Good knives, especially Japanese, are both beautiful and high performance so can be a little high strung. During sharpening, each stone has its own important role to play in the process and using the proper sequence of them is key. Otherwise the finished edge will be missing an important characteristic. Choosing the right polishing stone to finish an edge is important because certain stones leave a smooth razor keenness while others a toothier “bite.”


We offer sharpening in-store, same-day (by appointment), mail-in, and outside drop-off as well as rush options.

Bernal Cutlery offers a complete range of sharpening services using techniques that provide edges that are sharper, longer lasting and produce far less metal removal. This makes for less wear on the knife as opposed to fast but aggressive dry grinders and belt sanders which remove unnecessary amounts of metal and are prone to producing enough heat to ruin a blade often producing ugly scratches and marks in the process.

All knives are sharpened using time-honored Japanese Whetstone techniques with a variety of applicable grits before being finished by hand with a modified version of an old fashioned Barber’s strop.

Japanese whetstones are not only the preferred sharpening medium for fine Japanese knives, but are superior for all types of cutlery.

          In Store

Knives dropped off at the store are usually turned around within three days.  Same-day rush service is available but runs $1 more per inch for knives and double the normal rate for other items.

          Prices, Drop Offs, and Turnaround Times

$1.50 per inch ($4 minimum)
$3-$10 folding knives
* Additional charge for bolster or re-shaping if needed.

Garden Tools
$12 hand pruners and shears
$18 loppers and hedge clippers
$25 push mowers – please bring to 593 Guerrero only

Traditional Japanese Single Bevel
$3 an inch (starting price)

Scissors & Shears

           Same-Day Service with No Rush Charge
(reservation required)

Those on our our industry-professionals mailing list can book same-day service at the standard rate by reserving in advance. (If you are not on the list but qualify and wish to be, please email joshdonald [at] or call (415) 355-0773.) There is a 3-knife minimum. For 10 or more knives, please contact Bernal Cutlery directly via phone at (415) 355-0773.

Use the appointment calendar  to reserve your date.

          Mail-In and Outside Drop-Offs

We make it easy on you. To mail, just download the mail-in sharpening form below and read the instructions illustrating how to best to pack your knives. Mail them to us and we’ll get them back to you generally within a week.

Or we also offer monthly drop-off and pick up service at Avedano’s Meats in Bernal Heights and Marina Meats across town in the Marina. Dull knives dropped off before 2 pm on the first Tuesday of the month and can be picked the  following Saturday. No oversized garden tools or push mowers, please!

Mail-in sharpening form

Bundling your knives for mailing