Having your knives sharpened at Santa Monica knife sharpening

I’m writing this post to clarify a few things. I work out of my home, and I do run in and out a lot, so always call, text or email first and setup an appointment to come here, or for me to come and pick the knives up.  Text messages is the fastest and most convenient way for me to communicate, my number is 310-486-6068 and my email is magnus@memagnus.com

I’m an early bird, so I do most pickups before 8.30am, and prefer to get the knives here earlier in the day so I could plan my day. The turn around is around 10-20min per knife, sometimes more depending on how busy I’m. The prices for ordinary double edge knives are, $7 for blades under 5″, $9 for blades between 5″-9″ and $11 for blades over 9″.

Also all sharpening is done by hand, but I do use a machine for major repairs, thinning and re-profiling. Thanks to that I do all sharpening by hand, I’m limited in how many knives I could sharpen in a day before I get sore and have to stop. This is the main reason to always contact me and setup an appointment first, because some days my hands are so beat, that I’m taking the day off to give them a chance to recover.

For pickups in Santa Monica I have a minimum of 5 knives, and a minimum of 8 knives outside of Santa Monica.

Last I don’t have any kind of mail order service, because its just to much hassle packing and shipping knives.

Feel free to check out my reviews on yelp bellow!

 

 

 

 

Santa Monica Knife sharpening blog

Santa Monica Knife sharpening, the best hand sharpening service in Los Angeles

Santa Monica Knife Sharpening just finished sharpening a slicing knife

A newly sharpened slicing knife

I’m a knife sharpener, my name is Magnus Pettersson, and I hand sharpen every knife on Japanese water stones. If you truly care about your knives and want them as sharp as possible, let me sharpen them for you. I work out of my home, and offer free pickup and deliver, with no minimum charge on the westside.

Here is how it works, email me at magnus@memagnus.com, or call/text me at 310-486-6068 and let me know how many knives you have and when it would be a good time to come by and pick them up. The turn around is usually a few hours, and at the latest the next day depending on how busy I’m.

Why you should have your knives hand sharpened?

Please check out my customers reviews on yelp!

My hand sharpening prices for knives are:

Knives less than 5 inches $7 each

Knives between 5” – 9” inches $9 each

Knives over 9”  $11 each

For other sharpening check my price list

Magnus Pettersson hand sharpener, now serving the whole Westside with free pickup and delivery: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Culver City and West LA.

For free pickup and delivery on the Westside, call/txt 310-486-6068 or email.

Knife sharpening with Nubatama ume 4000 and 6000

Knife sharpening with Nubatama ume 4000 and 6000

Knife sharpening with Nubatama ume 4k and 6k

Nubatama ume 4k and 6k

Knife sharpening with the Nubatama ume 4k and 6k, are so different compared with the other stones in the series. First off they are both pre finishing stones, so I will mostly comment on how they feel and what kind of finish they leave. They are rather hard stones, so hardly no dishing, the mud is just black swarf from the steel, and they both cut fast for their grit range. In all other ways they are really different compared to each other and it is hard to believe they are from the same series of stones.

Knife sharpening progression

In the pictures bellow I will show the progression from unsharpened to strop, to demonstrate the whole knife sharpening progress and where the Nubatamas fits in, in the progress.

Knife before sharpening

Knife before sharpening

Knife after sharpening on 1000 grit stone

Knife after sharpening on 1000 grit stone

Knife after sharpening on 2000 grit stone

Knife after sharpening on 2000 grit stone

Knife after sharpening on Nubatama ume 4000 grit stone

Knife after sharpening on Nubatama ume 4000 grit stone

As you see the use of Nubatama ume 4000 in the sharpening progress, doing a fine job refining the edge. It feels super smooth, cuts well and doesn’t mud much, and it is not super rock hard so it still have a great feedback. The finish it leaves looks surprisingly more polished than I would have thought; it really feels and behaves like a Chosera 3000 stone. This would be a perfect final stone when sharpening soft steel knives.

Knife after sharpening on Nubatama ume 6000 grit stone

Knife after sharpening on Nubatama ume 6000 grit stone

Knife sharpening with the 6000 is very different to the 4000, it’s harder, cuts slower, and in close-up it refines the edge with a slightly finer scratch pattern. The most surprising though is that to the naked eye, the polish from the 4000 looks better. First I thought I did something wrong, so I retested several times side by side with different knives, and every time the 4000 left a better finish to the naked eye, but in close up the 6000 had a slightly better finish. A speculation could be that they have different abrasive density or different kind of binding material, I have no idea maybe, I could figuring it out if I haul out the big microscope, but I will save that project for the future.

