Do This!: Mike’s Knife Sharpening Truck Rolls City-Style

Mike's Upper West Side Knife Sharpening Truck

A year and a half ago I wrote about the importance of getting your knives sharpened once to twice a year depending on how much of a work out they get. And now I’m here to admit I didn’t listen to my own advice. In NYC, it’s not the most convenient thing to have to lug your knives around in search of a professional sharpener. I love Samurai Sharpening in Chelsea Market, but even that is a subway ride away and requires some planning. So imagine my delight when I turned the corner onto my street this past Sunday and saw a truck I’ve been chasing unsuccessfully for the past 10 years.

Mike’s Sharpening is the exciting answer to your dull knives. Mike’s mobile business has been rolling through the streets of the Upper West Side long before the food truck craze entered our vocabulary. With man’s best friend in the passenger seat and a bright red bell hanging out the driver’s side window, he alerts the neighborhood of his arrival old-school style. Like kids run to the Good Humor man, city cooks swiftly stride down the block carrying their chopping companions in search of a honing treatment. While you sit on the curb, Mike brings your knives back to life in a matter of minutes and for far less money than speciality kitchen shops around town. When I offered my advise that he should create a twitter account to notify sharpening seekers of his whereabouts, the man of few words just smiled and shook his head. I love the charm of a man who has been sharing his skill from inside the four walls of his truck for years, with nothing but his tools and canine companion to keep him company. I just hope I don’t have to wait another 10 years until I find him again.

Care Tips for Kitchen Knives:

  1. Use A Proper Cutting Board – Most importantly, boards and surfaces made of glass, ceramic, marble etc will damage the cutting edge in the first cut {that includes cutting on dishes!}. Wooden and plastic boards are better and have a much lower dulling effect. For the best result use very soft disposable paper or card cutting boards.
  2. Store Knives Well — Keep in a knife block or drawer covered in a sheath to prevent from damaging the edges.
  3. Hand Wash Knives — After each use clean your knives with a sponge and warm soapy water. DO NOT put in the dishwasher where they can knock against other utensils or plates and damage the thin blade.
  4. Keep Knives Dry – Knives such as carbon steal knives can rust very easily if left to dry in a drying rack. Be sure to towel dry immediately after washing and use.
  5. Steel Knives Regularly — A knife’s edge has a tendency to roll to either side and even though you can’t see it, the tip loses it’s point. Taking your knife across the a steel before or after each use, will keep the edge at a point and prevent it from getting flat and dull quicker.
  6. Sharpen Every 6-9 Months — Depending on frequency of use, chopping technique and care, your knives will need a little TLC every 6-9 months. Buy a sharpening stone or visit a professional knife sharpener, such as Mike’s Truck or Samurai Sharpening, to hone the edges and your knife skills.


Filed under Do This!, NYC Best

3 responses to “Do This!: Mike’s Knife Sharpening Truck Rolls City-Style

  1. Ken

    Great advice! There’s nothing like a good sharp knife.

  2. Cm

    Oh my…shades of the good old days. When we were kids and even into the ’70’s a little old man would walk through the neighborhoods dragging his sharpening equipment while ringing a bell to alert people he was passing through. I sure wish someone was still doing that in my neighborhood.

  3. Natalie Valenzuela

    I use to see this truck ages ago when i was taking my knives else were to be sharpened but they do not do a good job so I have been searching for this truck ever since and never find him….help I need my knives sharpened they cant cut butter red hot…I use to see him all the time I live on the UWS but have not seen him of course since I have been looking for him… please help me get in touch with him I love his little pitty …..

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