The man who sharpened knives

[ You can enlarge some pictures by click it ]

Today I’d like to show some pictures about a special profession, no idea how to translate into English, maybe we can call it Knife Sharpener(纾ㄥ垁浜). In the old days, sometimes we could see someone who carried tools like whetstone walked round the streets, to help people to sharpen their knives, like kitchen knives for living. It is not a hard work to do, but to do it well and quickly is not easy. Those Shapeners can hone a knife to a fine edge in shorter time, and they made it much sharper than normal people do, so actually it is a very welcome job.

the character "纾ㄥ垁" means knife sharpening in Chinese

the character "纾ㄥ垁" means knife sharpening in Chinese

In my impression, those sharpeners were almost old people, and it really need some experience. As time passing by, the older generation profession are rare to see today. Actrually I haven’t seen anyone doing this for more that 8 years. Even those old man doing this job, but I think it is no longer do it for living but for fun. I get some pitcures about this today and they refresh my memory.

Knife Sharpener Nanning Guangxi China 2Knife Sharpener Nanning Guangxi China 3

They usually carrying a revolving stone, a bench(like what you can see in the pictures), a bottle of water, sometimes will take a loudspeaker… and a big sign writes “纾ㄥ垁”(Knive Sharpening) to let people know it is time to sharpen their knives.

Knife Sharpener Nanning Guangxi China 4Knife Sharpener Nanning Guangxi China 5

Picture by 鏂編

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One Response to “The man who sharpened knives”

  1. Hi Bruce,

    Great photos. Really captures the essence of what it must have been like in Nanning. We offer knife sharpening services in Australia using a whetstones as well. Very traditional methods in the Sakai style (from Japan), but it’s really interesting to see the parallels.


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