Why no steel strops?

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Jazz
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Re: Why no steel strops?

Postby Jazz » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:12 pm

I use grooved steels mostly. I use a well worn one a lot too, when the knife had light use. I use them with a stropping motion, not forward and crazy like people tell you to. You’re straightening the edge, so it just makes sense. I have a chef knife that just flew through 5 tomatoes in one swipe today. It’s over a year old and has ONLY been steeled. In my years of cooking, I’ve had lots of time to practice and learn what works. Also good to note you can strop/steel just as effectively with the spine of another knife.

I imagine the smooth steels would work best for softer knives that get used a lot.
- best wishes, Jazz.

JD Spydo
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Re: Why no steel strops?

Postby JD Spydo » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:30 pm

Ed Schempp wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:44 pm
Steeling is a burnishing action for straightening a rolled or deformed edge. These work much better on Carbon steel and Stainless steels like H1 or VG 10. On stainless steels the flexing the edge back and forth an often lead to micro edge chipping that dulls the knife. A steel properly used should be done only as the pitch of the sound increases. When it quits increasing in pitch you should stop, probably two or maximimum 3 passes per side.
I made a cats eye steel for Sal years ago with a Spyderco rod by adding a handle and a rectangular guard. This tool worked to burnish the edge and being ceramic, polished the edge, This tool could be laid flat or on edge to lightly polish the edge of a knife.
You can use the bottom of a ceramic plate or the top of a car window in a pinch.
Based on what Mr. Ed Schempp just shared with us I'm now wondering if the newer/better super blade steels that are coming down the product pipeline as we speak would be better worked on with a new type of ceramic type sharpening steel/rod which can do far more than the older conventional type sharpening steel. It's making me wonder if the days of using the conventional sharpening steels as we presently know them are seeing a complete changeover. Mr Schempp made mention that he made a ceramic steel for Sal and the ceramic rod has the capacity to not only burnish like the conventional sharpening steels do but also has a polishing and slight abrasive effect like he stated. But the older type steels came far short of those features.

And with these newer super-stainless blade steels virtually ushering in a whole new era of blade steels it's making me re-think my strategy all together concerning advanced sharpening methods. I would be willing to bet that Spyderco's present technology with their "ultra-fine" ceramic would even have distinct advantages for steeling, sharpening, burnishing, and polishing>> if they made a sharpening rod with Spyderco's Ultra-Fine ceramic. Whereas the older hardened sharpening steels that were made of hardened and polished metal alloys may be quite limited as to what they could to these newer/better blade steels to do a more complete sharpening job compared to newer ceramic sharpening rods.

Yes I do think that Mr. Schempp is truly on to something new by opting to use a ceramic rod instead of an older type sharpening steel. It just makes sense to use something that would at least have some abrasive/polishing properties rather than just simply aligning an edge. It makes perfect sense to me to create a sharpening tool with more advantages. I would love Mr. Schempp's comments on this :)

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sal
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Re: Why no steel strops?

Postby sal » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:48 pm

Your are into the world of microscopy. Steel junky's and edge junky's have their molecules rolling around in front of their eyes like holograms. Use those "gifts" to see what is happening to the edge. No grit = no abrasion, some grit, groove, etc. = very mild abrasion, but more towards the burnishing like the smooth steel. Some grit equals some abrasion, even if very little.

Each time you make a cut, there is a reaction to the edge. Generally microscopic burrs. A smooth steel, or even a grooved steel will burnish those burrs back into the edge. When a skilled buttcher or chef uses his steel with each cut or close, he is keeping a sharp knife sharp rather than sharpnening.

sal

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steelcity16
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Re: Why no steel strops?

Postby steelcity16 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:59 pm

sal wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:48 pm
Your are into the world of microscopy. Steel junky's and edge junky's have their molecules rolling around in front of their eyes like holograms. Use those "gifts" to see what is happening to the edge. No grit = no abrasion, some grit, groove, etc. = very mild abrasion, but more towards the burnishing like the smooth steel. Some grit equals some abrasion, even if very little.

Each time you make a cut, there is a reaction to the edge. Generally microscopic burrs. A smooth steel, or even a grooved steel will burnish those burrs back into the edge. When a skilled buttcher or chef uses his steel with each cut or close, he is keeping a sharp knife sharp rather than sharpnening.

sal

Great summary Sal. I am also wondering if there is a small steel that can be used like a butcher steel on my Spydies. I use the F Dick Multicut on my Henckels Four Star Chefs knife before each use and it stays razor sharp with out ever having to do any sharpening beyond that. Even with my wife and others misusing it cutting into the granite counters or a stoneware plate. Id really love a setup like that ideally. A near-stainless folder (Cruwear Millie?) that can take the kind of abuse a chefs knife can (without chipping like my old Shun knives) and can be "steeled" back to razor sharpness before each use with a few swipes on a small steel.
:spyder: CRU-CARTA THEM ALL! :spyder:

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Re: Why no steel strops?

