Frequently Asked Questions:

    What?

  • What 'kind' of store locations are these 'drop off' places?

    Currently, these locations are mostly ACE, Do-It-Best and True Value hardware stores with a few other like related places. See our "30+ Locations" link here or to the right for more for more individual store specifics. (or click HERE)

  • What is your refund policy?

    First, we ask that you return the item in question to the location where you originally dropped it off.

    Also, including the original ticket or claim check will greatly speed up everything time wise.

    Next, let us know as best you can exactly what is not 'working' for you?  Not cutting at the point, a little too stiff on the screw tension front, some specifics, please.

    That's it on your part to get the 'process' rolling forward for you as best we can.

    Unfortunately, handling by non-owners with the original 'order' along the way from us to you and back isn't always kind, gravity is unforgiving and Murphy's Law is always waiting.

    We understand, ok?  Sometimes, life happens and we try to meet everyone halfway in these circumstances.

    Best we can 'do' is look at your item once again after you've sent it back to us for some TLC.

    But frankly, we've had to 'limit' such TLC by a 30 day time frame to be equally fair to GHS in these situations.  We hope you understand or we'll be applying TLC for months and months and months afterwards.

    However, IF our TLC efforts are still 'unsatisfactory' to you afterwards, we hope that you can give us some more specifics at that point also.

    If we can only 'agree to disagree' at that point, then we'll authorize the location involved to give your a full refund on the original order, tax included.

    However, try to remember that this is a weekly service and that it can take 2-3 weeks to get to this concluding point even if all goes well on everybody's part.

    Our thanks in advance for working with GHS to 'solve' your issue as best possible for all.

  • Does GHS sharpen 'traditional' hand saws?

    No, unfortunately. We stopped in 2002 due to the surge of like cheap Chinese imports.

    However, there remains one Houston area business that still sharpens them as of January 2021.

    They are called 'Circle Saw' near Loop 610 & Hwy. 290 - (713) 864-8444 or see www.CircleSaw.com.

  • Does GHS sharpen reel mowers or old fashioned manual 'push' lawnmowers?

    No, thankfully.  The old ones are very difficult to adjust post-sharpening and the new generation aren't much better.

    However, there remains one Houston area business that still sharpens them as of January 2021.

    They are called 'University Lawnmower' near the old Astrodome - (713) 526-0333.

  • Does GHS sharpen ceramic knives?

    No, unfortunately.  Diamond is the only substance that sharpens ceramic and we've yet to 'discover' an 'easy' and effective method to do so.

    Ceramic is relatively 'brittle' & prone to chipping BUT holds a very good edge for a long time.

    We've tried most of the current products 'out there' that claim to do so . . . still looking.

  • Does GHS sharpen ceramic tooth saw chains?

    No, unfortunately.  Diamond is the only substance that sharpens ceramic and we've yet to 'discover' an 'easy' and effective method to do so.

    Ceramic is relatively 'brittle' & prone to chipping BUT holds a very good edge for a long time.

    Stihl sells & sharpens these we're told.  See your local dealer obviously.

  • What other items does GHS NOT sharpen?

    No one can sharpen everything out in the real world obviously.

    The more 'industrial' the item, the larger it gets generally which doesn't work for us.

    Likewise, speciality items that are too labor intensive for us to sharpen at a 'reasonable' price for the public.

    1. '4 fluted' router bits
    2. End Mills
    3. Twist drill bits
    4. Shaper bits.
  • What is this weird stuff covering the edges of my newly sharpened knives?

    For everyone's safety, any item that we sharpen that has a relatively long and exposed edge that could be handled relatively careless by the general public and/or hardware store employees, we try to help protect.

    It's called "sharpener's wax" and it's truly just a tougher form of ordinary candle wax in reality.

    As in 300° melting point wax but that allows it to almost effortlessly peel off with your fingers once you're safely back at home with your newly sharpened item(s).

    Other item(s) that we protect are machetes, carbide saw blades, axes, hatches, etc.  Semi-dangerous stuff for one and all, yes?

  • Does GHS weld teeth back onto carbide saw blades?

    No.  A company called 'North American' used to do so in Conroe 20+ years ago, but they retreated back to the Dallas area at that time.

    I think that they are still around up there but have no other information on them.

    They were very good at what they did as they built carbide saw blades but they were the last business that did such work in our area as far as we knew then or even now for that matter.

    Let us know if you know of someone in the H-Town area who does so.

  • Where?

  • Where can I take my dull item(s) to be sharpened?

