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Do you know what this is?

Paul Iddon

Not too difficult to work it if you don't recognise it...

They were first made in the 1920's but as recently as the 1960's - though I have no idea how old this vintage item actually is...


Paul Iddon

Spot on of course Jerome. This one never gets used, we just keep it because it would have belonged to my mum or even her mum before her...

The modern versions do not exhibit decades old rust!


Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Yes, that’s a knife sharpener. But aren’t they still what one uses or has some invention replaced them?


Jerome Marot

Well-known member
These items do not really sharpen knifes, they just refresh the cutting edge. The knives still need to be properly sharpened from time to time.

A simple Amazon search shows that similar items are still available: https://www.amazon.com/Sharpener-BOJ-Ergonomic-Handle-Sharpening/dp/B006CNY186/

Most of the modern ones simply use a single set of plates instead of wheels as this one: https://www.amazon.com/Smiths-CCKS-2-Step-Knife-Sharpener/dp/B00032S02K
The reason is that modern materials (carbide and ceramics here) are harder than the steel of last century, so one element is sufficient and it is not necessary to rotate it to renew the sharpening region.

Of course, there are more expensive systems with motors and turning wheels, etc... None of these is to be used on an expensive knife, as they will heat the edge (because of the rotation of the wheels) and ruin the tempering. Knife makers use a belt sander, usually.