Things my friends do: Human Knife Sharpener

This Tan Yee Hou has been wanting to come and sharpen my knives since forever.

Huh, sharpen knives? Just buy the bulat bulat tool that they sell for RM50 or less lah! Why so ma fan, have to ask someone to physically come and sharpen the knives? All the same one lah!

Turns out, it’s not all the same. Apparently this Tan Yee Hou is really into it. It’s a family thing, the tools he possesses belong to his grandfather or something and you can’t find those types of sharpening stones any more.

So one fine day, a 20 something year old boy was stuck in my sister’s bathroom sharpening a lot of knives the old school way.

Yee Hou sharpening knives
Tan Yee Hou!!!

I found out that he has learned a lot about knife sharpening, i.e. knives to cut vegetables or meat have different angles so must be sharpened accordingly. He’s the de facto knife sharpener in his family. They buy cheap knives from the night market + sharpen regularly = works like a RM500 knife.

The sharpened knives work beautifully. An el cheapo knife that I possess chops up carrots like a brand new Zwilling cleaver. Fanbloodytastic!

If you’d like your knives sharpened the old school way for a small fee, go contact Tan Yee Hou.



  1. i think tan yee hou really loves to sharpen knife, probably has a certain condition… or something.

  2. yeah i know. he was really into it, almost felt like true love 😛

  3. eh, does he sharpen Zwilling knives??

  4. Hey! I love my zwilling! <3 LOL. Do you know if your friend sharpens serrated knives as well? Mine doesn't need sharpening yet, but always nice to have a contact when the need comes.

  5. lance: yes he does! he sharpened my sister’s zwilling. any kind of knives, except serrated.

    izad: nope, cannot sharpen serrated knife! anything but serrated hehehe

  6. Holy shit. I could use a Tan Yee Hou in my home.

  7. thatjames: then you should get in touch with Tan Yee Hou! Hehehe he charges very small fee only… so small it’s ridiculous

  8. eh actually serrated knives can be sharpened.. but i lost my contact’s number.. but you very rarely need to sharpen those kinds of knives anyway.. kan? 😀

  9. My dad sharpens knives this way too. super sharp and much better than those newer sharpeners

  10. Tan Yee Hou says:

    @Izad – Serrated knives need special tools to do it, very small sharpening rods. You’re right that you rarely need to sharpen them anyway, so investing in costly equipment to do things that we rarely perform doesn’t make much sense to our humble household.

    Besides, the only use we have for serrated blades are for breads and steaks. They’ve been around for ages and we’ve never had to sharpen them, mainly due to lack of use.

    I can do all straight non-ceramic blades. Ceramic blades cannot be sharpened as they will shatter / chip under normal sharpening conditions, and again require special tools.

    @Lance & James – Drop me a word at [tanyeehou at googlemale dot kom] (sorry, anti-spam) and I’ll be happy to drop by!

  11. Tan Yee Hou says:

    @KY – its called attachment to all things hard…and smooth hehe :p

    You need yours done again?

    @icednyior – Yay I found your dad now we can have a convention!

  12. tan yee hou!! next time i know who to call for knife sharpening!!!! not-so-hidden talent i see. 😛

  13. Hi , may I know still available for sharp knife? I got 4 chef knifes and few butcher knife to sharp it

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