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mhlee
08-08-2013, 01:25 PM
For those of you who use Ceramic Honing Rods:

Can you tell me which ones you like best?

If you have used the Mac white and black rods, can you tell me if you noticed a significant difference between the white (1200) and black (2000)?

And, if any of you have compared rods side by side, e.g. Idahone, Mac, etc., can you tell me how they compared?

Thanks.

Mucho Bocho
08-08-2013, 01:36 PM
Mike, I've got the Idahone 1200. Its hard to believe its only 1200 as this thing feels as smooth as a baby's a-s-s. For maitenence, I pull it across the rod twice on each side. As Bob Kramer suggest at about 6 LBS of pressure (estimate) then two swipes on a balsa loaded w/boron carbide and lightly twice across cow leather loaded with 1micron diamond.

Beautifully sharp and bity.

The rod works great for all steels except for AS. AS just laughs at the rod. I don't know why they hate each other so much. Rod looooves white steel though.

I've had the rod for about a year now, its saved me lots of time resharpening and I'm absolutely certain it will make my knives last longer as I'm sharpening less. FYIW

Benuser
08-08-2013, 02:22 PM
Why that huge pressure (6lbs)??

Mucho Bocho
08-08-2013, 03:20 PM
Ben, Thats what Bob reccomends. I ain't going to argue with him, ya know.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUdrRE7W0b4

Noodle Soup
08-08-2013, 03:50 PM
I was wondering how he knew when he had 6 pounds of pressure. Now I know. Oh my gosh, Bob Kramer uses a standard butcher's steel on his knives! :)

bkdc
08-08-2013, 03:59 PM
He has to use a Zwilling hone because well... he's being paid. There's no replacement for size.. and well.... a 12-inch Dickoron oval steel is like a self-defense weapon and steel in one.

I don't think he means 6 pounds of pressure when it comes to ceramic rods. Only steels.

toddnmd
08-08-2013, 04:13 PM
He also recommends 4-6 pounds of pressure on sharpening stones. Puts the knife on a scale to determine the pressure.

bkdc
08-08-2013, 04:15 PM
That seems like such a lot.. especially when I'm trying to avoid a burr. Who am I to argue. It's Kramer.

SyndicateNova
08-08-2013, 05:46 PM
I have a Messemeister 12 inch ceramic rod. It does an excellent job for $30. I don't know about the mac... Hope this helps.

mhlee
08-08-2013, 06:07 PM
I forgot to include this question in my original post:

Which knives are you using a honing rod for?

stevenStefano
08-08-2013, 06:19 PM
I like the Mac black though I wouldn't exactly say I'm an expert. I've used Global and Ikea ones and the Mac is way better than them both though the Ikea is great for the money. I got the Mac because I kept breaking the others in work and I've dropped it a few times and it didn't break. I have every knife I have owned on it, white steel, blue steel, Niolox, HD steel, Carbonext steel, VG10, AEB-L and to be honest they all seemed to work out ok with it. Even highly asymmetric knives, again, they worked fine

mhlee
08-08-2013, 06:21 PM
Thanks, Steven. I was hoping you would see this thread and offer your opinion.

NO ChoP!
08-08-2013, 09:29 PM
I've had a few. My current fav is the DMT fine.

Miles
08-09-2013, 03:13 AM
I swear by the Mac white. It's compact and fits easily in my kit bag. No matter what happens, I can always bring an edge back by giving a couple of gentle swipes. The only drawback is that it's not indestructible. My last one survived for eight years before it was knocked off a counter onto a concrete floor. Needless to say, the floor won. Given the opportunity, I tried the DMT fine ceramic, but the fingerguard on the handle was way too big, and honestly, it was simply too long to live in my bag. It's been relegated to home knife block duty and a new low profile Mac is back in the bag. The Mac fits the kit, and takes up comparatively little space on my station.

panda
08-09-2013, 03:26 AM
First had wusthof white which was 3k grit. That thing is worthless, might as well strop on a stone. Replaced with a black mac, love it, leaves a lot of bite.

aser
08-09-2013, 05:06 AM
I own the revised mac unbreakable.

it's ok, I only got it because my chef harped on me for not having a honing rod. I much prefer using a strop or just touching up on a high grit stone. The rod is like methadone, only gives a temporary fix, never as good as the real thing.

