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Economic Development

Posted on: June 5, 2019

Business Spotlight - Slip's Sharpening

Business Spotlight featuring Slip's Sharpening

Slip’s Sharpening Bob (Slip) and Judy Hall are the proud owners of Slip’s Sharpening – offering sharpening services to veterinarians, hair stylists, dog grooming facilities, and other businesses in need of a sharp blade. Decades ago, Bob originally opened a store where he repaired and “tinkered” with small engines. He often received requests to sharpen chainsaws and lawn mowers, but lacked the equipment to do the work. Hall saw an opportunity to expand his business and get the tools he needed for sharpening when a nearby business was about to close its doors. He purchased the company to acquire the machines needed to meet the needs of his customers, “And that was the start of a whole new world,” Hall says. 

Slip’s Sharpening began its journey on the road in a mobile truck, opening for business in 1995. The truck included an inventory of clippers and shears available for purchase, as well as the machinery Hall needed to sharpen knives and clippers on-site.

 As a hair stylist, Judy Hall introduced her husband to a whole new clientele for sharpening services – the hair styling industry. The Halls started attending sharpening conferences to soak up any information they could about how to sharpen any tool they might come across. “There is quite an art to it,” says Bob Hall, “I like to restore it and make sure it will work correctly.” 

While Hall valued his ability to work on the road, his dream was to open a storefront. His wife came across a commercial building available to rent on her commute to work one day and suggested her husband check it out. In 2010, Slip’s Sharpening settled into its permanent location on Coon Rapids Boulevard. 

As technology advances, Bob and Judy Hall are continually learning about the newest sharpening machines, to make sure they can offer the best service to their customers. A hair stylist depends on a quality pair of shears to do their work; the Halls recognize how vital their role is to sharpen those shears correctly. 

“There are so many different types of shears, ranging from $400-$500,” Judy Hall says. “People ship to us from around the country because they like the work we do.” Along with hair salons, Slip’s Sharpening provides services to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Hospital and the Veterinary Hospital Association (which includes 450+ veterinary clinics) and local dog grooming businesses. 

The couple has a long-standing joke that they practically live in the Slip’s Sharpening workroom the week of Thanksgiving, when they find themselves a little extra busy. The business is one of just three specialized sharpening businesses in the entire state – a unique niche they are happy to fulfill in Coon Rapids and beyond.

Quick Facts: 

  •  Located at 2609 Coon Rapids Blvd. NW 
  •  Bob Hall received the nickname “Slip” while playing baseball in high school. 
  •  Slip’s Sharpening has serviced veterinarians as far away as Mongolia.

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