Sharpening Stainless (vs. Carbon)?

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Yes, there's multiple factors at play. Thinness and hardness of the steel are major contributors.

The thinner you go, the sooner you'll reach the failure point.
There's even more to this than meets the eye because my dad's kinda ****** steel WinCos are ground to zero.
 
I steeled my Japanese carbon blades & CCK carbon cleavers. But not my CCK Kau Kong Chopper. Stones would make it sharp again after making banquet platters of cold Ginger Chicken. Some here say that carbons shouldn't be steeled only stainless.

Many folks in Hawaii used steels because we had European Chefs.

When I first started working in Kitchens in 1970's. Learned how to freehand sharpen on whetstone. I stand corrected to say Chinese don't use steels, I just have not seen it personally in chinese banquet kitchen or Chinatown here cutting up charsui pork, ginger chicken, & Duck.

Have seen cooks with lack of good freehand skills destroy cutting edge using diamond steels to sharpen their knives.

Years since retired have couple steels at home haven't used them at all no need can refresh edges quickly on Splash & Go stone.
 
I steeled my Japanese carbon blades & CCK carbon cleavers. But not my CCK Kau Kong Chopper. Stones would make it sharp again after making banquet platters of cold Ginger Chicken. Some here say that carbons shouldn't be steeled only stainless.

Many folks in Hawaii used steels because we had European Chefs.

When I first started working in Kitchens in 1970's. Learned how to freehand sharpen on whetstone. I stand corrected to say Chinese don't use steels, I just have not seen it personally in chinese banquet kitchen or Chinatown here cutting up charsui pork, ginger chicken, & Duck.

Have seen cooks with lack of good freehand skills destroy cutting edge using diamond steels to sharpen their knives.

Years since retired have couple steels at home haven't used them at all no need can refresh edges quickly on Splash & Go stone.
👍 My dad similarly maintains his dedicated goes through bone knives on stones. For him, it's due to the much thicker edges making the rods largely ineffective.
 
I think there are quite a few beliefs that are presented as fact on this forum (and perhaps every forum). Often it is more complicated than what people want to believe. "It depends" can be added to almost every discussion about characteristics of knife steels.

(Sorry for the random philosophy) :)
 
I think there are quite a few beliefs that are presented as fact on this forum (and perhaps every forum). Often it is more complicated than what people want to believe. "It depends" can be added to almost every discussion about characteristics of knife steels.

(Sorry for the random philosophy) :)
Let's not get started on that again 😬 This particular conversation has been peaceful even with the disagreements.
 
Let's not get started on that again 😬 This particular conversation has been peaceful even with the disagreements.
I'm not sure what you mean. I'm just saying things tend to be more complicated than what people think.
 
I'm familiar with the paper clip model of metal fatigue, yes, but leaf springs also exist and these are rated for millions and millions of cycles.
This is the difference between plastic and elastic deformation deformation. The first goes past the steel's yeild point. The second doesn't.
 
Right. Honing should not, in general, cause plastic deformation or 'roll' the edge.
 
Right. Honing should not, in general, cause plastic deformation or 'roll' the edge.
Beg to differ. That's how it works. The edge failed by rolling and the honing rod straigtened it. Both are types of plastic deformation. If it was elastic deformation, the edge wouldn't have stayed rolled.
 
Beg to differ. That's how it works. The edge failed by rolling and the honing rod straitened it. Both are types of plastic deformation. If it was elastic deformation, the edge wouldn't have stayed rolled.
I don't hone to fix rolled edges.

Edit: Of course, it is fine if you do.
 
(Edited for improved clarity) What do you think you are achieving with the rod? At the microscopic level.

The only other thing I can think of is removing metal. While a ridged steel may remove some metal, it probably does this by either micro chipping the edge or tearing off fatigued metal. Neither of which is likely to improve the edges keeness.
 
