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Urbanna Farmers’ Market features knife sharpener

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Gregg Kurtz sharpening a butcher knife.

One of the first lessons a chef-in-training learns is that a dull knife is far more dangerous than a sharp one. Those who prepare meals at home also know this to be true.

Gregg Kurtz of Chef’s Edge in Newport News will be at the Urbanna Farmers’ Market this Saturday, July 11, to sharpen knives. Kurtz is a professional sharpener who establishes the proper angle on knives and finishes them with a polished razor edge.

He hones all types of knives—except those made of ceramic material—as well as scissors (providing they fit on his machine), axes and hatchets. However, he does not sharpen any hair-cutting tools.

For the last 25 years or so, Kurtz has been a professional wood carver and sign maker, specializing in gold-leaf lettering on yachts. However, injuries he received from a fall several years ago made climbing around large boats so difficult that he decided to take up another profession. Having sharpened his own tools all those years as a carver made the transition to sharpener natural.

Kurtz started his new career at the Williamsburg Farmers’ Market and then added grocery stores to his schedule. He now sharpens tools all over Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore. Prices for his work depend on the size and condition of the knife—from $4 for a blade under 6 inches, to $6 for a blade 8 to 10 inches long. A blade in good condition takes approximately 10 minutes to sharpen.

Although the hours of the Urbanna Farmers Market are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Kurtz has agreed to stay until all the tools brought to him during the hours of the market have been sharpened.

The market is sponsored by the Urbanna Business Association and Town of Urbanna. It is held in the parking lot of the Southside Sentinel at 276 Virginia Street. 

posted 07.08.2009

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