Knife after sharpening on 8000 grit stone

Knife after sharpening on 8000 grit stone

They both cleanup equally on finer grit stones, I can’t see any difference at all.

Knife sharpening, final edge after stropping

Knife sharpening, final edge after stropping

Edge after a fast tour on the leather strop.

Conclusion:

I see no need to buy both of these stones for knives, because they are not that different. I love the 4000 it is a really nice fast cutting stone and it leaves an awesome finish, the only thing I don’t like is that green / yellow color that stains everything. The 6000 is also a really good stone, and leaves a finer scratch pattern, and the hardness and low mud makes it perfect for straight razors.

Magnus Pettersson hand sharpening, now serving the whole Westside with free pickup and delivery: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Culver City and West LA.

For free pickup and delivery on the Westside, call/txt 310-486-6068 or email.

 



Nubatama ume #320 vs Bester #500

Nubatama ume #320 vs Bester #500

I just got 4 Nubatama Ume stones #320, #1k, #4k and #6k, I was a little hesitant to buy them because the only reviews I could find was from the people selling them. Anyway here they are and I will start with the Nubatama Ume #320 and compare it to my favorite coarse stone Bester #500, and if it is up to the task it will replace the bester in my setup. I love the Bester, it cuts fast and give a decent feedback, the downside is that I use a lot of pressure with the coarse stones and it dish fast and it is tough to flatten. I use up 2-3 bester #500 a year, and it dries out way to quick, so for me it’s not problem free. I know I could use DMT’s but I hate the feedback and the scratches they create is hard to get ride of. The list of coarse stones I have tested in this grit range is extended, the one that got closest to Bester was Chosera #400 it did dish but not as much and left a nicer finish, but it doesn’t cut as fast and time is money.

Knife sharpening Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500 water stones

Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500 water stones

As you all see the Bester is well used and in it’s prime, so it will be a tough one to beat. The things I will compare first are, cutting speed, dishing, general feel, and the finish they leave. The Nubatama came really flat, I still gave it a fast flattening to get ride of that new stone feel before I started the test.

Drying time compair between Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500

Drying time compair between Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500

One thing that bothers me with bester is how fast it dries out, so that was the first thing I tried. The Nubatama is a tiny bit better, 48sec for Nubatama and 34sec for bester, but its almost a 50% improvement that will actually make a little difference.

2 brand new Kiwi knives to use to compare Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500

2 brand new Kiwi knives to use to compare Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500

To make the cutting speed test fair, I have used 2 brand new cheapo Kiwi knives. I know it’s cheap somewhat soft stainless, but at least it will give me an idea of how fast they cut. I have sharpen Henckels twin cermax rc 66 on Bester, possible but it takes a lot of time, so I know Besters limit. With in time I will test the Nubatama on some really hard steel to, and will give a report how it went. Even if I expected Nubatama to be slower cutting than Bester after reading a few peoples impression of it, and feeling how smooth it was out of the box. Well it wasn’t, it just took 6 strokes to get a good burr with Nubatama and 10 strokes to get a burr on Bester. So Nubatama Ume #320 definitely cut faster and it behaves as expected for a #320 grit stone.

Edge finish difference between Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500

Edge finish difference between Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500

The Bester isn’t know to leave a nice finish, but Nubatamas finish at least on the burr is even rougher as it should be for a low grit stone. What I think is fascinating though, is that the surface is slightly greyer from the Nubatama that is usually a sign of a finer stone. Time will tell but I definitely think that Bester leaves a better finish.

The difference in dishing between Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500

The difference in dishing between Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500

Here comes the most positive surprise, Nubatama dishes less not by much, but still less. The picture is taken after 50 strokes on the corner on each stone, and as you see it obvious that Bester dishes a little bit more. So taking in effect that Nubatama is faster cutting and dishes slightly less, it should mean much less stone flattening. Yeah.

 

As you hear in the video the sound isn’t much different between them, and the feel is somewhat the same. The Nubatama doesn’t have the annoying sticky feel under pressure as the bester have, but definitely feels a little bit rougher. They both have similar amount of feedback feeling, but to be honest I actually think I prefer the feel of the Nubatama. (it might just be that the Nub is the newest one and that I just have an hour on it)

I did a fast test cleaning up the scratches on a higher grit stone, in this case I used a Bester #2000 grit. They both cleaned up equally fast, it makes me think that the finish from the Nubatama just looked rougher and in reality they were pretty much the same.

Flattening: They are both pretty hard stones to flatten, but I think it went slightly faster to flatten the Bester.

