9 Steps for Starting a Knife Sharpening Business – A Guide for Beginners

keyKey Takeaways:

  • Select the best business structure for your objectives, resources, and clientele, such as a mobile sharpening van, a brick-and-mortar store, or a hybrid of the two.
  • You must obtain the proper licences, permits, and insurance coverage, to operate the knife sharpening business lawfully, safely, and in compliance with all applicable health and safety laws.
  • To increase the client base and produce recurring revenue, develop partnerships with local chefs, restaurants, and other culinary enterprises and offer them specialised services like on-site sharpening, knife rentals, or maintenance plans.
  • Add complementary services to the company’s offerings, such as blade maintenance, custom knife design, or knife sharpening training, to expand the range of products and services available to clients and create new revenue streams.

If you’re a chef or a person who loves cooking, you know how frustrating it can be when your blade becomes dull. You can use knives for various tasks, regardless of whether you are an avid cook or camper. Because they are expensive, more owners are choosing to sharpen their blades rather than replace them when they become dull.

The knife sharpening market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.5% between 2021 and 2028. If you launch your own knife-sharpening company now, you could seize an opportunity to earn a good life for yourself and your family.

However, becoming familiar with managing finances, marketing strategies, and other business procedures can take time and effort. Fortunately, this complete guide will give you all the knowledge you need for starting a knife sharpening business and making your knife sharpening business profitable.

Why Should You Start a Knife Sharpening Business?

Are you looking for a side gig? You may not be able to see the benefits right now, but you’ll be so glad when you get there.

In corporate history, airline traffic, hotel bookings, and restaurant closings have sharply declined. This has proven that having one principal source of income will lead to issues. In light of that, whether you decide to start a knife sharpening business or not, you should at least consider it seriously as a side gig.

There is also an expectation that the US knife sharpening market will reach $117.1 million by 2028, an increase of 65%, which clarifies the market potential.

Knives are expensive, so people want to keep them in good condition. And it’s not just about maintaining expensive knives. It’s also about the people using them. Some people like to cook at home more often, so they need their knives sharpened regularly, leading to good business demand.

How to Start a Knife-Sharpening Business?

Here are the easy-to-adopt steps to get your knife sharpening business up and running. 

1. Market Research

Knife sharpening industry is booming, with the demand for knives and other kitchen tools increasing every year.

A dull knife helps no one. People are cooking more than ever, so they need to keep their knives and other kitchen tools in tip-top shape.

Market research is a crucial part of any business’s foundation. It helps you understand your target market (potential customers), competitors, and the market as a whole. As a knife-sharpening business owner, you must be aware of industry trends to stay competitive and profitable.

2. Decide your niche

There are many different knives, each with a specific blade shape. Each blade shape requires a different sharpening angle: some are more curved than others and need a steeper angle to sharpen correctly. The sharpness of the blade will also depend on how many times it has been pointed before.

Decide your niche to start a knife sharpening business

Knife-sharpening businesses can offer a variety of services and products.

The following are a few examples, but not limited to:

  • Sharpening knives, scissors, cleavers, machetes, and other cutting tools.
  • Restoring antique or vintage blades.
  • Reshaping damaged edges for safer use.
  • Replacing broken tips on serrated knives.

3. Come up with a business plan

A business plan is like a guidebook for your knife-sharpening start-up: it will take you through the launch process and help keep your focus on your key goals. A business plan enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company’s vision.

A good business plan should include an executive summary and all the other sections: 

  • Business Overview
  • Product and Services
  • Market Analysis
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Management Team
  • Operations Plan
  • Financial Plan.

Each section must be written with as much detail as possible so that investors can get a clear picture of what makes your company unique.

4. Get a license and permits

When you start a knife sharpening business, you’ll need licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments.

Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as a DBA, health licenses and access from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties. 

Local businesses also require state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements vary by state and city. You can check the websites of your state or county government for more information on their specific needs.

5. Establish a legal entity

Choosing the proper business structure for your knife sharpening business is one of your most important decisions. The type of entity you select will shape how much tax you pay and how much personal liability you’re exposed to, so it’s crucial to get it right.

Here are some of the main options:

  • Sole proprietorship: You’re in charge, but it’s all on you if anything goes wrong.
  • Partnership: You share responsibility with other people or companies.
  • Limited liability company: You have limited liability and can raise enough capital through stock sales or issuing debt.

6. Insure your business

Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business. 

  • General Liability Insurance: This type of insurance covers claims made against you for bodily injury or property damage caused by the actions of your employees or contractors. It also covers claims against you for advertising errors and defamatory statements against your business.
  • Property Insurance: This type of insurance protects you in case your building or equipment is damaged or destroyed by fire, theft, vandalism, or other events beyond your control.
  • Workers Compensation Insurance: If you have employees working at your location, this type of insurance pays medical bills and lost wages if they get hurt.

