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Dec 9, 2006 11:03 AM

Calphalon diamond steel - how to use?

I've got a Calphalon santoku. Calphalon here in Toronto runs knife skill classes and I fell in love with the ergonomics of the knife. Here's a link to the model:

My problem: I can't use a normal honing steel, because the steel of the knife is too hard. No problem I thought, I get myself the recommended diamond honing steel, specially manufactured for the knife.

The question I've got: The diamond steel seems to be incredibly harsh. I've used it as I would have used a normal honing steel and while it does get the knife sharp, I am worried that it is creating a micro serration. There are certainly scratches on the blade now and that's not a good thing, right? My other main knife is a Wusthof and when freshly honed it will glide through a piece of kitchen paper held between two hands. The Calphalon will....stick, as if the blade had nicks in it. It's hard to explain without feeling the difference.

So, does anybody know how to properly use a diamond steel? Is is a sharpening steel, meaning I should pull the knife away from the edge, like I would when using a stone? Or is it a honing steel and should I push towards the blade? Did I fall for a clever marketing trick and should I just return the damn thing?

I'm confused.

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  1. I'm not familiar with the Calphalon knives, as I'm now a fan of Japanese steel. That said, a steel is usually used to straighten the edge of a knife. The thin steel will roll, and the steel will put it back in order. When the steel used in the knife is harder, the edge will chip instead of rolling and a steel can be counter productive. It appears that steeling can be done in either direction.

    The fact that you have a diamond steel, I'd have to agree that it's intended for sharpening instead of steeling. It will remove metal every time it's used. If you want a true steel that will be harder than the steel in your knife, look into a borosilicate glass rod at Hand American

    If you're thinking of returning the knife, I'd strongly suggest you do some shopping at Japanese steel is generally harder than German steel and will retain it's edge much longer. You maintain it with a leather hone (also available at Hand American)