ReNusers is a mobile sharpener/appliance repair business that opened in March. Photos courtesy of ReNusers.

July 12, 2017

My son was home from college recently and asked how to sharpen his kitchen knives. We advised him to just go buy some new ones.

Wrong answer.

Turns out Americans are notorious in just dumping their knives and scissors when they become dull, along with our clogged vacuums, blenders with broken motors and microwaves that are on the fritz.

The World Bank reports that 16 percent of American trash, or 332 pounds per capita, is made up of the “other” category of trash besides organic material and recyclable stuff like paper, plastic, metal and glass. The “other” in our trash includes ash, electronics and appliances, by the World Bank terms, and Americans are by far the leaders in this category. (Indian is No. 2 with 73 pounds per capita.)

RenusersDespite our best efforts to recycle, we have largely have forgotten the other two R’s in the green mantra—reduce and reuse.

Blades before and after cleaning and sharpening.

A young Dallas company is trying to change that. And they’ll come to your door.

ReNusers is a mobile sharpener/appliance repair business that opened in March. They are targeting stylists, barbers, groomers, restaurants and veterinarians, but they’ll also come to your home to sharpen your knives and unclog that vacuum.

The company is the brainchild of Nicole Gilbert, Marc Howell and a silent partner who goes by Derrick G. The three purchased some sharpening equipment from a company going out of business and ReNusers was born.

“We all live a green lifestyle and this fit into that,” said Gilbert. “We focus on stuff people throw away and go to Walmart to replace. Anything we can break apart and try to fix we want to service.”

RenusersGilbert said the ReNusers van with all of its sharpening and repair equipment inside drives throughout the DFW Metroplex daily. It also takes trips to Waco and College Station.

“If you’re in Mansfield, just call to make an appointment and we’ll tell you what day in the next week or two we will be in your area,” she said. “We try to conserve on gas by making a day of it in one area.”

Freshly sharpened grooming tools at Bow Wow Barber in Waxahachie. 

Prices are posted on their website. Sharpening costs range from $5-$7 for knives to $7-$25 for scissors and shears. Repair costs of small kitchen appliances range from $35 to $85.

The website also has postings of many happy customers.

“My blades and scissors are perfect! Great job guys! I’ll never use anyone else,” wrote Mickey Lynn.

Trash graphic“Great job guys! I sure will be calling you guys again. I’m very happy that now I don’t have to leave my shop,” wrote Cristina Flores.

“A lot of people are excited when they hear about us,” Gilbert said. “In addition to being green, we’re trying to save them money in the long run and they are really receptive to it.”

Gilbert said there is some competition in scissor sharpening, but not as much in clipper sharpening and appliance repair. One recent day ReNusers was at a pet salon and sharpened 60 blades and 30 scissors, along with repairing a few dog dryers, she said.

Trash graphic courtesy of Mother Jones.

In the future, Gilbert says they hope to open a store front and, to be even greener, add solar panels to the van to operate their sharpening and repair equipment.

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