Here’s another interview from the series “Know Your Knife Sharpener” – We’re getting in touch with knife sharpeners all over the world asking them more about their businesses and sharpening techniques. Today we have Dan Maloon, from Elite Edges. Dan owns a sharpening service that offers both mobile and mail-in options to his customers. He serves customers all over the United States thanks to his mail-in sharpening service.
1. Hello Dan, can you tell us more about yourself and your business?
Hello, My name is Dan Maloon and I run Maloon’s Knife Sharpening Service. I offer precision knife sharpening services done by hand or machine sharpened edges for varying prices. Secondly I am a knife dealer and I am able to provide my customers with outstanding prices for many mid to high end knives
. I enjoy helping other people when possible and my sharpening service is just one of the ways that I can do that. For local customers with-in my service area, I provide a mobile knife sharpening service where customers are scheduled by city on specific days.
For customers outside of my area or located in other states I provide through my website a Mail in Knife Sharpening Service. The mail in knife sharpening service through the website is an extremely easy to process that allows customers to place their order securely through PayPal. Customer satisfaction is my top priority and I regularly go above and beyond to insure this. I stand behind my work and real reviews from real customers can be found on yelp
2. What’s the first knife that you sharpened?
The first knife that I had ever sharpened would have to have been my victorinox
in boy scouts. Back then, we were given knife sharpening classes for our totin’ chip badge. I first learned my knife sharpening skills using an oil stone because diamond sharpening stones and wet stones were unheard of.
3. How did you make it a business? How long have you been sharpening knives for?
I’ve managed to make this knife sharpening service into a business through a lot of trial and error. I offer a mobile knife sharpening service for local customers and a mail in knife sharpening service. for those with knives outside my travel area. Customer satisfaction is the top priority and I treat them as I would want to be treated.
Major chip removal.
4. Can you tell us more about your sharpening methods?
The knife sharpening techniques and the process used varies depending on what is being sharpened. Not every knife is sharpened the exact same way. Different factors such as style, shape and blade steel used will determine which knife sharpening process I will use. In general, I will reserve using powered sharpening equipment only when absolutely needed.
I use and continually use when needed various mediums to sharpen knives. Wetstones, oil stones, diamond stones, ceramics, freehand, jigs, different sharpeners, grinding wheels, buffers, belt sanders, files and more. The main idea behind sharpening is forming the edge, refining the edge and being consistent through the process. After this is understood then the practice begins.
5. How long did it take you to master the art of sharpening knives?
To call yourself a master would be somewhat arrogant I believe. I am always looking to improve my process by trying new methods and mediums when possible.
6. What was the main challenge when you first started?
When I first started sharpening knives as a kid the main challenge that I had was forming a consistent edge along the full length of the blade. My angles would all be off with spots on the edge being sharper than others.
7. Would you recommend starting with inexpensive knives?
Well of course. It’s common sense. You will make mistakes. That’s just the way it is.
8. What’s the most common mistake beginner knife sharpeners make?
Good Lord…folks, please stop using a dremel to sharpen a knife
9. Are you still improving your sharpening skills today?
Yes, I’m always open to new knife sharpening methods and techniques.
10. What’s the most expensive blade you’ve ever sharpened?
I’m not sure. Some custom knives have a very high dollar value while some of the knives that have been received as gifts from loved ones have an even higher sentimental value. Either way I treat every knives as if it was mine.
11. Which knives you don’t like to sharpen at all?
I dislike sharpening low end knives stamped with Pakistan- the steel always seems “gummy“. Also the fantasy knives and wall hangers that were never meant to be sharp. Mainly I will not sharpen a knife for a customer who is rude.