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Interesting. He is saying that in each case when using the different rods, it's "adhesive wear" instead of "abrasive wear" that is forming a microbevel

In my conceptualisation of what he's talking about, adhesive wear is like ripping steel off, leaving a microbevel. This sounds like plastic deformation to me but I don't have enough materials knowledge to know that this is true. This MAY be supported by the fact that the "swarf" on the rod consists of "chips" but once again, this is beyond my understanding of materials science.

Nonetheless, it's an interesting article. Thanks for posting it.
 
Interesting. He is saying that in each case when using the different rods, it's "adhesive wear" instead of "abrasive wear" that is forming a microbevel

In my conceptualisation of what he's talking about, adhesive wear is like ripping steel off, leaving a microbevel. This sounds like plastic deformation to me but I don't have enough materials knowledge to know that this is true. This MAY be supported by the fact that the "swarf" on the rod consists of "chips" but once again, this is beyond my understanding of materials science.

Nonetheless, it's an interesting article. Thanks for posting it.
Happy to contribute.
 
Interesting. He is saying that in each case when using the different rods, it's "adhesive wear" instead of "abrasive wear" that is forming a microbevel

In my conceptualisation of what he's talking about, adhesive wear is like ripping steel off, leaving a microbevel. This sounds like plastic deformation to me but I don't have enough materials knowledge to know that this is true. This MAY be supported by the fact that the "swarf" on the rod consists of "chips" but once again, this is beyond my understanding of materials science.

Nonetheless, it's an interesting article. Thanks for posting it.
Fwiw, I just now read it again and he actually covers this in Part 2. He explicitly describes both plastic deformation and adhesive wear as separate processes in the sharpening of a 'card scraper'. Not that his definitions are everything but hope that helps.
 
The Dickoron Micro is a great instrument with simple carbon steel, not much harder than some 60Rc. Be aware though you cannot use it indefinitely: at some point it just doesn't work anymore: some fatigued steel will have to got abraded. A good sharpening, starting a bit coarser than you would normally do, making sure you've fresh steel again. Start behind the edge for some maintenance thinning. To give an idea: home users can postpone a stone sharpening of a Herder 1922, C75W @60Rc, for about a year when using the Micro once a week with a light touch.

I think that's the biggest misconception, I myself had prior to using the micro dick as well. I thought the exact same thing until Marco Guldimann introduced me to the possibility of using this exact honing steel for way harder (carbon) steels [F.DICK DICKORON MICRO].
So I use my 65hrc 1.2519 or 67hrc Apex Ultra comfortably for roughly one year. Plus/minus. I'm cooking for four persons mostly from scratch and do pretty much everything with said knife over that time span. With the honing rod I can maintain a razor sharp, tomato skin destroying, edge. After about one year, the edge is "worn out" and can't be maintained with the rod anymore.
Also I want to mention that high alloy tool steels like M390, Magnacut and similar can't be maintained with it. I guess mainly due to the amount of carbides. So even if they aren't as hard, it won't work as good or pretty much not at all.
Anyways... The benefit of the rod to me is mainly that I keep the original edge, and therefore the intended geometry of a knife, as long as possible. Whereas it seems to me, that mainly my US customers tend to go straight to the stones as soon as the knife might have lost the tiniest bit of sharpness, for some reason. That of course grows the edge, and "destroys" or disrupts the original geometry unnecessarily and makes thinning necessary way earlier.
Don't get me wrong. I'm a sharpness freak as well. But with the honing rod and proper technique you get that. Freak sharpness. And the benefit of longevity of your knife.
 