I only use it if I'm crushed with a lot of crusty meat orders.

marc4pt0
08-09-2013, 06:50 AM
live by my Mac Black. That and a little stropping go a long way for me. Just hate that damned rubber protective tip on the end. Mine is all jacked up from getting used to the short length when I first got it over a year ago.

JMJones
08-09-2013, 08:01 AM
I have had an idahone for probably 7 years and use it often and could not be happier. I have not used any other name brand ceramics, just so no name stuff from a cutlery store for a few bucks and it sucked.

Dusty
08-09-2013, 09:51 AM
I use an ikea one, only for emergencies, and for sixteen bucks, rate it very highly. My little brother has a Mac black - he is a home user only - but that hone can stretch his fujiwara fkm for six months of home use before I need to sharpen it for him.

danielomalley
08-09-2013, 10:14 AM
I've tried a bunch of the ceramic rods over the years.

I was very excited about the MAC black rod when it first came out. The construction was pretty different than a standard ceramic rod (it was a steel rod filled with silicon to absorb vibration from falls and then coated with fine ceramic). It was a really great rod. While it broke less often, it is not indestructible and I think that was a problem for MAC. It was also quite a fine rod, which is FANTASTIC for the many of us that hone often. It didn't work well for the many cooks that hone every few weeks. Because of this, MAC redeveloped their rod to use a coarser abrasive and to put abrasive grooves going down the sides. I find that the abrasive lines going down the side are horrible and often cause micro-fractures. I wish the original MAC rod that came out 3-4 years ago would come back since it was great!

The standard ceramic rod that is found most anywhere and has the black handle (comes in white 1200 grit) and grey (coarser) is a really good rod. It seems like it has just the right amount of abrasiveness and is remarkably inexpensive. There are better grades of ceramic used (Spyderco came out with a ceramic rod a number of years back that is beautiful quality ceramic) but it doesn't seem to really affect the quality of honing. I've found that creating a flat spot in the wood handle so that it doesn't roll does wonders for the longevity of the rod. A black paint pen makes it look like the rod was designed that way.

As a side note, it is really important to use ceramic cleaners to get metal dust out of ceramic rods if you don't want to see micro-chipping happening to the edge as metal dust builds up.

For what it is worth, when I was apprenticing under Bob Kramer, he was a huge advocate of ceramic rods and wouldn't ever use anything else between sharpenings.

mhlee
08-09-2013, 12:07 PM
I've tried a bunch of the ceramic rods over the years.

I was very excited about the MAC black rod when it first came out. The construction was pretty different than a standard ceramic rod (it was a steel rod filled with silicon to absorb vibration from falls and then coated with fine ceramic). It was a really great rod. While it broke less often, it is not indestructible and I think that was a problem for MAC. It was also quite a fine rod, which is FANTASTIC for the many of us that hone often. It didn't work well for the many cooks that hone every few weeks. Because of this, MAC redeveloped their rod to use a coarser abrasive and to put abrasive grooves going down the sides. I find that the abrasive lines going down the side are horrible and often cause micro-fractures. I wish the original MAC rod that came out 3-4 years ago would come back since it was great!

The standard ceramic rod that is found most anywhere and has the black handle (comes in white 1200 grit) and grey (coarser) is a really good rod. It seems like it has just the right amount of abrasiveness and is remarkably inexpensive. There are better grades of ceramic used (Spyderco came out with a ceramic rod a number of years back that is beautiful quality ceramic) but it doesn't seem to really affect the quality of honing. I've found that creating a flat spot in the wood handle so that it doesn't roll does wonders for the longevity of the rod. A black paint pen makes it look like the rod was designed that way.

