Given the following two methods for touching up a gyuto, which would you pick?

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bookgeek97

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Hey folks,

Would love to pick your brains on the two following touch-up methods for a knife that's rated at 62-64 HRC (basically, a harder steel)

1) Stropping on a polishing Japanese water stone (6000 grit)-- nothing but edge-trailing strokes on alternating sides of the edge
2) Honing on a ceramic rod

My impression is that #1 is the way to go, but I've also heard feedback that that is just "wasting" good metal. This knife is strictly for home cooking, and I tend to like an edge with more bite (polishing on a 6000 grit is where I stop when it comes to a sharpening session).

Thoughts or feedback?
 

rick_english

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I like the stone. The ceramic rod, because of its small diameter, produces a great amount of pressure per square inch, and can harm a thin blade if used carelessly.
 

chinacats

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Same as Rick...stone for the same reason plus the stone will be a higher grit and actually remove less steel.
 

valgard

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stone all day long for me. reasons stated. I actually strop on a natural finisher.
 

malexthekid

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Stone... I find I control angle so much better I stone.

Plus if it is extra "dull" I'll sometimes do a couple of extra light dry passes on each side and then do stropping motions
 

liren1

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Stone - or a strop - I have a ceramic rod which I never use, I've never managed to get anything done with it, but I guess that's my bad technique rather than the fault of the rod.
 

panda

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if i pull out a stone i'm gonna use it as one. ceramic rod all the way. but i actually know how to use one. many will disagree.
 

JohnnyChance

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Time and space for each method. As in it literally depends on how much time and space you have to get the job done.
 

Marcelo Amaral

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Stone. Much easier not to screw up. Besides, you can control how much teeth do you want to leave.
 

HRC_64

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This knife is strictly for home cooking...
nothing wrong with rods per-se***, but at home not really needed
and its more gadgets and skills to learn/maintain.

the problem with stones IMHO is if you have soakers
and need to wet/dry them out AFTER use
This takes up space and adds steps to your workflow.

Honing rod you just whip out..use.. then set down.
Bu this is much more critical out of the home context.


*** assuming your knife is fundamentally compatible with one
 

milkbaby

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Either one... At home usually dry strop and even edge leading on a high grit stone. If traveling, then I would be more likely to bring the ceramic rod and use that but usually never bring either rod or stone.
 

malexthekid

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nothing wrong with rods per-se***, but at home not really needed
and its more gadgets and skills to learn/maintain.

the problem with stones IMHO is if you have soakers
and need to wet/dry them out AFTER use
This takes up space and adds steps to your workflow.

Honing rod you just whip out..use.. then set down.
Bu this is much more critical out of the home context.


*** assuming your knife is fundamentally compatible with one
While you are totally right regarding drying etc... there are a few stones that work quite well dry foe touch ups, like the takenoko.

So that can be got around. Just need to buy more stuff 😀
 

bookgeek97

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Thanks folks for all the input and feedback! Really appreciate it. I think I'm gonna stick with stones for the time being. Have a great weekend y'all.
 

StonedEdge

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For a soft western stainless touch up, rod

For hard Japanese knife, stone
 

andur

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The IKEA honing rod is absolutely superb. Not sure about the grit, maybe 3000 but I really like it. For a nice stainless VG10 knife it's perfect. 3-4 swipes on both sides and good to go.
 

LucasFur

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I know a guy (Owner of C.A. Paradis in ottawa) Saying that he met, talked to, and hung out with Bob Kramer. He told me Bob Kramer uses a rod for light touch ups at home. Take it as you may.
I'm still in the phase of looking to put my knives to stones and other peoples knives as much as possible so I crack out the stones. Just to look at even sometimes :groucho:
 

andur

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That being said about the Ikea rod. I just renovated my kitchen and now I have a dedicated stone and hone drawer! A small thing but oh how I love it. Makes me take out my bridge and stones on a daily basis.
 

LucasFur

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LOL, you're going to wind up with a bunch of petties (ex-gyutos)
I have never seen a photo of a ex-gyuto. Its been termed as rare as a car with a million miles on it. Which I have seen a car with 1.6 Million Kilometers (1Million Miles) (airport cabby, driving a crown Victoria)
I would love to see a vintage 40Yo KS or similar Gyuto turned into a petty.
 

Paraffin

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I used to strop on compound-loaded leather on a block, but since getting into harder steels like R2 and HAP40 they just laugh at a strop. So I touch up all my knives on stones now, even my older Western knives with softer stainless steels. It's just faster, and I go easy on the softer Western knives.

I'm lucky in having a utility room just off the kitchen with a tub sink, where I can keep stones soaking with a bridge over the sink. I can quickly haul out a 2k Gesshin stone, quick knife strop as a touch-up, rinse off and put it back soaking in water. Just as fast as using a leather strop, although this wouldn't be so easy if I didn't have a sharpening station close to the kitchen like this.
 

gaijin

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I can quickly haul out a 2k Gesshin stone, quick knife strop as a touch-up, rinse off and put it back soaking in water.
And you then just "strop it", like the final edge-trailing parts of the bigger sharpening process?
 

Paraffin

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And you then just "strop it", like the final edge-trailing parts of the bigger sharpening process?
Yes; edge-trailing only, just a couple of very light strokes on each side.
 

pjotr

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Yeah, it's hard to beat the beauty of a well-maintained knife that has seen much use.
 

Nemo

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I used to strop on compound-loaded leather on a block, but since getting into harder steels like R2 and HAP40 they just laugh at a strop.
Depends on the compound and maybe the strop. I have HAP40 at 65-66 HRC, SRS15 at 64-65 HRC and R2 at 62-63 HRC. They all lose their sense of humour when faced with diamond loaded balsa.

OTOH, stropping on a stone works as well.
 
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