Hey aser..sorry I missed this.I know Tosho carries the HA rod,but like you said it's there one minute and gone the next.I was lucky to pick up their last Konosuke HD w/a rosewood octagonal handle.They just can't keep those things in stock either..
I work at "Yorkshire Pudding Catering" out in Etobicoke.
I have one and love it. I use the crap out of all of my knives on crappy white poly boards at work. While I love sharpening, it does decrease the frequency I have to sharpen.
Depending on the knife and use, I sharpen to different angles for each knife. The Borosilicate rod works wonders as long as (in my experience) your knives are sharpened to at least 5k. My heavier Hattori Gyuto and my Global 8" (yeah I know) get the 5k treatment and last a good month without a stone touchup as long as they are both properly sharpened and deburred. These knives are sharpened at 10 and 15 degrees respectively. Adjust the honing and stropping on the leather sheath accordingly. My Dave thinned and etched Hiromoto AS Gyuto and my Togiharu Damascus VG10 Nakirki always get the 10K Chosera treatment and I can keep those up with the Borosilicate rod and leather strop for about a month of heavy use on white poly boards as well. These knives all get about the same amount of use.
Let it be noted I'm pretty anal about my edges. While I haven't jumped into the whole loaded strop thing yet, I'm sure I will eventually. If you have a good strop or loaded strop setup the Borosilicate rob is probably useless unless you are fine with the borosilicate edge. I love mine with every knife I own.
Between my knives and a couple of co workers knives I've dropped down to busting out the full stone set monthly as opposed to once a week or bi-monthly. The HA Borosilicate rod has been a definite blessing.
I don't purposefully beat the crap out of my knives but given the amount of daily prep at work and the cutting boards we have there I've noticed a HUGE difference in the length of time between "This could use a little touch up." and "Good GOD this knife is dull." My coworkers enjoy the Borosilicate treatment as well, as long as I stop them from using their metal rods out of habit.
Now if I could only get my chefs to do the same. My prep is WAY prettier than theirs. The sound of them slapping a dull blade against a vicious steel honing rod about 50 times before they break down fish is damaging to my ears.
I'm glad this thread got bumped. Since it first appeared I took Dave's advice and made my own out of a 16 mm rod from a lab company and a bed leg from a hardware store. At the moment it's smooth and I just use it for re-alignment, but I'm thinking I may rough it up with some of the 3m diamond sandpaper, that way I can control the depth of the scratches on the rod.
What I'm unsure of is this: if I rough up a glass rod with 5 micron sandpaper, is the abrasiveness of the rod going to be the equivalent of five microns?
Yeah mines not very well made, its not 10 inch when its set in the handle and the handle has been drilled way to far so it keeps sliding into it making it even shorter. Pulled it out the other day and its only held in by a bit of paper.
Yeah people are impressed by it but not worth the money. Top idea Dave just going to buy a decent longer rod and put it in
may not be a borosilicate rod but for those canadians on here
I'm still not sure how a glass rod is supposed to help. Are not the japanese knives too hard for the edge to be straightened?
I understand that. What I meant was that i was under the assumption Japanese knives don't dull from their edges being bent as the steel is too hard and they dull either by abrasion or chipping.
I did a lot of testing with the borosilicate rod on Japanese knives and found that if it's smooth it did do something to bring back the edge (kind of) but where it really worked well is when the rod is roughened by putting scratches in the surface as this then scratched the knife edge making the edge coarser.
For softer German knives the smooth boro rod works very good but IMO a boro rod needs to be roughened with sandpaper to do anything significant to a hard Japanese edge.
What a roughened boro rod is doing to a Japanese knife is very similar to what a grooved steel does for a German knife - it tears at the edge to make it toothier.