5 By-Mail Knife Sharpening Services You Should Definitely Be Using

Don't neglect your knives!

December 18, 2020
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Photo by: Capelle.r/Getty Images

Capelle.r/Getty Images

No matter how often you cook, using your knives with any kind of regularity will cause them to dull over time. Not only are dull knives obviously harder to cut with, they’re actually more dangerous because a knife with a dull blade requires more pressure to slice, which increases the chance that the knife will slip and injure you.

But let’s be real, getting your knives sharpened on a regular basis is easier said than done these days. While you may have had a bi-monthly appointment at a shop before to make sure your knives were always in tip-top shape, it’s totally understandable if venturing out of the house to get your knives sharpened isn’t exactly on the top of your to-do list at the moment.

Luckily, there are several knife-sharpening services across the country that allow you to mail in your Wusthofs or your Shuns (ideal if you’re social distancing) and will mail them back to you after they’ve been professionally honed. The whole process typically takes about a week (or less) and you get safer, sharper knives without having to leave the comfort of your own home. Here are a few of our preferred by-mail knife sharpening services.

$59.00 (for 4 knives) and up

Unlike some other by-mail knife sharpening services, Knife Aid isn’t subscription-based and doesn’t require you to buy their knives first. Instead, you simply start by requesting a protective envelope via the Knife Aid website. Once the envelope arrives (with pre-paid postage) you place your knives in protective sheaths within the envelope (which is insured and trackable) and mail them back. Knife Aid’s knife smiths then give your knives the sharpest possible angle and mail them back to you. The whole process takes about 4-7 days and the brand even guarantees that, once sharpened, your knives will be sharper than the day you purchased them. Not happy with your knives? Knife Aid will sharpen them again, free of charge.

Seisuke Knife sharpening services start at $5 and vary based on the size of the knife and the type of services requested

Seisuke Knife’s flagship store is in Portland, Oregon, and a second storefront is located in Tokyo, Japan. The retailer not only sells high-quality Japanese knives, but will sharpen any of your knives via mail in a few simple steps, without a previous purchase or subscription. First, Seisuke asks customers to take a photo of the knives they’d like sharpened (with a ruler in the photo for reference) and email it to info@seisukeknife.com, specifying how you’d like each knife to be sharpened. You can choose basic sharpening (done via a grit stone wheel) medium stone sharpening or fine stone sharpening. Then, Seisuke will send you an invoice for the services and request that you prepay. Prior to shipping your knives, Seisuke asks that you clean and dry them thoroughly to avoid any delays. Once your knives are ready to be shipped, you should wrap the blade in newspaper and wrap the entire knife in bubble wrap before mailing them. The sharpened knives are typically sent back to you within a few days.

Pro tip: Seisuke also offers other knife-related services for a fee, such as chip repair, blade thinning and bolster adjustment.

Precision Knife Sharpening services start at $5 and vary based on the size of the knife

Like Knife Aid and Seisuke Knife, Precision Knife Sharpening offers knife sharpening services by mail and there’s no knife purchase or subscription required. After you place your order via their website, the Virginia-based business asks that you package your own knives (using newspaper and wine corks to protect the blades) in a box and mail them. Once your knives have been received and sharpened, they’re insured (so long as you specified it on your order form) and sent back to you via US Postal Service Priority Mail. Each knife is sharpened by experienced craftsmen using methods tailored to the type of knife, and the whole process typically takes less than a week. The company is currently on a short break and will resume orders on Jan. 4, 2021.

Korin sharpening services start at $15 per knife

Korin Japanese Trading Corp. is a New York City-based Japanese restaurant-supply store that specializes in imported chef's knives. The store typically sharpens both Japanese and Western-style knives, but is currently only able to use limited equipment because of COVID-19 and therefore can only sharpen Western-style knives via mail-in orders. However, there is no purchase or subscription required in order to have your knives sharpened. All you need to do is fill out a knife sharpening form detailing what services you need, and a Korin employee will reach out with shipping instructions. Knife sharpening services start at $15 per knife and the process takes about two weeks to complete.

Togu Knives $6 per week for a 4 or 8 week schedule

This knife-sharpening service was founded by home chef Cyrus Elias in 2018. While it does require a subscription, that subscription means you get two freshly honed, high-quality Japanese knives delivered directly to your home every eight weeks. Currently, one knife is a 7-inch santoku style all-purpose knife, while the other is a 3.5-inch parer. Once you receive your new knives, you can use the same package they came in (with a return label that will be sent to you) to send back an older pair of Togu knives that need to be sharpened. Basically, you’ll never be without a set of sharp knives. Just note that when your subscription ends, the last set of knives must be returned.

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