    At any one of our 30+ drop-off & pick-up locations around the Greater Houston area.  See the 'main menu' above and click on "30+ Locations" or to the right to find a store near you. (or click HERE)

  • Where can I get my dull scissors sharpened?

    At any one of our 30+ drop-off & pick-up locations around the Greater Houston area.  See the 'main menu' above and click on "30+ Locations" or to the right to find a store near you. (or click HERE)

  • When?

  • When does GHS deliver & pick-up from my neighborhood?

    With 30+ Locations, it's hard to be precise time wise each & every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

    However, on Mondays we are in the north & northwest parts of H-Town.

    Tuesdays brings us into downtown and out the SW Frwy towards Rosenberg then North toward Katy and Cinco Ranch.

    Wednesdays takes us to the NE, East and SE sides of Houston; Humble to Deer Park to League City to Pearland to the Hobby Airport areas.(or click HERE)

  • Can I get my item sharpened immediately?

    Unfortunately, no.  We have 30+ 'drop off' locations around the Greater Houston area and WEEKLY service is the best that we can 'do' with all the driving time needed to get to each store and the usual traffic. (or click HERE)

    However, IF you're willing to drive to The Woodlands' main entrance on I-45 North on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday AND call ahead to make an appointment AND bring cash then MAYBE.  Seriously.

  • When is GHS on 'vacation'?

    Easy; we only 'close' the weeks of Christmas and New Years every year.

    Ok, we occasionally 'close' the week of July 4th but haven't in recent years as the piles of sharpening to be done don't go away while we're gone.

    Read that as working twice as hard when we finally get back home. 😮

  • Do I pay beforehand?

    Absolutely not as many items are:

    1. Too badly bent in important ways.
    2. Have internally stripped screws, bolts or nuts.
    3. Too badly rusted & pitted in key locations to be made useable again.

    Bottom line:  We WANT to make your item SHARP, but previous defects will be a waste of both our time.  In these rare cases, you will receive back your item at 'no charge' or zero cost to you.

  • How?

  • How exactly do I pay to get my item(s) sharpened?

    Very easily.  Just use your ticket 'claim check' to 'pick up' your items where you dropped them off originally. (or click HERE)

    Then turn and head for the cashier locations near where you entered into the store and pay there.

    Most locations accept payment with the usual credit / debit cards and cash.

    Your sharpening order is 'taxable' under Texas law just so you know in advance.

  • How much does it cost to get my item(s) sharpened?

    GHS sharpens over 100+ different item(s) every week.

    That's why we have a single 'Price Sheet' with most everything included there in some way.

    We can't see your item(s) where you're 'at' clearly, so please view the 'Pricing link' here or just below to see how GHS has our price sheet divided into categories and individual item pricing.

    Fortunately, a double bit ax is easy to match up and see our price there and most of our items are likewise single item pricing.

    However, some 'categories' like knives, scissors, lawn mower blades, clipper blades, etc. have 'Small', 'Medium' and 'Large' size pricing due to their physical size differences.

    Scissors are a good example of 'sizing'; itty bitty embroidery scissors all the way up to huge upholstery scissors.  It's that simple.

    Check out our price sheet to answer your question(s) in more detail.  Thanks.(or click HERE)

  • How much does it cost to get my scissor(s) sharpened?

    A 'easier to read' listing is in the 2021 'Pricing link' here or just below; however . . .

    SCISSORS:

    Barber² = Less than 3" = $11.50
    Barber² = 3" to 5" = $14.00
    Barber² = Greater than 5" = $17.00
    ² Note! We do NOT sharpen concave / 'hollow ground' scissors.
    Carpet (Less than 5”) = $12.00 Fabric (4+”) = $11.50
    Cuticle / Nail Nippers = $7.00 Fabric (Chrome - 4+”) = $12.50
    Cuticle / Nail Scissors = $7.00 Household = $6.50
    Embroidery (Less than 2.5”) = $8.00 Industrial/Upholstery (5+”) = $15.00
    Fabric (2.5” to 4”) = $9.00 Kitchen = $7.50
    Fabric (Chrome - 2.5” to 4”) = $10.00 Pinking Shears = $11.00 (or click HERE)
  • How much does it cost to get my knives sharpened?

    A 'easier to read' listing is in the 2021 'Pricing link' here (or below); however . . .

