Genuine Hand Sharpening for Japanese & Western Knives & Tools


SURF COAST ENQUIRIES
Please use any link below to send us a message & provide contact details and postcode.
Thank you for your time and we look forward to providing you with our services soon.You will be first to know!
Carmen, Leigh & Team


GENERAL ENQUIRIES
If you have an enquiry please send us a message through any of the links above.
Please remember to provide your name, purpose of your enquiry & postcode. Thank you!


UPCOMING LOCATIONS & DATES

CAULFIELDDATETIME
PETER'S MITRE 10Tues/Wed/Thurs9 - 4
EVERYFriday10 - 3
BRIGHTONEVERY 2ND & 4TH SATURDAYTIME
PETER'S MITRE 10Saturday 13th of July9 - 3
ALPHINGTONEVERY 1ST & 3RD SUNDAYTIME
Opp. Farmer's MarketSunday 7th of July8 - 2

LOCATION ADDRESSES & TIMES

PETER’S MITRE 10, CAULFIELD
95 Normanby Rd
EVERY
TUESDAY / WEDNESDAY / THURSDAY
9am - 4pm
EVERY FRIDAY
10am - 3pm
_____________________________
PETER’S MITRE 10, BRIGHTON
343 New St
EVERY 2nd & 4th SATURDAY OF THE MONTH
9am - 3pm


ALPHINGTON SCHEDULE

OPPOSITE
ALPHINGTON FARMER’S MARKET
in the
Alphington Train Station Car Park
EVERY 1st & 3rd
SUNDAY OF EACH MONTH

8am - 2pm
IMPORTANT INFO FOR ALPHINGTON & BRIGHTON CUSTOMERS - PLEASE READWe offer SAME DAY SERVICE for MOST KITCHEN KNIVES that come in between our 8am/9am - 12pm/1pm.We have EXCLUSIONS, please read our website for more info on WHAT KNIVES WE DO AND DO NOT SHARPEN or just message us and ask if you’re not sure.We HIGHLY encourage customers to arrive between 8am - 11am for the quickest service and knife turn around.We DO NOT TAKE BOOKINGS due to the varying nature of knives. We have found bookings do not work for the service we provide therefore we simply ask that you understand how we operate.It is a FIRST IN, FIRST SERVED basis. We PRIORITISE EVERY CUSTOMER’S KNIVES exactly the same, whether they are worth $5 or $5000.We DO NOT DISCRIMINATE by price point but we DO WORK TO A STANDARD therefore your knife’s steel type and heat treatment will be a greater indicator of whether or not it will hold an EDGE WE CAN ENSURE with confidence than the price you paid for it.We assess ALL KNIVES prior to service so to reduce your wait times we suggest early arrival and to expect MOST KNIVES to be turned around WITHIN 1 - 3 HOURS on average but can be longer if our pass is full.If your knives need RESTORATION WORKS carried out we will discuss this with you and the expected price on assessment of your knives. We CANNOT and WILL NOT assess knives via photos or videos.Any SINGLE-BEVEL JAPANESE KNIVES (Hataha) are NOT SAME DAY SERVICE knives. They will be sharpened during the week at our on-site location at Peter’s Mitre 10, Caulfield.Most genuine Yanagiba, Deba etc take a minimum of 45 min to sharpen by hand and that can EXCEED 150 minutes of work per knife. These are not quick nor cheap knives to sharpen and maintain by traditional Japanese flat whetstone hand sharpening methods but it is THE ONLY METHOD that we advise for these knives.ISSUES WITH WORK UNDERTAKEN
If you have had your knives or tools sharpened by us and there are any issues please contact us immediately via phone, email or text and explain the problem. We will ask that you bring the items in within a fortnight of receiving them back. Exceptions can be made but it is important to see them as soon as possible so we can rectify the matter and get them operating as you require. There are many reasons why a knife or tool may not feel sharp and it is something we have extensive experience with assessing and resolving but we have to see the items to be able to solve the problem.
Thank you for reading this and we genuinely care about how well your knives work so we look forward to assessing your knives and discussing your knife use and requirements when you come in.Carmen Kenny
Manager, Knife Sales, Chisel & Bread Knife Sharpener, Knife Handle & Blade Restorer


