Clients and Reviews

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The daily grind of a motorcycle-riding mobile knife sharpener

Wary looks and lost fingers

Terry Smith lost a finger to a motor drive belt when he started his business 10 years ago. (ABC Radio Sydney: Luke Wong) Terry Smith worked as a motor mechanic and courier before taking up mobile knife sharpening, and early on he suffered an accident with the motor drive belt on his bike.
"When I first set the machine up it was on a two-wheel bike and it fell over off the stand and I inadvertently took half a finger off," Mr Smith said.
He was out of work for six weeks, but after rehabilitation he got back on the bike and has been running his business for more than 10 years.
Terry Smith and his motorcycle service restaurants, butchers, schools and homes. (ABC Radio Sydney: Luke Wong) Nowadays Mr Smith rides a three-wheeled motorcycle to service restaurants, butchers, schools and homes. He said his only challenge was dealing with the occasional wet weather.
"It's great to be outside every day, it's great to meet different people, and it's great to make relationships with the long-term clients."
His only frustrations are dealing with wet weather and when passers-by call the police in fear he may do something criminal with the knives.

Terry's tips for keeping sharp

  • Wash your knives by hand in the sink, as dishwashing machine solvents and heat can damage blades and handles.
  • Store knives in wooden holding blocks with the cutting edge facing upward.
  • Avoid cutting on glass chopping boards and granite benchtops—use softwood or polymer chopping boards.
  • Learn how to properly use your honing steel or wet stone.
By Luke Wong, ABC Radio Sydney
(February 7, 2018)
Yes! Cooking preparation takes half the time with sharp knives. I am loving it! Great job and see you next year.

Dawn, Castlecrag
(December 13, 2016)
G’day Terry,
Many thanks for dropping by and looking after our knives.
Once again I have been amazed by the difference having sharp knives makes to the cooking experience.
I have made a note in my calendar to book a service call mid-year in addition to pre-Christmas, as it is a very reasonable investment for such a great result.

Saul, Head of Sport, Seven Network (Operations) Limited
(December 12, 2016)
Hi Terry,
Finally unwrapped the knife and tested it on a quick salad. It sliced through a thick skinned, shop-bought tomato like it was air.
Butterflying a chicken tomorrow and expecting great things!
We also noticed that you'd taken out all the little nicks and dings along the edge. Perfect.
Thank you,

Christina and Nick, Croydon
(November 21, 2016)
Hello Terry
I'm so glad to hear some good news. We've had lots of enquiries over the weekend asking when will you be back [to the Randwick Farmers Market] … I will have some signs made up and place them around the market the week before you are due again.

Maria, Specialty Markets, Five Dock
(September 7, 2015)
(see where Terry is going to be)
Dear Terry,
You won't remember me, but a few years ago I had my global knives sharpened by you when you came to Gordon to Sun Microsystems. I was selling them on eBay and you did such a fantastic job on them that I bought another set as I hadn't believed knives could be sharpened like that!
Anyway I just thought I would tell you that I am now living in the UK because of family illness, but I brought my mums knives to be sharpened at a "professional knife sharpener" in the area. What a horrible mess he made out of them! You would have been as horrified as I was. No shine, no proper edge, no polishing of the blade!
Here is a picture of the completed knife.
So I thought I would let you know that you are indeed the BEST knife sharpener in the world and I will have to come back to Australia to have mine sharpened again!
Best wishes,

Sheila, Leeds
(November 5, 2014)
Sharp Knife!
[see Shiela's original review on May 6, 2011]
Hi Terry
Thanks for coming to the house to do the knives this morning. They look and feel terrific, and I look forward to easy slicing tonight!

Barbara, Neutral Bay
(July 4, 2014)
Hi Terry,
I'm loving my sharp knives—thank you again.
My neighbour has knives … I was hoping you could sharpen them please?
Kind regards

Janine, Neutral Bay
(June 3, 2014)
Hi Terry,
Thank you so much for doing such a good job of my knives.
Best wishes

Janine, Cremorne
(May 31, 2014)
Thanks Terry,
The blade did arrive. I have refitted it to the bread cutter which is working well (and the blade looks great thanks to you buffing it up!).
Thanks again. I appreciate your help with this and your craftmanship with the blade.

Jeremy, Randwick
(May 26, 2014)
Thanks a lot for the knife sharpening.
We are all very happy. Best edges we have ever used!
You will be hearing from me in the near future for sure.
Good luck. Take care

Kane, Brooklyn
(November 29, 2013)
I just wanted to thank you for the great job you did on the knives.
My wife is delighted.
They were used for a lovely meal and cut perfectly …

Nick, Cremorne
(November 25, 2013)
Hi Terry, you were over at my house last weekend at Neutral Bay to sharpen some knives and garden tools. I have used them and they are fantastic—what a difference

Mike, Neutral Bay
(October 17, 2013)
Thanks Terry—my knives are beautifully sharp now!

