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 Post subject: Steel/Hone Selection
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:07 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:11 am
Posts: 16
I'm new to hand sharpening/waterstones, etc. Have used numerous sharpening methods and hones in the past & now want to improve my edges...Henkels, Richmond, Shun, Tojoro. My understanding of steels is that they realign the microserrations on a "smooth" edge. Hence a polished butcher's steel is optimal. However, now we have ceramic and diamond steels, which take off metal. That seems to be sharpening...not aligning. So, why would I choose one over the other? Which maintains the edge best between true sharpening? Is there a difference with the harder steels in the Richmond, Shun and Tojoro knives compared with the traditional German steels? (That's a lot of questions...sorry!)


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 Post subject: Re: Steel/Hone Selection
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:14 am 
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Location: USA... mostly.
papilloncooks wrote:"Which maintains the edge best between true sharpening?"

Steels have their limitations. I find strops are much more efficient, and since they are dry, they are quick at work... or after. <link> Strop - set <link> <-- These are double duty as they allow refinement beyond your stones in less expensive options, and they work to true your blade as a steel would but w/o degrading your high grit finishes.

If you already have a lapping plate for your stones, grab this strop set <link> instead.



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 Post subject: Re: Steel/Hone Selection
PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:14 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:11 am
Posts: 16
Interesting. I saw that one of our members keeps his strop on his refrigerator so s/he can sharpen easily. I've also seen the ceramic hones recommended for keeping new knives sharp until one figures out using the waterstones. So, maybe I'll start with the strop and see how it works.

Thanks for your recommendation.


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 Post subject: Re: Steel/Hone Selection
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:56 am 
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PAPILLON <> I'm realizing I walked over a question or two of yours as I was replying in haste... was too busy at work.

You referenced harder steels, and yes, it matters... greatly. "Butcher's steels" and grooved steels are typically softer steel, and as such can only affect steel that is as hard or softer. Most any knife on the CKTG menu is over Hrc58. Conversely, most steels are less than said hardness and are therefore useless on our hard steel. HandAmerican makes some polished steels @Hrc 62. They made a Borosillicate rod at super high Hrc. Ceramic & diamond rods are obviously harder than steel and will cut to an extent, but even these top out at around a 1000-1200 grit rating leaving them as less than desirable to me.

Another facet of rods that goes mostly unnoticed, is usage. Very few use a rod properly, and bang away at it deforming the edge they are tying to improve even further with extremely intense impact. If you think about how small the actual surface area of rod face is as to the equally small surface area of the blade's edge that is making that initial contact, you are concentrating an IMMENSE transfer of kinetic energy which clearly has the potential to damage. Even a small variance in honing angle is amplified by this potential force, and more time than not... the blade's condition is not being improved.

But I know it looks cool... :roll:
{fyi: not a dig at you}

A bench strop allows a dramatically larger margin for error, or rather, they make it much easier to produce an effectively positive result. And ultimately, they can produce a much better overall result. As mentioned earlier, they can wear multiple hats swapping from leathers & balsas to cloths & felts, and/or even to acetates, polycrystalline diamonds to boron carbides & cubic boron nitrides to chromium oxides. They are inexpensive to swap around, and quick and easy to use & swap.

Even at work ITK. Often, you don't even need a base. Just bring your magnetic backed strop, charged or nude, and it will mount to most stainless steel tops like prep tables, the ridge of the range (just pull 2 grates), even the window, usually.

I prefer strops.



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 Post subject: Re: Steel/Hone Selection
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 3:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:11 am
Posts: 16
MELAMPUS:

Thanks for that information. It's the explanation that I was truly looking for. Given the hardness of the materials I'm sharpening, I'll spend my resources playing with stropping materials.

BTW: I hone without flair!

Cheers!


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 Post subject: Re: Steel/Hone Selection
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:27 pm 
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papilloncooks wrote:"BTW: I hone without flair!"

I reckon its not necessary, but I will reiterate... it was no dig at you.

On a side note, your reply makes me think of this guy Salty, that has a funny clip about honing with flair. He makes a funny about picking up a hottie on the buffet carving station by grabbing her attention by picking up the steel... and going to town! :lol:



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