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Lorenz Grinding

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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

Centuries ago, expert grinders from one Austrian town spread out across the countryside each year to sharpen knives and tools. A statue in the town inscribed with the name "Lorenz" honors one family of these craftsmen.

A Salt Lake City shop of the same name continues the tradition. In 1910, Silvio Lorenz moved to Utah from Austria and started Lorenz Grinding. Silvio's son, Lou, later took over the business, and in 1960, he hired and trained grinder Tom Warner.

Tom tells me that Lorenz Grinding continues to use traditional methods to sharpen knives, cutlery, tools and scissors. For example, when sharpening scissors, the grinders take the scissors apart and sharpen each edge of the blades on wet grinding wheels. Today, most sharpeners simply hone the side of each blade.

When I visited the shop at its original location at 29 East 400 South in Salt Lake City, I saw tools crafted years ago by Silvio Lorenz and cabinets built by Lou Lorenz. As I watched Tom use different grinding wheels to perfectly sharpen and polish a knife, I learned why customers from across the nation rely on Lorenz Grinding's expert services.

The craftsmen grind, sharpen and polish knives, scissors, tools and cutlery for chefs, seamstresses, butchers, animal groomers, veterinarians, and anyone else who needs sharp knives and tools. At this time of year, they sharpen many different types of garden tools.

But the store not only sharpens — it also sells a variety of knives, tools and scissors, including Randall Made knives, which only 23 stores in the nation can sell.

Mark Woodward bought Lorenz Grinding about three years ago, and has since added improvements to the store, including lights in the display cases and a larger selection and variety of knives for sale. He also plans to add belt grinders and other equipment to allow the store to benefit from both the traditions of the past, and the technology of today.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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