HAND SHARPENING HAS BEEN PROVEN TO BE BETTER FOR YOUR KNIVES”Tests comparing factory sharpening to whetstone sharpening for Global knives showed factory sharpening led to a reduction in hardness at the edge for reduced edge retention. Therefore hand sharpening is recommended.”Dr Larrin Thomas
Knife Engineering: Steel, Heat Treating and Geometry, 2020


WE SELL NEW CUSTOMISED, HAND SHARPENED KNIVES

We now stock & customise the following knives and unique products for purchase at any site we operate from. All sales are In-Person and Prices are On Request so please contact Carmen on the email link above for a time to come in and view knives.4 MONTHS COMPLEMENTARY SERVICE
You receive 4 months of up to four services on every new, hand sharpened Mac knife you purchase from us. We assess the knife at the end of 4 months and build a service plan for you moving forward. You receive an ongoing 30% discount on your sharpening service and we offer a lifetime warranty. Please note that this excludes damage on knives that have been used incorrectly or used on pull-through systems.
Ideally, to purchase a knife we ask that you make an appointment to come in and try a knife with us during our operating hours and locations.BRANDS & PRODUCTS WE SELLWE ALSO STOCK:
Knife care products including knife storage options, strops, compounds, whetstones, oil & waxes.
CUSTOMISING YOUR HANDMADE OR UNIQUE KNIVES
We are also able to customise new handmade or commercial knives so long as we can assess the steel and check for manufacturing flaws (common in several commercial brands) if you can provide information on the steel and who made it.


HOW WE OPERATE

PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DO NOT TAKE BOOKINGS
It is not necessary for most knife sharpening jobs to make a booking but if you have 10 or more knives of varying kinds or more than 5 Japanese Category A+ knives then please give us a heads up you are coming.
SAME DAY SERVICE ON KNIVES
For same day service we ask that jobs are brought in earlier in the day to ensure we can have your jobs and tools ready for pick up.
We usually ask that you allow us between 1 - 6 hours for your job to be turned around.During busy seasons, like Christmas, we may need to extend service into the following day for your knives to be returned to you.Feel free to let us know when you are coming in or to ask us any questions beforehand.ASSESSMENT & QUOTING
We assess all jobs in person prior to service and prior to quoting. You are welcome to send photos but please note:
Photos and videos do not provide the entire picture and we will not quote from images.
GUARANTEED EDGES
We aim to provide the highest quality service and edges that remain sharp therefore we may refuse to sharpen some knives and garden tools if we believe the steel is not heat treated properly or they are too far gone to be restored. Please see our Knife Steel Categories below.
SCISSOR SHARPENING AVAILABLE FOR PROFESSIONALS ONLY
We now ONLY sharpen scissors for professional dressmakers, costumers, pattern makers, tailors, hair dressers and upholsterers.
Due to the nature of scissors and the amount of poor quality and/or damaged and mis-sharpened scissors we have taken on over the last three years we have decided we will only offer the service to professionals who require scissors for their daily work.RESTORATION OF HEIRLOOM & ANTIQUE KNIVES & TOOLS
In the case of Heirlooms and Antiques we assess things differently. We discuss the outcome of the item in question in consultation with the owner and we work out the best, most gentle method of restoring and bringing the best out of an old, fragile or unusual item so it can remain in your family and not suffer further deterioration.

Knife and tool restorations as well as chisels and scissors may not be same day jobs.


Carmen designs and makes these kangaroo leather strops that we recommend customer’s use to maintain the edges on their knives. They come with compounds and we teach you how to use it. To order one please send us an enquiry via form above.


