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