Need a touch-up solution. Your advice? [ANSWERED]

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Hi guys,
It seems this is the most frequently asked question, but I didn't find great answers for it when looking it up. I'd like to add regular touch-ups to my workflow (home cook). I prefer carbon knives, but have some stainless knives as well. Questions is what's best to use for regular, quick touch-ups.

I have a Suehiro Rika 5k, whích should fit the bill. Problem is, this one needs time to soak, and the glued-on stand makes drying out a bit tedious, too. So it's not so much fun to go through that to use it for 2 minute touch-ups every couple of days.

So I see the following options:

- Try and use the Rika as a splash stone. Probably won't work too well. Permasoaking isn't a great option here.

- Buy a splash'n'go-stone or a Belgian. Will be fun, but cost money.

- Get a strop. Same.

- Improvise something. Might not work too well.

Is there any advice you can give me what would be the best way to go? Now my tendency is to get a Belgian Stone or a Splashy one. But maybe I'm making things too complicated?

Thanks for reading!
 
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You can strop on most anything. From newspaper to cardboard to paint stirring sticks. You can try to drip your stone slurry onto whatever you choose to use. That said, a bar of Chromium Oxide whish is essentially a lifetime's supply, is pretty cheap.

EDIT: And I meant to let the slurry dry.
 
Hi guys,
It seems this is the most frequently asked question, but I didn't find great answers for it when looking it up. I'd like to add regular touch-ups to my workflow (home cook). I prefer carbon knives, but have some stainless knives as well. Questions is what's best to use for regular, quick touch-ups.

I have a Suehiro Rika 5k, whích should fit the bill. Problem is, this one needs time to soak, and the glued-on stand makes drying out a bit tedious, too. So it's not so much fun to go through that to use it for 2 minute touch-ups every couple of days.

So I see the following options:

- Try and use the Rika as a splash stone. Probably won't work too well. Permasoaking isn't a great option here.

- Buy a splash'n'go-stone or a Belgian. Will be fun, but cost money.

- Get a strop. Same.

- Improvise something. Might not work too well.

Is there any advice you can give me what would be the best way to go? Now my tendency is to get a Belgian Stone or a Splashy one. But maybe I'm making things too complicated?

Thanks for reading!

A 4"x2" soft Arkansas works about as well as anything. And you can purchase them for less than $10 all in on eBay anytime.
 
Try the inside of cereal box type cardboard (really!) before buying anything.


... Unless you want an excuse to buy something.
I use stropping not so much to revive an edge, as well as to move all debris on one side, where I can abrade it with a BB, an Arkansas or any dry fine stone. For that matter, even stropping on your hand palm will work, with no risk of overly rounding the edge.
 
Buy something cool that you enjoy using. Within budget, I suppose.

I leave my touch up stones out on the counter because I like looking at them and using them on a whim. Could I just strop and not mess up the occasional edge? Yes.. but no, natural stones are too much fun.
Thanks for the advice. Yeah that's what I did :)
 
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I use stropping not so much to revive an edge, as well as to move all debris on one side, where I can abrade it with a BB, an Arkansas or any dry fine stone. For that matter, even stropping on your hand palm will work, with no risk of overly rounding the edge.
Thanks for the info. Yeah, I haven't been much into high-grit polishing. The main goal is so keep that close-to max sharpness for more sessions, not only the first 1-2 after full sharpening. So I'll go for a easy-to-use sharpening stone and strop on anything that I find around :)
 
Honing seems to be greatly underappreciated on the forums, and I think misunderstood, partly because of people seeing other people doing it poorly on coarse steel hones.


A fine, high quality ceramic hone is a wonderful way to the maintain edge on most knives, but it may not be appropriate for some of the hardest most brittle steels. There are many knowledgeable chefs and makers that recommend honing.

These videos feel a bit too commercially for my taste but Bob is an authentic guy and he knows what he's talking about.



I tend to anchor the hone tip down and tilt it 12-15 degrees or so to the left/right similar to how one might use one of Spyderco's Sharpmakers. Normally I use a measured, deliberate motion (not too fast, not too hard) for a few passes, using progressively lighter pressure, until the edge can effortlessly cut paper towel again.

