I consider a ceramic rod essential in the kitchen. You simply can't stop and pull out strops and the like if your blade starts to lose it's mojo in mid shift. You need to do something fast which keeps you in the game. A ceramic rod fits the bill perfectly. Just a light touch up can mean the difference between screeching to a halt and keeping things flowing. It's easy to go back to the strops or a fine stone to touch up after the shift, but when you're in the game, it's fourth quarter and you've got to put some points on the board...
I can see that. Being a home cook, I have the luxury of literally stopping in the middle of things and sharpening a knife if I want to, but a busy kitchen would be another story.
A ceramic rod would have enough abrasive character you should be able to get a knife sharp enough to function if not perfect.
Canada's Sharpest Lefty
I often touch up my knives with edge trailing strokes on my Mac Ceramic Rod. It's abrasive, and fine, which seems to add tooth and straighten out softer metal. I think the key here is gentle stropping. Truth be told, at work, I use the bottom of a coffee mug, then newspaper on my AEB-L by Adam Marr and it gets stupid sharp.
PT, I know the 52100 knife you're talking about and I'm still marveling at how much money I might have saved myself had I known two years ago (or whenever it came out).