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Hey guys, I bought a ceramic "steel' the other day. It was from a japanese company, it looks like white chalk. Cost me 14$.
Now, it's cheap, but I never encounterd it before. It was the first they sold so the store didn't know much either.

Is it good for all knives? Just for special knives(carbon steal?!)? Can it erode my knives too fast? Should I limit the stokes on it? Vice versa?
 

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I think it will be too abrasive. More of a sharpener than a steel. And also very fragile. If it ever drops, it's probably history.

Phil
 

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Think that could be why it's so cheap Phil? Do you have a pic of so we can see what it looks like Shahar? Im really curious.
 

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My main concern is that most kitchen knives are relatively soft steel, often around 55 RC. This is good because it keeps the knife strong and able to take the pounding with the flat of the blade, the occasional drop and such without breaking. It also means you sharpen it more often. Ceramics tend to be much harder. Harder items "cut" softer items. I suspect the "steel" in question is unglazed so the grit of the ceramic is exposed, making it abrasive.

The theory behind steeling is that it realigns the edge you've already sharpened into the blade rather than grinding a new edge in it. The softness of the knife metal means the dulling action on the thin edge tends to twist out of line and not break. So you only need to realign it, not sharpen it. Ceramics are poorly suited to that task. Same for the file edged and nubbed steels. Those all sharpen more than realign.

I do like that ceramic wouldn't be magnetic so it wouldn't hold on to any metal filings for fouling the steel or the knife.

It won't affect carbon steels more or less than stainless steels.

Yes, limit strokes on it, unless you want to sharpen on a "fine" grit stone.

I hadn't considered the cost aspect.

Phil
 

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Here are some FAQ's for you.
 
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