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My grandparents are deliberating if they need a food processor, and if using knives is easier. They They can pay any amount ≤ $999 CAD. Consider only Consumer Reports's top 3 food processors. I'm hoping someone here with one can testify from personal experience.

  1. How long do the blades last, if they food-process raw hard unpiercable vegetables like 1 winter squash daily?

  2. Can the blades be sharpened? r/cooking contends yes.

  3. Even if they can, is it cheaper to sharpen or replace the blades?

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    You're going to have to cut up a winter squash before it'll even fit in food processor, and normally you'd want to remove the skin first as well. A food processor isn't really an alternative to knife here. – Ross Ridge Oct 29 at 2:41
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    Most food processor blades aren't designed to be sharpenable; they have microserrated edges. – FuzzyChef Oct 29 at 6:14
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    Also, I have never had a food processor that outlasted its blades. The motor goes, or housing cracks, or the container breaks before that happens. – FuzzyChef Oct 29 at 6:15
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    Note that those ratings are based on hundreds or thousands of responses from CR subscribers who have that product along with testing from CR testers. I would use those ratings over any one or two responses you get from here on this site. – Rob Oct 29 at 11:13
  • What are they planning on using the food processor for? I have one but actually use it very rarely. More often you can use a cheap immersion blender and achieve a better result-- works great for pureeing soups, etc... and easier to clean. – Dugan Oct 29 at 13:49
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First things first, as it was very well pointed in the comments - food processor is not a 100% substitution for knives. It helps to do bulk processing of the more laborous knifework (slicing, brunoise, etc.) and also to do things that you cannot do with other tools (pureeing raw stuff)

  1. How long do the blades last, if they food-process raw hard unpiercable vegetables like 1 winter squash daily?

See first point above. The skin and seeds should be removed before processing. Winter squash is very pierceable with a sharp knife - I did dice a kabocha squash with only a knife yesterday. If you take good care of your processor and do not try to use it on things it is not supposed to be used, the blades last for a very very long while - it is more probable that your processor breaks instead of the blades going dull, especially if they're serrated blades.

  1. Can the blades be sharpened? r/cooking contends yes.

Depends on the blade. If it is a smooth blade like the older models, yes, you can resharpen them. My mom has an old-school processor that is older than me and she had the blades sharpened quite a few times. If it is a serrated blade (designed for longer durability and less dulling), you need to go to a cutler / knifemaker if you really want to keep it because the serrration is very fine and difficult to sharpen using the sandpaper method.

  1. Even if they can, is it cheaper to sharpen or replace the blades?

Depends on #2 and your location (i.e. how much would you pay for sharpening a normal knife and how much would you pay for sharpening a serrated knife), and whether or not you can exectue proper sharpening by yourself.

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    Sharpening serrated blades can be done easily if the serrations are only ground into one side of the knife (like a chisel grind). Then you can sharpen the "back" side. If you want to avoid having to grind away some thickness across the whole width, you can also add a microbevel. – Matthias Brandl Oct 29 at 17:39
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    You can use a diamond cone sharpener to touch up serrated blades. Something like this will work: amazon.com/Diamond-Machine-Technology-DMT-DMTFSKF-BRK/dp/… Though I always use the diamond cone tip on my pocket knife sharpener. – NothingToSeeHere Oct 29 at 19:40

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