As a side note, it is really important to use ceramic cleaners to get metal dust out of ceramic rods if you don't want to see micro-chipping happening to the edge as metal dust builds up.

For what it is worth, when I was apprenticing under Bob Kramer, he was a huge advocate of ceramic rods and wouldn't ever use anything else between sharpenings.

Daniel - Thanks for this detailed explanation.

From what I've read, the Mac black rod is 2000 grit. Is this no longer the case? The white rod is marketed as being coarser (1200 grit).

zitangy
08-09-2013, 12:32 PM
I am a "jewel stik 123 " man .THree different diamond grit on a rod. I normally use the 1600 Grit and rarely need the two lower grits But handly to have it.. Say after honing it over 20 sessions, the lower grit wld be useful for thinning behind the edge.


Should have bought the version with a smaller handle so that it takes up less space.

http://www.jewelstik.com/kitchen/1-2-3

I like it.

rgds
d

77kath
08-09-2013, 12:35 PM
Thanks for this thread!

danielomalley
08-09-2013, 12:35 PM
Daniel - Thanks for this detailed explanation.

From what I've read, the Mac black rod is 2000 grit. Is this no longer the case? The white rod is marketed as being coarser (1200 grit).

It sounds about right that the MAC black rod is in the vicinity of 2000 grit. The problem is the abrasive grooves going along the sides of the rod. Unless you're extremely careful, you will always hit into them on one side or the other and I found they really messed up the knives that I tested them on.

side note: I think the problem that many honing rod makers face is that people don't generally buy honing rods ... since they don't know what honing is. They do know that they don't want dull knives, and so selling a "sharpening rod" is much more successful in big box stores that can't educate their customers. When people buy a fine honing rod like the original MACS and are told it is a sharpening rod, they get upset when it doesn't sharpen their knives. Sometimes the manufacturer responds by making their honing rod not work as well for honing and instead work as a mediocre sharpening device (like the 2nd gen MAC honing rod and diamond rods).

-daniel

gic
08-09-2013, 03:20 PM
Apropos honing rods, about 30 years ago when I first started amateur cooking and of course only used henkels and wusthofs and forschners, there was an amazingly cool gadget called a zip zap. It was a 6 in or so thin ceramic rod that you ran over the knife at the right angle (20+ those days). Actually worked pretty well as I recall, anyone else remember these?

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1346&dat=19760525&id=CG5NAAAAIBAJ&sjid=r_oDAAAAIBAJ&pg=4023,6614184

keithsaltydog
08-09-2013, 06:39 PM
He has to use a Zwilling hone because well... he's being paid. There's no replacement for size.. and well.... a 12-inch Dickoron oval steel is like a self-defense weapon and steel in one.

I don't think he means 6 pounds of pressure when it comes to ceramic rods. Only steels.

JMO trial & error over the yrs. wt. steels on Japan Gyuto's,Forschner total smooth,I also have the 12" Dickoron polishing steel.A couple measured light strokes on smooth steel works best for me anyway.I have used the Idahone 1200 ceramic & liked it.

Since the popularity of cutting Diamond steels,lack of freehand skill, ends in failure

bahamaroot
08-09-2013, 08:21 PM
I use the Idahone Fine and love it and it's half the price of a Mac and I don't have to deal with the grooved sides. IIRC I read somewhere that the 1200 rating on the Idahone is CAMI or ANSI(US rating) making it over 2000 JIS(Japanese rating). I know some websites that sell it rate it as 3000 grit.

KedarShenoy
08-10-2013, 06:13 PM
+1 on the Idahone its a great rod at a great price

Gravy Power
09-04-2013, 01:36 PM
I have an Idahone. How do you guys clean these?

toddnmd
09-04-2013, 01:58 PM
I have an Idahone. How do you guys clean these?

Superaser.

Mucho Bocho
09-04-2013, 02:26 PM
Barkeepers friend is also effective

Flyingpigg
09-04-2013, 03:06 PM
I use a Magic Eraser, but I'm sure that any other brand of melamine foam cleaning product will work well.