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 Post subject: F Dick Polished Steel. Why is it so smoooooooth?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:17 pm 
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Location: Madison Wisconsin
Hello Susan,

I just received my Dickoron polish steel yesterday and realized that it really has no grip at all ... I mean, I read on several websites that it's meant to just keep a sharp edge straight and it probably didn't have any lines on it, but when I received it - the surface is so smooth ...

Can I exchange this steel for another? And will you still charge the 10% restocking fee since it's not really a refund but more of an exchange? I apologize for the trouble but this item wasn't quite what I was expecting ... of course, no fault to you guys because your company is great!

If I can exchange it for the value I paid ... which steel would you recommend as a replacement? I want something that will not scrape away metal from my blade but one that I can use while cutting lots of vegetables ... something that has some grip and will keep my sharp knife sharp during long periods of cutting.

Do you think the Dickoron Fine Cut steel would be the next step up after the Polish model?

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/fdidisuficut.html

Please let me know if I can exchange for equal value for the item (of course I would pay the difference in the cost of the item that I am exchanging as well as the return postage). My original order information is included below ...

Thank you for your help,

Erica



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 Post subject: Re: F Dick Polished Steel. Why is it so smoooooooth?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:26 pm 
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I believe the Super Fine is the next step up, yes. It doesn't have grooves either, but isn't polished like the Polished one is.

Question though....what are you using the honing rod for and on what knife? You shouldn't need to be honing a knife during one session of cutting veggies and this is what I'm reading....obviously I could be reading incorrectly...but....still curious.



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 Post subject: Re: F Dick Polished Steel. Why is it so smoooooooth?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:30 pm 
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Hi Erica,

When an edge gets used it will chip and the edge will often roll over or bend sideways and it will also corrode and will eventually turn to a nub instead of a pointy edge. If you look at your knife edge under a microscope after a couple weeks of use you'll wonder how it cuts anything.

Most rods have grooves on them that act like a file and these will grind the steel on your edge so re-sharpen. Diamond rods and ceramic rods are in this category. With hard steels this is a problem especially with German type grooved steels since hard steel will often just chip right off and you are left with a knife that now needs to be sharpened.

The smooth rod doesn't grind metal. It pushes the edge back to straight and is gentle on your edges. For people that know how to sharpen a knife with stones this is a preferred method to maintain an edge since you want to maintain the edge not grind it. Grinding an edge is for your stones.

Make sense?

So you can certainly get another rod if you like. But, for my knife nut buddies that look in abject horror at most rods, the one you got is just about the only one they would consider using.

What kind of knives do you use? Also, how do you sharpen your knives? If you tell us we can tell you if we think you should consider keeping this rod or getting something else.



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 Post subject: Re: F Dick Polished Steel. Why is it so smoooooooth?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:35 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:59 pm
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chefknivestogo wrote:Hi Erica,

When an edge gets used it will chip and the edge will often roll over or bend sideways and it will also corrode and will eventually turn to a nub instead of a pointy edge. If you look at your knife edge under a microscope after a couple weeks of use you'll wonder how it cuts anything.

Most rods have grooves on them that act like a file and these will grind the steel on your edge so re-sharpen. Diamond rods and ceramic rods are in this category. With hard steels this is a problem especially with German type grooved steels since hard steel will often just chip right off and you are left with a knife that now needs to be sharpened.

The smooth rod doesn't grind metal. It pushes the edge back to straight and is gentle on your edges. For people that know how to sharpen a knife with stones this is a preferred method to maintain an edge since you want to maintain the edge not grind it. Grinding an edge is for your stones.

Make sense?

So you can certainly get another rod if you like. But, for my knife nut buddies that look in abject horror at most rods, the one you got is just about the only one they would consider using.

What kind of knives do you use? Also, how do you sharpen your knives? If you tell us we can tell you if we think you should consider keeping this rod or getting something else.


+1,000 on this post


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 Post subject: Re: F Dick Polished Steel. Why is it so smoooooooth?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:10 pm 

Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 12:29 am
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For anyone using a steel a word you should lookup and understand is burnishing.

Also, steels do not sharpen a dull knife they only maintain a sharp one. If the edge is rounded, chipped or dulled to the point it won't cut anything then a homing steel is the wrong tool for the job.


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 Post subject: Re: F Dick Polished Steel. Why is it so smoooooooth?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:22 pm 
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Mark wrote: Most rods have grooves on them that act like a file and these will grind the steel on your edge so re-sharpen. Diamond rods and ceramic rods are in this category. With hard steels this is a problem especially with German type grooved steels since hard steel will often just chip right off and you are left with a knife that now needs to be sharpened.

The smooth rod doesn't grind metal. It pushes the edge back to straight and is gentle on your edges. For people that know how to sharpen a knife with stones this is a preferred method to maintain an edge since you want to maintain the edge not grind it. Grinding an edge is for your stones.

Make sense?


It makes sense, but it's mostly wrong.

Polished steels are no more gentle than fine-grooved, fine-ceramic or any other fine or ultra-fine texture. Polished steels are also called "packers' steels" (packers as in meat-packers), and work best on edges which are already coarse and toothy.

Any honing rod, no matter how fine polished itself, will preserve the polish on an edge. Fine and ultra-fine textured rods whether grooved metal, grooved glass, or textured ceramic will introduce a little more "scuff" to an edge than a polished edge. And the tooth which results from scuffing will keep the edge fresh and off the stones a little longer than a polished rod -- providing that is, the edge is not already toothy.

More specifically, the F. Dick polished rod is no better for general maintenance than for instance the Idahone "fine" ceramic. There are other rods as good as the Idahone, including several of the F. Dick's, and one or two which are possibly a bit better. But none are so good, so versatile, AND so inexpensive.

