Have you ever honed a blade? Perhaps you haven’t honed a rod before? What is Honing? Honing is a machining technique that uses an abrasive grinding stone or grinds wheel to scour an abrasive grinding stone or grind wheel against a metal workpiece along a pre-defined route in order to produce a precise surface on the metal object. Honing is primarily used to improve the geometric form of a surface, although it can also improve the surface finish.
A ceramic honing rod is one of the greatest pieces of equipment for maintaining a sharp edge on your knives between sharpenings. Steel or diamond rods, on the other hand, may grind off a lot of steel from your blade. Because you use your knife every day, it builds up tiny “burrs” on the edge that has become bent out of place. It also makes them more resilient to wear and damage from other elements, which is especially important for blades. As a result, your knife stays sharper for longer without having to be sharpened as often.
‘Knifewear’ ceramic rods have a unique shape: when you place the spine of your knife onto it, the hilt serves as an angle guide. For Japanese blades, the slimmer side will establish a 15-degree angle, whereas, for Western knives, the wider side will do so.
The honing of the rod is also an excellent method of removing the burr produced by a whetstone, so it’s critical to the whetstone sharpening process. After using a coarse or medium whetstone, use it; but not after a fine or polishing whetstone.
What is Sharpening?
Sharpening is the process of removing metal from a blade and honing it. No matter how dull a knife is, it can be sharpened, The process of grinding is called honing. Honing a knife is the process of straightening its edge using a honing rod (also known as a hone) or other instruments. During regular usage, small portions of the cutting edge are bent or folded over. Regular honing not only extends the life of an already sharp knife but also refines it. When it comes to sharpening, this term refers to ceramic, diamond, and traditional metal steels.
TYPES OF STEEL USED FOR HONING
These, on the other hand, are made of metal rods that have been coated with tiny industrial diamonds. These are rather rough and forceful. This means they can sharpen dull knives quickly and effectively. However, it also implies that because they remove material rapidly, they’re unsuitable for daily use since they wear down your blade too quickly. Furthermore, diamond steel loses its effectiveness over time due to the diamonds wearing off.
These are generally constructed of steel with fine ridges down the length. They hone an edge, but they don’t sharpen it. They’re the least efficient of all since they’re made of soft material compared to a diamond and ceramic rods.
CERAMIC HONING ROD
In our view, this is the best kind of rod for Japanese knives, especially because it hones seven of the toughest Japanese steels. The ceramic material is more durable than any metal, and it can even hone the hardest Japanese steels. It has a roughness of approximately 2000 grit, so it’s perfect for honing a knife’s edge after using a coarse or medium whetstone and modestly sharpens the blade. The disadvantage of a ceramic rod is that if dropped it might break. However, TOG uses a three-part shock absorber design to absorb 70% of the impact and significantly reduce this danger.
HOW TO USE A STEEL OR HONING ROD
- BODY-BRACED METHOD: Here, you brace the steel’s end against your body for added stability and control. The cutting edge of the knife is swept down from the rod’s handle towards the foot of the knife. The spine of the knife follows behind the sharp edge once again.
- FREEHAND METHOD: This is the most frequent technique employed by chefs. The honing rod is held in your non-dominant hand in front of you. From the heel to the tip of the blade, the knife-edge is swept from the end of the rod down to the handle. The back of
- BENCH METHOD: The TOG method is the most secure, easiest, and accurate. The tip of the rod should be placed on a work surface that prevents it from sliding sideways. Sweep the knife’s edge from the top (handle end) of the rod down to the bottom, starting at the heel and working toward the tip.
To go deeper into what is honing, you need to know the type of sharpening stone you use, but the most crucial thing is to maintain an appropriate angle at 15° for Japanese knives or 20° for German/western knives. At all times, you must maintain this angle. You can’t damage an edge while honing it too severely, but if your angle is incorrect, the edge may be rolled over, making the knife blunt.
The MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember is that for Japanese knives, you should set your angle at 15°, and for Western knives, you should aim for 20°. The TOG angle guide can be used to establish the angle. Alternatively, position the blade perpendicular to the rod and cut it in half to get 45°, then halve it again to get 22.5°, and so on until you’ve decided how extreme you want it to be.
You should do around 5 strokes of the blade on each side of the pole with fairly strong pressure, but if the edge is a bit duller, you may require a few more. The most vital thing is to get the angle correct.
HOW TO CARE FOR A CERAMIC HONING ROD
- Use a damp cloth or a wet kitchen roll to wipe the rod and remove any black steel particles from the surface. On abrasive rods, you’ll find more of this.
- Remove any oil that gets on the rod with washing up liquid.
- After each usage, clean the steel.
- It shouldn’t take long to grasp the use of a honing rod. This will for most people be the most-used tool in their kitchen for keeping their knives sharp.
I am sure that by now you know what is honing. Also Read: What is the Best Temperature to Cook Hamburgers at on a Griddle