Coming to Peter’s Mitre 10, Brighton, November 12th

Leigh sharpening at The King of Tonga courtyard in Elwood. Sunday January 28th, 2024


ABOUT US & JAPANESE WHETSTONE
HAND SHARPENING

Leigh thinning a Japanese knife for a customer at Peter’s Mitre 10, Caulfield. Tuesday January 30th, 2024

THE ART & SCIENCE OF WHETSTONE SHARPENING
Our business is based upon the art and science of sharpening knives and tools on Japanese whetstones, which is a practice many thousands of years old refined by many cultures throughout the world including the Japanese, who are most famous for it.
OUR TOOLS OF THE TRADE
All the whetstones we use are 100% made in Japan and sourced from small local businesses. We have no secrets and there is no mystery to our work. We invite all our customers to watch while Leigh sharpens your knives by hand. We take great pride in our work and offering this unique service so you can experience the difference in your knives.
”We do not take shortcuts and cheat by secretly putting your knife on a belt sander, a Tormek or a high speed grinder after you leave. We see damaged knives from these other methods all the time. Our promise and our guarantee is that every knife is hand sharpened and it is the core of our methodology as sharpeners and we don’t intend to change.” LeighOUR PROCESS
We appraise each knife and tool individually and assess its requirements for sharpening, repair or restoration and discuss the exact process and expected costs with you.
”Our process is meticulous. Every knife is assessed prior to service and we communicate with each customer what work will be required if there is more to do than just basic sharpening. Our aim is that customers get the absolute best outcome and we do not compromise on the standard of our work. We frequently reject knives that we know from experience will not hold an edge for the customer as we don't see that as a win/win scenario. It is better to be honest and risk offending some people than taking people’s money and they get an unusable knife and we get an unhappy customer.” CarmenQUALITY OF WORK ASSURANCE
We assure all our customers that their knives will be sharpened exclusively by hand on Japanese whetstones. We provide advice on ensuring the correct care and maintenance of your knife based on the steel type and/or previous damage or mis-sharpening your knife has endured.
We are here to support you and the ongoing care, maintenance and preservation of your knives.LIFE OF YOUR KNIFE
We know that a good knife should last many years and can even be passed down to the next generation.
Hand sharpening is the best way to ensure the maximum life of your knife.
Here are incentives for you to bring your knives back to us:- 20% Off the Sharpening fee on ANY of the same knives you have had sharpened by us the next time they come in for service within 6 months.(Excludes thinning & re-profiling fees or repairs for any damage and mis-sharpening endured between services & any Category A+ & A+S knives).

SUPPORT A LOCAL LOW CARBON FOOTPRINT BUSINESS
We are a micro business operating out of our 1950s caravan rebuilt from repurposed materials in the Inner South Eastern suburbs. We specialise in Japanese whetstone sharpening and knife restoration which has a low carbon footprint and helps reduce demand for new knives.
A SERVICE FOR EVERYBODY
We aim to provide a premium hand sharpening service for knife enthusiasts, home cooks, chefs, gardeners, horticulturalists and tradespeople.
ITEMS WE SHARPEN
Our primary focus is on sharpening straight edge knives but we also sharpen bread knives, manual gardening tools, professional scissors, axes, hatchets and chisels.
We have also been known to sharpen less common items such as guillotine blades, plane blades, cut throat razors and carving tools.WE DO NOT SHARPEN:
- motorised garden tool blades
- power saw blades
- drill bits
- clipper blades
- non-professional scissors
- hand saws
- electric knife blades
- chainsaw blades
A NOTE ON “PULL-THROUGH SHARPENERS”
We do not advise maintaining your knives on “pull-through knife sharpeners” no matter the brand or the price you paid for them.
”They are a sales gimmick and a form of forced obsolescence designed to reduce the life of your knife by knife companies. They go against our philosophy and our methodology.” LeighIf your knives have been used on a pull-through there will often be an extra fee to repair them and sometimes the steel will be damaged long term but we will assess on inspection in person and if its minor damage there will be no additional fee.

Carmen holding three Japanese knives that came in for edge repair, profile fix and sharpening while Leigh works on another knife. January 2024.

