You need to get them young, and Bob The Builder certainly did with his environmentally-focused catchphrase “reduce, re-use, recycle” twenty odd years ago. We’re pretty sure that this was the origin of this particular saying, although now you’re as likely to hear an adult trot it out as much as a child (although many of these adults were of course indoctrinated when they were children back in the 90’s and early 2000’s).
Whichever way you look at it, we still live in a largely throwaway society and we never cease to be amazed at how many low cost kitchen knives are almost designed to be single use, and instead of getting sharpened and living to slice and dice again, they generally get thrown away when blunt and replaced with new cheap ones.
As you might expect, that is not a philosophy we subscribe to, otherwise we probably wouldn’t have gone into the business of selling electric knife sharpeners. So, if you have a nice set of kitchen knives, you need to keep them sharp for all sorts of reasons (like this reason and these) and this is where good knife sharpeners come in handy.
But have you ever wondered if the knife sharpeners themselves wear out? Well they can, but this depends on how much they are used and how well they’re looked after. Even a simple pull-through sharpener (like this one) can accumulate the small shards of metal that are ground off the knife in the sharpening process, which can then clog up the mechanism if not cleaned out regularly.
Even electric knife sharpeners, like those in the Nirey range, can wear out, or to be more precise, the abrasive belts can wear out over time. The good news is that, unlike pull-through sharpeners, you can replace individual parts in the Nirey range, such as these belts, but also the motors and the upper covers.
This means that, just like in that old battery commercial, a well looked after electric knife sharpener can just go ‘on and on and on and on’.
You may have read our previous article about the first ever Nirey electric sharpener sold in Australia – the Nirey KE280 sold to customer number one back in 2004. A few years ago Total Knife Care got in touch with the owner and found that he was still using it, but it was ‘making a bit of noise’. All it required was a $45 part to fix that. We’ll check back in with him again in a decade or so.
Belts shouldn’t require changing on anything like a regular basis, unless of course you’re sharpening a lot of knives or the knives are getting constant and/or heavy use. If this is the case – or if you’re going bush for a while with your knives – you might want to consider getting one of our knife sharpening kits which include the electric sharpener itself, along with spare belts and wheels and a cleaning brush, all neatly packed up in a rugged, waterproof box, ready for life beyond the black stump.
And – unlike buying replacement cartridges for your printer – when you do need the spares, they won’t cost more than the sharpener itself!
On reflection, the slogan in the title doesn’t really apply to Nirey sharpeners or the IO Shen range of knives – no need to reduce or recycle – just re-use!
Main image credit: Abel Cheung