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Thread: maintaining carbon steel blades? honing steel/ceramics

  1. #1

    maintaining carbon steel blades? honing steel/ceramics

    hey everyone..i tried using search function with not much luck. just got a mixed set of kramer x shun and kramer x twilling... I've been looking for honing steels to keep my edge true in between use or when in need. of course the S.A. wanted me to purchase the matching kramer steel to go with, however i was wondering if there were other better choices for the money

    what type of honing steels i should be looking for to use with my carbon steel knives. i was told that ceramic wasn't a good idea because it is too hard and can "clog" and just make things worst... someone else told me that standard honing steels included in knife kits are two soft or too gritty and rough and can damage the blade?

    any suggestions? i think I've read somewhere that i need to use a FINE FINE STEEL. or if i must ill just get the kramer x zwilling. thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    wyoming, closer to nowhere than somewhere.
    most here don't believe in using honing rods. Exp the ones that come with knives. my first question would be what do you plan on doing with the rod? Use it for sharpening or just touch ups? Have you ever used one? The reason I ask is because you can really mess up your knives with the wrong one.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Amstelveen, The Netherlands
    If you're a home cook, stropping (edge trailing strokes) on your finest stone will do very well. Loaded leather - split or plain - may be a good choice as well. Some pro cooks will use the finest ceramic rod for practical reasons, though.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Top of Georgia
    I use a ceramic rod on my knives. It always seems to improve the knife. I have never had any negative effect. I used to use an F Dick multicut with positive results too. don't have Kramers though.


  5. #5
    I've used ceramic and an EZE-LAP diamond coated butcher's steels on both brands of Kramer knives with good luck. The trick is to use a light hand with either. No slapping the knife down on the rod.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Cardiff, UK
    I'd either get a fine ceramic honing rod or Dave's all you need stropping kit. If you use a nice wooden board the edges should last for quite a while with regular touch ups

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    San Diego, CA
    The easiest and quickest solution for a beginner or a professional is a MAC 2k rod. There is no maintenance, it's ceramic but has a metal core so it's pretty tough, too. Plus, 2k isn't super fine bit not coarse either. It's a very nice all-purpose solution for most kitchen knives.

  8. #8
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Norn Iron
    I have the Mac black rod and it works very well. I only use it when I'm too lazy to sharpen my knives though, I prefer stropping generally, it is a lot easier on the knives

  9. #9
    Senior Member zitangy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    hope this helps...

    its all about the grit size of the rod and how much metal you expect to shave off. With a rod.. I believe it is the primary edge that we are working on.

    1. First level of degradation.. I assume that the edge has gone either to the left or right after constantly hitting the cutting board.

    a) if you decide to unfold or straighten it out.. ( to make it straight) then you need to do a spine leading stroke as opposed as to the edge cutting into the steel whereby the objective is to force it to break off which will leave a minutely rounded edge which needs to be followed by a few additional strokes to mete the the angles meet.

    b) assuming that you unfolded the edge, eventually it will break off after a few times ( weakened state ) and then you need to remove a minute amount of steel to make the two angles meet. for this purpose , an alternating stoke of each side is required ; so as not to introduce a burr, hopefully.

    2. I prefer to use diamond rods 325 grit, 600 grit and ceramic 1200 grit. So depending on the state of your should be able to gauge which rod to use and to be followed on a leather strop of which i prefer the raw hide of cows leather particularly the soft side of which i assume is the belly side which hopefully will intro some convexity to it. Currently I use a DMT trihone but cant get hold of a product "Jewel stick" ( 3 grits on a rod ) and longer..

    ## note this is for the primary bevel ( edge) adn not the secondary bevel ( bigger bevel) sharpening/ steel removal. From time to time, getting the knife stoned on a stone for the primary bevel for routine maintenance so that you dont need to remove a lot of metal at one go..

    3. Pressure.. adjust your pressure for the stroke as required. hard medium feather light strokes..

    4. I prefer to place the rod horizontal on a cutting board.. handle sticking out with the rod parallel to me.. as I would like to believe that it give me more control.
    5. Knowing the grit ( cutting power of the rod helps) as you can use it for a quick deburring or wire edge removal before proceeding to the next smoother stone. This process is essential as dont expect a smoother stone to remove a large burr from a rougher stone fast especiually if your grit progression is form 1000 to 6000

    6.The steel Rod Hrc ( hardness) should be harder than than the hardness of the knife. Since most of the steel are unrated , thus i prefer to use diamonds rod.

    7. Rods gets smoother over time ( lesser cutting power ) and when you are aware of it.. it still has some use as it has become a smoother grit rod..

    have fun and regards..

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    long island NY
    mac black is the way to go. i got mine a couple of weeks ago and it brings the edge back right away

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