LEIGH, OWNER
Leigh has extensive knowledge of knives, steel types, manufacturing processes, sharpening methods and specialises in sharpening high carbon, super steel and niche knives correctly and thoroughly by hand to ensure they work for you at their optimum.
He applies the same rigour to everything he sharpens and believes the value of a tool is not in how much it cost to buy but in how well it performs it’s function for you.CARMEN, MANAGER
SHARPENS CHISELS, GARDEN TOOLS & SERRATED KNIVES
OVERSEES KNIFE RESTORATIONS

Carmen manages operations and sharpens serrated knives, garden tools and scissors. She uses her knowledge in jewellery making, fine timber work and vintage objects to restore heirloom, rare and fragile knives and scissors.
She understands the emotional and familial significance that certain objects hold in our lives and treats heirloom, vintage and sentimental knives and scissors with the same care she treats her own with.

Carmen delicately cleaning a WW1 ceremonial rapier for a customer. August 2022.


KNIFE CATEGORIES

Leigh sharpening a Japanese knife at The King of Tonga. January 28th, 2024.

SIX KNIFE STEEL CATEGORIES: A+S, A+, A, B, C, D
AN EXPLANATION OF OUR KNIFE STEEL SYSTEM
Over the last three years and after sharpening and restoring over 7000 thousand different knives made of various steels and heat treatments, with diverse sharpening histories, we have developed
SIX Knife Steel Categories: A+S, A+, A, B, C, D.
Categories A+S, A+, A & B we WILL SHARPEN and CAN ensure Edge Retention.Category C we WILL SHARPEN but CANNOT ensure Edge Retention.Category D we WILL NOT SHARPEN.SPECIALISED KNIVES MADE OF A+ STEEL
Category A+S covers KATAHA or Single Bevel Japanese Knives made of Genuine High Carbon Steel.
All blades are assessed individually according to the blade & steel type.PLEASE NOTE: We have found that some Yanagiba are not made of A+ steel, if we find this on assessment of your knife steel we will advise you on what your options are.CATEGORY A+
PREMIUM KNIVES MADE OF HIGH CARBON STEEL

Our A+ Category knives are all priced individually according to knife and steel type.
A+ - High Carbon Steel
(Commercial or Handmade, High quality heat treatment).
CATEGORIES A & B
REGULAR & COMMERCIAL KITCHEN KNIVES

We categorise the most common kitchen knife brands into three categories A & B. The prices are set according to steel type and length of time to sharpen.
A - Commercial Japanese (High Carbon or Similar, Consistent Heat treatment)B - Commercial European (Sandvic or Similar, Consistent Heat Treatment)CATEGORY C - CHEAP, LOW GRADE STEEL & POOR OR SOFT HEAT TREAT
We still sharpen some Category C knives but do not guarantee our edges on these as the heat treatment on certain brands is extremely poor so we sharpen these with a note to each customer before we take them on.
Common Category C Brands including but not limited to:
BACCARAT, FURI, MESSERMEISTER, ICEL, LAGUIOLE
CATEGORY D - DEAD STEEL = DEAD KNIVES
This category applies to knives that we reject to sharpen for some or all of the following reasons:
Brands we know will not hold an edge including but not limited to: MUNDIAL, SCANPAN, WILTSHIRE, KLEVACUT, CUTCO, AVANTI, KAMIKOTO, HUUSK
- Scam knives: Knives pertaining to be Japanese steel or handmade
- Poor heat treatment resulting in knives that won’t hold an edge
- Severely mis-sharpened knives resulting in severe damage like cracks
- Damaged beyond repair from mis-use, accident or mis-sharpening
- Worn out, over-used, severely pitted
- Belt-sanded and thinned until edge bends
- Low quality control in factory that results in consistent manufacturing flaws like cracks, jutting heels & bad edge grinds (see list below)
- Knives purchased online with no information on steel type
There are some knives that we categorise as "Dead Knives" due to errors in the manufacturing process, sometimes we will sharpen them and sometimes we will not. We will assess them prior to service and make a decision. These brands are:
FURI, BACCARAT iD3, BACCARAT Damashiro
If you are not sure about the quality of your knives we will assess them when you bring them in and explain to you what kind of steel they are made of in person. You may be surprised that they are better or worse than you think!AUXILIARY CATEGORY
R - Restoration of Heirloom, Antique & Vintage Knives
Sometimes you or your family may have a knife in the family that is very precious. Not because it is a high quality knife but because it was your mother's or grandmother's main cooking knife, your dad's butchering knife that he used for 60 years or was found in a shed after a family member has passed and you just can't bring yourself to throw it away. And fair enough! We completely understand the need to keep objects in teh family for continuity, sentimentality and respect for the labour of those who came before us and the tools they used to help nurture, raise and earn a living from.And this is where we come into the picture to help you keep that item and restore it so it can be either used occasionally or maybe just restored in order to be part of a family heirloom display or put away carefully in respect of its fragility.For Restoration work the quality of the steel, the heat treatment and the damage or wear and tear is not considered. What is relevant is its importance to you and whether you would like us to help you preserve it. If this is the case we ask you bring in the item for a Restoration Assessment and we work out a strategy for restoring it. Sometimes it is straightforward and just involves some cleaning, other times it is more complex and involved.If you are not sure which Category your knives are in or if your knife needs Restoration please contact us.

