“Frequently Asked Questions” about the Sharpening Business.


How much money can I expect to make in the sharpening business?

You should be able to make up to $45 an hour. As you gain experience and regular customers, you will be able to batch similar types of work to reduce set-up time and improve your productivity. By doing so, you can make even more money. Of course, the amount of time and effort you devote to your business will affect the amount you make. Some shops make as little as $10,000 a year while others bring in more than $100,000.


How much profit is there? In most cases 90 cents of every dollar you take in will be profit.


How do I find out about how much to charge?

The operating instructions you receive with your equipment provide pricing guidelines based on national averages. You can adjust your charge up or down to fit your local market. Starting out with a fair price that will permit a reasonable profit for you is better than changing prices frequently.


Is sharpening service hard to sell?

NO. The time has passed when people buy a new saw or tool every time the old one becomes dull. High replacement costs have made more people seek out “Full Service Sharpening Shops” to maintain their tools.


How do I get business?

Because of the quality of work you produce, you probably can rely on "word-of-mouth" advertising once you get started.


Is the shop equipment hard to operate?

NO. Each machine in your Full Service Sharpening shop comes with easy-to-read and understand written instructions and videotapes. These instructions are illustrated with drawings and diagrams to show you each simple step to sharpen virtually every saw or tool. The easiest is to watch the video demonstrations tapes. You'll quickly master each task and be in business.


But what if I don't like manuals? Is there any other way I can learn to use my AV-40?

YES. Some people feel more comfortable by having the operations demonstrated to them. If you're one of these people, you can sign up for a special Training in Green Bay, WI. Instructors will show you every aspect of running your AV-40. Call our toll-free telephone, 1-(866)-497-0572, for details.


What about service on my AV-40?

Thorvie International equipment is designed to withstand years of everyday commercial use with an absolute minimum of maintenance and repair. When needed, you probably can do it right in your shop. If you have a problem you can't solve, you can call our Factory Service Department at the toll-free number. A factory-trained expert will help you quickly and easily solve your problem.


Now, what about replacement parts and supplies?

Replacement parts and supplies are available for immediate shipment - direct from the Thorvie International.


But can I rely on Thorvie International?

Absolutely! We've been in business since 1977, and even in today's difficult business climate, Thorvie International continues to be a financially strong and stable company dedicated to helping small, independent business people.


Must I work full time in my Shop?

NO. Many successful Thorvie International Sharpening Shops are operated on a part-time basis by people just working to earn a little extra income and by disabled or retired people. They use the extra cash to supplement their pension checks and Social Security.


If I want, can I have a full-time career with my Full Service Sharpening Shop?

Certainly. You can have about as much or as little business as you want. We have many customers who started part time with the idea of making a few extra dollars to add to their regular earnings. They soon found they had plenty of business to operate on a full-time basis. So they quit their regular jobs and now report better earnings, more freedom and no more worry about layoffs or working for someone who doesn't care about quality and doing a good job.


Can a woman succeed in a Full Service Sharpening Shop?

YES. We have full-time and part-time women Shop operators. They charge the same rates as men and can handle any sharpening job a man can. We also have many husband-wife teams among our customers.


How about an older person?

Many retired men operate Full Service Sharpening Shops. They set their own hours and come and go as they please. The Shop gives them something to do and gets them out and about meeting new people and making new friends not to mention making extra cash to supplement Social Security and pensions.


Can a handicapped person make a living operating a Full Service Sharpening Shop?

YES. As a matter of fact, some of our shop operators are handicapped. Of course, the nature and degree of a person's disability is important. The equipment can be operated from a chair if necessary.


Do I need any previous sharpening or mechanical experience?

NO. The AV-40 comes with simple, easy-to-understand operating instructions. You will be able to quickly master the basic set-ups and be in business. If you need assistance, you can call our toll free number. A factory-trained expert will help you with any problem you may have in operating the equipment.


Does the equipment really pay for itself?

YES! The earnings from many shops pay for their equipment in three or four months. Naturally, the more business you take in, the quicker it will payoff. But even if you operate on a very limited basis -say a few saws and tools a week (you should average $75 a week) - the equipment still would pay for itself.


How small a town can support a Full Service Sharpening Shop?

Successful Shops operate in towns as small as 100 people. It helps if other small towns are nearby to provide additional business. Farmers, carpenters, lumberyard operators and homeowners have hundreds of items that need sharpening.


Do I have to pay a franchise fee?

NO. The cash you take in is YOURS.


Can I set up the equipment in a van and have a mobile Shop? 

YES, if you prefer. All you need is access to 11O-volt A.C. to operate the motors on the equipment. We have some very successful Sharpening Shops that operate "on wheels".


Does the AV-40 sharpen handsaws?

The AV-40 will not sharpen a handsaw. Handsaws can be sharpened easily by hand filing using a common 3-cornered file. The use of handsaws has been diminishing fast over the years. If you go to a job site you will find that the carpenters battery operated circle saws with carbide tipped blades. Building contractors take their portable table saws and electric miter saws to the job site…replacing the use of handsaws.


How much space do 1 need?

Many Shops are in the corner of a " basement, garage or in an adjacent outbuilding. A 10-foot by 10-foot area is more than adequate.


Can 1 sharpen carbide blades?

YES. The AV-40 was specially designed for carbide saw blades.


What if I get a tool I don't know how to sharpen?

Matching the angle that is on the tool to the grinding wheel can easily sharpen the tool. And, of course, you can always call one of the experts in our Service Department at the toll-free number.


Do I need to rent a shop or store?

Only if you want to, as we said, your sharpening equipment can be set up in your basement, garage or even in your van.


Will I need to hire a bookkeeper?

Because your Sharpening Shop is intended to operate as a cash business you will have a few books to keep -you'll have no invoices to send or bills to collect. Any records you want to keep can easily be handled by yourself or by a member of your family. Many Full Service Sharpening Shop businesses operate as husband-wife teams with the husband doing the sharpening and the wife keeping the books.


What else do I need to start my business?

If you can think of anything else you need, you let us know! The AV-40, including accessories, videotapes and operating instructions, is especially designed so that you can go to work immediately with just these materials, but, we also recommend a 2” X 42” belt sander.