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honing steel - advice for a brit please

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

hey guys

 

i'm looking for a honing steel. i've been through old posts on here, but none of the one recommended steels are available over here (eg: Idahone fine, MAC Black Ceramic, or HandAmerican Borosilicate)

 

i have global knives at the moment, but might upgrade to Tojiro or Misono at some point soon.

 

please can anyone recommend anything that is available in the UK steel wise?

post #2 of 12

Globals can be steeled with ordinary steels.

 

If you really can't find it in the UK, many US vendors will ship there.  Email them for their shipping policies.  One of them has a $7 flat shipping.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

just any ordinary steel?

 

so diamond, ceramic, glass, or anything at all? and any old brand?

 

thats great if its true!

post #4 of 12

Well, maybe not just ANYTHING.  You do want the rod to be harder than the knife.  Globals clock in at 57-58, but so do today's Wusthofs and higher end Henckels, both of which used to have hardness ratings in the mid-50's, but which have improved their heat treatment in recent years.

 

So, you should check the hardness of the rod if it is published.  Iif you cannot find out online about the hardness of a particular steel rod, a steel rod of recent vintage from Wusthof or Henckels should be a pretty safe bet.  Ceramic used in honing rods will generally be harder than any steel, and glass is always harder than any steel.  Diamond...  Well, diamond rods work by abrading the edge, and the ones I've seen tear up the blade pretty quick, so I am a little leery of them.  But it would work.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

thanks mate

 

i saw this one in a local cook shop which i thought looked pretty good: 

 

http://www.wusthof.com/desktopdefault.aspx/52_view-115/categories-115/tabid-112/239_read-2367/categories-210

 

but when the girl at the counter asked what knives i had and i said Global, she freaked out a bit about me using it.

 

sounds like it's gonna be perfect though... thanks again! :)

post #6 of 12

I don't understand why she would flip out like that.  Global makes and sells sharpening rods -- abrasive rods that don't just smooth the edge but also abrades away a little bit of metal to give you a fresh edge -- under its own brand:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Global-9-1-2-Inch-Ceramic-Sharpening/dp/B000A386LW

 

Maybe she thinks an 800 grit rod is not giving a Global the best edge it could.  But if you're happy with the edge who's she to make that decision for you.

 

That being said though, if they would let you try it in the store, I would bring a knife and do so before I buy.  Wusthof and many others make abrasive rods in finer grit than that one.

post #7 of 12

Perhaps I've been "miss-educated", however, I think a "steel" or ceramic/glass rod is used to "straighten", not sharpen and that ANY abrasive rod will do more damage to a knife edge than it will help.

 

The geometry of a rod causes an extremely small point of contact with the knife edge with a corresponding increase in pressure against the edge, magnifying any abrasive action.

 

I do not "steel" my MACs, I touch them up on a stone or, as MAC recommends, a RollSharp. My ten year old MAC chef knife is still as sharp as ever.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #8 of 12

There are honing rods and sharpening rods.  The sharpening rods are abrasive and actually do a little bit of sharpening.  The honing rods only straighten.  The WUsthof website he posted has them under two completely different categories.

MAC makes two sharpening rods too.  The MAC white is about 800 grit and the MAC black is about 2000 grit.  Some guys deburr with them after sharpening on stones.  People who don't want to sharpen on stones can get away with just using the abrasive ones.  They won't give the kind of edge an enthusiast is used to, but for the average person...

post #9 of 12

Oh where is BDL ????

 

OK, he'll be around sooner or later, in the mean time, take a look at Dulling Thoughts to get his take on steels and hones.

 

You want to "true your blade"? Use a smooth steel.

 

You want to "sharpen your knife"? Use a stone.

 

You want to create a "saw"? Use an abrasive/grooved steel.

 

BT, WTHDIK

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #10 of 12

I agree that abrasive rods are not the ideal way to create the best possible edge.  However, if a person does not want to invest in stones or the skill of using it, which would be preferable?  A knife that never gets abraded at all, or one that is abraded by an abrasive rod to remove some fatigued metal periodically?

 

Given those two choices, I would say use an abrasive rod rather than never sharpening the blade at all.  I believe that this is the reason that many knife manufacturers -- including Global and MAC, as I mentioned -- also manufacture abrasive rods.  They're for people who don't want to invest in learning how to sharpen with stones.

 

I use stones myself -- typically Bester 700, Beston 1200, one of my 3 natural Aotos, then Takenoko, Kitayama, Imanishi 10K or Naniwa Superstone 10K as I see fit.  I do not myself own a steel.  But if someone wanted to keep a knife sharp without making that kind of investment in stones and the time to learn the skill of it, I say it's better to get an abrasive rod than to either never sharpen the knife or to only ever use a smooth rod, which sooner or later will be much like not sharpening the knife at all.

post #11 of 12

A steel (honer) is designed to put a sharper edge on an already relatively sharp knife.

Make is easy to slice thru an overripe tomato.

They will Never sharpen a dull knife-for that you need a knife sharpener.

Stones are very difficult to use as the typical knife desires a 20 degree angle in the sharpening process.

Very few can nail 20 degrees on a regular basis and therefore the blade is Over sharpened and thin, resulting in a Fold-over when trying to cut thru product.

Although extremely sharp the cutting edge has no substanence and therefore is still very dull-counterproductive.

A properly sharpened knife will have a Beveled edge-Manual sharpeners work very well.

"Chef's choice" is my manufacturer of choice (due to effectiveness and cost).

A good manual sharpener will run about $30.00 (or less).

They also make residential electric sharpeners (about $60.00 at a "Target Store") and they make the task of sharpening... effectively simple and fast.

 

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

so i ended up finding a Fischer - W5025 Round steel 10’’ ceramic

 

http://www.fischer-castet.com/anglais/gfusil.htm#ceramique

 

it seems okay i think.. but its my first time using a steel so not really sure....

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