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  1. #1
    Senior Member NO ChoP!'s Avatar
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    ceramic rod bad rap

    For years the use of any rod or steel has been shunned within the forums.

    I have a black Mac ceramic rod, and decided to put it to the test. Since my move down south I've been at the same CC. For the past four months I have used a Konosuke HD as my daily driver. It gets used frequently as I prep my grill/ saute station daily.

    I haven't put it to the stones once. Not one single time since I started. I use the ceramic rod. Pretty much before use I run the knife down the rod, carefully. A few light, accurate passes is all it takes.

    Four months and its still Sharp. Very Sharp. Infact its probably the sharpest knife in a kitchen of forty plus guys. I inspected my angle with a loupe, and its still straight and accute; no rounding.

    I've questioned the frequency of sharpening before, and I am convinced with proper care, a non-abusive technique and light honing, a good edge can and should last a long while, even with daily use.

    I'm sure many will disagree, and continue to put their expensive knives to the stones everyweek, but I am convinced, through my own experience, it's wasteful.
    The difference between try and triumph is a little "umph"! NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!
    chefchristophermiller@yahoo.com

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    knyfeknerd's Avatar
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    Chris, what grit would you say your rod is?
    I have a ceramic probably around the 1200 range that I have used as my primary "sharpening device" over this super busy 2 month long holiday season. The season where I don't get a day or night off from mid October to the end of the year. AKA no time for stones.
    I find a few passes on the rod followed by some stropping on the day's prep list or invoices is sufficient enough to carry me through most days. Granted that some of my blades are way different steel and HT wise, some require more love than others.....
    ...but I'm with you. I've become quite the sharpening minimalist lately. My knives' performance in a pro-high volume kitchen is still quite acceptable.

    But when I get a day or two to myself, I'm going to swarfland fo sho.
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    Senior Member NO ChoP!'s Avatar
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    I think its 2k. And, I'm in the same boat; busy season and having to sharpen on my own time = no sharpening.

    Also agreed with different steel = different technique. Last year I went months without sharpening a moritaka gyuto, and used only a strop....
    The difference between try and triumph is a little "umph"! NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!
    chefchristophermiller@yahoo.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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    It's like stropping on a 2000 grit ceramic stone.
    Starting this harvest I'm a starving startling artist/
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    There are a couple of angles here: technique and abrasion vs realignment. Ceramic rods or basically the same as stones. They simply require different technique. The harder the steel, the more careful you need to be to avoid chipping. Like Theory said, it's is the same as using a 1-2k stone. Smooth rods are meant to do nothing more than realign edges. In this case, softer steels can benefit but harder steels will tend to degrade by microchipping so there won't be anything to realign. Furthermore, smooth steel rods (64 ish hrc) will tend to be scratched by hard knife steel. Grooved steel rods are meant to realign and to shear away weakened steel. These rods will give a perpetually uneven, jagged, coarse edge that is effective but unrefined and again, this is only for softer blades. The KonHD at 60-61 hrc is not super hard nor is it particularly soft so it should respond well to abrasion (ceramic rod) and moderately well to smooth rods. The grooved steels are pretty much only for people that don't have the luxury of using refined edges and harder blades.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Miles's Avatar
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    +1 on the ceramic rod. I keep one in my kit and use it every day. Just a very delicate touch keeps my knives going nicely and when the rod starts to become a bit less effective, I take the blades to a diamond paste coated MDF strop which brings them back to the fresh from the stone stage. Between the rod and the diamond paste, I can really stretch out the time between sessions on the stones.

  7. #7
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
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    I have the Mac rod but I use it the odd time, but not that much. I find it works but fairly quickly it becomes a vicious circle where the edge it gives doesn't seem to last so I end up using it more and more. For one of my Niolox knives it work much better than stropping but I generally only use the rod when I am lazy

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    Senior Member Notaskinnychef's Avatar
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    So, another newb question here, I recently got my CN and am enjoying it, but due to my sharpening technique on stones being lackluster (altho I am practicing all the time on my crap knives) is finding a good high grit ceramic honing rod or stroping the most effective way to diminish the frequency of using a stone. This is for home use only, as I am not a pro chef.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Notaskinnychef View Post
    So, another newb question here, I recently got my CN and am enjoying it, but due to my sharpening technique on stones being lackluster (altho I am practicing all the time on my crap knives) is finding a good high grit ceramic honing rod or stroping the most effective way to diminish the frequency of using a stone. This is for home use only, as I am not a pro chef.
    There is no magic to a rod. Regardless of whether you use a rod or a stone, you must develop technique. Lousy technique on a rod will not produce good results.

    A rod is just more convenient if you are a pro and don't have space for a stone.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Notaskinnychef's Avatar
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    oh i know, i have been using a rod in the past on my crap knives with some success, just SS box store ones. I feel that my technique is better on a rod than a stone right now, altho I am working on that

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