One of the most frequent questions I get from friends when they learn I work in food media is about buying the right knives. It makes sense: knives are one of the most vital tools in your kitchen, and when you invest in gear that's on the more expensive end, you want to make sure it's going to last a while.
The two pieces of advice I give is to pick a knife that's comfortable to use—the fanciest knife in the world won't do you any good if it's just hanging on your wall—and make sure to keep it sharp. So many times, while at a friend's house, I'll go to help out in the kitchen and find that the host's expensive knife is basically useless because it's never been sharpened or honed.
And I get it—sharpening your knives is a pain. It's hard to figure out how to do it correctly yourself, and taking them out of the house presents its own logistical challenges. How do you pack them? What do you do while they're being sharpened? Which knives can even be sharpened and which are worth just replacing?
There's a new knife company that's thought about all this and built it into their business model. F.N. Sharp, a direct-to-consumer knife brand out of Florida, includes a sharpening subscription with every set of knives they sell. What that means is when your knives start to get dull, they'll pre-ship you another set and provide you with packaging to send your old knives back, where they'll be polished, sharpened, and otherwise realigned. The idea is that you'll always have sharp knives without having to worry about where to send them out to get sharpened.
Watch: How to Hone a Knife Like a Chef
"Our goal is to not only bring beautiful, perfectly sharp, and extremely durable high-quality knives to the market, but to also make it easier than ever to maintain that perfectly sharp edge," said Matt Steingraber, the co-founder of the company, in a statement. Right now the knives come in a set of three—a santoku, a chef's knife, and a paring knife—or set of six that also includes a utilty knife, boning knife, and bread knife. There's also a set of steak knives that can be added to any order.
The knife sets include three sharpening cycles, with the option to purchase more as you go along. The old knives that you return go on to be sharpened, honed, and polished before being sent to another customer in need of sharp knives. The sets aren't cheap—right now, as an early bird special, the set of three goes for $375, with the set of six at $750—but they are comparable to other mid- to high-end knives available on the market, both in terms of price point and the care that goes into them. F.N. Sharp is gambling on the ease of having your good knives taken care of as a major part of their value. If you're looking to upgrade your knife collection, and keeping them sharp is a problem, they're a smart solution to your kitchen woes.
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