The Idahone 12" fine honing rod is the best that I have ever used. I don't like steel hones. You'll also want an eraser to clean off the residue that will build up on the ceramic.

I have 3 small santokus from Will Catcheside that my children and family have used daily for over a year. They've never been sharpened but I hone them regularly. All three can cut through paper towel smoothly and cleanly with no tearing or snagging.

https://idahoners.com/collections/c...oducts/12-fine-honing-rod-with-natural-handlehttps://idahoners.com/collections/accessories/products/superaser-fibrous-cleaning-block
 
Honing seems to be greatly underappreciated on the forums, and I think misunderstood, partly because of people seeing other people doing it poorly on coarse steel hones.


A fine, high quality ceramic hone is a wonderful way to the maintain edge on most knives, but it may not be appropriate for some of the hardest most brittle steels. There are many knowledgeable chefs and makers that recommend honing.

These videos feel a bit too commercially for my taste but Bob is an authentic guy and he knows what he's talking about.



I tend to anchor the hone tip down and tilt it 12-15 degrees or so to the left/right similar to how one might use one of Spyderco's Sharpmakers. Normally I use a measured, deliberate motion (not too fast, not too hard) for a few passes, using progressively lighter pressure, until the edge can effortlessly cut paper towel again.

The Idahone 12" fine honing rod is the best that I have ever used. I don't like steel hones. You'll also want an eraser to clean off the residue that will build up on the ceramic.

I have 3 small santokus from Will Catcheside that my children and family have used daily for over a year. They've never been sharpened but I hone them regularly. All three can cut through paper towel smoothly and cleanly with no tearing or snagging.

https://idahoners.com/collections/c...oducts/12-fine-honing-rod-with-natural-handlehttps://idahoners.com/collections/accessories/products/superaser-fibrous-cleaning-block


I used an idahone and Mac white ceramic rod for years and years in pro kitchens. Even with very hard knives like my Watanabe. They do indeed get an unfair bad rap. Any sharpening style or tool can damage a knife if applied carelessly. But for some reason I don't really understand, most JKnife aficionados seem to think that ceramic hones are always a bad idea. I haven't used my hones much since I discovered the joy of pocket sized naturals. But if I am teaching culinary classes or cooking in someone else's house then I'll always bring one because I know that I can use it to quickly sharpen any dull crappy knife that I come across.



 
One of the additional things I like about honing is that you're really not removing metal. As Jacques Pepin says, "You're realigning the teeth!"
This isn't really true. Even a smooth bare metal hone removes some steel via adhesion. This is why you see so many vintage French and German knives with recurve at the heel. A ceramic hone is just a synthetic whetstone in rod form. They are available in all sorts of grit ranges from very coarse to very fine. But in general they are the equivalent of a 1000 grit stone. 1000 grit stones definitely remove steel.

And Japanese knives are generally too hard and brittle to receive any benefit of teeth alignment. Another reason why people don't think they should use hones with jknives. But a fine ceramic hone is capable of refreshing the cutting bevel or microbevel through material removal just the same as a 1000 grit stone. You mostly gotta be careful not to raise a new burr.

On softer steel knives, excellent steel honing technique can maintain sharpness indefinitely. Here the aligning of the edge mentality makes more sense. And generally if I wanted to remove material with a hone I would go to one of the rough diamond coated ones. Which is definitely an inappropriate tool for jknives. But the combination of a toothy bevel from the coarse diamond hone with the mostly burnishing effect of the smooth steel can be a great way to maintain Forschners, Dexters, Mercers, etc.
 
Interesting stuff with those ceramic rods, thanks @Campbell and @stringer. I didn't know either that the rods could be used on J-knives with such success. It's good to know and I'll give it a try once I see one in a kitchen. Most are not used anyways :rolleyes:

The ones available here seem to fall into two categories: Ones with grit 800-1000 and ones that are closer to 3000. So I take it, for J-knives, the 3k grit will be best. If one wants to do a more thorough sharpening and use coarser grit, a stone might give more control. But I might be wrong about that...

What about European knives (soft steel knives)? I wouldn't go higher than 1k on them when doing regular sharpeing, so will a 3k rod be too fine for those knives to be effective?

