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Beware knife sharpeners


Beebee
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I had an unfortunate experience today with a pair of knife sharpeners soliciting in Rancho del Oro.  They are a pair of brothers or so they said. They were both middle age and both carried hand grinders.   I brought out one kitchen knife and asked them how much to sharpen it.  This encounter was entirely in Spanish and I can't say I'm fluent but after asking several times for a price, they kept asking for more things to sharpen, namely garden tools.  It seemed that they needed to see how much time it would take before committing to a price.  I told them I had very little money on me and they had better give me a price in advance but they started sharpening and worked for about twenty minutes to sharpen twelve blades.  I tested the blades and they were sharp and I asked them how much and they said $1200 pesos!!!!!  I reminded them that I had told them I had very little money ($350 pesos) and that they should have told me the price in advance.  Much bickering ensued, I showed them my empty wallet, and they refused at first the $350 pesos, which for the twenty minutes, seemed adequate to me.  They stalked out and continued asking for the money that I didn't have and finally angrily took the $350 pesos.  Please beware of these scammers and don't make the dumb mistake I did in allowing someone to do work without a good idea of the price beforehand, no matter how unable to give a price they may seem.  

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I take my sewing scissors to a professional sharpener in Puerto Vallarta- they're specialized scissors, it takes him about 10 minutes, and he does a great job on them for 40 pesos. If these guys are sharpeners for a living, why the hell would they need to "see how much time it takes", they know exactly how much time it takes to sharpen a knife or a hoe. Never agree to have anything done in Mexico without being given a clear price first. They think that "very little money" for a gringo is 1200 pesos. You have to be specific with them. Sorry about your experience.

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Considering the knife professionals from Sayula charged 10 pesos a blade during the last Ferria I attended (probably more now), 100 pesos per item with these street guys is highway robbery. No reflection on the Original Poster; it happens. I just hope the knives got a decent sharpening, because as Yo1 points out, their gear is generally for axes and heavy tools, not precision instruments.

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I had a similar pair of guys do the same thing to me about 2 years ago, in Rancho del Oro. It was a big argument and I finally paid them a few hundred pesos, too many.  If someone sees them get a picture and report them.   

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That's right, Ellie. It's just the way it is. Every itinerant seller is trying to make a living, and a lot of them are trying to get gringo bucks. It's just like spam email asking for your bank account: it works often enough that it's just going to keep on happening. We all learn: about transito bribes, about "cleaning your scratched headlights", about hand-woven vs. machine-woven goodies being sold by native ladies... it can be a topic over cocktails, but if it becomes a thing to hate, then it's time to move on.

Years back, I had a large contingent of customers from the Jewish community who had moved here wholesale after tornados ruined their Florida homes. Most of them left within a year, because they couldn't abide with the lack of regulations. "What, no aljibe under the house I just paid for?" "What, no Sunday electrical repair service?" "What, no good Internet?" etc, etc... but then they moved back to Florida, where at least they knew what they were dealing with.

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4 hours ago, tkessler said:

I had a similar pair of guys do the same thing to me about 2 years ago, in Rancho del Oro. It was a big argument and I finally paid them a few hundred pesos, too many.  If someone sees them get a picture and report them.   

You must be joking...people take photos of real criminals, guys breaking into you home...and nothing happens....

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I don't understand why anyone would need this service anyway. For over 20 years I have had a knife block with a variety of knives and it came with a device to sharpen them. It is a long thin, round metal post (about 12" long and 1/2" diameter) with some sort of striation grooves and a wood handle. simply hold it upright on a counter an take the knife, one side at a time, and firmly rub the blade down the post 8 - 10 times and bingo...good to go for another 6 months. Tell them guys to get lost!

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We were told when we moved here 17 years ago to NEVER let them near our $$$ kitchen knives. The guys from Sayula who come every year do a great job.

For every day I use a sharpening stone on my  Wustoff kitchen knives.

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6 hours ago, gringohombre said:

I don't understand why anyone would need this service anyway. For over 20 years I have had a knife block with a variety of knives and it came with a device to sharpen them. It is a long thin, round metal post (about 12" long and 1/2" diameter) with some sort of striation grooves and a wood handle. simply hold it upright on a counter an take the knife, one side at a time, and firmly rub the blade down the post 8 - 10 times and bingo...good to go for another 6 months. Tell them guys to get lost!

I think you are talking about a honing steel. It straighten the blade, not sharpen the blade. Most of the time that is enough.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honing_steel

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I think we are talking semantics here. It certainly sharpens MY knife. Even your article states The naming ("honing" or "sharpening") is often a misnomer. Instead, its function is to realign a curled edge rather than remove metal from the edge. Whatever...it still SHARPENS my knife and has for over 20 years.

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"Contrary to popular belief, a sharpening steel does not sharpen a knife, instead the purpose of a steel is to align the edge of the knife. As a knife is used, the edge will become curled. While you can't see the curl with the naked eye, a microscope reveals that the edge is askew. The tiny microscopic fibers bend over and dull the edge of the knife."

https://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/How-to-Use-a-Sharpening-Steel-W62.aspx

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3 minutes ago, gringohombre said:

Should I believe you or my lying eyes?

 

Believe what you wish. I just quoted an expert source. Personally, I sharpen my knives about every four months and hone them before each use.

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31 minutes ago, AngusMactavish said:

"Contrary to popular belief, a sharpening steel does not sharpen a knife, instead the purpose of a steel is to align the edge of the knife. As a knife is used, the edge will become curled. While you can't see the curl with the naked eye, a microscope reveals that the edge is askew. The tiny microscopic fibers bend over and dull the edge of the knife."

https://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/How-to-Use-a-Sharpening-Steel-W62.aspx

Good explanation.

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I buy good quality knifes (or is it knives, I don't know) and so I do not have to sharpen them. Here is how I do it. I do not know how to cook and go out for every meal, something I could not afford to do up north. Up north, I go to Costco, just 4 miles from my house and buy TV dinners, So I don't have to sharpen them up north either.

 

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On 12/19/2018 at 8:27 PM, mudgirl said:

I take my sewing scissors to a professional sharpener in Puerto Vallarta- they're specialized scissors, it takes him about 10 minutes, and he does a great job on them for 40 pesos.

Mudgirl, can you share contact information for this person? Visiting PV next month. TIA!

 

 

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9 minutes ago, DeborahS said:

 

Deborah, unfortunately I don't have a card with phone number or address on it, or even the name of the business. Someone told me where this was years ago and I just went and looked for it. If you are familiar with PV, though, I can give you approximate directions. Coming from the north on Avenida Mexico, the main street into town and one way going towards to Malecon (you would pass the Sheraton and such before that if coming from the north) you drive through the area full of little tourist shops, restaurants and Ley's grocery store, then turn up Jose Langarica, which is the street on the far side of Parque Hidalgo (you are still just before the Malecon starts). Go up one block (or it may be 2)- I think Woolworths is on the corner and the cathedral is just above the Parque- turn right, and walk a few doors down- he has a little sign hanging up on the left hand side (east side) of the street, maybe there's a picture of a pair of scissors or a knife on it. There isn't any storefront- it's in their home, so you have to walk in the little gate, then there's another gate. I recall that he is closed for siesta time. Good luck.

 

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