Start A Knife Sharpening Business And Make $30/HR In 30 Days!

Want to know the worst experience? 

Cutting tomatoes with a dull knife. 

Seriously, you end up mashing the tomato, spilling all the juice on your cutting board leaving you with a disgusting frankenstein slice you wouldn’t give to your dog. 

Nah, you want an experience like this…

Why am I rambling about tomatoes? Because it’s one of the ways chefs test how sharp their knives are. And that’s where you come in with your handy knife sharpening business! 

Instead of tossing that dull knife (or scissors, shears, chainsaws, any kind of blade really) you can be the individual to breath life back into a dull blade for your customer.

Not only will they get to keep their favorite cutting tool, you’ll be saving the environment one nicked knife at a time. Plus, you’ll get paid handsomely for the work! 

If you’re looking for a fun and worthwhile side hustle, then consider creating a knife sharpening business for your community. You’ll learn how to work with your hands fixing a tough problem even most knife aficionados can’t normally solve.

In this article I’m going to walk through the basics of building a fully flushed out knife sharpening business.  

Keep reading if you want to quickly make $1,000/month!

Why You Should Consider Starting A Knife Sharpening Business

After COVID hit, Americans quickly realized their job potential would never be the same. 

Never in the history of business have we seen such a sudden and dramatic drop in airline traffic, hotel reservations, restaurant closures, and basically any service based industry. 

This shocked a lot of us and for many it quickly caused a realization that having just one primary source of income is going to cause problems in the future. 

With that said, there’s never a “bad” time to start a side hustle, and whether you choose a knife sharpening business or not, you should at least seriously consider getting a second source of income outside your primary one.  

However, if you are considering a knife sharpening business, here are some interesting statistics which might propel you to take the leap! 

This graph shows you the projected growth for the knife sharpening industry. Obviously 2020 was a bit of a fluke year due to COVID, but it’s expected to rebound in a big way.


Because even though COVID closed many restaurants, cooking shows like Top Chef and Chopped have driven massive popularity around in home cooking. This means more people are purchasing knives, and if a consumer is purchasing a high end knife, you can be sure they’re going to seek sharpening services. 

Plus, as the economy comes back to life, all those restaurants, hotels, wood shops, salons, and butchers will need the services again. 

All this to say, there’s a lot of opportunity for this side hustle! 

Typical Income For Knife Sharpening Business

It’s difficult to give a definitive answer on this because it varies depending on how much effort you put into the side hustle. 

The only thing I can give you is the average math on a per hour basis. 

Typically your competitors will break down their pricing by type of knife. However you’ll probably want to start with a flat fee per knife. 

Let’s just say $5 for shorter knives (kitchen knives or even scissors) and $10 for larger knives (like butcher knives).

Let’s also say it only takes you 10 minutes to sharpen a knife (which is true once you get pretty good). 

That breaks down to about $30/hr for your time! 

If you only work 10 hours per week you’re looking at an extra $1,200/month in income for only 10 hours of work a week. Basically just 2 hours per day of sharpening knives can help you pay off credit card debt, student loan debt, or give you a boost towards your financial freedom!

Is A Knife Sharpening Business Profitable?


Once you pay for the equipment to sharpen the knives, the only cost for your services would be time. This means you’re running a legitimate service based business where the only problem to scale would be getting more time.

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Knife Sharpening Business?

You will need to get equipment to start, no other way around it. 

I’ve researched everywhere to give you the best starting point and everything points to the Edge Pro Apex system for getting started. It will set you back $255 for the tool, but you can make that back within 9 hours.

Sure you can use wet stones, and even belts, but with this system you’re getting everything necessary to get started. 

You’ll also want to consider a little extra cash for marketing and branding, but that’s not necessary in the very beginning. You can do word of mouth marketing initially. 

How To Start A Knife Sharpening Business (Step By Step)

Now we get to the fun stuff. Getting started! 

Here are the steps you’ll need to take to help lift your new venture off the ground!

Build A Business Plan (But Not What You Think…)

Okay, okay. Before you start rolling your eyes, hear me out. 

(Side note: is it just me or does every “how to” article always tell you to, “create an executive summary, purchase an LLC, get business cards, blah, blah, blah. Seriously, this is my face everytime I see that stuff.)


You DO need to plan, but you DON’T need to spend all that time and energy before even getting your first client. 

Take massive action, then worry about the administration stuff later!

And who knows, maybe you won’t like sharpening knives. That’s a very real possibility! Better to find this out early on before you dump a bunch of money into creating the “legal” business stuff. 

Either way, you do need to create a quick plan, even a back of the napkin plan, before you get started purchasing equipment and getting clients. 


Because there are some important questions you need to answer before taking step 1 of your journey. 

You need to do a SWOT analysis to understand the market and their needs!

What is SWOT? 

