Both Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table offer this service at locations nationwide.
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Credit: Photo: Sur La Table

Your knives are dull. No, really—when was the last time you had them sharpened? Can't remember? Yep. Dull.

Dull knives can affect the quality of your cooking—or worse, cause you to cut your hand wide open. They require you to put more pressure on food to cut through it, making it easier to slip and have an unwanted accident.

It took me using a beaten-up set of college dorm knives for about a year to realize that the cuts and scars on my hand just weren’t worth it—so I invested in a really nice set of Wusthof knives. If you have the money to spend on a fancy knife set, that’s great. But you don’t need to spend $500 to make your knives cut and slice like the day you bought them.

Whether you’re working with a brand new set of Shun knives, or a Bed Bath & Beyond value set (no shame!), you just need to get them sharpened frequently to keep them at the top of their game. A representative from Sur La Table recommends honing your knife after every use and sharpening your knives once or twice a year (depending on how often you use them).

To get your knives razor sharp, you may want to take them to your local Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table. Both stores offer a pretty amazing service: they’ll sharpen your first knife for free, and each knife after that is just $5.

Sure, you could buy a knife sharpener or honer and do it yourself, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can actually make the situation worse (plus, it looks super intimidating for a first-timer).

There are a few benefits to getting your knives sharpened at Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table, too: the most obvious one being that you can bring in any brand of knife to be sharpened—even ones they don’t carry in their stores.

I confirmed this with managers at both stores: you don’t even have to have a receipt. So, in theory, you could literally buy a knife set at Target and have it sharpened by pros. What a time to be alive.

The service is super inexpensive (around $20-$30 for a full set), and your knives will be sharpened by a trained manager or on-staff chef. The best part? Knife sharpening takes about 20 minutes, giving you just enough time to browse the store for your next kitchen gadget.