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Thread: Honing

  1. #1

    Honing

    I want to ask the more experienced guys here about honing. I've read conflicting reports about the practice. Most say use the ceramic rod before each use of the knife. Others say they'd never take a rod to a good Japanese knife. Opinions?
    My new knife of choice is the CarboNext 240mm gyuto. Should this be honed or just stropped? HRC around 60. Is it a matter of steel hardness/type or edge angle, how acute you try to get?
    I'm getting better at sharpening but still a bit new. Have read Chad Ward's book.

  2. #2
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    It depends what you are looking for. Any knife can be put to a ceramic rod with good results, assuming that the 1-2k edge that results is what you are looking for. I'd say most knuts use more refined edges (3k+) so a rod would be counterproductive in those cases. A rod is a quick way of getting your edge back to cutting, if you don't religiously keep your edges in top condition, as well. A strop can be loaded with any grit and any abrasive, more or less so it can be used to generate more or less any edge you want. You can also simply touch up your edge on a stone. It just depends how much convenience you want. I generally use a strop to finish edges and to touch up edges after using a stone or rod. I experiment with each knife, bringing down the angle until it doesn't hold up as well as I want it to and then scale back a touch. Most of the knives we use incl. CarboNeXT can easily handle sub-15 deg bevels but it is really user dependent as well as steel dependent. If you're gentle with your knives, you can use a more delicate, thin edge.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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    Sure, stropping is preferred for obvious reasons and I may catch **** from purists for saying this but ceramic and glass rods do work. At 81 and 91 hrc the mac ceramic and hand american borosilicate glass rods do serve a purpose in my kit. Convenience. On the Mac, it's really just the equivalent to stropping on a 2000 grit stone.

    For a quick fix it's just easier for me than storing my bench strop, leather and felt pads compounds etc safe and dry without messing them up over time.

    Here's a vid I made about honing you may find useful.
    Starting this harvest I'm a starving startling artist/
    Lyrical arsonist it's arduous spitting this smartest arsenic/

  4. #4
    The alleles created by mutation may be beneficial


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    Quote Originally Posted by DanB View Post
    I want to ask the more experienced guys here about honing. I've read conflicting reports about the practice. Most say use the ceramic rod before each use of the knife. Others say they'd never take a rod to a good Japanese knife. Opinions?
    My new knife of choice is the CarboNext 240mm gyuto. Should this be honed or just stropped? HRC around 60. Is it a matter of steel hardness/type or edge angle, how acute you try to get?
    I'm getting better at sharpening but still a bit new. Have read Chad Ward's book.
    At home I don't really see the point. If you were a prep cook and needed a quick touch up it seems like a very good solution.

  5. #5
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    Whatever you choose to use, whether it's a loaded strop, ceramic or borosilicate rod or high-grit stone, it's not necessary to use it until your edge degrades. Using it indiscriminately is actually counterproductive. The advice to use a rod before each use applies to soft European knives where the edge folds over and needs to be realigned frequently.

  6. #6
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
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    As far as I can see rods are fine if you don't like stropping. Saying that, the edge you'll get off a ceramic rod will be vastly inferior to that of a stropped edge. The main problems with rods is what Rick says in his video. If you aren't careful you can basically give your knives an overgrind in the edge, so you need to be very careful and slow when using them. Ask me how I know this..... I have the same Mac rod as Rick and I like it a lot, I basically use it when I'm in a hurry or too lazy to sharpen my knives, I'll get about another week out of them using the rod

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