Sharpening Steel

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by manhong, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. manhong

    manhong

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    I recently received a Global G-2 chef's knife for my birthday.  I love the knife and I would like to purchase a sharpening steel to keep it in good shape.  From reading the threads in the forum, it sounds like the best sharpening steels are the HandAmerican Borosilicate Honing Rod or the F. Dick Dickoron oval.  Are there any other honing steels that I should consider? Should I just go ahead and buy the Global ceramic sharpening steel?

    I know that a sharpening steel will eventually stop working and I will have to sharpen my knives with a whetstone.  However, I'd like to keep the edge sharp as long as possible between sharpenings. 
     
  2. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    I'm absolutely NOT an expert concerning knife sharpening, but, IMHO, a "steel/hone" will NOT keep a knife sharp. It will keep the edge aligned and it may appear to make the knife sharper but sharpening requires the removal of metal with some type of abrasive.

    And PLEASE, do not use a "sharpening steel"!

    Hopefully, BDL will jump in with the specifics.
     
  3. manhong

    manhong

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    I understand that the steel/hone will not keep a knife sharp and merely keep the edge aligned.  That is what I am looking for.  A sharpening steel or honing steel that will keep the edge aligned.  From what I've read, it is a must for anyone who owns good kitchen knives.  
     
  4. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Well, not necessarily. My knives are sharp and aligned but have never touched a steel/rod hone. I prefer the stones.

    But, as long as you clearly understand that a steel/rod hone will not "sharpen" and you have a plan for sharpening, go for it.

    Wait for BDL or others to step in though, please don't take my word for it.
     
     
  5. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    The HA Borosilicate is too expensive, and not the best tool for your particular job.  It really functions best in a two rod "system.  If you want to go to those lengths, you're nuts. 

    The F. Dick oval is also very expensive, extremely tricky, and also probably not a good choice.  The oval works differently depending on which part you use; and the grooves can either be aggressive or relatively fine depending on how you hold the rod, the knife, and the amount of pressure you use.  F. Dick says it's their best rod, and a lot of chefs with too much money like to use them -- almost always improperly and to poor effect. 

    Don't steel like Gordon Ramsay.

    The Idahone fine ceramic is probably your best choice.  It's reasonably priced, very well made, has an appropriate surface, etc.  The only drawback is that it's slightly fragile.  Drop it, and you'll need a new one. 

    Another very good ceramic, nearly unbreakable, but otherwise not as nice as the Idahone, and somewhat more expensive is the DMT CS2 (ceramic, NOT diamond).  In the past, they've come from the factory with some ceramic spatter on the rod, which must be sanded off.  Not that big a deal, but you'd think they'd get it together. 

    The MAC ceramic is even less breakable than the DMT, but rather expensive and not as nice.

    If you absolutely, positively must get a steel rod (you've indicated that it doesn't matter to you), Forschner makes a fine which is good.  The F. Dick "Dickoron" combination rod (fine/polished) is quite nice, but very expensive.  Dickorons are as good as any metal rod on the planet, IMO.  But... not worth the dough.

    I use a very old Henckels which started as a "fine," and has worn down still finer, along with an HA Borosilicate.  In other words, that nutz-o two rod system.  It gives me a few tricks I wouldn't have with just an Idahone fine, but not many.  Unless you care more about fooling around than simply doing a more than adequate job, stick with the Idahone.

    If the longest knives you'll be steeling are 9" or longer, get a 12" rod.  8" or shorter, you can live with a 10". 

    When you have a chance, take a look at this.

    Hope this helps,

    BDL
     
  6. manhong

    manhong

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    BDL,

    Thanks for the info.  This is very helpful.  I think I'm going to buy an Idahone fine ceramic and use that to see how I like it.  Thanks for talking me out of an HA Borosilicate.   
     
  7. manhong

    manhong

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  8. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Yes it is.  Grit numbers can be very confusing, because there are so many different ways of doing it.  But 1200 is very fine for a rod.  Heaven knows how Idahone rates theirs, but their rods would run around 2000# JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards) which are relatively consistent.  You can't get a finer rod unless you get into completely smooth or an exotic like the HA Borosilcate.   

    One of the really nice things about Chef Knives To Go is that you can always call and ask Mark.  He loves helping customers; and would tell you the same thing. 

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  9. johnr

    johnr

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    First post here, but knives are a side hobby/business. I sharpen for friends, family, and kitchen co-workers going back about 18 years. The edges are brought to arm/leg hair popping sharpness.

    To straighten edges between sharpening, I use the following steel from Razor Edge Systems: Steel

    John
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  10. capsaicin

    capsaicin

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    According to the Wusthof website:

    http://www.wusthof.com/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-112/52_view-115/categories-115

    ...their fine ceramic rod is ~3000 JIS.

    By the way, BLD, since your name was mentioned in thisd thread:

    http://www.cheftalk.com/forum/thread/66095/honing-steel-advice-for-a-brit-please

    ...I would appreciate it if you could point out any inaccuracies in what I wrote in it.  Wouldn't want to steer any newcomers wrong, you know.
     
  11. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Their superfine at 3000 JIS sounds good.  I didn't even know they had one.  10" is a little on the short side for a 9" knife or longer -- but that's really just a matter of taste. 

    BDL
     
  12. capsaicin

    capsaicin

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    They do sound good don't they.  It's really too bad that theie lengths top out at 10".

    Any corrections or opinions on the stuff I wrote in that thread though?  It's mostly stuff I learned from reading and experimenting, and if I'm wrong on anything I would sure like to know about it.