Help buying a honing rod

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by fletcher, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. fletcher

    fletcher

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    Hi there,

    I recently bought a Mac Pro MBK-95 knife and am in need of a ceramic hone.  Unfortunately I live in Australia and a $30 Idahone is going to cost me around $45 for shipping (ChefKnivesToGo).  Local stores only seem to stock the most expensive, ie a global for around $150.

    I have found the following two available in Australia:

    http://www.everten.com.au/mac-ceramic-sharpening-steel-240mm.html          -     1200 grit, $48

    http://www.everten.com.au/mac-ceramic-honing-steel-black-265mm.html       -      2000 grit, $92

    Could I get by with only a 240mm hone with a knife that is the same length, if so how will a 1200 grit hone treat the blade?

    If not, should I spend the extra money and buy Mac's 2000 grit hone or should I just get the Idahone for around $85 AUD?

    What should I be looking for in terms of grit and hone length?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,

    Fletcher
     
  2. notswedishchef

    notswedishchef

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    I like my honing rod to be as long as my longest knife I'll use on it..... You can go shorter but you have to get creative with technique. The idahone is so good because it's cheap and good......85$ ain't cheap. Look and see if locally a DMT/ messermeister, etc ceramic are cheaper. I had a line cook cry when his uber fancy global ceramic fell and hit the floor......I told him he was stupid for buying such an expensive pc of pottery and gave him my 3 yr old idahone that I sanded a flat spot on the handle so it doesn't roll.
     
  3. fletcher

    fletcher

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    Thank you,

    From what you have said the Idahone is unfortunately not an option in Australia, I will look
    around and see if there are any Australian online stores are selling DMT/Messermeister.

    If all else fails would the 1200grit mac for $48 be worth while? (selling for $39.95 at the moment)


    Sorry for the late response, Ive been unable to get to the computer this last week.
     
  4. padkeejoe

    padkeejoe

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  5. yoshihiro knife

    yoshihiro knife

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    In Japan, high quality knives are not honed on sharpening steels even if the steel is made of ceramic or diamond edged. The conical or in some cases oval shape of the sharpening steel is bound to unproportionately alter the cutting edge of carefully sharpened blade. That is why Japanese knives should always be sharpened and honed on premium quality Japanese water stones. A good quality Japanese water stone not only is the best surface to sharpen and maintain the blade of your knife, but it is also the best tool to preserve and take care of the the high quality steel that it is made of. I recommend routine sharpening and honing on #3000 grit stones and I recommend more refined sharpening and honing on #8000 grit stones. I know people can sharpen on higher grit stones into the tens of thousands, but in some cases those can produce edges that are too brittle. In the end, experience and persistence will be the most valuable of tools.
     
  6. geo87

    geo87

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    If you must have a ceramic hone then +1 for chefs armoury. In Australia it is the best value for money.

    However what yoshihiro said is not only true but easier than it sounds. A few stropping strokes on a 3k should be all it takes.
    Your edges last longer if you do it this way in my exp. if you are a home cook you definitely have the time . If your a pro... I find the time at work everyday just 5 mins max in the morning and I don't have to touch up any knives all day, and only sharpen once a month.

    I'm not trying to convince you not to hone with a rod, just make you aware that it's not the only way. a lot of people don't realise they aren't necessary.
    In saying that it won't do any harm to a mac if used with a light touch.

    Also I've asked Leigh from chefs armoury what grit his hone is and he never replied.
    My guess is between 1.2k and 3k. JIS
    Also unless you are using a 270 or more I don't think length of rod matters that much to be honest
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  7. fletcher

    fletcher

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    Thanks for all the replies, I had never considered touching the edge up on stone instead of a rod.
    I currently have a limited budget (student) and was considering buying a King 1000/6000 stone, would
    this be as effective as a 3000 grit stone? Or would I be better off investing in a better stone set?
     
  8. yoshihiro knife

    yoshihiro knife

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    We usually suggest investing in a larger one sided stone, because they are better for sharpening the edge of the blade and the surface of larger stones wear better. You will find it harder to sharpen on smaller stones and dual sided stones will usually wear faster. Just as important, is stone maintenance which is as simple as using a stone sharpener periodically. You can also use a pencil to draw grid and monitor where the stone is wearing away. However, King is a very good brand and they make very good products. 
     
  9. geo87

    geo87

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    Fletcher: if you are a student and you plan on staying in the industry for a while don't get the combination stones, I think they are more for beginner home users.
    A basic stone setup is 400, 1k , 3k and a stone flattener (there are cheap alternatives to buying one)
    You could get away with just 1k & 3k for some time.
    Personally I have found neither 1k or 6k to be that great for daily maintenance.
    3k is a great universal grit.
    In a nut shell :
    400 is for large metal removal such as reprofiling or changing the angles or when your knife is very dull .

    1k is for the majority of your sharpening when your knife already has some edge...

    3k Is for polishing, removing the burr & touching up your edge

    It's very important to understand the use of each stone and what your trying to achieve on it.

    As a final step the Japanese also like to put newspaper on the stone and strop on it for further refinement (there is abrasive in the newsprint)

    Obviously there is alot more to it than that... Do you research... But stones are a necessary investment and you might as well get ones that will last. You would outgrow a combination stone very quickly
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014
  10. spongeratic

    spongeratic

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    Search idahone on ebay australia. They have 10" and 12" rods selling from Australia.
     
  11. rick alan

    rick alan

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    An Idahone won't hurt a MAC so far as I know, it's less the 60RC hardness, but you have to understand it takes even less pressure than the weight of the knife to do the job.  I use the rounded edge of an Arkansas myself (gives about a 10-12K finish).  You start shallow and with a few strokes gradually raise the angle till you hear the edge sing, do that for the other side and you're done.  You're just aligning the edge and removing a very small amount of metal.  The Idahone is significantly coarser than a soft-fine Ark, and as the edge deteriorates you can take some extra strokes with it to get some relatively significant metal removal.

    You could get a leather strop or tape some newspaper to a board and get some effect for a while, but I don't think it's convenient myself.

    Nor is it at all convenient to wet your 6k+ grit waterstone to do a few stropping strokes.

    My philosophy on the matter.

    Rick
     
  12. benuser

    benuser

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    I still believe a fine rod will fatigue the steel, more than abrade the fatigued steel. I prefer stropping on a medium-fine stone instead.
     
  13. rick alan

    rick alan

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    No argument that a stone is better.

    Rick
     
  14. benuser

    benuser

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    Well, at least a stone won't fatigue the edge's steel.
     
  15. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    I think a hone is still a necessity for a pro cook.  If you can find room to carry a strop that would also be good, in some ways better, than a hone- but it's not always practical to pack on in your stuff.  I find my HA borosilicate glass hone to be fantastic for all my J-knives.  As for ceramics, IMOHO the Idahone is the best there is.  Look for one on eBay in Australia.  It's so good that if you have to just suck it up and pay the shipping.  It's worth it.