Knife Sharpening Tricks

“There are many ways to sharpen a knife. This method produces a good general purpose edge.”

About 25 years ago, Kenny bought me a Zwilling Four Star 8-Inch Chef’s Knife (affiliate link) because I told him that I needed a good knife to slice some chicken breasts. I was going to make Pierre Franey’s Chicken and Avocado in Cream, which Kenny liked. When Pierre Franey’s column first came out in the NY Times, I thought the title was “The 60 Second Gourmet,” not “The 60 Minute Gourmet.”

A few months ago, I broke the tip off the knife while trying to separate some frozen hot links. (I use a flathead screwdriver now). I used my Dremel to grind the tip so it looks like a Santoku, but I haven’t been able to keep it sharp. I’ve had it sharpened professionally 3 times in the past 5 years but they weren’t great sharpening jobs.

I’ve used a Zip-Zap, the Accusharp All Purpose Knife and Blade Sharpener and a steel, but it still doesn’t hold an edge very well. My Dexter Chinese chefs knife (affiliate link) always stays sharp. I have a 30 year old six-inch Sabatier chef knife that also holds an edge well. I used to get my knives sharpened by a knife sharpening guy in Manhattan who drove a Step Van around and stopped at restaurants. I would bring him 4 or 5 knives, but he would always say, “Ahhhhhh, Sabatier!” about the little six-inch knife.

I like Tim Andersen’s line, “Buy yourself a sharpening stone for a dollar in Chinatown. If your city doesn’t have a Chinatown, get one or move somewhere civilized.” (click the Instructables link below). I had to go to San Jose to get my sharpening stone (at 99 Ranch) but it actually cost $0.99.

Knife Sharpening Tricks at Instructables

Do the Right Thing

I was watching Do the Right Thing and it reminded me of the time Kenny and I went out to Buzz-a-Rama in Brooklyn. Buzz-a-Rama is a slot car track that opened around 1965.

Early vs Late Slot Cars
Early vs Late Slot Cars

It’s more in the neighborhood of Kensington, I think, not the movie’s Bed-Stuy. We had been making our grand tour of local slot car tracks in New Jersey, Westchester and Long Island sometime in the latter part of the 20th century.

Slot car racing was something I’d done as a kid in the 1960’s. I also participated in the brief New York City revival at Manhattan Raceway, as a member of the Rasta-Pasta-Noodle team. The pop culture status of the revival (I know, some people never stopped) was made apparent when Robin Leach and a film crew came to the track.

After Kenny and I left Buzz-a-Rama, we proceeded to the next course of our pastime, getting something to eat. We went to the local pizzeria. I told Kenny that he should ask why they didn’t have any pictures of African-American celebrities on the wall.