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Proper honing technique

Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:41 am

Ive seen enough line cooks pick up their rod-whether diamond, or ceramic, and just wail at it with no rhyme or reason.
I always try to be gentle and use proper tech when honing; but I just don't find that it beings my edge back for any reasonable amount of time. For instance if small dicing shallots, ill notice a difference for maybe 2 shallots then have to go back to the rod. I was just curious how the experts in here hone- whether tip to heal/heal to tip matters… pressure, angle etc.

Re: Proper honing technique

Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:49 am

For german steel on a metal rod I start heel to tip with moderate to hardish pressure and get progressively gentler as I go and have gotten good results (probably not "proper" though.) With a ceramic I go very gently from heel to tip. Maintaining the constant angle is most important with whatever you use. Havent used diamond, my guess would be go gentle.

Re: Proper honing technique

Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:55 am

Are these knives you sharpen yourself? If so use the same angle. If they are house knives sharpened by "the guy" try finding a 22ish degree angle. Hold the knife perpendicular to the steel, cut angle in half (45) and then half again should get you close.

Re: Proper honing technique

Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:30 am

they are all quality j-knives… gokos, AS Laser, Konosuke white 2 etc. Idahone rod. Im not green with sharpening, I just know when people have talked about stropping, some had pretty hard opinions on "edge trailing" and "edge leading" and I figured this carried over to honing as well since its that one sweeping motion across the entire blade.

Re: Proper honing technique

Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:31 am

I first set the tip of the hone on a table to avoid wobbling. That's the most common mistake I see. For the right side I hold the rod at a complimentary angle to my knife edge, much like a Spyderco rod setup, so that I simply draw the blade smoothly directly down. For the left I tilt the rod lower for another complimentary angle so that I'm drawing the knife horizontally. Just a few light strokes, heel to tip, per side. You could as easily hold the rod vertically with the tip down or hold it flat, but I think tilting the rod and not the knife lets me control the geometry of my honing best.

People who hone in the air are, frankly, doing it incorrectly. It will bring a blade closer to true, but are you really in so much of a hurry you have to hack away at the rod like that?

Re: Proper honing technique

Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:47 am

Re: Proper honing technique

Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:05 pm

I'm not saying my technique is the best way - it's just what works for me. I sharpen on stones, not switching hands and use a similar motion for the zwoop, zwoops, as Shaun calls them :-).

Re: Proper honing technique

Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:16 am

Steve --> I hone holding the rod out away from me but your way is a good method for someone new to rods to learn to hold the right angle and get a feel for it.
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