Ceramic vs Steel Honing Rod [Which is Better for You]

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Are you facing problem slicing or cutting vegetables with your kitchen knife? If you are, then your kitchen knife needs honing. But the next question is which honing tool to use. Should you buy a ceramic honing rod or steel? Or would a diamond-coated honing rod be suitable?

In this article on the ceramic vs steel honing rod, we will give you a clear idea about the differences between these 2 types of honing rod so that you can make a precise decision.

So, let’s dive in.

Ceramic vs Steel Honing Rod

What is Ceramic Honing Rod?

The Ceramic honing rod performs the same as a diamond honing rod. It improves knife sharpness by shaving off a little bit of metal from a knife.

Compared to basic honing tools, they are less useful for honing knives. But they are an alternative option to keep your kitchen knife sharp between actual honing sessions.

What is Ceramic Honing Rod

Characteristically, the ceramic honing rod is not as rough as the diamond honing rod. As a result, you will never experience the over-sharpening of your knife with a ceramic honing rod.

Carefulness is mandatory when dealing with ceramic honing rod since most of them are comparatively delicate.

Features:

  • Easy to maintain and use
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy construction
  • Versatile

Uses:

  • Offers significant honing result with little effort
  • Creates a smooth edge in kitchen knives
  • Sharpens and aligns any blade

What is Steel Honing Rod?

Stainless steel is the most commonly used honing rod. Steel grinding rods are thin and long.

Many professional chefs like to use steel honing rods because of their hypoallergenic and rust-resistant features. As a result, you will get an extended period of service from it. Many steels honing rod models are available with the magnetized feature.

The unique magnetized feature is excellent because it allows the honing rod to collect microscopic steel pieces from the knife during honing. This way, your foods remain free from these tiny steel pieces.

What is Steel Honing Rod

Due to the magnetized effect, you will need to clean steel honing rod more frequently than other grinding rod types. The honing rod effectiveness may reduce due to the removed small shards build up in the rod.

However, a steel honing rod can break knives made of hard metal. So, when honing more rigid metal, made knives careful.

Features:

  • Long and thin metal
  • Magnetized
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Rust and corrode-resistant
  • Long lifespan

Uses:

  • Realign the edge of a knife
  • Smoothing out any kinks or dents
  • Provides a knife straight cutting edge

Ceramic vs Steel Honing Rod – 5 Key Differences:

1. Honing Process

Ceramic honing rods are not rough on knives. They remove a small-scale metal from the knife surface to improve the sharpness. They have fine-grits and work greatly on high-end knives. Ceramic honing rod works excellent on any knife.

Steel honing rods work roughly on knives. They are efficient enough to remove micro-serrations from the knife’s surface. Steel is a strong, robust, and stiff material, so using them on a hard knife will not deliver you a good result. It can break your knife if it is made of more rigid materials. Sharpening with a steel honing rod frequently might make your knife duller. Steel honing rods are suitable for French and German carbons.

2. Durability

In terms of durability, the steel honing rod is much more durable than the ceramic honing rod.

Habitually, stainless steel is waterproof, doesn’t get corroded and rust. Even sudden falls can’t cause any damage to steel honing rods.

While ceramic honing rod can break if accidentally falls, when dropped from 3 ft., the survival rate of a ceramic honing rod is 80%.

3. Special Features

Most steel honing rods are magnetized. While honing with either ceramic or steel, a small amount of metal gets removed from the knife, and they stay on the knife surface.

Magnetized features of steel honing rods collect the metal. This way, these small metal pieces can’t go into the food.

On the other hand, ceramic honing rods don’t have this feature, and tiny metal pieces can go into the food if the knife is not washed correctly before cutting or slicing any food items.

4. Care and Maintenance

While washing honing rods after each use is not mandatory, use a wet cloth to remove the metal particles.

However, when comparing care and maintenance, steel honing rods require more care and maintenance than ceramic honing rods. Why?

Because of the magnetized feature, trivial metal particles stay on the steel rod surface, which means it needs to be cleaned after each use. And you can use a wet cloth or rinse them to warm them or soak them in a dishwasher to clean steel honing rods.

In contrast, all-ceramic honing rods models are not dishwasher safe. So, take a wet cloth, soak it into warm water and clean the rod with it. Then give it air dry.

5. Price

A ceramic honing rod will cost you $25 (average). On the other hand, a steel honing rod price is $20 (average). It means ceramic honing rods are a little bit pricier than steel honing rod.

Steel Honing Rod vs Ceramic– Which is Better for You?

It entirely depends on your preference. Both honing rod types have their unique characteristics, pros, and cons.

  • Ceramic honing rods deliver good results with high-end and Japanese knives. On the other side, a steel honing rod is an ideal option if your knife is softer than steel.
  • Undoubtedly, the steel honing rod is much more durable than the ceramic honing rod. So, if you are looking to get long term service from your honing rod, pick a steel honing rod.
  • When you have a limited budget, buy a steel honing rod.

Whatever is your preference, it would be best if you know the materials used to manufacture your kitchen knives. Thus you can make a precise decision.

Read Also: How to Sand a Car to Bare Metal – 3 Effective Ways

Honing Steel Vs Sharpening Steel:

Sharpening occurs when you shave small particles of the blade edge and creates a smooth point as a result.

When you grind down a knife’s edge, its cutting power improves. You can use specific tools to sharpen your kitchen knife.

  • Electric knife sharpeners
  • Whetstones
  • Water stones

Honing doesn’t have any intention to grind away any part of a knife. As stated earlier, the honing process eliminates a minimal amount of steel from the knife surface.

Different types of honing steels are

  • Steel/Stainless steel
  • Ceramic
  • Diamond-coated

Honing Steel or Sharpening Steel

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FAQ

1.Question: When will you get the best result using a diamond sharpening steel?

Answer: When you need to sharpen any cutting tools, diamond sharpening steel delivers the best result.

2.Question: Which grit ceramic honing rod is?

Answer: Depending on ceramic rods grit, they fall somewhere between sharpening and honing. Ceramic rod with 400 – 800 grit is suitable for sharpening knives. A 2000 grit ceramic rod is ideal for honing knives.

3.Question: Do ceramic sharpening rods wear out?

Answer: Over time, ceramic sharpening rods surface get clogged with a knife’s shaved metal particles. It can break because of an accidental fall, never showing the “wear out” characteristic. However, you can clean those metal particles using a scouring pad.

4.Question: What is the last process to do after honing a knife?

Answer: Cleaning the honing rod is the last process after honing a knife. You can use warm water, dishwasher, or scouring pad to clean the honing rod, depending on the honing steel.

Final Words

Hopefully, this article covers everything on the topic of ceramic vs steel honing rod. Pick the right honing rod type because it will allow you to take good care of your kitchen knife.

Let us know which honing rod you have chosen to sharpen your kitchen knife. Feel free to comment in the below comment box.

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