7. Create a marketing plan for your services

As a knife-sharpening business owner, you’re probably already aware of how important it is to provide quality work and market your services.

It’s not enough to post on social media or email blasts. You must be intentional about reaching out to people and getting them interested in your offer.

You can market your knife sharpening business in a variety of ways, including:

  • Post flyers at local businesses and supermarkets.
  • Create a website with information about the types of knives you sharpen, the cost of your services, and any discounts you offer. You can also include information about the benefits of having your knives sharpened by a professional.
  • Attend flea markets and community events that attract people who might be interested in your business (for example, farmer’s markets or car shows).
  • Advertise on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
  • Leverage Search Engine Optimization to rank your knife sharpening business website better on the internet.

8. Team up with local market

If you are a small knife sharpening business owner, this is a great way to get your name out there and build relationships with local stores.

If you think about it, everyone needs their knives sharpened! It’s one of the essential things we do in our daily lives, and it’s something we all need. You can set up shop in your home or garage and charge a fee for the service. 

You can also partner with local stores by offering them knife sharpening services at a discounted rate. They’ll love how easy it is for them to get their customers’ knives back into shape without worrying about sending them out or paying someone else to do it for them, which will help bring in more customers.

9. Focus on good customer service

Customer service is about more than just having business knowledge, answering the phone, or responding to emails in a timely fashion. It’s about ensuring that when your customers call or email with questions, concerns, or complaints, they feel heard and understood—and get what they need for their experience with your brand to be successful. 

That’s why it’s so essential that every employee understands what constitutes good customer service practices:

  • Be personable, friendly, and helpful.
  • Be willing to listen and understand.
  • Be interested in the customer’s needs.
  • Be enthusiastic about the business you’re providing.
  • Treat each customer individually, not just as a number or “potential clients.”

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How Much Does it Cost to Start a Knife-Sharpening Business?

Starting a knife sharpening business might cost between $1,800 and $4,500. 

There is no need for anything else other than your knife-sharpening tools. The most significant outlay goes toward a company website. You also need to invest in knife sharpening equipment. One such example is the $250 Edge Pro Apex package.

Automate Route Planning for Your Knife Sharpening Business with Upper

As a knife-sharpening business owner, you’ll know how important it is to get the most out of your delivery routes and reach your customers on time. You’ll want to ensure your workers fulfill more knife sharpening appointments while keeping costs down and customer satisfaction high.

With Upper Route Optimization Software, you’ll be able to:

  • Make regular delivery route planning simpler for your business
  • Empower your dispatchers and drivers with our vital route planning and optimization features
  • In addition to providing faster delivery, you can ensure your customers stay informed with our communication features 

1. Route optimization

Our algorithm is designed to maximize efficiency and minimize time spent traveling. It uses a combination of historical data and real-time information to calculate the best route for each worker to take dynamically. It means you can send as many workers as you need to get the job done and still know they’ll get there as quickly as possible.

2. Proof of service

You can increase accountability for your knife sharpening services by capturing images of successful service as proof of service. This approach also helps you avoid missing any areas, which may lead to customer complaints later.

3. Service reports

If you’re a knife sharpening professional, you know the only way to improve is to keep track of your work. With Upper, you can measure efficiency by generating daily, weekly, or monthly reports for each service route. Reports help you reflect on your daily knife sharpening tasks and adjust when needed.

To see how Upper can help your knife sharpening business, for 7 days.


Experts recommend getting your kitchen knives sharpened once or twice a year and honing them after every two or four uses at home. That way, you will only have to deal with dull blades, which can be riskier than using a razor-sharp knife.

Yes, a knife-sharpening business can be very successful. Your business will thrive if you work hard and provide excellent customer service. You can maximize profits and keep most of your income (if you don’t choose to hire employees) because the ongoing costs are modest.

If you can establish a large clientele for your own knife sharpening business, sharpen 200 knives each week, and charge $5 per knife, you can earn $1,000 weekly or $52,000 annually.


A mobile knife sharpening business is easy to set up, easy to run and doesn’t require any formal training or equipment. All you need is basic knowledge about how to sharpen knives, some sharpening tools, and some customers. If you’re already working a day job, then starting your own knife sharpening business might be a good side hustle. It’ll allow you to stay in your current role while earning extra income.

Apart from the correct steps and knife sharpening skills, you’d also need to reach your customers on time to build a successful business. That is where Upper comes in. It offers compelling route planning and optimization to make sure you’re always on time. Sign up for a 7 days free trial with Upper today.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.