Sharpening Knives for Tsunami and Earthquake Relief

March 6, 2012(updated on October 3, 2018)


It’s been nearly a year since the massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated vast sections of Japan. So often with these kinds of disasters, there’s a very active initial upsurge of aid offered, but then after some time passes, the event begins to drift from our consciousness.

Korin, the knife and tableware store I recently visited in New York, is working to keep the Japanese situation in our hearts and raise funds for rebuilding while doing so. To that end, they’re donating all net profits that derive from their knife sharpening and repair services to Japan’s earthquake-tsunami disaster fund throughout the month of March.

You don’t have to live in New York or even be within a train ride to have your knives sharpened at Korin. You can simply download their form, wrap your knife well and send both the form and the knife to the shop. They’ll be in touch when they receive it and then will proceed to sharpen and return it to you.

Knives are sharpened by either Mr. Sugai or his apprentice. They can sharpen any non-serrated knives, engrave any Western style knife, repair blade chips and restore discolored knives. Knives are typically processed and back in the mail within seven days. Knife sharpening and repair rates can be found by clicking more.

The nice folks at Korin have also offered me the chance to give away three free knife sharpenings. Here’s how to enter:

  1. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Friday, March 9, 2012. Winners will be chosen at random (using and will be posted to the blog on Saturday, March 10, 2012.
  3. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian readers.
  4. One entry/comment per person, please.
Disclosure: As previously noted, Korin gave me two knives; one to keep and one for this giveaway. My opinions remain entirely my own and I received no additional compensation to publish this post. 

Korin’s rates and services:
Western knife sharpening – $15 per knife
Western knife repair – $25 per knife
Engraving – $15 (For $10 per knife for more than one knife)
Traditional Japanese knifes sharpening or repair – $25~65

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75 thoughts on "Sharpening Knives for Tsunami and Earthquake Relief"

  • Enter me please. I think it is wonderful that they are helping people remember the earthquake and tsunami victims. And thanks to you for spreading the word too.

  • Thanks for this contest. Win or not, I’ll try to get there this month to support this cause. And thanks for mentioning it – I’ve been thinking that our knives need sharpening, and wasn’t sure where to take them. Now I do!

  • This is totally cool! and at $15/knife, it’s cheaper than the places around here at $3/inch.
    !!! IKR?

    So, pick me! pick me!

  • Enter me, please!
    And I don’t think I have ever commented before, but you are on my reader and I love your blog. Thanks! I need to go through your archives and see if you have some ideas for pineapple and cranberries…

  • I always love to see businesses leveraging their resources to have a positive social impact. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Win or not, I think I’ll venture into Manhattan from Brooklyn to get a handful of my dull knives sharpened. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • I grew up learning how to chop things from my chef dad. We always used a Chinese style cleaver to chop everything. He used to sharpen the blade himself on a sharpening stone. So I guess until I learn to do that myself, it’s good to know I can mail my dull blade out!

  • Thank you for this post! I have been looking for a reputable place to take my treasured knife to for sharpening. It would be great to win this giveaway and help a wonderful cause!

  • I’d love to win this – my Chef’s knife definitely needs some sharpening. Those rates are really reasonable, too.

  • lovely! I was born in Japan. My mother was from Sendai. This warms my heart! Thank you!

  • My husband would be so happy to have someone else sharpen the knives. Speaking of good causes, my PINK Breast Cancer Awareness knife needs a good sharpening!

  • I have to say, it’s absolutely brilliant what they’re doing @ Korin. It’s true, and sad, how quickly last years devastation left our collective minds.

  • I have a whole knife roll of knives that need a little attention! A couple of my favorites definitely need to be sharpened. Great prize and I need to compare their prices to the local place that sharpens … from memory, Korin appears to be cheaper, even if I have to ship them.

  • What a great thing for Korin to do! Even if I don’t win, I’ll have to see if I can get my Japanese vegetable knife sharpened there.

  • What a great and worthy cause! If I am chosen, I will donate the cost of the knife sharpening to a Japanese relief fund.

  • That’s just so very interesting. I did not know about this service, though I did know about Korin. I take care of my knives pretty well myself but sometimes the knife is too valuable or has a problem that I can’t handle (like a bent tip). I should send them my Shun bird’s beak that has a notch in it somehow. I am so impressed that they are keeping the people effected by the tsunami in their hearts too.

  • Engraving? That is something a geek could get behind, especially for a great cause such as this one. Despite this site being devoted to food in jars, (and that is not always my thing), this is a great site.

  • Absolutely wonderful that they’re doing this. I have several knives that need sharpening, as do my parents. Will download the forms!

  • Knife sharpening is one of those skills I am determined to learn… one day… when I’m not learning a bazillion other things.

  • I was already thinking about using their mail-in knife sharpening service based on your last post. Even if I don’t win a free sharpening, I’ll definitely send mine in now. What a great combination of utility and philanthropy!

  • Thanks for this opportunity. I’ve been saying I need my knives sharpened for years, since I have a feeling I do them more harm than help when I do it myself. (And after your last Korin post, I’ve fallen in love with the Eggplant pendant knife on the site. Seriously, dreaming of adorning myself with pearly, sharp eggplant!)

  • People have short memories when it comes to tragedies, myself included. It’s awesome that Korin is helping to keep the people affected by the tsunami at the front of our minds and helping people who really need it.

  • This is great I’ll definetly let my friends in NYC know about Korin but I’d love to send them my knives to have them sharpened.

  • This is so great! If I don’t win a free sharpening, I may send some knives away anyways, b/c it’s great to see a company doing something like this!

  • What a great way to raise funds! And who knew you can get knives sharpened by mail! Thanks for the info.

  • Whether or not I win I think that I will send out my favorite knife. This sounds like a great service for a good cause.

  • What a great opportunity – sharpening and charity all-in-one!
    I’ve had the Korin website bookmarked for a while, waiting for our next trip to NYC. I didn’t know that I could send in knives … oooh, sharp knives.

  • I sharpened my knives for the Tsunami pandemic! This was the most interesting and challenging project I’ve ever undertaken. The knives felt great in my hand and the knife-grind was amazing.

  • Great read! It’s touching to know that people are rendering their skills and effort to donate to their fellowmen who were greatly affected by the tragedy. It shows his care and empathy for his fellow Japanese and his great skills in knife sharpening. Does his knife sharpening service still available to this day?