EDIT: OK, it seems the 3k rod is indeed the one-size-fits-all solution. Ioxio, which seems to be a reputable producer of such rods, recommends the 800 grit model only "for extremely dull knives".

Also, for a few bucks, you can get a knife guide for the rod that is set to 15, 17,5 or 20 degrees.

schleifhilfe-sharp-guide-30~6.jpg

This actually seems a cool idea for people who don't have sharpening skills and / or don't want to start with whetstones. Very likely a much better solution than @BarryMM 's pullthrough ;)

(I'm not affiliated with Ioxio in any way - their stuff just came up first and I'm sure other manufacturers have similar products)
 
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Okay, so I went with this stone:

https://www.knivesandtools.de/de/pt/-ardennes-coticule-blauer-belgischer-wetzstein-200-x-80-mm.htm
With 90€, on the more expensive side. But I thought, why not get a nice one while I'm at it. Plan is that this one will live in the kitchen and be ready for a touch-up with just a few drops of water.
Mine gives a nice edge for kitchen use and seems to have some burr minimisation properties although it doesn't completely negate the need for burr control.

It does need a bit of slurry to work well, so it may pay to have a diamond plate handy. Or use a small Belgian Blue as a slurry stone.
 
Yeah, like I said I don't hone some of the hardest J-knives (like Kato), but Yanick, Catcheside, Tsourkan, LaSeur, Halcyon, Evan, Raquin and others I have used all have responded excellently to a fine ceramic. The amount of metal removed when I hone is negligible. I think it is still helpful to think of honing as realigning the edge whereas sharpening actually creates a new bevel. Stropping has its own role too but its different in my opinion from honing. I used to touch up my edges primarily by stropping with a chromium oxide loaded suede, but over time it was resulting in too fine a polish and my edges lost some of their bite. I recall @Forty Ounce explaining this in one of his videos. If my memory is correct, he recommended not going to fine when sharpening or stropping as kitchen knives tend to perform better with nice toothy edge (something like 3k - 6k max). I have a 10x loupe so I can't see the edge with microscopic clarity, but what I can see and feel hasn't shown any microchipping or other negative effects even after years of honing. If an edge can pass the "nail flex" test it seems to generally respond well to careful honing. I agree that diamond hones don't seem appropriate for high-end knives.
 
This actually seems a cool idea for people who don't have sharpening skills and / or don't want to start with whetstones.
I respectfully disagree. Rods do work for some time, provided the user knows what he is doing: is aware of the blade's geometry, knows how to minimise the burr formation and is capable of deburring on a rod — which is all far from simple. It doesn't seem realistic to me to expect the necessary knowledge and skills with people avoiding stone sharpening.
It's a very different situation when someone in a professional environment has to find an emergency solution, with knives that get anyway a full stone sharpening a few times in the week. Please note that the next stone sharpening after the use of rod will require a bit more of work to undo what the rod, even the finest one, has done.
As a home user I can postpone a full sharpening by maintaining in time the edge on a small piece of Belgian Blue, basically as if I was deburring: a few edge leading strokes, followed by a few ones along the edge.
 
I respectfully disagree.
By all means :) I'm always glad to read your insightful posts.
It doesn't seem realistic to me to expect the necessary knowledge and skills with people avoiding stone sharpening.
That's absolutely true, of course. I mean, that's what many home users face - they don't want to put any "unnecessary" effort into the whole sharpening thing. I assumed that when the angle is decent, like 15 or 17 degrees, blade geometry isn't altered too much, unless one is a heavy user.

But I guess there's no way around it - if one wants really sharpened knives, someone who knows a bit about sharpening knives needs to see them from time to time...
 
Okay, so I went with this stone:

https://www.knivesandtools.de/de/pt/-ardennes-coticule-blauer-belgischer-wetzstein-200-x-80-mm.htm
With 90€, on the more expensive side. But I thought, why not get a nice one while I'm at it. Plan is that this one will live in the kitchen and be ready for a touch-up with just a few drops of water.
I have the same stone, I’m sure you will like it. Excellent and inexpensive (compared to jnats). As @Nemo suggests, I use a small coticule to raise some slurry.
 
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