Conslusion:
Nubatama pos: Twice the size, Cuts faster, dishes slightly less and doesn’t dry out as quickly as Bester.
Nubatama neg: Leave a slightly rougher finish and a bit harder to flatten.
Bester pos: Leave a slightly better finish, slightly easier to flatten
Bester neg: Cuts slower, dishes more, dries out faster

After using the Nubatama a little bit more, I definitely prefer the feel and performance of it over the Bester and it is the coarse stone I will be using from now on. I will keep the bester though, in case the Nub doesn’t perform well on really hard steel.

Update: After some heavy use the last week, I still love the stone. I have sharpened some hard steel +rc61 knives on it, and the nub dish as much as Bester if not a little more wish was a bit disappointing, but I have realized that it is much easier to flatten than my first impression so it evens out. One other thing it is a rather muddy stone, and it helps the cutting speed a lot, the mud is the grainy sandy kind so it is a bit messy and not the most pleasant one.

Magnus Pettersson hand sharpening, now serving the whole Westside with free pickup and delivery: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Culver City and West LA.

For free pickup and delivery on the Westside, call/txt 310-486-6068 or email.



Where to get your knives hand sharpened

Where to get your knives hand sharpened

Best knife sharpening in Santa Monica hand sharpening a slicer

Me doing the final sharpening of a slicing knife

Well I have talked a lot about why you should have your knives hand sharpened on whetstones, but a few things are worth repeating.

  1. It doesn’t soften the steel as and ruin the knife as machine sharpening, wish means that they will stay sharper longer.
  2. It also doesn’t grid away excessive material, so it will give your knife much longer life
  3. Also the extreme edge finish means that it will stay sharper much longer.
  4. More environmentally friendly, as in that your knives will have much longer life time, no electricity will be use for sharpening and no weird chemical compounds from sharpening abrasives will be released. Ever wondered why your sharpening guy use a mask while sharpening?

If you still are not convinced why hand sharpening is better, check out this link till Global knives testing of knives for sharpness and performance. Their testing shows that knives sharpened on whetstones always are sharper and last longer than the factory edge no matter what brand of knife you use. Check out the table at the bottom of the page “CATRA Cutting Test to ISO 8442.5”

Or check out my post “Why you should spend a little more and have your good knife hand sharpened”

Ok I guess we could agree on that you need to have your knives hand sharpened now, if you actually plan to use them. So where should you have you knives hand sharpened. I would say that the best thing would be if you get some stones and learn how to sharpen them yourself, but I understand if that isn’t an option for you. So if you live on the Westside of Los Angeles, you could either have me sharpening your knives or let the only other guy that I know that does hand sharpening locally “Japanese Knife Import” do it for you.

I don’t know of any other one that provide freehand sharpening in Los Angeles, but if you know of someone else that does hand sharpening in LA, let me know and I will add them here. For other places I don’t know, but I know that http://www.japaneseknifesharpening.com/ offers mail order service for sharpening.

Magnus Pettersson hand sharpener, now serving the whole Westside with free pickup and delivery: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Culver City and West LA.

For free pickup and delivery on the Westside, call/txt 310-486-6068 or email.




Where to buy knives and sharpening supplies

Where to buy knives and sharpening supplies

Customers always ask me if their knives are good and where to buy them and sharpening supplies. I covered the basic about buying knives in this post, in this Santa Monica Knife Sharpening post I will talk about where to buy your knives and sharpening supplies.

First buy your knives online, it will save you a lot of money. Second never buy your knife from someone that machine sharpens knives, they will definitely have a conflict interest, and they will not be able to give you a good advice. Because their business is to ruin knives, making a fast buck machine sharpening your knives, so I would say they are not qualified to give you a good advice. They will have arguments like, all knives are made on machines and are machine sharpened in the factory wish is a fact. The difference is that in the factories, all knives are grind and beveled with tons of cooling, and the final sharpening is done on machines that use even more cooling too so the heat treatment stays intact or they actually do the final sharpening by hand on water stones. If your local knife store or sharpening service uses a belt grinder and sparks fly when they sharpen, go somewhere else for sharpening and knife purchases. Here is a YouTube video that shows how knives are made in the factory.