    KNIVES:

    Common Kitchen Styles - Less than 3.5" = $3 + $1 per inch.
    Common Kitchen Styles - 3.5+" to 6.5" = $4 + $1 per inch.
    Common Kitchen Styles - 6.5+" to 9.5" = $5 + $1 per inch.
    Common Kitchen Styles - Greater than 9.5" = $6 + $1
    Other Knife Styles - Food Blender = $7.00
    Other Knife Styles - Hunting (Fixed) = $12 + $1 per inch.
    Pocket / Folding - Total Length = Less than 2.5" = $6 + $1 per inch.
    Pocket / Folding - Total Length = 2.5" to 5" = $9 + $1 per inch.
    Pocket / Folding - Total Length = Greater than 5" = $12 + $1 per inch.
    Other Knife Styles - Serrated * (1 Sided) = $5 + $1 per inch. (or click HERE)
    * Caution! Normal sharpening unavoidably reduces the height of your knife's serrations.
  • How do I know if my knife is really sharp or not?

    There are lots of 'theories' out there about how to answer this common question that involve burrs and arm hair but let's not make this personal here, ok? 🙂

    I'm a big fan of objective truth that I can demonstrate to everyone everywhere all the time.  Call me weird, alright?

    GHS has always needed an 'objective' testing method internally so that we could know if we were putting out 'quality' knife sharpening or not.

    Unfortunately, you can't measure this kind of stuff with a dipstick so it took us many years to find the 'right' material to test our 'post-sharpened' knives with.

    The big 'secret'?  Common, ordinary butcher paper; really.

    For us, slicing through this paper is to feel with our hands the level of resistance that the newly sharpened knife produces as it slices through.

    Lots of resistance in the paper is bad, but little resistance is good and sharp to you individually.

    For fun, you could try ordinary copier paper but the modern versions are so super thin that you'd have to apply steady 'tension' between your fingers across the paper itself to make it work for you.  Don't cut your thumb off, ok?

    Finally, this is our best GHS 'quality control' method that has been proven with many years of virtually zero complaints out in the real world.

    What happens if 'they' discontinue making butcher paper in the near future?  Back to the drawing board obviously.  Sigh.

  • How do I know if my scissor is really sharp or not?

    Frankly, it's not something you can just run your thumb over the edge and pronounce it "Good enough".

    Do the scissor's edges cut smoothly from the tip all the way back is a nice objective standard that most people would agree to.  Hopefully anyway, what do I know? 🙂

    Having the 'correct' test fabric material(s) for the kind of scissor involved is equally important obviously.  Sounds good, yes?

    So that's it basically as far as the testing process of GHS scissor sharpening goes.

    Smoothly cutting scissor edges slicing through test fabric gives the same hand tension 'feel' as it's butcher paper knife testing cousins.

    'Roughness' cutting wise is bad and burrs are always an issue, but 'smoothness' means near factory alignment and all is well.

  • Why?

  • Why does GHS pricing seem a bit higher that I expected?

    To get your item(s) sharpened inside 7 days, I have to:

    1. Get into my Jeep and physically drive over to the hardware store of your choice.
    2. Pick up your item(s) and drive back to The Woodlands area.
    3. Actually sharpen your item(s).
    4. Get back in my Jeep and physicaly drive back once again to the hardware store of your choice.
    5. Deliver and ‘check in’ said item(s) there.

    A lot of work, time and energy on my part, yes?

    Just think about delivering your item(s) to The Woodlands to me alone.  For most, it’s a long drive and don’t think about the usual traffic, ok?

    Well worth the extra dollar or two, yes?

  • My item is NOT 'razor sharp'.

    Correct, see our favorite slogan on the back of our price sheets.

    "It's NOT razor sharp, BUT it's the next best thing."

    Fact: Super thin edges roll, buckle and actually chip / crack very, very easily.

    See a REAL 'safety' razor blade for the arm hair shaving, please.

  • My item(s) don't cut like I was expecting them to after sharpening?

    Assuming that it's NOT the 'razor sharp' issue of long running infamy (click HERE) then it's most likely scissor oriented.

    Unfortunately, most scissors are relatively 'delicate' creatures that prefer to be left alone mostly.(or click HERE)

    They don't like being dropped to the floor or have heavy things put on top of them or twisted in any way.

    But the real world doesn't look out for these very well I'm afraid.  Handling by non-owners along the way isn't always kind, gravity is unforgiving and Murphy's Law is always waiting.

    We understand, ok?  Sometimes, life happens and we try to meet everyone halfway in these circumstances.

    Best we can 'do' is look at these once again after you've sent them back to us for some loving help.

