Ceramic Vs Steel Honing Rod | With Knife expert advice 2022

Ceramic Vs Steel Honing Rod
Ceramic Vs Steel Honing Rod | brandbeastreviews.com

In the comparison of a ceramic vs. steel honing rod, very few chefs can point out the dissimilarities. And only by knowing the differences can you tell what’s good for your kitchen knife. 

Cutting vegetables or fruits with a blunt knife doesn’t produce efficient work. On the other hand, when you have a razor-sharp knife you can cut thin slices of tomatoes effortlessly.

And with time every knife grows dull, less efficient, and hence calling for sharpening or honing. So what’s the best tool for maintaining a sharp edge on your knife; steel or ceramic honing rod?

Read on to find out

Brand Name
Editor Choice
WÜSTHOF 10" Sharpening Steel
Budget Choice
Shenzhen Knives | White Ceramic Knife Sharpener Honing Rod
Image
WÜSTHOF 10" Sharpening Steel
Shenzhen Knives | White Ceramic Knife Sharpener Honing Rod | Best Professional Knife Sharpening Tool | 12 Inch Honing Stick | Ceramic Honing Rod | Chef Knife Sharpening Rod | Kitchen Knife Sharpener
Material
Metal, Steel
Ceramic, Corundum
Color
Black
White
Item Weight
9.7 ounces
9.6 ounces
Grit Type
Fine
Fine
Country of Origin
Germany
China
Editor Choice
Brand Name
WÜSTHOF 10" Sharpening Steel
Image
WÜSTHOF 10" Sharpening Steel
Material
Metal, Steel
Color
Black
Item Weight
9.7 ounces
Grit Type
Fine
Country of Origin
Germany
Budget Choice
Brand Name
Shenzhen Knives | White Ceramic Knife Sharpener Honing Rod
Image
Shenzhen Knives | White Ceramic Knife Sharpener Honing Rod | Best Professional Knife Sharpening Tool | 12 Inch Honing Stick | Ceramic Honing Rod | Chef Knife Sharpening Rod | Kitchen Knife Sharpener
Material
Ceramic, Corundum
Color
White
Item Weight
9.6 ounces
Grit Type
Fine
Country of Origin
China

Last update on 2022-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Is a Ceramic Honing Rod?

Ceramic Honing Rod
Ceramic Honing Rod

A ceramic honing rod is almost like a diamond rod, except it’s less abrasive. And when honing a knife its texture becomes a significant feature.

A ceramic honing rod can straighten out a blade and realign it without shelving off unnecessary bits of metal from the knife. 

Therefore it doesn’t shorten the lifespan of your blades like other tools that eat away a large chunk of metal from the knife’s surface. 

However unlike diamonds, ceramic is brittle. And so you need to handle it with care lest it drops and breaks. Although brittle, ceramic is sturdy and can hone different types of blades

In addition, they are made of high-quality material and so attract high price tags. Honing helps to boost the sharpness of knives. And since ceramic honing rods feature minimal grit, they are ideal for high-end knives. 

Key Features:

  • Lightweight and friendly to the arms
  • They have a sturdy design
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • They have a versatile use

Uses:

  • With little effort, it produces quick tangible honing results
  • Ideal for maintaining the smooth edges on the chef’s knife
  • Can align and sharpen a wide variety of blades

What is a Steel Honing Rod?

Steel Honing Rod

Unlike ceramic, steel honing rods are more common and easy to find in most kitchens. Further, they offer many years of service. Ad due to their sturdiness, steel rods produce good results even when honing tough blades. 

By design stainless steel honing rods are long and thin. And since stainless steel is rust-resistant, they have high corrosion resistance. 

Their hypoallergenic and rust-resistant quality makes them the favorites of many chefs. Also, there are magnetized steel honing rods. 

That means when you hone using a magnetized steel rod, it gathers the tiny bits of metals coming from the blade edge. Therefore the metal shaves don’t reach your food.  But after frequent use, the honing steel attracts lots of shaves and hence reducing its efficiency. It’s thus vital to keep check of your steel rod and clean it more often.

Key Features:

  • They are resistant to corrosion
  • Mostly takes a long and thin structure 
  • The magnetized honing steel rods collect metal shaves
  • Extra sturdy and so registers a long lifespan
  • Hypoallergenic in nature

Uses:

  • Ideal for removing dents in the knife blades
  • Helps in realigning the cutting edge of knives to be straight
  • Hones even more rigid blades

Ceramic vs Steel Honing Rod: Key Differences

In the ceramic vs steel honing rod comparison, here are the core differences that stand out:

1. Honing Process

Ceramic honing rods possess fine grits. Accordingly, that gives them a less abrasive texture on their subjects. 

That means such rods eat away a very limited amount of metal shaves from the blades they hone. For that same reason, they make a good choice for the high-end expensive knives.

On the contrary, the steel rods register a rougher texture on knives than ceramic types. For that reason, they can eat away the tiny serrations on a chef’s knife blade. 

Steel honing rods are very sturdy. And if you don’t use them carefully on other rigid blades they may break the knives. Further, frequent use of the rods results in premature dulling of knives.

2. Sharpness Precision

Although ceramic rods have relatively fine grits, the degree differs from one type to the next. That is coarse grits produce a high degree of friction and quick honing. 