(September 1, 2013)
Hi Terry,
Thank you for the great job you did on our knives and scissors.
Kind regards,

Kerry, Hills Adventist College
(August 21, 2013)
Hi Terry,
The guillotine you sharpened today is fantastic, works perfectly.

Margaret, Cherrybrook
(May 11, 2013)
Hi Terry,
I just wanted to say a quick thank you for the fantastic service you provide. Not only did you travel to my house the knives are brilliant! As good if not better than new! Thanks again!
Kind regards,

Andrew, Castle Hill
(January 24, 2013)

Hi Terry
The knives arrived on Monday. Sorry for not confirming their delivery.
You've done a fantastic job. The larger knife is a joy to use and the smaller knife is now in ideal condition to bone a chicken for the Christmas barbeque.
Thank you ever so much.
Best regards

(December 19, 2012)
Terry its me Nathan I would like to thank u for the great job that u have done 4 sharping my scissors I'm so happy well done mate.

Nathan, Westmead Barber
(December 8, 2012)
Terry. Thanks for doing my knives.

Andy, Helensburgh Workers Sports & Social Club
(August 25, 2012)
Thanks Terry, I managed to catch you at the Castle Hill Showground last Saturday. The sharpened knives have been fabulous.
Many thanks

(May 16, 2012)

Terry The Knife Guy at work in Sydney, Australia

Video by Tim Littlejohn. Filmed outside Cave Road Butchery, Strathfield.

Hi Terry it's Izzy from the rusty wall. Just wanted to say thanks, you've done a great job with the knives.

Izzy, The Rusty Wall, Heathcote
(May 9, 2012)
Rusty Wall from Google Maps
Hi All,
Used Terry's service last weekend which was sharpening of garden tools. Since finding Terry's ad online he was very quick to answer emails of questions about his service before I decided to engage him.
He came to my home on Saturday afternoon and on time. Terry was very professional and job was completed under 40 minutes or so. He also gave me advice about the care of my tools and even information what to look for when purchasing kitchen knives as I told him this is what I am thinking to do very soon.
Overall just want to let you all know, top bloke and would highly recommend his services, and by the way very surprised what he charged, extremely affordable.

Tracy, Lalor Park
(March 31, 2012)
Just used the knives
thank you

(January 7, 2012)
Hi Terry
thanks for sharpening Angela and my knives. Fantastic as usual and all so easy.
Merry Christmas

Yvonne, Strathfield
(December 10, 2011)
Thank you for sharpening my knives and detecting a fracture in my Tojiro Chef's knife. I phoned Zen Imports who told me to send it to them for inspection. Today I received a replacement under warranty with no hassle at all, I only posted it last week.
Thank you, have a merry xmas and new year

Peter, Ambarvale
(December 1, 2011)
Hi Terry,
Thanks very much for the sharpening, it makes such a difference just to be able to cut the Christmas paper with the scissors properly! As for the cooking knives, they are worlds apart, and it makes cooking more enjoyable again. :) I'll look into getting a new steel, but I suspect I will be contacting you again in the future! Have a great holiday period. :)

Jess, Berowra
(November 30, 2011)
Hello Terry, You recently did a great job with knife sharpening at our restaurant. Wanted to know if you could return as soon as possible. Regards,

Carmel, ECCO Ristorante
(October 7, 2011)
Hi Terry—thanks they are great.

Belinda, Concord
(September 21, 2011)
Knives are great thanks Terry

Kiralee, Concord
(August 18, 2011)
Thanks for a job well done. The staff commented "that they are the sharpest they have ever been" and "much better to work with".
We will be using you in all future sharpening. Now all I have to do is make more spoons with the right handle.

John, Mr Pisa, Rydalmere
(June 27, 2011)
Great—thank you, good job!

Hilary, West Pymble
(June 10, 2011)
Good morning Terry,
I just thought I would let you know that I bought a brand new set of Global knives on the weekend!
This time I will be taking more care of them and taking them to yours truly when they need it.
I have been chopping everything in sight and can't get over them (and even cut my finger, but obviously that was not on purpose!)
But I swear the edge on them is still not as good as yours!!
I cannot get over the perfection of your work! Thank you very much indeed Terry.

Sheila, Gordon
(May 17, 2011)
Dear Terry,
I sold my Global knives on Ebay because I wasn't that pleased with them any more. I had only used a steel in the 3 years I had them with very poor results. I got you to sharpen them before I sent them off to the buyer and when you handed them back I could NOT believe the beautiful edge on them - they could have split a hair! I was nearly crying when I posted them off to the lucky buyer who had got such a bargain.
I cannot get over the perfection of your work! Thank you very much indeed Terry.

