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Sharpening as a business

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
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  • #55652
    Kenneth
    Participant
    • Topics: 22
    • Replies: 29

    Since I cannot get to any topic room other then the main forum I had to post here.

    So I was thinking after I earn my chops and I get better at this I would like to sharpen knives part time for some extra $. Can some of you post what you charge so I know where I need to price my services?

    #55655
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 137

    I don’t charge family and friends. And I don’t want to sharpen knives for money. But if I did I would charge $40 for the first time because I know I’ll have to reprofile the blade, then $10 to sharpen it after the first time for a basic toothy edge, if it has no damage. $50 or more for polished edges depending on the size of the blade.

    You probably would never make much money taking my advice, but I don’t want to spend all day sharpening junk.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by 000Robert.
    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #55656
    Kyle Kaplan
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 26

    Hi Kenneth,

    Sharpening knives to earn extra cash is a great idea! I have a small, part-time sharpening service in Santa Fe NM and I charge $8.00 per knife or $7.00 per knife when the customer gives me 5 or more knives to sharpen at a time. I don’t do any reprofiling on the knives I sharpen for my customers. I simply match the current angle on their knives by using the marker method, draw a burr with my 100 grit stone, and then progress up through my diamond stones and finish with 1000 grit. All my customers are very pleased with the 1000 grit finish, and using this technique my sharpening time is usually less than 4 minutes per knife. I use a Generation 3 Pro to do most of my sharpening, and I also have Wicked Edge GO which I keep in my car so I can sharpen when I’m out and about.

     

     

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #55659
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 137

    Four minutes a knife going from 100 to 1000 grit? Do you really expect us to believe that?

    #55670
    Kyle Kaplan
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 26

    000Robert,

    Yes, I’ve timed myself on many occasions. It takes me about 10 seconds to mount the knife in the sharpener, another 10-20 seconds to do the marker test to determine the sharpening angle, about 1-2 minutes to draw a burr from each side of the knife with my 100 grit stone, and then about 20 seconds to make 20 passes with each of the 200, 400, 600, 800, and 1000 grit diamond stones on each side of the blade. And finally, about 10-15 seconds to wipe the blade clean and remove it from the sharpener.

    The knives I usually sharpen for my customers are kitchen knives. The highest quality knives I see frequently are Shun, Henkel, and Wusthof. They’re made from decent steel, but not like the super steels found in a lot of higher-end pocket knives and fixed blades, so it really doesn’t take too long to sharpen them, especially because I’m matching the current edge angles and not doing any reprofiling. If the knife has a bad chip or a broken tip, it does take me a bit longer and I will charge my customers extra for making those repairs on a case-by-case basis.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by Kyle Kaplan.
    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #55675
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 137

    000Robert, Yes, I’ve timed myself on many occasions. It takes me about 10 seconds to mount the knife in the sharpener, another 10-20 seconds to do the marker test to determine the sharpening angle, about 1-2 minutes to draw a burr from each side of the knife with my 100 grit stone, and then about 20 seconds to make 20 passes with each of the 200, 400, 600, 800, and 1000 grit diamond stones on each side of the blade. And finally, about 10-15 seconds to wipe the blade clean and remove it from the sharpener. The knives I usually sharpen for my customers are kitchen knives. The highest quality knives I see frequently are Shun, Henkel, and Wusthof. They’re made from decent steel, but not like the super steels found in a lot of higher-end pocket knives and fixed blades, so it really doesn’t take too long to sharpen them, especially because I’m matching the current edge angles and not doing any reprofiling. If the knife has a bad chip or a broken tip, it does take me a bit longer and I will charge my customers extra for making those repairs on a case-by-case basis.

    🤣 Ok.

    #55688
    Rodger
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 19

    Hi Kyle, wow. Impressive. I would like to learn how you do that to see if I could get even remotely close to those times for blades that don’t require reprofiling. Would you mind sending me a PM with some pointers? Or post pointers here if others are interested too.

    000Robert, Yes, I’ve timed myself on many occasions. It takes me about 10 seconds to mount the knife in the sharpener, another 10-20 seconds to do the marker test to determine the sharpening angle, about 1-2 minutes to draw a burr from each side of the knife with my 100 grit stone, and then about 20 seconds to make 20 passes with each of the 200, 400, 600, 800, and 1000 grit diamond stones on each side of the blade. And finally, about 10-15 seconds to wipe the blade clean and remove it from the sharpener. The knives I usually sharpen for my customers are kitchen knives. The highest quality knives I see frequently are Shun, Henkel, and Wusthof. They’re made from decent steel, but not like the super steels found in a lot of higher-end pocket knives and fixed blades, so it really doesn’t take too long to sharpen them, especially because I’m matching the current edge angles and not doing any reprofiling. If the knife has a bad chip or a broken tip, it does take me a bit longer and I will charge my customers extra for making those repairs on a case-by-case basis.

