Who Is Kyle Kaplan?
Kyle Kaplan is the founder of startasharpeningservice.com and runs an unconventional knife sharpening side hustle! Knife sharpening services is a booming industry and now is a great time to start a knife sharpening side hustle!
Kyle Kaplan has a day job at Teachable, an online platform to create courses! His primary role is sales there and has used his sales expertise to sell his knife sharpening side hustle services!
How did the idea of starting a Knife Sharpening Side Hustle come to be?
Kyle worked for a Wicked Edge, which manufactures knife sharpening equipment. Through working there, Kyle learned a lot about knife sharpening. In 2017, Kyle’s girlfriend moved in with her two children and Kyle needed to make more money to support them.
Kyle needed to find a side hustle that was flexible with times so that he could be there for the children as well. Choosing not to take a job, he figured the easiest thing to do with his skillset was start a knife sharpening service.
What does it cost to start a knife sharpening business?
Kyle did the whole business for less than $1000. His biggest expenses were the actual knife sharpening equipment and hosting for his website. Within 10 days of the idea, he was able to make money from his knife sharpening business.
Kyle claims that you can start with less than $500 if you need to.
How much money are you currently making with your knife sharpening side hustle?
Kyle usually dedicates about 5-7 hours per week to the knife sharpening business. With that, he is able to make around $10,000 a year. That is 1-2 hours per day picking up knives in his community, sharpening them, and delivering them the next day.
You can sharpen a knife in about 10 minutes if you’re just starting out, but once you get good, you can get down to 5 minutes easily.
How to market your knife sharpening side hustle?
You don’t need to spend a lot of money marketing your business. All you need to do is go to a farmers market or pull up a table in your local community and you’ll get tons of people coming to you.
What equipment do you need to start a knife sharpening business?
You will need different equipment depending on what kind of sharpening business you are starting. If you are looking to start a knife sharpening side hustle dedicated to salons, you will need equipment designed to sharpen shears. If you are looking at residential, then you can start with a lesser expense.
Wicked Edge is the brand that Kyle Kaplan recommends. It is a little more expensive than most, but it is the easiest to use and most precise.
Wicked Edge Equipment
As Kyle mentions, you do not need Wicked Edge equipment, but that is how Kyle teaches and uses himself. You should do your research before purchasing any equipment for your knife sharpening side hustle.
The Wicked Edge Go is the model that Kyle recommends. They have discontinued it and are making improvements to it. The Wicked Edge Go is a portable model and good for you if you are on the go.
Other related models: Precision Edge WE100
Different Knife Sharpening Business Models
There are different knife sharpening side hustle business models that you can follow and pick what is suitable to you. Choosing a side hustle where the demands meet your lifestyle is important for the longevity of your side hustle.
On The Spot Knife Sharpening
This business model revolves setting up a table somewhere, clients are bringing you their knives for you to sharpen on the spot. Once you’re done, they pay you and you give it back to them. This is great for farmers markets or at local community events.
Drop Off/Pick Up Knife Sharpening
This business model revolves around having a specific drop-off spot where clients can drop them off and you can bring them back there in the morning. This usually is done best at other business places, where you agree with them and split sales.
Pick Up and Delivery Knife Sharpening
This is Kyle’s favorite knife sharpening business! Customers place orders on his website, they schedule a pickup, Kyle picks it up at their house, and then delivers the next day. This business model requires you to be punctual and have time to do pickup and deliveries when scheduled.
Mail In Knife Sharpening
This is a great business model if you are looking to expand your sales and scale your knife sharpening side hustle. With a mail in service, you do not need to just focus on your local community, but rather the country as a whole. By expanding your reach, you can niche down into specific types of knife sharpening services.
Restaurant Exchange Knife Sharpening
This business model is great if you want to attract a more professional customer base and have a predictable income stream. You work directly with restaurants and set a contract with them for knife scheduling. You would have a rotating set of knives that you keep to sharpen, deliver those, and then sharpen theirs.
Mobile Knife Sharpening
This knife sharpening business model is the most labor-intensive and demanding but can pay well. You are traveling to the client, performing the work on the spot, and getting paid. You are essentially saving the second trip, which would be the delivery. Customers are willing to pay a premium because they are getting it on the spot.
How To Get Clients For Your Knife Sharpening Side Hustle?
The first tasks you will want to do is set up your Google My Business page, Yelp Page and a brief website that explains your services.
When purchasing your domain, you will want to put “knife sharpening” or “sharpening service” in your name. This will help you with your SEO.
Other ways are through NextDoor, which allows you to post about what you’re doing and introduce yourself!
Another great way is to find a local business such as a hardware store with a strong newsletter following! See if you can get into their newsletter!
How Can Someone Learn How To Sharpen a Knife?
There is a learning curve to sharpening knives, and you need to be patient when starting. Part of the reason Kyle promotes Wicked Edge is because they are easier to use than most. They also have a great community on Facebook that are always talking about knife sharpening!
You can expect a 20 knife learning curve! The first 20 knives are going to take long, but after that, you will be good to go.
Most Important Part of Knife Sharpening
The most important thing you can do is to take good care of your client’s knife. Do not lose it or damage it. When Kyle first started, he mixed up two customers’ knives and had to pay for a new knife. Remember to take care of it first, and then sharpen it second!
How To Price Your Knife Sharpening Side Hustle
There is sometimes other jobs you need to do to the knife that the customer won’t know. This could be sharpening the tip, or finding a damage on the knife. This makes it difficult to allow the customer to prepay before it happens unless you allow for adjustments.
What’s Next For You Kyle?
The biggest thing for Kyle is to produce great content around starting a knife sharpening side hustle! Other than that, Kyle is dedicated to learning his craft and starting a great career at Teachable.
#1 Tip For Side Hustlers Just Starting Out
Be patient and make things as easy as possible for yourself! You want to set things up properly and then not thing about it down the road. Keep it simple for yourself and do not overcomplicate it.
Connect with Kyle Kaplan
You can also get his book on his website too!