The force generated by honing rods to true knife edges is a more product of the mass of the rod at the contact point, than a function of the rod's hardness. However, metal rods -- especially smooth metal rods like polished steels -- are more likely to nick or scratch than ceramic rods. Nicks and scratches can catch the knife as it runs down the rod and ruin the edge. A damaged rod should be discarded and replaced as soon as damage is noticed.

As you said, a honing rod (or steel if you prefer) is not a substitute for sharpening. It is only a method to straighten an impact burr or clean off corrosion.

As you also said, it's not a good idea to use rods which are coarse or otherwise fast enough to sharpen -- diamond rods for instance. They are very tricky in that their effect goes well beyond a little scuff to moving a lot of metal, and the immense forces generated in the small contact patch of knife and rod can quickly lead to disaster in the form of hard-to-correct over-grinds. In addition, an edge created in that way is so toothy it will not last long.

Sharpening, which is a process of abrasion, should be reserved for more controllable apparatus.

Because high hardness usually means a lot of "strength," and a lot of strength usually means not a lot of toughness, a very hard knife (say HRC 63 and above) is likely to chip on a rod. Chisel or near chisel asymmetric edges are also likely to chip on rod. Stropping and/or "touch up" sharpening is the best way to true edges which are not suitable for a honing rod.

There are a lot of wrong ways to hone, and a lot of right ones too. Fortunately all the right ways to hone share the same basics. Smooth, fine or ultra-fine rod. Hone at the same angle as the edge angle. Light strokes. Damn few of them.

Hope this clarifies,
BDL


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 Post subject: Re: F Dick Polished Steel. Why is it so smoooooooth?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:37 pm 
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"should be reserved for a more controlled aparatus"

You're not going soft and using an edge pro or somethinig BD are you?

I would be very dissapointed if you went over to the dark side and started using a frigging jig. It would go against your whole personality. :)



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 Post subject: More information from the questioner
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:55 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:45 pm
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Hello Mark and everyone,

Thank you for posting a response to my question ... I thought the polished steel would be enough (to just bring back a sharp edge) but it's not quite bending my bent edge back in place as well as a steel with a more grip.

I am a line cook that cuts a lot of vegetables in preparation for service - I often cut 22 quarts worth of onions, red cabbage ... bell peppers ... lettuce ... cucumbers ... green onions ... etc. Yes - this sounds more like a prep cook's job, but at a small restaurant - we do it all! For lighter vegetables (i.e. lettuce) my edge holds pretty well throughout the cutting time. However, for harder things like onions and red cabbage - I can feel the drag of my edge about a third of the way through ... a few strokes on a rod helps bring the sharp edge back and the knife glides through the item as it did when I started.

I use various knives ... depending on what I'm cutting or where I am working ... I have a Dexter Chinese cleaver, Devin Thomas gyuto, Breito Pro Nakiri, Susin INOX Kiritsuke and some other knives (other miscellaneous ones not worth mentioning). Many of them are more one-sided edges (90/10) ... the cleaver is more evenly sharpened.

I use a 1000 grit King stone to sharpen my knives and do not do anything fancy with starting at 1000, going up to 3000, leather strope etc. (even though I do own a set of Shapton glass stones) I use just one stone - my knife just has to be sharp enough to cut lots of vegetables.

Given this information - do you still think the polished Dickoron is the best option for me? I've tried steeling one of my knives with it when it arrived and I feel nothing when going through the motions ... Depending on when I last sharpened my various knives - some have razor sharp edges ... others probably could use a sharpening ... so I don't always start with a perfectly sharp edge. It depends on how busy I am during the week and how productive I feel with breaking out the King stone :-) I was hoping that my new steel would help keep my sharp edges sharp longer!

I didn't use the polished Dickoron during actual prepping because I want to return the item in its original condition - I don't want to get it dirty. One more question - are there any significant differences between the oval or round steel shapes? I wanted to get an oval one because I already have the round MAC ceramic rod.

Any advice would be very much appreciated - thank you for your time,

Erica


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 Post subject: Re: F Dick Polished Steel. Why is it so smoooooooth?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:15 am 
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Erica, what Shapton Glass stones do you have?

Also, after reading BDL's post (you would do well to listen to his opinion on rods/hones - and lots of other topics as well :-)), I would think your MAC ceramic rod is a great choice for you, especially if it works satisfactorily for you already.

The other alternative might be to sharpen to a higher grit, for a finer edge finish and see if that lasts longer during prep/service. If it does, you may find that stropping dry on your finishing stone (whatever that works out to be) is a better option for maintenance during a shift. I don't know about the Dexter, but the other knives would definitely take well to a finer finish than 1K. Some people find that 2K or 4K/5K edges last longer than 1K edges. It depends on the knife/steel and also on your sharpening abilities.


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 Post subject: Re: F Dick Polished Steel. Why is it so smoooooooth?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:40 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:45 pm
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I have the 1k and 4k Shapton glass stone set ... honestly, only used it a couple times :-) everyone I work with in the kitchen just uses the standard 1k King stone.

My sharpening skills are beginner's level ... I started with a spyderco but quickly realized that the stones work better to getting the sharpness I need (especially to cut thin green onions) ... so I started trying to sharpen on stones, but I admit - it's hard to get an even edge at the right angle ... not quite sure about the right angle ... still a bit lost on that. And I do have trouble with exerting enough pressure to really get a sharp edge (lacking in power in the fingers).

Hate to say this, but I'm looking for a quick, efficient way to keep my blades sharp in a high volume commercial kitchen ... but perhaps my expectations are unrealistic and I just need to spend my one day off a week sharpening my knives all day :-) That's a fair answer too!

I will reread BDL's answer to my question ... thanks again for your time!!!


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