A set of Japanese chisels sharpened by Carmen, March 2023.


CATEGORY A+S
SPECIALISED KNIFE IN HIGH CARBON STEEL & EXCELLENT HEAT TREAT
KATAHA / SINGLE BEVEL KNIVESEg, Yanagiba, Deba, Sobakiri, Takohiki.

COOKERY LEVELEXPERT
GOOD FORCHEFS/ADVANCED HOME COOKS
ADVANTAGESEXTREMELY HIGH EDGE RETENTION, PRECISION SLICING & CUTTING
DISADVANTAGESCAN BE EXPENSIVE TO BUY & SHARPEN, MUST BE LOOKED AFTER CAREFULLY
EDGE DURATIONEXTREMELY HIGH +12 MONTHS

CATEGORY A+
PREMIUM STEEL & EXCELLENT HEAT TREAT

COMMERCIAL & HAND-FORGED JAPANESE, HIGH CARBON, FOLDED & POWDER STEELS
Eg, Commercial brands: Mcusta Zanmai, Miyabi.

COOKERY LEVELACCOMPLISHED TO EXPERT
GOOD FORCHEFS/ADVANCED HOME COOKS
ADVANTAGESHIGH EDGE RETENTION, EXCELLENT SLICABILITY
DISADVANTAGESCAN CHIP IF USED INCORRECTLY
Japanese SteelGyuto, Santoku, Petty, Other Common Japanese Knives
High CarbonHandmade or Commercially Made Western Chef’s Knives
Super SteelsElmax, 3V, Cruware, Magnacut, S30V & Other Powder Steels

CATEGORY A
JAPANESE STAINLESS HIGH CARBON STEEL
Eg, Global, Shun, Mac.

COOKERY LEVELCONFIDENT TO ACCOMPLISHED
GOOD FORADVANCED HOME COOKS/CHEFS
ADVANTAGEEASILY AVAILABLE JAPANESE STEEL
DISADVANTAGESSOME BRANDS HAVE ONGOING STEEL ISSUES

CATEGORY B
CONSISTENT STEEL & HEAT TREAT
COMMERCIAL/PROFESSIONAL BRANDS
Eg, Wusthof, Victorinox, F. Dick, Sabatier, Zwilling, Masterchef

COOKERY LEVELBASIC TO ACCOMPLISHED
GOOD FORBASICALLY EVERYONE
ADVANTAGESEASY TO CARE FOR/EASILY ACCESSIBLE
DISADVANTAGESSLICABILITY REDUCES WITH USE & WEAR

CATEGORY C
LOW QUALITY STEEL
MIXED QUALITY BRANDS
Eg, Messermeister, Brazilia, Cutco. Icel.

COOKERY LEVEL:BEGINNER
GOOD FORSTUDENTS/TEENAGERS
ADVANTAGEAFFORDABLE/EASY TO CARE
DISADVANTAGESLOW EDGE RETENTION

CATEGORY D
DEAD KNIVES
Eg, Mundial, Scanpan, Wiltshire, StaySharp, Furi.
We will not sharpen knife certain brands & steels due to their inability to hold an edge from poor heat treatment and/or manufacturing flaws. We also may inform you that your knives are Category D and that we will not sharpen them if they are severely damaged, mis-sharpened or heavily worn out.