For buying a knife I would recommend you to go to a place like “Sur La Table” or other place that actually let you test chop and dice with the knife, and not just holding it, to make sure if it works for you. When you find the knife that works for you, buy it there if you feel that you want to support them or buy something else to be fair, and buy the knives online when you get home. If it is common knife brand, Bed Bath & Beyond might be a good option they often have sales and they always honor their monthly 20% coupons, if not you might find it cheaper at Amazon or Ebay. I usually buy my knives from www.chefknivestogo.com that have a great selection of knives and have fair prices. If you are looking after amazing Japanese knives, I would recommend www.japaneseknifeimports.com or http://japanesechefsknife.com, and for rare Sabatier nogent carbon knives check out http://thebestthings.com/knives/sabatier.htm they selling some new nogent carbon knives that are made from 60year old forgings.

Personally I love Japanese knives and they are the best of knives, but old French chef’s knives like old carbon steel Sabatier is a true pleasure to work with too and much more affordable.

For sharpening supplies I would recommend the following places:

www.chefknivestogo.com

www.leevalley.com/US

www.toolsforworkingwood.com

www.bestsharpeningstones.com

Magnus Pettersson hand sharpener, now serving the whole Westside with free pickup and delivery: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Culver City and West LA.

For free pickup and delivery on the Westside, call/txt 310-486-6068 or email.

Feel free to visit my site at santa monica knife sharpening for more about knives and sharpening

 



Great super cheap knives for food preparation

Great super cheap knives for food preparation

Santa Monica Knife Sharpening test good super cheap prep knives

Cheap, thin, light and sharp Kiwi knives

Well I have seen these cheap Kiwi knives from Thailand many times in the Asian food markets, but never though of picking them up. I ran into someone writing about them online that really enjoyed them, so I though I would check the knives out. They are super cheap I think I paid $2.95 for the paring knife, and $4.95 for the larger ones, and I’m sure it is possible to find them even cheaper.

The finish is rough and they do look cheap and it is far from quality steel. Over to the good stuff, the knives are super thin, ultra light, sharp and the knife handle works well. I would have no problem doing prep work, chopping and dicing with them all day long. They don’t stay sharp for very long, but are super easy to sharpen, and get back in working shape quickly. I think they would be a great option for a cheap knife to practice your sharpening skills on, together with one of those tiny $4.95 400# sharpening stones they have at the Asian markets.

I have given these Kiwi knives away to several of my friends, and many of them love the knives, and have stopped using their other knives. As for me, I have tons of knives in all sizes, shapes and quality, and I many times grab the Kiwi’s when it is time to chop and dice those veggies. I don’t really know what it is, but they are super pleasant to work with, but I think it is the combination of the light, thin blade that really makes any prep work so easy and fast.

Pros: Super cheap, thin blade, light, sharp and a comfy handle.

Cons: Feels and look cheap and dulls pretty fast.

Magnus Pettersson hand sharpener, now serving the whole Westside with free pickup and delivery: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Culver City and West LA.
For free pickup and delivery on the Westside, call/txt 310-486-6068 or email.



How you could keep your knives sharp.

How you could keep your knives sharp. 

1. Use the right knife for the job: Slicer for slicing, Chef knife for chopping and dicing, Paring knife for pealing and delicate stuff, Bread knife for bread and a Cleaver for heavy duty cleaving and chopping. Never use them for anything they are not meant to be used for.

2. Always use a soft cutting board: end grain wood board or a soft plastic board. Never use ceramic cutting boards, plates, counters and so on for cutting.

3. Always store your knives in a knife rack with the edge up or use a magnetic knife holder. Never store your them in a drawer with other knives unprotected.

4. Hide your grooved steel so you can’t find it, because it is a 99.9% chance that you are doing more harm than good with it to your knives. I don’t care what your butcher or celebrity chef on TV says or do, go and hide that steel now. I would say that half of the knives I sharpen; I do because the client has steeled them dull. Instead buy a leather strop, or use an old leather belt loaded with some strop dressing. Done regularly a few strokes on each side should be enough, and it will keep your knife sharper much longer.

5. Always rinse and dry your knives after use and never put them in the dishwasher, not even if they say that they are dishwasher safe.

6. Get your knives sharpen before they go really dull.

Best knife sharpening in Santa Monica shows how to strop a knife

Stropping knife on a leather strop

Magnus Pettersson hand sharpener, now serving the whole Westside with free pickup and delivery: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Culver City and West LA.

For free pickup and delivery on the Westside, call/txt 310-486-6068 or email.

 



Best knife sharpening in Santa Monica shows how to sharpen a knife

First you need to make sure that the knives are straight and determine if they have chips or other damages. You also need to check if the edge bevel is correct for the knife, all this need to be corrected before sharpening could begin. Straighten and do all repairs, for repairs I recommend a really coarse DMT plate wish makes it fast and easy, and for rebevelling something in the 500# grit range depending on how hard the steel is.

