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Honing/Sharpening Steel Recommendation?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone,

I've finally settled on upgrading to a MAC Pro Chef's Knife. Can anyone recommend a specific steel to use with it? BDL?

Bonus points if they can be bought at Northwestern Cutlery in Chicago.

Thanks!
MR
post #2 of 13
A lot of steels have been hybridized with sharpeners. They make them of ceramic, or diamond coat them or give them ridges like a file. Avoid all of those. The ONLY purpose of a PROPER steeling rod should be to realign the edge. These are getting harder to find.

Adding sharpening things to the steel defeats that purpose entirely.

I don't have a specific recommendation beyond that.
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 13
I would recomend a ceramic wet stone. A "steel" will not help in keeping the edge sharp, only straight.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
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post #4 of 13
First of all, DO NOT use a grooved steel, EVER!!!!

I disagree with both posts 1 & 2. Ceramic, diamond, and borosilicate (glass with boron) steels are all harder than steel and will remove metal, thus sharpening, actually, more like reconditioning. They will also realign a rolled edge simultaneously. For soft steels, ie. German and French, you can realign the edge without sharpening by using a glass smooth steel. Glass smooth steels don't work well on harder steels such as found on Japanese knives because the edges are not prone to rolling.

A blade can be brought up to speed a few times by steels but the time will come when they need to be thinned as well as sharpened. This is where the use of stones comes in.
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Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
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post #5 of 13
Probably the best price/performance steel is the Idahone fine. You can get it at 10" and 12". As to the best steel at any price, choice between the F. Dick "Dickoron" (I know. God love 'em.) and the Hand American borosilicate glass rod. I'd put the HA "glass smooth" up there, but it's not quite as versatile. As it happens, I have an HA glass and a very old Henckels "extra-fine" grooved (similar to the Dickoron); and don't think either is worth the extra money compared to the Idahone.

You can get the Idahone and most Hand American products (including their rods) at Japanese Knife Sharpening. JapaneseKnifeSharpening.com

Anything else, let me know.

BDL
post #6 of 13
BDL,
Are the Hones you mention smooth? Is the "fine" how fine the ceramic was ground to make the hone?

Thanks
V
post #7 of 13
Idahone rates their "fine" ceramic at around 1200 grit ANSI which is the equivalent of around 2000# JIS. Is that what you mean?

BDL
post #8 of 13
I'm not sure. I'm new to the Japanese knives and sharpening and such. I used to think my Wusthof 8" Chef's was the best thing ever. I have a Hiromoto AS Gyuto coming next week and I don't want to buy a grooved steel like the calphalon one I just gave away. I want to make sure that it will not ruin the edge. Also what do you recommend getting to sharpen the knife?

Thanks
V
post #9 of 13
I like the Idahone ceramic hone we've been talking about quite a bit as a "steel."

With an AS, you're moving up to waterstones for sharpening. The actual choice of set depends on what other knives you're going to be sharpening and how much you can afford. An ideal set would run you somewhere north of $300, which is probably (yuh think?) more than you want to spend to start out.

So, what else are you going to be sharpening? And how much you got?

BDL
post #10 of 13
I also have a Shun Classic Paring, Shun Onion Santoku, Gekko Petty and a Tojiro Flash Nakiri. I've been on a small spending spree lately. I'm placing the order for the Gekko, Tojiro and the Hiromoto tonight. Other than the sharpening and cleaning and drying the knives right away, what else is diff. than a ss knife like my wusthof? I wipe clean and dry my Shuns after every use and they are fine. Should I go with the Hiromoto G3 line instead?

Recommend away for the sharpening. If possible can it de done in steps? the ceramic rod you recommend and a couple of stones now and additional tools later?

V
post #11 of 13
In your case I'm going to recommend choosing between two paths.

The first path has several possible branches to consider. The Bester 1200# and the Shapton Pro 5000# for now, with the idea of adding a Bester 500#, and a HandAmerican sharpening kit next. Both the Bester and Shapton are absolutely top of the line waterstones -- with the drawbacks that each is pretty expensive and neither provides a lot of feedback.

Along the same lines, the Naniwa "Super Stone" 1000# and 5000# would also be good choices. They have excellent feedback, almost like natural stones, but neither is quite as good as their respective Bester and Shapton counterparts.

Also, you might consider changing either 1000 for the Shapton 1000 GS which is a really great stone. The only drawback is that you end up with different maintenance for each of your stones -- which is a drag for anyone, but especially for someone who hasn't been dealing with stones forever.

The second path would be to buy the Norton four surface (2 combi stones) set which is pretty much soup to nuts. They're good, but not great stones. Easy to use. By the time you've started to wear them down you'll be a good enough sharpener to appreciate the next step up to quality. A very versatile set, easy to learn with and not expensive. I talked RPM into buying one of these sets, you should drop him a PM and ask him what he thinks. Great first set -- but only a first set.

BDL
post #12 of 13
Thanks. I'll look into those options. Where do you buy your stones from?
post #13 of 13
Depends on the stones.

Cutlery and More: Good source for culinary Norton, all things Chef's Choice, some DMT, lots of good stuff.

ebay: You'd be a fool not to check.

Hall's Pro Edge: My choice for Arkansas stones. If you use them, it should be yours too. Not all Arkansas stones are created equal, it's very quarry depenedent. Hall's is tied for best soft Arkansas, but has by far the best surgical black -- as good or better than a Norton translucent.

Japanese Knife Sharpening: All things Hand American (one of the only sources), Shapton GS, Idahone. If he (Dave Martell) has it, buy it from him. Great guy, and one of the best sharpeners going.

Japan Woodworking: Bester, Shapton Pro, a variety of other man made and natural stones.

Sharpening Supplies: All Norton, All DMT, lots of other stuff; I use them a lot.

Tools for Working Wood: Only source for Naniwa, also has Ice Bear and Norton. A very good guy.

When you buy your stones don't forget to buy a flattener and a nagura.

BDL
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