I had not really understood the art of knife sharpening, until I witnessed how it is done in Singapore. Knife sharpening is a sort of traditional craft, as it goes way back. In the past, it was too expensive to buy new knives when they became blunt, so instead people would take their knives and scissors to a sharpener, who would grind them against stone at an angle, ensuring that the knife was sharp again. It was also believed that when a blunt knife was sharpened, it was far better than a new one. It was believed to be more seasoned, and that such a knife cut better. The art of knife sharpening was learnt, with it being mostly a family affair, where a knife sharpener would teach his children how to sharpen knives, and they would do it with him, and after him.

Knife Sharpening in Singapore

Image by Jennifer Teo

In modern times, however, knife sharpening seems to be becoming a lost art as it is now easier for people to buy new knives. And with increasingly busy schedules, people are finding it tiresome to walk around looking to get their knives or scissors sharpened.

There are, however, a few knife sharpeners who refuse to be bullied by the advances made by technology. Although it is a craft that appears to have been surpassed by technology, there are still some professional knife sharpeners. In Singapore, some of these professionals have taken to modern machinery where they use machine operated grinders and other equipment to sharpen knives. Some, however, still stick to the traditional honing stone slabs.

However, if you were to inspect closely, you would see that knife sharpening in Singapore has become more personalised as people are opting to do the sharpening for themselves. There are now good electric sharpeners that can be purchased at stores or even online for not more than fifty Singapore Dollars. These can be used at home, allowing an individual to sharpen their own knives.

And if you do not know how to sharpen knives, do not worry your pretty little head. There are knife sharpening classes offered all over the country. You did not know this? Well, now you do. You can enrol to any of the many available knife sharpening classes where they will teach you all you need to know about sharpening knives, including the types of knives that should be sharpened, at what angle they should be sharpened and many similar things.

In essence, knife sharpening may seem like a dying art in Singapore, but this is not true. Knife sharpening has simply become more personal, with more and more Singaporeans opting to do their own knife sharpening. And for those who just don’t get the art of knife sharpening or, like me, are just terrible with their hands, there are plenty of knife sharpening businesses all around Singapore waiting to sharpen our knives and scissors for us.