    #55696
    Kyle Kaplan
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 26

    Hi Rodger,

    I’d be happy to share. I think the easiest way for me to show my techniques would be to shoot a video and upload it to YouTube. I’m picking up about 20 knives from customers this afternoon and I’ve never sharpened for these customers before, so it’s a great opportunity to show my process from start to finish. I’ll post the link to the video in this thread as soon as the video is uploaded.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by Kyle Kaplan.
    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #55699
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 62
    • Replies: 2274

    There can be different goals when sharpening for a business.  This needs to be decided and defined up front.

    Are you offering your sharpening services simply to produce a quickly and simply sharpened knife purely for utility sake.  This is what it appears Kyle has described he’s doing.

    Or, are your sharpening services like those of Josh of Razor Edge Knives.

    Or both?

    This service you offer and the quality of your finished product will describe the way you use your Wicked Edge Sharpener, the time you’ll spend with each knife and your pricing structure.   The quality, precision and design of the W.E. sharpeners allow for both ends of the business spectrum.  Your sharpening knowledge, experience, and expertise may well determine which business model is right for you.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #55700
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 137

    I just hope you guys don’t get hurt. Try to be Bruce Lee sharpening knives is a tragedy in the making.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #55727
    Kyle Kaplan
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 26

    Hey guys,

    As promised, here’s a link to the video I made earlier today about how I sharpen knives. It’s a long video, but I talk about the whole process, sharpen 4 knives, and then I talk about how/why I price my sharpening service. Cheers.

    5 users thanked author for this post.
    #55728
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 137

    My apologies Kyle, that’s pretty fast! I guess I’m just an old fogey. Setting the edge is quick work with that Gen 3!

    I didn’t say that I “did” charge that much, I said that I “would” charge that much if I wanted to sharpen knives for money. But I don’t want to sharpen knives for money – that’s the point. 😉

    I wouldn’t sharpen that fast anyways because I would be afraid that I might lose a finger or two. Also, you should wear a N95 mask while sharpening. I don’t think it’s a good idea breathing that stuff. And I always finish with a couple of edge-leading strokes to make sure there is no burr left on the edge. Be careful.

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #55731
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 62
    • Replies: 2274

    No disrespect to Kyle.  He’s providing exactly the service his customers are asking for, or at least, paying for; “fast and cheap”.  That’s not to say they wouldn’t find they prefer a better finished product if that had been offered to them.

    There’s fast, there’s good and there’s cheap…there’s not all three at once:

    http://www.pyragraph.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/GOOD-FAST-CHEAP.jpg

    Like I wrote above:

    There can be different goals when sharpening for a business.  This needs to be decided and defined up front.

    Are you offering your sharpening services simply to produce a quickly and simply sharpened knife purely for utility sake?  This is what it appears Kyle is doing in his video.  Does he do this well??  I’d place his finished knives dead centered in the overlap between the “cheap” and “fast” circles, in the “not the best quality” range.  (I think if I were using Kyle’s business model, I’d carry my W.E. sharpener and a folding work bench to sharpen “on site”.  Pick-up and drop-off is killing his profit potential).

    Or, are your sharpening services more like those of Josh of Razor Edge Knives?  Josh’s customer base are the high end collectors and knife efficianados, or a knife user wanting simply a “good and well sharpened knife” and they’re willing to pay for this quality.

    Or both?  ….The price you charge is commensurate with the quality of your finished products.  It’s up to you conducting this business to decide what price is fair for the value and quality of your finished product and for the time you needed to put into it.

    This service you offer and the quality of your finished products will describe the way you use your Wicked Edge Sharpener, the time you’ll spend with each knife and your pricing structure.   The quality, precision and design of the W.E. sharpeners allow for both ends of the business spectrum.  Your sharpening knowledge, experience, and expertise may well determine which business model is right for you.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    5 users thanked author for this post.
    #55735
    Kenneth
    Participant
    • Topics: 22
    • Replies: 29

    Hey Kyle. I haven’t been on in a few days but I was watching YouTube videos and saw your video. As you were describing the circumstance I said “Hey that’s me” lol. Thanks my friend. I liked it and also subscribed

    Regards,

    Ken

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #55738
    Readheads
    Participant
    • Topics: 27
    • Replies: 300

    I also strive for speed. Attached is a link to my Jersey Double Stroke.

    Also, I currently use the 50/80 stone which will reprofile in 1 minute. I watched your video and you mentioned angles up to 25 DPS I think which is probably appropriate for the cheaper steels because they dull real quick (crap steel) but I prefer 20 DPS.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/FDfRsVZmncCVvPhm6

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