  • Strengths – what makes you unique to the competition? Are you able to charge lower prices? Offer better quality? Work faster? Why would a client choose you?
  • Weaknesses – what are your weaknesses? Are you inexperienced? New to the market? Bad at managing money or employees? Try to understand your blind spots.
  • Opportunities – Where is your blue ocean? Where can you take market share and grab a foothold? Are you able to travel to clients? Is competition only servicing restaurants and not salons?
  • Threats – Where can competitors beat you and take market share? Can they outspend you on advertising? Say dirty and nasty things about your character and workmanship? What threats can you think of that will stop you from expanding?

Once you do this you’ll have a much better understanding of your market and how to take step number 1. 

Learn The Basics First

There’s really only one skill you need to learn. I’m sure you’re smart enough to guess what that skill would be?

Yep, sharpening knives! 

If you’re new to this industry as a whole, it’s recommended you watch a good deal of YouTube videos and then start slowly practicing on your own knives at home. 

Here’s a good video to help you get started down the rabbit hole: 

IMPORTANT: I know I probably don’t need to say this, but take your safety seriously. I’ve watched enough videos on YouTube to know these professionals all talk about horror stories when sharpening knives. Start slow. Work your way up. You might not have a second chance. I don’t know you, but I do care about your well being. 

Moving forward… 

Once you get the basics down, you’ll probably want to take a class or two so you can learn the more advanced stuff. 

If you’re the rugged individualist who’s outdoors all the time, you’re probably pretty good with knives. You might already know how to sharpen them. It’s still recommended you take a class with a professional so you can improve your skill set. 

Get Client Number 1

Once you have the knowledge and feel comfortable handling the equipment, it’s time to get started getting your first client! 

This is going to be the hardest step. You’ll be putting yourself out there, and you’re going to face rejection. 

Just keep pushing until you get client number 1. 


You’re going to provide your first client with a free knife sharpening. Not only will this help you get some practice, but it starts building good will and word of mouth marketing. 

Ask your parents, ask your friends, ask your friends friends. Either way get at least 1 person to give you their knives to sharpen. 


Because even if you spend hours watching tutorials and practicing, you’re going to run into rookie mistakes. 

That’s perfectly fine, but you’d rather make those mistakes with not much on the line, as opposed to a sous chef who expects perfection. 

Plus, once you get client number 1 you can answer the hardest question of all, “Do I want to continue doing this?”

Who knows, maybe you despise sharpening knives and want to start an online blog or do something else online. 

Or, maybe you LOVE it and you want to go full throttle on this journey. 

Either way, you’ll only find out once you get your first client.

Build A Lead Generation System

After you land your first client, and you’ve made the decision to continue, it’s time to start marketing your new side hustle!

Welcome to the jungle, baby…

Now you have a new problem. How do you plan to get the word out and capture the market? 

There are 2 main strategies do market, and attract new clients: 

  • Online
  • Offline

Both are beneficial, and at some point you’ll do both, but pick one to start. 


Personally, online is the method I prefer. People are continually moving online for their shopping, browsing, and socializing. 

Soon people are going to be engulfed in virtual reality. 

Why not go where the people are?

Here are the main strategies for online marketing: 

  • Facebook Advertising
  • Google Advertising (Display & PPC)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

As a local business, you’ll want to focus on SEO if you’re choosing this route. 

Here’s a quick rundown of what I found for local SEO…

Do you see that search volume!!

That’s just for that one term in the U.S. That’s a lot of juice. What you’re seeing is local SEO. People will go online and say: “SERVICE near me” and then what pops up is called Google’s Map Pack. 

Basically you’ll rank on Map Pack by getting high quality reviews and optimizing a website for keywords. If you want more info let me know, but that’s the basics. 

Here’s a quick search of what specifically Austin, TX sees for knife sharpening…

Ohhh that’s some quality traffic! 

That’s 90 people every single month looking for someone to help them sharpen their knives. Let’s say the average order value of your customer is $30, and you can anticipate 5 new clients every month from this one keyword, that’s $150 in extra income for not doing anything. 

Well worth the time to get a website set up and optimized! 


The main strategies for offline include:

  • Flyers
  • Word of Mouth
  • Door to Door Sales

Normally, people like to start here because it’s often much less expensive. In the very beginning for your business I would also recommend starting here too, particularly with flyers and word of mouth marketing. 

Scale With Processes

Not many people will bring this up, but once you start getting clients and making a name for yourself, you’ll want to make a decision. 

Do you continue with this just being a side hustle, or do I scale this up and build a legitimate business? 

If you choose the later, you’ll need to create business systems which include standard operating procedures, and new hire employee documentation. 

I’m bringing this up now because this is where most entrepreneurs fail. They only work IN their business, not ON their business. 

It’s an important distinction and you’ll need to focus on this as you build your system. 

Create processes for new employees (and yourself by the way) to follow. If you do, you’re increasing the probability of high quality as you scale! 

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