my knives sharpened was alot more expensive than I anticipated.

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moderndomestic January 13, 2010 at 11:33 am

Thanks Megan!

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Megan Gray January 13, 2010 at 8:49 am

It’s http://www.sharpen-this.com, 888-747-8447

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Christine January 14, 2010 at 9:50 am

It may no longer be the case (or perhaps never was here), but when I was a kid in Kentucky all the local grocery stores offered free knife sharpening as a way of getting people in the store. It couldn’t hurt to call up Safeway / Giant / Harris Teeter / etc. to see if they have a similar policy.

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Ian November 7, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Sur la Table completely mutilated a lovely (and expensive) paring knife I had. They may do a fine job most of the time, but I do not want to take the risk again.

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