EdgeCraft Corp. founder, chairman and CEO Daniel Friel, an inventor and engineer for the Chef’sChoice brand of small kitchen electrics, passed away on September 21. He was 92.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our founder and beloved friend Dan Friel. He was a brilliant businessman, inventor and pioneer who forever changed the fundamentals of knife sharpening,” said EdgeCraft President Sam Weiner. “Building an enterprise that in a few short years became the world leader in sharpening technology is a true American success story. His unwavering commitment to quality and innovative excellence is a legacy that will live on through his family, friends, employees, the products he invented and the consumers who enjoy them.”
Born in 1920 in Queenstown, MD, Friel received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from John Hopkins University in 1942. He began his career on the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago where the first atomic reactor was assembled. Friel then spent 39 years with the DuPont company where he helped pioneer such products as Riston Dry Film Photo Resist, used in the manufacturing of circuit boards. At the time of his retirement from the company, he was the Worldwide Director of Instruments and Biomedical Products.
At the age of 65, Friel founded the EdgeCraft Corporation, taking knife sharpening from its roots of stones, wheels and rods into the 20th century with the launch of its first Chef’sChoice electric knife sharpener in 1985.
“Dan Friel literally established sharpeners as a separate and important product category in the worldwide consumer market,” said Weiner.
Friel is survived by his wife Carolyn, and three children, Barbara Holme of Denver, CO, Patricia Friel of Chadds Ford, PA and Daniel Friel Jr. of Kennett Square, PA, along with six grandchildren.