I think that's the biggest misconception, I myself had prior to using the micro dick as well. I thought the exact same thing until Marco Guldimann introduced me to the possibility of using this exact honing steel for way harder (carbon) steels [F.DICK DICKORON MICRO].
So I use my 65hrc 1.2519 or 67hrc Apex Ultra comfortably for roughly one year. Plus/minus. I'm cooking for four persons mostly from scratch and do pretty much everything with said knife over that time span. With the honing rod I can maintain a razor sharp, tomato skin destroying, edge. After about one year, the edge is "worn out" and can't be maintained with the rod anymore.
Also I want to mention that high alloy tool steels like M390, Magnacut and similar can't be maintained with it. I guess mainly due to the amount of carbides. So even if they aren't as hard, it won't work as good or pretty much not at all.
Anyways... The benefit of the rod to me is mainly that I keep the original edge, and therefore the intended geometry of a knife, as long as possible. Whereas it seems to me, that mainly my US customers tend to go straight to the stones as soon as the knife might have lost the tiniest bit of sharpness, for some reason. That of course grows the edge, and "destroys" or disrupts the original geometry unnecessarily and makes thinning necessary way earlier.
Don't get me wrong. I'm a sharpness freak as well. But with the honing rod and proper technique you get that. Freak sharpness. And the benefit of longevity of your knife.
This is great information, Ben. Any more details you can share with respect to how you use the rod?
 
This is great information, Ben. Any more details you can share with respect to how you use the rod?
Most important, as always in sharpening, is angle and pressure control. In that sequence even.

Angle I don't need to explain I think.

As for the pressure - I use almost none. Barely more than the weight of the knife. And that's important. As you'll possibly damage the edge if you use too much. You have to think about how little surface of the edge is really engaged on the rod at any point in time. Way less than on a stone. So even with way lighter pressure on the knife, the pressure on that little spot at the edge is already relatively high, as it's concentrated due to the oval cross-sectional shape of the rod.
What the actual way of holding belongs - that's a matter of taste I'd say. I do it the "wrong" way similar to how a butcher would hold it. Rod pretty much horizontally in the left hand and moving the edge towards my hand, alternating sides.
I think F. Dick recommends the tip of the rod beeing put on the cutting board with the rod beeing held vertically, and then to move the edge from the hand towards board alternating sides. And I tried that. It's definitely beneficial for safety and angle control. As you can see the angle really good.
 
US customers tend to go straight to the stones as soon as the knife might have lost the tiniest bit of sharpness, for some reason. That of course grows the edge, and "destroys" or disrupts the original geometry unnecessarily and makes thinning necessary way earlier.
Don't get me wrong. I'm a sharpness freak as well. But with the honing rod and proper technique you get that. Freak sharpness. And the benefit of longevity of your knife.
Thanks for sharing Ben, I also found this quite informative and interesting. I’ve been sharpening knives for some years now but would still consider myself always learning and trying to get better. Can honestly say that I sometimes fall into this camp of going to stones too early. Your comments have made me re evaluate my decisions and maybe take a new approach.
 
(Edited for improved clarity) What do you think you are achieving with the rod? At the microscopic level.

The only other thing I can think of is removing metal. While a ridged steel may remove some metal, it probably does this by either micro chipping the edge or tearing off fatigued metal. Neither of which is likely to improve the edges keeness.
ask my girlfriend what the rod achieves.
 
Most important, as always in sharpening, is angle and pressure control. In that sequence even.

Angle I don't need to explain I think.

As for the pressure - I use almost none. Barely more than the weight of the knife. And that's important. As you'll possibly damage the edge if you use too much. You have to think about how little surface of the edge is really engaged on the rod at any point in time. Way less than on a stone. So even with way lighter pressure on the knife, the pressure on that little spot at the edge is already relatively high, as it's concentrated due to the oval cross-sectional shape of the rod.
What the actual way of holding belongs - that's a matter of taste I'd say. I do it the "wrong" way similar to how a butcher would hold it. Rod pretty much horizontally in the left hand and moving the edge towards my hand, alternating sides.
I think F. Dick recommends the tip of the rod beeing put on the cutting board with the rod beeing held vertically, and then to move the edge from the hand towards board alternating sides. And I tried that. It's definitely beneficial for safety and angle control. As you can see the angle really good.
Thank you, Ben. This is very helpful! I’m going to give your routine a try!
 
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