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The realities of product development in a knife sharpening business

For some time now I’ve been trying to reach new customers in their own kitchens. It’s obvious that there is business to be done there when many people have cook knives for several hundreds of Euro, and can purchase a diamond sharpener for a couple of tens to keep them sharp and nice to use. There is however the problem of knowledge. Most people don’t have the slightest idea about how to sharpen their knifes and many are even afraid to try because they think that they might damage or even destroy their expensive knives.

So I have been trying to figure out how to produce our solution to that problem and above are some prototypes…

Yes they don’t look much like something you would dare to put your 200€ knife in, but we’ve actually learnt quite a lot about the usability, effectiveness of sharpening and the would be processes that would have to come together for us to be able to manufacture any of these (and many other even uglier attempts) and an idea have started to take form that we think will be a very popular kitchen sharpener for small to large knives.

The most important features we’ve discovered and want to incorporate in the new product are:

  • The diamond surfaces must cross each other. Without the cross it’s impossible to hit the actual edge of the knife (see the example above where the standing sharpeners creates an X)
  • A minimum of three crossings must be used to give sideways stability. If only two are used then the knife want’s to turn clockwise (or anti clockwise depending on which way you sharpen) when seen from above, which means the edges will have different angels and become duller then it would be if equal on both sides
Exaggerated of course, but still the knife tends to be uneven with only one pair
  • Having a quick result with few strokes is very important, because it’s easier to keep the knife in the same position = sharper

So how does the new fantastic knife sharpener look like then?

Well this I will show you within 14 days, when we present the actual product and not just a prototype 🙂
I’ll keep you posted.

Ola

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