Happenings on Charles Street: Kitchenwares Has Edge on Knife-Sharpening

The true key to a finely carved Thanksgiving turkey is a sharp knife, and while blades inevitably become dull and blunt over time with use, one Charles Street merchant can remedy that problem – and even promises to do so within a 24-hour timeframe.

KitchenWares by Blackstones, which along with its sister establishment, Blackstone’s of Beacon Hill, is located at 46 Charles St, began offering knife-sharpening services upon opening in its original Newbury Street location in 2010, according to Jim Hill, who, with his wife, Jennifer, co-owns both businesses.

KitchenWares by Blackstones’ Tanisha Pate and Jim Hill demonstrating knife-sharpening, which is offered in-house with a guaranteed 24-hour turnaround time.

Kitchen Arts, the store that previously occupied the Newbury Street space, had offered on-site knife-sharpening for around 40 years, Hill said, before KitchenWares moved in and inherited both the previous business’s knife-sharpening equipment – some of which was custom-made – as well as its client list.

And when KitchenWares relocated to Charles Street over the summer to share Blackstone’s existing retail space, the sharpening-equipment and the in-house service also moved to Beacon Hill.

In the 10 years since KitchenWares opened on Newbury Street, Hill estimates he has sharpened around 50,000 knives by hand.

He typically sharpens knives using wet-stones – a tradition he said dates back thousands of years – although the store also has equipment for “re-beveling” blades, which he said “puts new edges on well-worn knives,” and for repairing broken or chipped blades to “re-profile” blades.

Dry-grinding; polishing and buffering; and in some cases, wet-grinding are among the techniques Hill commonly uses on knives, and besides tending to kitchens cutlery, including any single- or double-bevel or serrated knife, he also sharpens pocket and sporting knives for some customers.

KitchenWares also offers individual or small-group classes offering instruction on knife-sharpening, Hill said, so customers can learn the skill and use it at home.

Meanwhile, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the weeks leading up to the holidays is KitchenWares’ busiest time of the year for knife sharpening, but despite the increased demand with Thanksgiving looming, Hill still guarantees a 24-hour turn-around time for knife sharpening, with all services performed in-house.

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