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Old 04-14-2008, 03:59 PM   #1
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ISO Dexter Russell Ceramic Rod Sharpener

Anyone familiar with the Dexter Russell ceramic rod sharpener? I'm not looking for the ultimate edge, but something that can sit out and keep a good working edge on a knife without all the mess from water or oil stones.
Thank you.

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Old 04-14-2008, 11:29 PM   #2
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Hmmm...at first blush that gizmo looks a bit suspect to me. I'm assuming that there are three different grit ceramic rods there, but no type of angle guide. Unless I'm simply missing something you'd be using them freehand, and probably horizontally. If you want a crock-stick type sharpener it seems to me you'd be better off with an Idahone, Lansky or Spyderco Sharpmaker. It's a bit easier to use them vertically IMOHO.

Any ceramic will become loaded with metal residue, requiring a good cleaning. It's not as messy as cleaning up swarf from waterstones, but there's some small amount of mess.

I think the Spyderco Sharpmaker is the best thing going for someone who isn't really very interested in learning to sharpen yet wants to keep their knives sharp. Another superb product I've recommended to lots of people is the Edgemaker Pro system. It's very fast, inexpensive and easy to learn yet very effective on a wide range of knives. Even though I'm a fan of waterstones and a proud EdgePro Apex user, I still keep my Spyderco Sharpmaker and Edgemaker Pro sharpeners in the knife case I take to work.
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Old 04-16-2008, 09:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Potato Repairman View Post
Anyone familiar with the Dexter Russell ceramic rod sharpener? I'm not looking for the ultimate edge, but something that can sit out and keep a good working edge on a knife without all the mess from water or oil stones.
Thank you.
Three rods, coarse, medium, and smooth. It ought to work. Why not? Caveat: You said you want to keep a good working edge. Use the smooth until you need to go to the medium. No matter which rod is in use, run that edge over the rod VERY lightly. The weight of the blade itself will be enough pressure, maybe even too much. Any more than that you will be losing too much metal and shortening the useful life of your knives.

I would not use the coarse rod. Anytime an edge gets that far off I'd be using waterstones to get back to the beginning of the cycle.

Also, Rob is correct, there is some cleanup required. The rods will develope darkish gray streaks. It's not wear on the rod, it's carbon from the steel loading up on the rod and you will need to remove it. A brush and any scouring powder will do the job.
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:13 AM   #4
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Another caveat: it's difficult to avoid rounding off the tip of your knife when sharpening on round rods. Just an FYI.

It's not that that device won't work- I'm sure it will. I just think the Spyderco Sharpmaker would most likely be an easier, more effective solution.
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:02 AM   #5
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Thank you for the information. Rob, when one uses a crock stick type sharpener is the operation similiar to using a steel in the verticle position, except that the stick itself is angled and the knife is held at 90 degrees?
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:43 AM   #6
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Thank you for the information. Rob, when one uses a crock stick type sharpener is the operation similiar to using a steel in the verticle position, except that the stick itself is angled and the knife is held at 90 degrees?
Well, somewhat. Most crock-stick-type sharpeners aren't at 90*, they're generally set about 20-22* off perpendicular. I much prefer the triangular Sharpmaker to round sticks as it's much easier to keep the tip sharp that way. With a round stick the edge maintains contact with the stick all the way along the edge 'til you reach the tip- then it tends to "drop off" or slip off the edge. Try it a few times for yourself, keeping your eye on the end of the knife.

That's not to say the round ones don't work, just that they're a bit trickier than the Sharpmaker. Check out a picture of the Sharpmaker:





The triangular rods can be used on the edge or the flat for different grits. And there are two different grits of rod, so you really get 4 grits in practical terms. And a big plus for the Sharpmaker: There are two sets of holes, one for a 15*/30* inclusive angle and the other for a 20*/40* inclusive angle.

Some long time DC'ers might wonder if I get a kickback from Spyderco as much as I flog this tool! NO, I don't, but I own and use one myself. People tend to find sharpening to be mystifying but it doesn't have to be. There are a lot of crappy sharpeners out there that will waste your money, but between the Spyderco Sharpmaker, the Edgemaker Pro and the EdgePro Apex, nobody should have to tolerate dull knives.
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Potato Repairman View Post
Thank you for the information. Rob, when one uses a crock stick type sharpener is the operation similiar to using a steel in the verticle position, except that the stick itself is angled and the knife is held at 90 degrees?

OOOPS! I read this wrong...yes, you're right- the sticks are angled and the knife is held straight up and down at a 90* angle. Math isn't my strong suit!
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