Sheila, Gordon
(May 6, 2011)
(Terry) You did a great job with my knives on Saturday morning. Thanks very much the 2 older knives belonged to my Grandfather and he was very particular about his knives. They have come up very well will use you again when I need to.

Richard, Neutral Bay
(March 28, 2011)
Thanks for dropping over Terry. Great work,

Rodney, Dulwich Hill
(September 14, 2010)
Thanks Terry, much appreciated!
I'll be in touch in the early new year for another round of sharpening.

Jennie, University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury Campus
(September 8, 2010)
Hi Terry, Thanks for the great job you did for us, we really appreciate you coming out.

(September 8, 2010)
Thank you Terry!! I don't think our knives were this sharp when we first bought them. Cutting through beef is like cutting through butter. We'll continue to keep in touch!!

Dana, Kirribilli
(August 3, 2010)
Newspaper Clipping

Newspaper Clipping

Good Living, The Sydney Morning Herald
(July 20, 2010)
Hi Terry. Thanks for sharpening my knives on Sat. They are so nice to use again. Can you recommend a good brand of steel and also how often should I use the steel?

(May 31, 2010)
Thanks for sharpening our kitchen knives. The sharpener that came with them was hopeless and i'd almost given up on them 'til I heard about you. Now they even slice through tomatoes without squashing them and are still very sharp a year later! Will definitely be visiting you again.

(May 2, 2010)
Thanks Terry — you did a brilliant job at sharpening our cooking workshop knives! We show people how to use food as medicine and include culinary tips and tricks. Having a razor sharp knife is vital to the success of our programs.

Sue, Nutrition and Wellbeing Clinic
(February 11, 2010)
Hi Terry — just got home from holidays and it was such a treat to have some nice sharp knives! You've done a great job.
Thanks again and will contact you again before it gets so dire!

(December 14, 2009)
Dear Terry,
Many thanks for the wonderful job you did sharpening our knives.
Not only did you arrive on time, which is something of a rarity with tradesmen these days, but the job you did is wonderful.
The knives are as good as new and when I used them last night it reminded me what a difference a sharp knife makes.
I will certainly using your service again and will be recommending you to my colleagues and friends.

Saul, Head of Sport, Seven Network (Operations) Limited
(December 5, 2009)
Thank you Terry for making the trip to Lucas Heights. I hope the day worked out well for you.
The staff are very happy and I LOVE my new sharp knives.

(November 23, 2009)
Terry the Knife guy attends two of Hawkesbury Harvest four Farmers and Fine Food markets (Castle Hill and Rouse Hill). This service adds great value to the Farmers Market. You can get your knives and garden tools sharpened whilst you shop for your local and regional fresh foods. Come early give your knives to Terry and when you return you will have a bag full of freshness and knives that effectively slice and dice that wonderful produce.

Alan, Hawkesbury Harvest
(September 17, 2009)
Thanks, Terry, for sharpening my knives last week. Your service was so prompt and I'm sorry I missed you. The knives have been a pleasure to use. I will certainly make use of your service again.

(September 7, 2009)
Hi Terry:
Many thanks for your ongoing support at our Thomas Dux Grocer stores in Lane Cove, Surry Hills and Mona Vale. Your regular knife sharpening is helping our customers create delicious food with sharp, safe knives.
Our nominated charities are very grateful for your contribution towards their fundraising from every knife you sharpen. Hope to see you at our new store in Crows Nest soon.
Best wishes

Peter, Thomas Dux Grocer, “WE LOVE FOOD”
(September 4, 2009)
Thanks Terry, … [the knives] were in very bad condition and now that we have your service we can keep them maintained. Thank you for all your care and I hope the amount paid was sufficient for the time you must have spent.

(August 24, 2009)
We've used Terry's services over the years and we are extremely satisfied with the workmanship, expertise & courtesy that Terry provides. We highly recommend Terry to any business.

Al Aseel Catering & Restaurants
(May 27, 2009)
Hi Terry, just wanted to say thank you again for sharpening my knives today and thanks also for the lesson in properly using the steel. I will work on my technique and hope to see you again next year.
Kind regards

(February 21, 2009)
I had Terry come to my home and sharpen my range of knives. As a self confessed home chef I love my knives and take pride in my collection. I did not realise that my knives were so bad until I asked Terry to sharpen them. Afterwards they were so sharp and I was extremely happy. I will definitely be calling on Terry to sharpen my knives in the future.

(December 25, 2008)
Thanks for all your efforts in sharpening my knives and my axe. You did a great job—all the knives have been a delight to use again and the axe has been ideal for cutting kindling (its main job!).
Thanks again.

(July 14, 2008)