“Sharpening a knife is just as important as maintaining your car,” says Dexter Ewing, owner of Winston-Salem Knife Sharpening. Ewing, a lifelong knife enthusiast, is making it easier than ever for people to maintain their knives. He has embraced new technology to provide affordable, lightning-fast sharpening services for his customers.
After three years of professional sharpening, Ewing has honed his process into a ritual he knows inside and out. His shop has developed an industry-wide reputation for consistent, high quality outcomes. But the most surprising aspect of the service is the speed. A single knife can be taken from dull to razor sharp in just 2-3 minutes, which allows Winston-Salem to turn around a customer’s order in 24 hours.
Ewing says a large part of the efficiency comes from his tool of choice: the Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife & Tool Sharpener. “You really have to invest in the equipment that works for you,” Ewing tells us. “With the Work Sharp I’m able to replicate the same results knife to knife,” he says.
Ewing explains that advances in metallurgy need to be met with advances in sharpening. Traditional sharpening stones are a time-honored way to bring back an edge, but according to Ewing they don’t cut it with some of the new, commonly available steels. “Modern super steels make freehand sharpening impossible,” Ewing says.
Ewing’s workshop consists of a belt grinder and four separate Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition sharpeners, each outfitted with the Blade Grinding Attachment. Every blade that comes in gets walked down the line of progressively finer grits without the need to swap out belts. It’s a step that only takes about a minute, but when you’re sharpening as many knives as Winston-Salem does, those minutes can add up. A stop at each of the four stations results in a sharp knife in record time. “Having four of them means less setup, and cuts down on throughput time,” Ewing points out.
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Years spent as a Field Editor for BLADE Magazine gave Ewing experience with many different sharpening systems. “I had never considered belt sharpening as an enthusiast,” he recalls. But after test driving the Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition for BLADE, Ewing was hooked. “It wasn’t until then that I put the machine through its paces. It totally changed my sense of what ‘sharp’ is.”
Ewing’s sharpening service encompasses bladed objects of virtually any sort, and rates start at just $5.