    Let us know, as best you can, exactly what is not 'working' for you?  Not cutting at the point, a little too stiff on the screw tension front, some specifics, please.

    Finally, we've had to 'limit' such TLC by a 30 day time frame to be equally fair to GHS in these situations.  We hope you understand or we'll be applying TLC for months and months and months afterwards.

    See the FAQ about how we normally sharpen scissors for more information.(or click HERE)

  • My knife's serration are wearing away, is there anything that GHS can do to help me?

    No, unfortunately.  The serrated knife manufacturers create their own variations that they each think is 'best' for the public.

    Most serrations are very unique and there are no common 'tools' beyond a crude file that you might even 'try' with.

    See our serration 'warning' on our price sheets as re-sharpening unavoidably grinds away some of the limited serration depth still on the knife's edge.

    Multiple sharpenings over time will eventually grind away the last of the knife's serrations and GHS will then sharpen both knife sides to convert it into a conventional knife.  Poof.

  • GHS advice: Why you don't want to sharpen your grandad's old handsaw.

    In their prime, these well made handsaws were common across the U.S.

    Real quality wooden handles with quality steel nuts and bolts to bind the everything together.

    Their teeth were designed to be hand sharpened with common files to keep these sharpened for decades even.

    Their fatal flaw?

    The quality of steel common in manufacturing in those years unfortunately.  Galvanizing (zinc plating) would obviously and quickly wear off and leaves the steel itself open to the elements.

    Time & humidity ages this exposed steel like people to a degree surprisingly.  Oxidization (rust) eats in on all sides and it's why all these saws have a very dark 'finish' or appearence to them nowadays.

    Eventually, the fine interior rust makes the steel on the edges more and more 'brittle' relatively speaking.  R.I.P., basically.

    To sharpen a handsaw, their 'teeth' first need to be re-bent back to the original manufacturer's preferred angles so that the saw will 'bite' properly.

    Say hello relatively 'brittle' steel.  The classic 'setter' equipment that does this very efficiently on all handsaws is simply too 'forceful' in striking at these individual teeth to bend them back to their original positions.

    See the weaken, brittle teeth oddly breaking randomly almost everywhere as the setter machine isn't all that adjustable. The machine is trying to bend real steel so it has to strike real hard one time to get it's job done.

    Unfortunately, time is all our enemy here.  But in the end, it's just another classic hand tool best put on display for future generatons with all your other grandad's ancient hand tools.  Sorry!

  • Who?

  • Who are you guys and why should I trust you with my item(s)?

    Good question, really.  See the 'About Us' link here or to the right here for the 'bare bones' company history wise.

    (or click HERE)

    For 50 weeks in a row each and every year for literally decades now, we show up, period.

    Ok, hurricanes and/or bad tropical storms are 'bears' but the individual store employees tell us which roads aren't flooded and we drive accordingly.

    Usually in the worse flooding conditions, one week's delay is 'normal' in the lower lying locations.

    Put it this way, we've never been 2 weeks delayed due to flooding concerns EVER to undamaged locations.

  • Who are your major sharpening competitors around Houston?

    Really? 🙂  Assuming that you hunt for them online, there are still a few around H-Town.

    Circle Saw has been around for 50+ years as best I remember.  Nice guys, really.

    They still have some people in the back there who know their sharpening and 'do' a good job on the relatively few items that they still sharpen for the public.

    Check out their website at www.CircleSaw.com.  Ok, look hard for the 'sharpening' link at the bottom of their main page.  Good pricing, really, on the 'small' number of items that they still sharpen.

    The 'catch'?  You get to drive all the way to 610 & 290 to drop off your item(s) there and get a claim check and then drive home again.

    Then, in a few business days, drive back to 610 & 290 to pick-up your item(s) with your claim check.  Sound familar?
    Then happily drive home once more knowing that you've saved a couple of bucks off my like GHS sharpening fees.

    Still happy as you poke along through the H-Town traffic there and back TWICE? 🙂

    The rest?  Mostly 'mobile' knife & scissor sharpeners looking to make a honest living no doubt.

    The truth?  Except for the $50 fee that some charge upfront to pay for their gasoline, they are somewhat cheaper per knife just like Circle Saw.

    'Break even' point for you dollar wise is probably 10-15 knives to get sharpened.  Work for you?

    Oh! You want something other than knives & scissors sharpened by someone who has some actual experience on literally hundreds of different items each week?  GHS is still nearby at your convenience.