sharpening and caring for your kitchen knives

About Us

Who Is KitchenKnifeGuru?

KitchenKnifeGuru is Nate Ouderkirk who is less a guru than a fellow appreciator of fine things and how they are made and how to keep them in tip-top shape. He has worn many hats over the years—graphic designer, waiter, rock-and-roll singer/songwriter, fiction writer, English prof, and (let’s not forget) stay-at-home Dad.

Why is he qualified to wear his KitchenKnifeGuru hat? Because:

1) He loves to cook and has spent decades slicing shallots and chopping cilantro in his own kitchen.

2) Many moons ago he worked as a waiter in a number of high-end restaurants in NYC and had the chance to observe how fine food is produced.

kitchenknife guru w/two knives
3) Whatever subject is at hand, he has a passion for quality.

4) He has spent months and months researching kitchen knives and how to keep them sharp—scouring the web, reading books (including a college textbook on the manufacturing of steel).

5) He has interviewed numerous cutlers (professional knife sharpeners) and visited their shops as well.

6) He has taken a two-day class in bladesmithing and forged his own paring knife (well, with a LOT of support).

7) He likes helping people.

Do you have a question, suggestion, or wry insight on the nature of the universe? Feel free to leave a post or message on his Facebook page:

  1. Hey Nate!

    Had trouble trying to find a contact page, just wanted to let you know I gave you a shout-out on our “Top Knife Sites” list. If you want to check out your blurb, here’s the link: [www (dot) knifesupremacy (dot) com/top-knife-sites/].
    Anyway, it’s just our way of saying we appreciate your work. Thanks! :)

  2. Thanks, Kevin. Appreciate your stamp of approval!

  3. Greeting KKG Nate:
    Im a newbie to kitchen cooking 201. What’s your opinion on Gunter Wilhelm 10″ knife ? It’s absent from your top 6 list.

    • Hi Nick, very good question!

      I investigated Gunter Wilhelm myself a few years back and in revisiting their website noticed they’ve ramped up quite a bit and have further enriched their story. While the handle and ergonomics appear well thought out and GW might make very comfortable-feeling knives, my reservations still regard the quality of their blades and their ability to take, and hold, a fine edge. This is the core of a high-quality knife — not just how it looks or feels.

      Gunter Wilhelm (just a cool German name a Jersey guy decided to name his knife company after) has always been excellent at marketing and hype—but I’m not convinced they’ve put that same excellence to work in the actual manufacturing of their knives. Over the years, their manufacturing story keeps changing and I must admit I don’t totally trust them. (For example, I had a heck of time on their website trying to find out what angle they sharpen their blades at. Never found it.) And there’s something weird in the positive spin their marketing copy tries put on the fact their knives are “finished” in China? When did China become one of the knife making capitals of the world?

      I have not personally used a GW knife and I have read some positive reports. So, who knows, they may be quite respectable. Nonetheless, when it comes to sharpitude and edge retention, I think there are more dependable choices out there with better track records. I would recommend starting with something from my best chef knives list.

      Hope this helps,

  4. Hi Nate,

    I really enjoyed your website — a lot to learn here!

    I was thinking you might enjoy a short documentary about the making of a blade with the ancestral Damascus technique. And not for any common knife, but for the Laguiole — a French knife used by shepherds and farmers since what seems like the end of time!

    If you like it, feel free to share it in your networks. Thanks again for you website!


    • Cool film! This website centers on kitchen knives (not hunting knives, which are another whole world), so I’m not really the one to help you promote. Best of luck though!
      — KKG

  5. Hi Nate!

    I like your site. I appreciate the work you’re doing to educate people on making better knife choices. A couple things I wanted to give you a heads up about:

    – On Best Chef Knives—Six Recommendations, when you link to Wusthof, the link is broken because of a typo.

    – Your mail icon in the header doesn’t include an e-mail address (this was where I was originally going to tell you about the comment above).

    I’ve been a chef for years, but just started a shop to sell my favorite kitchen knives and tools. I’d love to hear what you think about our gear!

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Sam,

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying KKG! Thanks for the tip about the link on Best Chef Knives. Fixed! As far as the mail icon link is concerned, I probably shouldn’t even have it. But it’s meant as a convenient tool so that visitors can quickly mail a friend about KKG, not send me an email. For that, I prefer Facebook, as I mention on this very page.

      Congrats on your new site! I especially like your post where you passionately dis all the knives on KKG. Ha, ha! All ribbing aside, I enjoyed skimming through your list of kitchen equipment must haves. It’s helpful to have recommendations from a pro that has tested stuff out and I’ll be curious to look into some of those kitchen machines.

      Best, KKG

  6. Love your blog and your eBook was great too.

    I would love the opportunity to co-sponsor a book with you to launch something I am working on. The eBook will be free and make reference to your website as I think it is perfect!.

    I also would love to know if you would consider testing a product which you may feature here. You get to keep the product!

  7. Hey Nate! I was hoping you might be able to give me some feedback on a feature I’ve developed in conjunction with several bladesmiths.

