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Old 10-05-2009, 07:04 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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Help with honing (Calphalon Katana)

Hi. I recently got a Calphalon Katana set as a wedding gift. It came with a diamond steel. I've read that this particular steel doesn't hone, but actually sharpens, and does so rather roughly. I want to be able to hone my knives without taking metal off, but I've read that the steel of these blades (VG-10) is too strong to be shaped with a normal honing steel (hence the diamond steel).

Is any of this true? Is there something I can use to hone these knives without sharpening them and decreasing their useful life? I'm extremely new to cutlery, and have never owned a knife that cost more than $15 before this. Thanks!

tl;dr Can I hone Calphalon Katana knives, and how?

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Old 10-05-2009, 07:59 PM   #2
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I believe that your knives are VG 1 steel. There is a difference, as you know, between a sharpening steel and a honing steel. A honing steel (probably not the right term) would be really smooth. Depending on your price point, I would look at a Dick or Dexter, both available over the internet, or often at restaurant supply stores, or a glass rod, much higher priced. Try SMKW for good prices on smooth steels. I think that honing only straightens the edge, does not take off steel. There are several threads here on knives and steels. Check them out. Also a couple of very good knife expers. I'm not one of them.
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:23 PM   #3
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you should absolutely look at an Idahone Ceramic rod (fine grit)....they are very cheap, and very effective for harder steels (your VG-1 included)....though they do impart a slight edge on your knives, it is nothing to worry about, and will give you better results than a diamond or grooved steel (both of which, as you mentioned, can be harsh on your edges)...just dont drop the thing, because it can shatter....i learned about this rod from some knife-nuts who know their stuff

mostly importantly, when using any rod, is to go EASY....you ever those chefs on tv banging their knives into a honing hod, held in mid air, as fast as they can?? thats terrible...... instead, you want the rod to be stable and steady, which you can do by standing it straight off the kitchen counter (use a kitchen towel to keep it from sliding) ....then, GENTLY place your knife at the top (near the handle) at the proper angle (i believe Katana knives are sharpened to 22* - those knives can withstand a more acute angle, but thats another process)....slowly, and with minimal pressure (seriously, a light touch), swipe down the length of the rod, using the entire length of the knife and maintaining the angle....when you get to the end, STOP, and move the knife away from the rod - do not slid the knife off the rod (this can round the tip)
you can usually get away with just a few strokes on each side, just make sure to keep it even

and remember - no knife stays sharp forever, so you will need to think of how you want to take care of that....there are some good options for that, and lots more bad ones
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:28 PM   #4
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by the way, bigjim's recommendation of a glass or smooth steel (COMPLETELY smooth, no grooves at all) are also good ideas....a bit more expensive, though

with any of them, just remember to go easy and keep the proper angle

and here is a link to the ceramic one i mentioned
http://www.japaneseknifesharpeningst...ductCode=IDH12
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