COOKERY LEVELNONE
GOOD FORNO ONE
ADVANTAGENONE
DISADVANTAGESIT'S A BAD KNIFE

Types of Damage

NOTE REGARDING WESTERN KNIFE RESTORATION
Damage to knives varies widely in terms of type and severity. This can influence the cost of edge restoration.

*Pitting, mis-sharpen or pull-through sharpener damage is the result of a variety of factors. In the case of pitting it can be over-exposure to variations in heat, moisture and acid and in the case of mis-sharpening or pull-through damage there may be disintegration of the steel beneath the surface. These types of damage means the knife may continue splintering and fraying while it is being sharpened.

Close up of a Global knife with severe pitting (small black spots on a knife from extensive rust damage) and mis-sharpened by a previous sharpener, August 2022.

A Global knife set that came in with overheating from being put on a grinder so severe the metal folded over itself. Furthermore, the edge was so damaged it had cracks, discolouration and was not very sharp in the end for the customer who paid for them to be damaged. Possibly some of the worst mis-sharpening we have seen by a previous sharpener, October 2022.


A rare ceremonial slaughtering knife called a Chafti with its edge corrected and sharpened by Leigh for a Jewish customer. January 24, 2024.

Leigh sharpening working through the pre-Christmas rush of knives at Peters Mitre 10, Brighton.. December 2023.


Two Japanese knives thinned, profile corrected and sharpened by Leigh. January 30, 2024.

NOTE REGARDING JAPANESE KNIFE RESTORATION
Japanese knives vary in the thickness of the steel depending on the type of knife. This can influence the cost of edge restoration.

A set of Shun’s after sharpening. January 2024.


Core Gardening Tools

A pair of curved shears, sharpened April 2022.

A beautiful handmade Japanese pair of secateurs for a local horticulturalist, sharpened July 2022.


Specialty Knives, Tools & Scissors

NOTE ON RESTORING VINTAGE & ANTIQUE SCISSORS & TOOLS
We restore and sharpen many vintage and antique knives, scissors, garden tools and chisels.
We ask our customers to understand that we do our very best to restore the items to the very best possible state that they can be but that is highly dependent upon the condition they come to us in.We also offer the best possible advice and will assess each item individually but may not always detect flaws or damage until the item is being cleaned and sharpened. So it is important for customers to understand that some items may not be able to be restored to an as-new or fully functional condition.Therefore, before bringing you antique or vintage items in we ask that customers seriously consider the items they want restored and what outcome they want for them.We ask that customers respect our efforts and time working on antiques and vintage items by paying our fees in full on pick up.

Leigh sharpening one of the Mac knives we sell before a customer purchases it. January 2024.


PREPARING ITEMS FOR SHARPENING

Leigh unwrapping a customer's vintage tailoring shears from a tea towel, May 2022.

KNIFE SAFETY IS IMPORTANT
For you, for your family, for the public and for us. Here is a 3 step process to follow to ensure no one accidentally gets hurt:
1 WRAP IN TEA TOWEL
Wrap all sharp edges in a tea towel and place them inside a calico bag.
2 PUT KNIFE BAG ON TRAY
When you bring them in to get sharpened in please allow Carmen to take them out of the bag.
3 PUT AWAY SAFELY
When we return your items to you carefully remove them from the complimentary calico bag and cardboard we wrap them in on a clear, flat surface at home and put them away in their correct spots immediately.
RE-LEARN TO USE YOUR SHARP KNIVES
When you begin using your freshly sharpened tools and knives go easy and slow to begin with to re-learn how much pressure to use.
Sharp knives cut more easily and require less force so stay safe and enjoy the learning process.A NOTE ON CONSCIENTIOUS COOKERY
Being present in the moment when preparing our food can help reduce injury, minimise damage to our knives and engage the mind and body in the physical and emotional act of nourishing ourselves and our family.
When it comes to high carbon, Japanese and super steels this becomes even more important as these knives require a higher level of care and commitment.


Leigh sharpening a vintage Sheffield machette, September 2022.

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