Sharp Shooter

Bring your knives to Saturday's Green City Market

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Even the most meticulous cooks can be sloppy about knife maintenance.

Which is where Dave Nells comes in. The professionally trained sharpener is fanatical about your blade so you don't have to be. And because he's a new Saturday fixture at the Green City Market–and at the soon-to-open Lincoln Square market–keeping your knife in top form has never been easier.

Stop by the Sharpening by Dave stand at the beginning of your market jaunt. Using a wet wheel, he'll sharpen each implement in about five minutes–and unlike services that charge by the inch, all basic knives are $4. He'll hone bread knives ($5), meat cleavers ($5) and kitchen shears ($6), and mandolin and food processor blades (pricing on a case-by-case basis), as well as high-end steel, like one-angled Japanese knives ($4).

After a go on a professional wheel, the blade should stay sharp–even with daily use–for longer than eight months.

But only if you treat it right. Follow Nells' tips for maintaining your edge, and you'll still be razor-sharp come tomato season:

• Use wood or bamboo cutting boards instead of plastic.

• Never put your knife in the dishwasher; the heat cycle will break down the honed edge.

• If using a knife block, store knives sharp side up, so the blade doesn't run against the wood when sliding it in and out. (Nells' preferred knife holder is a magnetic knife strip.)