Diamond Honing Rod
- dcole Dec 29, 2012 08:47 AM
I received an Edgeware Diamond Honing Steel as a Christmas present, and have used it once. It seems much more aggressive that a standard honing rod. I believe this is supposed sharpen and hone at the same time.
My questions is - is this too abrasive to use as a honing rod? Will this take too much metal off my knives over time? Should I use this every so often and a normal steel daily or can I use the diamond rod daily?
I mostly use victorinox and Wusthof knives - softer steel.
In my opinion, yes, it will be too aggressive to use daily. It depends a little on the grit size of course.
What I suggest is using a hone-type steel until it stops making a difference, then resort to using your gift until you get an edge back. Then revert to the steel, etc. If/when neither really works, have the knife resharpened.
As a rule of thumb, Bob Kramer recommends a ceramic rod about once a month.
Bear in mind that a gentle lick or two more often is going to take a *long* time to wear away your blade. You may find that sharpening-as-you-go on one of these diamond rods works great for you, and can omit the conventional hone altogether. Experiment using a light touch and see what you like. We could all benefit from hearing your opinion on what you discover.
<I believe this is supposed sharpen and hone at the same time. >
Yes. You can use it regularly if you want to, but you should use very light touch. You should not use the same force as you would on a regular steel honing rod. That said, you probably can use the rod only when you feel the knives are starting to get slightly dull.
It is a hone, so its primary purpose is tuning a still sharp blade.
These have a grit of @ 750, so they are pretty fine. You aren't going to turn a chefs knife into an ice pick using it. Simply use it on your knives as needed. When it is no longer effective it is time to sharpen the knife.
re: Brandon Nelson
You are spot on. In term of grit size, this interrupted diamond hone (750 grit) is not much different than some of the ceramic rods, like this one:
Thus the finish on this diamond stone is ok.
There are really two issues here. First, it is how fast this rod cut, and second, it is how fine the finishing blade will be. It term of how fast this will cut, this depends on the force applied, so the user has some control on this. A diamond rod often (not always) can cut faster than other materials at the same grit size, just because the strength and hardness of diamond. Light touch will work great with these diamond rods. I have used a DMT fine diamond stone (not rod) to hone knives. It is very important to use a light touch, nothing like people banging or pressing their knives against a steel rod. One or two light passes on this diamond rod should be enough.
Secondly, the finishing blade. 750 is not very gritty, but it is not very fine either. This question was not asked in the original post. If the knife has been sharpened and polished on a 5000 grit stone for example, then honing this knife on a 750 grit diamond rod is actually worsening the blade. So it is important to know how refine the blade needed to be. For example, this is likely to be a very bad choice for a yanagiba knife for sushi.
PS. I don't like the interrupted design.
re: Brandon Nelson
Hi, BN: "It is a hone, so its primary purpose is tuning a still sharp blade."
That's odd. Edgeware calls it a "Sharpening Rod", and the maker's blurb calls what it does sharpening 7 times:
"Edgeware™ is bringing innovation to a traditional sharpener  by offering the world’s first interrupted surface diamond coated oval sharpening  rod. This unique, patented sharpening  surface speeds the sharpening  process by collecting and holding the metal filings which ordinarily build up during the sharpening  process. It comes with a soft- grip rubber handle and an oversized hand guard for comfort and safety. Unlike conventional sharpening  steels, which only re-align the cutting edge, the 10” Diamond Sharpening  Rod hones and re-aligns your edge at the same time."
Edgeware also calls it a "honing rod".
We misuse the word "hone" when it comes to knives, as it is technically a machining term. So in the context of this thread I will avoid using the term.
Instead I will use the word "tune". 750 grit is fine enough for "tuning" work. It will not cut a new edge into the OP's knife, as it isn't course enough to do that. At the shop I frequently lend another butcher my steel, as he likes the fact that I have have one with a coarse grit.
The knives referenced by the OP are of a "Western": style; thick spine, "soft" steel, and @ a 22 degree angle. 750 will tune those up fine.
No matter our choice of words the tool being discussed will do proper finishing work on an out of tune blade.
re: Brandon Nelson
Yes, words can get fuzzy, especially when used to describe the invisible things that happen to knife edges.
My own convention is that "steeling" only accomplishes plastic deformation, whereas "sharpening" always removes stock. I reserve "honing" for altering the surface finish of the cutting bevels.
Obviously, there's crossover of all three functions with these diamond grit rods.
if you are looking for some info on the different rods and how/when to use them, I highly recommen some of Richard Blaine's (aka MrEZCooking) videos on Youtube.
He has 3 videos on honing/sharpening rods, including diamond-impregnated. Enjoy those and his other sharpening videos as well!