But the rods with fine grits work best on delicate knives. In other words, when you need to fine-tune your blade to have precise sharpness, fine ceramic rods win hands down.

Steel on the other hand is harder and rougher. For that reason, it shaves away more pieces and produces a more tangible result in less time. Accordingly, most chefs prefer it for large and thick blades. 

Although it can produce relative precision in sharpness, it can’t match its ceramic counterparts. 

3. Shape of Rod

When it comes to shape, the name honing rod suggests the shape. Both the ceramic and steel types have cylindrical shapes.

But to make them friendly to the hands, the honing rods have an ergonomic handle. The grip can be of plastic, rubber, metal, or composite materials. 

Although they assume a cylindrical shape honing rods come in different thicknesses. 

4. Durability

When comparing ceramic and steel regarding durability, steel wins by a large slide. 

Although ceramic material is rust and heat resistant, it can hardly withstand sudden drops from heights. For example, if you release it from a height of 3 feet or more it’s more likely to break. 

On the contrary, steel is sturdy and doesn’t break easily from a fall. Even though steel exists in different degrees of hardness, they are all superior to ceramic material. 

For that reason, if you need to realign a kink or a dent on a knife, a steel rod is the best choice. 

5. Price

The next difference that stands out when comparing ceramic and honing steel, is price. Ceramic rods are slightly more expensive than honing steels. 

Hence if you are under a budget, steel is relatively pocket friendly. But if you stock high-quality Japanese knives, it’s worth investing in ceramic honing rods. 

Difference Between Honing and Sharpening:

Most people easily confuse the two terms honing and sharpening. In fact, some mistakably use one term in place of another one. 

1. Honing Steel

The core intention of honing is to straighten or realign the blade and make it straight. After making several cuts, the extremely thin edge of the blade bends to one side. 

So honing steel straightens the micro-serrations on the blade. It also eats away a negligible amount of steel from the surface. 

Key Features

  • It produces very little amount of shave from the metal
  • Carried out more frequent than sharpening
  • Requires very minimal effort

Uses:

  • Straitening the edge to improve the cutting efficiency
  • Carried out between one sharpening period and the next

2. Sharpening Steel

Unlike honing, sharpening steel takes away the tangible amount of metal pieces from the steel blade. By shaving away some metal pieces from the surface, the cutting edge grows thinner. 

That’s why after sharpening a knife you may find numerous metal shaves on the ground or stuck on the steel sharpening rod. 

So sharpening greatly reduces the lifespan of a knife. For that reason, you shouldn’t sharpen your knife more than necessary times.

Instead of frequent sharpening, you can hone it several times and store it in a knife block tucked away. 

Key Features

  • Takes away a significant amount of steel from the knife
  • Reduces the lifespan of blades
  • More energy-intensive than honing
  • Sharpening rod is more aggressive than honing rod

Uses

  • Grinding the edge boosts a knife’s cutting power significantly
  • You can use several tools to sharpen steel such as whetstone, water stone, and electric knife sharpener.

Steel Honing Rod vs Ceramic– Which One Should You Buy? 

The choice between steel vs ceramic honing rod comes down to a personal preference. That’s because each type has its advantages and disadvantages. 

Here are the takeaway points to help you make an informed choice;

  • Steel rod stands out in durability. Thus if your priority is durability, you can’t go wrong with steel honing rods. 
  • If you own prized high-end knives for instance Japanese knives, ceramic rods make a better choice.
  • If your kitchen mostly stocks knives that are softer than steel, go for steel honing rods
  • At the same time if you are under a tight budget then steel makes a better choice.  

Thus as you can see, it all comes down to a personal choice and priority. But if your budget allows, it pays to have both of them.

How to Use Ceramic Honing Rod

  • Hold the honing rod vertically downwards to a piece of board. 
  • The blade and the honing rod should make about 20 degrees angle. 
  • For the novice, you can use a protractor to get the angle right. 
  • Let your dominant hand hold the knife flat to the rod.
  • Then carefully lift the spine till it forms a 20-degree angle with the rod. 
  • After that make a gentle stroke on the edge from top to bottom. Stroke once then alternate on the other side of the blade. Do not stroke one side twice before alternating. 
  • About three or five strokes should suffice
  • If it’s your first time, it’s wise to practice the skill on an old knife first.

How to Use a Sharpening Steel Rod

  • Hold the sharpening steel rod vertically downwards. Let its tip rest firmly on a cutting board
  • Use the other hand to hold the knife at the crossway with the sharpener (assume you want to cut the sharpener)
  • Then adjust the knife to make15 to 20 degrees with the sharpener. Applying some light pressure, draw the entire blade carefully towards you, then downwards, several times. 
  • Maintain the angle between the knife and the sharpening steel rod. 
  • Turn the other side of the blade, begin with the heel of the blade positioned close to the handle. Slide it down the steel rod. Maintain the angle and light pressure on the blade. 
  • Sharpen each side of the blade between 5 to 10 times (depending on how dull the knife is). Perform an equal number of strokes on each side of the blade. 
  • Carefully wipe off the blade with a piece of cloth when you have finished.

The Final Words

When contrasting ceramic vs steel honing rods, you’ll realize that each has its advantages and disadvantages. So it’s the type of knives that you have and your budget that will determine the honing rod to buy.

But if you can dig slightly deeper into your pocket and grab the two rods you won’t regret the investment.