Before starting the sharpening, prepare the stones and make sure they are flat and have them soak if needed. Find the right bevel angle check my post about “What edge angle to use on different knives” for a general idea what angle to use. For an easy way to find the angle is to measure the height of the blade at the heel, let say that your knife is 2” high at the heel as the knife in the picture bellow.

best knife sharpening in Pacific Palisades measuring knife blade height at heel

Measuring knife blade height at heel

In this case you could just divide the height of the blade, to get an estimate height that you need to hold the spine above the stone. Bellow I have a large heavy duty knife of bad quality so I decided to give it an dull edge angle of 30°. I divided the height of my blade with 2 and that tells me that I have to hold the spine one inch above the stone, see picture bellow.

best knife sharpening in Brentwood measuring knife spine distance from stone

Measuring knife spine distance from stone

Here is a table of rough estimate of values to divide the blade height with for different angles.

For 30° divide by 2

For 24° divide by 2.5

For 20° divide by 3

For 15° divide by 4

For 12° divide by 5

When you have fixed everything you need and the angle is right you could start sharpening. I usually start with a coarse stone 700# grit till I get a smoth straight edge with a burr, and continue with a medium stone in the 1000# – 2000# grit range making sure that I keep it tight and have a light burr. I usually holding the knife diagonal over the stone to avoid wobbling, see picture bellow.

best knife sharpening in Los Angeles Hand sharpening knife diagonally to avoid wobbling

Santa Monica hand sharpening knife diagonally to avoid wobbling

After this I deburr with some light edge trailing strokes on both sides, and a few strokes on a cork or a piece of wood, before moving on to the finishing stones. See pictures bellow.

best knife sharpening in Santa Monica using edge tailing strokes on fine sharpening stone to deburr

Edge tailing strokes on fine sharpening stone to deburr

best knife sharpening in Venice carlifornia deburring knife edge on cork

Deburring knife edge on cork

I usually start the finishing work with a fine stone in the 4000# – 6000# grit range and using lighter and lighter pressure, this stage it’s a lot about feel and sound and if the ground work is done on coarser stones 10-20 strokes per side should be enough. This should be enough for most ordinary kitchen knives, just deburr on a cork. At this stage you should be able to shave with the knife with a little bit of pressure.

If you want you could continue with super fine stones all up to the 30k# grit, but I most often only use a 8k# and 12k# stone to get that shiny finish. Of course you could continue even more, with lapping films and strops with different dressings until you get that dark deep mirror finish.  On my own knives I usually do it in this order, depending of what knife it is.

Fast sharpening: 2000#, 6000# and leather strop with blue magic. For a more over excessive way: 320# DMT, 500# Bester, 1000# Sigma, 2000# Bester great feel, 2000# more like a  4000# Unknown brand, 6000# Nubatama, 8000# Kitayama, 12k# Shapton, Balsa with polishing cream, Leather strop with Autosol or Mothers and finally horse butt leather strop without dressing.

Things to remember

  1. Make sure stones are flat and clean.
  2. Don’t use to much pressure, let the stones do the work.
  3. Avoid doing it to fast, so you don’t wobble.
  4. try your best to keep the angle, after a while it will come naturally.

 

Magnus Pettersson hand sharpener, now serving the whole Westside with free pickup and delivery: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Culver City and West LA.

For free pickup and delivery on the Westside, call/txt 310-486-6068 or email.




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Kitchen knife, a really good cheap slicing knife

Great cheap kitchen slicing knife from Marukai

Great cheap kitchen single beveled Japanese slicing knife from Marukai

A while a go I went shopping at Marukai (Japanese Costco) in Gardena.
I found this single beveled Japanese slicing knife in the store, it was really cheap less than $20 so I thought I would check it out. Compared to all other Japanese kitchen knives I own, it looks and feel really cheap, anyway I thought I would put it to test. It was really sharp out of the box, and performed way better than I thought it would. After a week I decided to give it a fast sharpening job, wow the steel was way harder than I thought and I was able to get it extremely sharp. It’s is super light, stay sharp and actually perform as good as some of our 20 times more expensive Japanese slicing knives. So if you don’t mind the cheap feel and look it is a great bargain.

Close up of great cheap Japanese single beveled slicing knife

Close up of great cheap Japanese single beveled slicing knife

Next time I visit the store I will definitely buy a few of the other knives in the line and check them out, I’m hopeful that they also will be great bargain performers.

Magnus Pettersson hand sharpener, now serving the whole Westside with free pickup and delivery: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Culver City and West LA.

For free pickup and delivery on the Westside, call/txt 310-486-6068 or email.