Q: What are your current hours?
A: Our shop at Union Market is open:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 11am to 7 pm
Tuesdays 11-3 (No sharpeners on duty, drop-offs welcome)
You can reach the shop at 855-685-0011 or email Derek or Ryan @districtcutlery.com. Mail-in service back in the mail same day, send it to District Cutlery, 1309 5th St. NE, Washington DC 20002.
Q: How do I make an appointment?
A: Unfortunately we cannot accommodate appointments. However, by booking your sharpening service in advance here on our website and noting the date and time you plan on arriving in the comments section of the checkout page, we will expedite your service by prioritizing your order before walk-in customers.
Service is offered on a first-paid, first-served basis, so come in and drop off your items. We’ll text or email you as soon as they’re ready. Our regular turnaround time is usually less than one hour for basic sharpening and rarely longer than a day. Loaner knives are available.
Q: Do you sharpen on water stones or do you use machines?
A: Both. We will often use water stones to shape and refine the primary cutting edge of a blade, but this is only part of a professional sharpening job. Our customized machinery allows us to repair and restore a blade's proper geometry. Knives are not manufactured using water stones but motorized grinders, and our machinery is tuned to replicate the results achieved in most knife factories.
Q: I want to buy a cool knife. Do you sell any?
A: Yes! We’re the only high-performance knife shop in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and we specialize in handcrafted, high-performance Japanese kitchen knives, but we also carry high-quality German, and American knives as well as our own District Cutlery brand. Our selection changes regularly, so come in, browse and take some for a test drive.
Q: Got it. How do I take care of my new knife?
A: When a knife is at its best, it performs effortlessly and is a joy to use. Investing in proper care means less maintenance, better performance and a longer lifespan. Wash your knives by hand and dry promptly. Never place in the dishwasher, which breaks down the material. If rust develops, remove it by using a gentle polish like Bar Keepers Friend. Store in original packaging in a clean, dry place, away from hard objects and utensils.
Q: Can you guys sharpen my lightsaber?
A: Only if you’re prepared to wield that kind of power. We sharpen knives, scissors, garden tools and some kitchen appliance blades. Contact Ryan @districtcutlery.com with special requests.
Q: So you sharpen scissors?
A: We specialize in sharpening Japanese hairstyling shears. We sharpen other scissors as well but there are size limitations and they must be easily separable and mechanically sound
Q: What about serrated knives?
A: We can sharpen bread knives and "tomato" knives. But we can’t sharpen blades with "micro" serrated edges because they’re made from softer steel and will dull too quickly.
Q: How do I know if my knives need sharpening?
A: Chances are your knives need to be sharpened. Are you crushing tomatoes instead of slicing them? Are your onions openly weeping harder than you? If you need to put any muscle behind it, then it’s time to bring your knives in for maintenance.
Q: How do I know if my knives are worth sharpening?
A: Bring them in so we can take a look. We’ll give you a free, honest assessment. Most knives are worth re-sharpening but there are some on the market that do not stay sharp long enough to justify the cost.
Q: How much does sharpening cost?
A: Knives are carefully sharpened by hand and start at $10 per item. Click here for details.
Q: I’d like to buy a gift for my mom. Do you sell gift certificates?
A: Smart decision. It’s hard to think of anyone who doesn’t need a knife. We offer instant gift certificates by email here. Buy one for your mom and for everyone you know.
Q: How should I transport my knives so I don’t get arrested?
A: Our suggestion? Wrap them in a kitchen towel and put them in a bag.
Q: Can you sharpen garden tools? I was playing “rock, paper, scissors” with the garden shears and lost.
A: Bummer. Yes, if you can disassemble the tool yourself and bring in the blade only, it’ll save you some dough.
Q: Can you do restorations?
A: We love restoration projects. Please bring your item in for a free, honest assessment. Email ryanatdistrictcutlery.com an estimate.
Q: Do you buy used knives?
A: We sometimes consider the acquisition rare, collectible items. Not sure? Bring it in or send us some photos and we’ll take a look, or email derekatdistrictcutlery.com an estimate.
Q: Will you recycle my old steak knives? My wife says I’m vegetarian now.
A: We often donate unwanted knives to local charities and can also recycle them
Q: Why won’t you answer my calls?
A: Shop conditions aren’t ideal for shooting the s**t, but they are for sharpening stuff.