    The create-your-own-blade system was invented to allow each home cook or expert chef the flexibility of designing their own knife based on their own personal expectations and needs.

    I’d love to hear what you think, thanks!

    • Hi Brad,

      Thanks for your interest in KKG!

      Create-your-own seems to be a useful idea—it’s actually what Bob Kramer does when he forges a custom knife. (Although with Kramer, he pretty much leads the way in the design, as well he should.) Anyway, here’s some quick feedback:

      – The Aura blades seem too dressy and pricey. Definitely not my thang.

      – The Serenity blades look compelling (I especially like the antler). And I like the descriptions about the steel which is helpful to the consumer. But what I don’t like is the lack of bolster (it doesn’t have to be full, but could be half like Shun). It makes the knives look a bit unfinished and cheap.

      All-in-all, my biggest question as a consumer would be — how do these knives feel and perform? Will the blades come super-sharp and will they hold a super-sharp edge for a long time. What’s the HRC? When you’re paying that much for a knife, it’s lovely if it’s beautiful, but it needs to be wicked sharp and stay there. If I were to buy one, I would want some kind of guarantee.

      That’s all for now! If you’d like to discuss more, it might be simpler to email me at:

      Best, KKG

      P.S. BTW, your blades by Haley Desrosiers are my favorites. But way out of my price range. . .ah, well. . .

  8. Hi Nate,

    I have not shared any comments with you for a couple of years now. So nice to see you still here, I love what you do. I’ve been sharpening knives every day here in Nova Scotia since we first “met,” even been in the paper a few times. Keep up the awesome work.

    Respectfully, Peter Nowlan

    • Hi Peter,

      Thanks for checking in. I’m glad to hear your biz is thriving—things are going well with KKG as well. We continue to expand our fan base and help people around the world make better sense of their kitchen knives :)

      Best, Nate

  9. Hello, this is Anne from RETON RING MESH CO., LTD company. Our company is a professional cut-resistant glove manufacturer with years of experience. Our stainless-steel chain-link gloves can better protect hands at work. Our gloves can be used in the home and professional kitchen, butcher shops and meat processing, as well as in the fish and oyster industry and other fields.

    If you want to know more about our product, please be free to contact me.

    • Thanks, Anne, for sharing. I see your company is located in China. I’ve never heard of your product in the U.S., but it seems to me professional butchers might find your gloves a really useful safety precaution. Once they get used to the thought :) —KKG

      • Hi! Your website is great! Any thoughts on this knife set and what it includes. I am a basic cooker so don’t need anything too fancy. Thanks!! :)

        Wusthof Classic 8-Piece Deluxe Walnut Block Knife Set

        Set includes:
        – 3.5″ paring knife
        – 6″ utility knife
        – 5″ santoku hollow edge knife
        – 8″ bread knife
        – 8″ cook’s knife
        – 9″ honing steel
        – 1 pair of come-apart kitchen shears
        – 17 slot storage block

  10. Can I purchase a gift certificate for a budding chef?
    Like $300.00? Can you make that happen please?
    Because your site simply kicks-A.

    Paul Jebailey

  11. Hi. I have a knife that is by Muller & Noble. It’s called a chef knife and is made in the Laguiole style. I am not familiar with this brand, can you tell me anything about it?

    • Sorry, but I’ve never heard of Muller & Noble knives and after some online research could find neither hide nor hare of them. If I were you, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it—there are so many wonderful kitchen knives out there to choose from. Here are just a few for starters. . .Best Chef Knives — Six Recommendations.
      Best, KKG

  12. I’m a lefty. The Shun handle I think is really made to fit in a right hand, BUT, after use, I have gotten comfortable with the feel—though some lefties won’t. The knife is super-sharp and a little scary to use out of the box. I keep my wife away from it.

  13. Do you offer a service of coming to my house – or me delivering my knives to you – to sharpen? Like a service that is every other month for example? I cook fresh daily and I love having sharp knives, but it is a stretch to actually sharpen them regularly. Look forward to hearing from you. . .

    Best wishes,

    • Hi Sophie,

      No, I don’t sharpen. . .but here is what I advise:

      #1) It is no easy task to find a high-quality knife sharpener. I live in the NYC greater metropolitan area (dense with people, right?) and my solution has been to mail my kitchen knives to sharpening services I trust. Read my article: Reviews of Professional Sharpening Services for tips.

      #2) You need to learn how to hone and, then, to do it regularly. This will make your sharp edges last and last and will also save you from wearing down your knives’ edges so fast from oversharpening. Read What’s a Honing Steel? for a primer.

      Also, check out my Kitchen Knife Sharpening Action Plan for a step-by-step instructions. . .


Leave a Reply


Look up any topic you’re curious about—a brand name, a “how to,” a recipe.

KitchenKnifeGuru with a honing steel

Most Popular Posts

Latest Posts

Other Resources

An Edge in the Kitchen

An Edge in the Kitchen
by Chad Ward

Mastering Knife Skills

Mastering Knife Skills
by Norman Weinstein




Google Plus

Follow Me on Pinterest