Sharpen Your Veggie Peeler

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2014 • all rights reserved

Two minutes of work will make it peel so much better

I admit, I never even thought of trying to sharpen my potato peeler . . . until I was desperate.

Sharpen-close-upI had two different veggie peelers and neither one worked well. They both just sort of scraped at the peel instead of biting into it and actually cutting it.

Figuring that I had nothing to lose — they were already basically junk and would have to be replaced — I decided to try to revive them.

Sharpen-insideI started with my knife sharpener and ran it down the “outside” of the cutting surface, then wiggled it around to get the inside cutting surfaces (a thinner knife sharpener such as this one that I’m getting for the new boat would be a lot better). Just a couple of strokes on each cutting surface.

For the first peeler, that was all it needed to be amazingly revitalized. I hadn’t realized how rusty the cutting surfaces had gotten — no wonder it hadn’t cut the peel off before.

When I tried to sharpen the second peeler, I discovered I had a problem. Instead of the two cutting surfaces being at a slight “V” to each other — so that I could sharpen them separately — I discovered that they were actually in a tiny bit of a reverse “V.”

I took about 20 pictures trying to show this, and none really do. But you know you’ve got a problem if you lay the straight edge of the sharpener across the “gap” and it doesn’t touch the inside cutting edges. Yep, when you run the peeler down the potato or carrot, the cutting edge won’t be on the food.

Bending-peelerTime to get out the pliers (or a vice if you have one). It took some effort but I was able to bend the blade so that the cutting surfaces were once again in a very slight “V.” It was pretty hard to bend, and I didn’t think that I’d done enough but laid the straight edge over it to see if I’d made any improvement — imagine my surprise when I discovered that they were back where they belonged!

Now I could sharpen the cutting surfaces which I did in the same way as on the first.

Once again, the little bit of work paid huge dividends. Now, I know that every time I rebend those cutting surfaces they’ll weaken a bit and it won’t be a permanent solution — one day they’ll just break. But if I get another year or two of service out of the peeler, I’m happy.

Bottom line: for just a couple minutes of work — it really didn’t take very long — I no longer dread having to peel any sort of produce. It goes so much faster now, it’s unbelievable.

How often should you sharpen? I don’t think there’s any hard and fast rule. Different sharpeners are made from slightly different alloys, freshwater vs. salt water, rinsing dishes in salt water, how often you use the sharpener and more will all play a role in how fast it gets dull. Just sharpen again when you find yourself frustrated with peeling!

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Comments

  1. The Spyderco sharpener does a good job of sharpening peelers. I’ve been sharpening my peelers this way since buying this system ages ago; so no more buying peelers simply because of a dull blade.

    You can buy the Spyderco Tri-angle sharpmaker, or just buy a replacement ceramic rod and use it to sharpen your peelers.

    Take the coarse rod, hold it in your hand like you would a carrot you are about to peel. Run the peeler down the ceramic rod, along one of the triangular sides. (I also remove the burrs from the back of the peeler with the rod.)

    If you want to see it demonstrated, it is on the Spyderco site under their training video section and youtube. It is near the end of their site’s video, or the end of part three on youtube.

  2. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says:

    I take the pointed end of my sharpening steel and run it up and down the “inside face” of the peeler when I sharpen mine. It straightens the ‘burr’ back so the cutting surfaces are level again without having to bend the cutters. I would think that the rounded-end of a hard steel or stainless mixing/serving spoon would work also.

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