Postby JD Spydo » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:07 am

steelcity16 wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:59 pm
sal wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:48 pm
Your are into the world of microscopy. Steel junky's and edge junky's have their molecules rolling around in front of their eyes like holograms. Use those "gifts" to see what is happening to the edge. No grit = no abrasion, some grit, groove, etc. = very mild abrasion, but more towards the burnishing like the smooth steel. Some grit equals some abrasion, even if very little.

Each time you make a cut, there is a reaction to the edge. Generally microscopic burrs. A smooth steel, or even a grooved steel will burnish those burrs back into the edge. When a skilled buttcher or chef uses his steel with each cut or close, he is keeping a sharp knife sharp rather than sharpnening.

sal

Great summary Sal. I am also wondering if there is a small steel that can be used like a butcher steel on my Spydies. I use the F Dick Multicut on my Henckels Four Star Chefs knife before each use and it stays razor sharp with out ever having to do any sharpening beyond that. Even with my wife and others misusing it cutting into the granite counters or a stoneware plate. Id really love a setup like that ideally. A near-stainless folder (Cruwear Millie?) that can take the kind of abuse a chefs knife can (without chipping like my old Shun knives) and can be "steeled" back to razor sharpness before each use with a few swipes on a small steel.
I'm in no way trying to steer anyone away from the great products that Spyderco already has available to us. But as far as small sharpening steels there is one of the market I've truly been impressed with. I actually still own one myself and if I could find where I hid it in my storage unit I could maybe put up a pic of it. However the company that makes it has one for view on their website. Razor Edge Systems who I've admired for years because their ultimate kit was one I was playing with before I got my very first Spyderco Sharpmaker system.

Razor Edge Systems out of Ely, Minnesota has a small, foldout smooth steel that does a nice job in the field. Mine came in my old Ultimate Kit that I bought from them many years ago. They also make a great sharpening guide for use on Benchstones. So until Mr. Glesser puts this new smooth steel or steel strop ( and I'm hoping that it will be soon) on the market that might be a good tone to get by on.

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sal
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Re: Why no steel strops?

Postby sal » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:12 am

Hi JD,

I've used John Juranich's ( Razor Edge ) steel for years. I removed the rods from the folding handle and place them in the groove of the triangle. That's where I got the idea for a Triangular one. They make good products.

sal

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Re: Why no steel strops?

Postby Eli Chaps » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:55 am

I'm a home-cook foodie and with the knives I currently use, I've transitioned from a steel to a leather strop. I keep a 2-sided strop rolled up in a Ziplock bag near and from time to time I'll give whatever knife is in my hand a few passes on the compound side and the bare hard side. I've got knives that are going on months without seeing a stone and just stropping and they are extremely sharp.

But, like Jazz, when I did use a steel, I migrated to using in the same manner as a strop.

FK
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Re: Why no steel strops?

Postby FK » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:23 am

For years it has been known the wear on a sharp edge apex is partially micro burr or deforming of the apex.

Wood workers make scrapers from medium carbon, low hardness steel flats with the technique of pushing a burr over the thin flat edge with a hardened steel rod. The rolled burr is sharp and will cut wood very smoothly. When worn away it is realigned with steel rod. It only lasts for a few cycles and the steel surface must be filed/ground away and reformed into fresh burr.

Now consider this,,,, you realign the edge with smooth steel strop and it works very well with softer low alloy kitchen knives.
Now take a paper clip and bend it back and forth several time,,, breaks very easily. That is called "work hardening" and makes the steel more brittle. The realigned edge from steel stropping (reallgned) will not longer have the life of a freshly sharpened edge. The more you use the steel strop the lower the life of the weakened burr you just move back and forth.

It is more efficient to remove the weakened burr with a fine ceramic stone and reestablishing the apex than steeling it over and over for short lived apex life. Repeated flexing = work hardening and brittle steel.


Regards,
FK
Member since Feb. 17, 2001

vivi
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Re: Why no steel strops?

Postby vivi » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:07 pm

FK wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:23 am
It is more efficient to remove the weakened burr with a fine ceramic stone and reestablishing the apex than steeling it over and over for short lived apex life. Repeated flexing = work hardening and brittle steel
This has been my experience as well. In every possible way, I achieve superior results with a fine ceramic rod over any sort of steel rod. Smooth steel, grooved steel, diamond coated cat's eye steels....I've tried them all.

The only advantage I can think of that steels have over ceramic rods, is that more people own a steel than a ceramic sharpening instrument. Like Jazz I've spent a long time in the food industry, I was a sous chef before I switched professions. I never used a steel rod on the knives I kept in my knife roll. I used a fine ceramic rod that was built the same way steels are, and used it with edge leading strokes like on my sharpmaker.

I've been watching this thread and it's making me question my beliefs, because I feel like I am missing something. JD, Jazz, and others that enjoy using steels - in what ways do you think they perform better than a ceramic rod?

Oh, one more thing. I'll second Jazz in regards to using the back of another knife to steel with. Sometimes I'd have my knives in one restaurant (We had five on one property, and two in nearby cities) and I'd swing by another to help them during a rush, and there'd be no steels, no rods, no sharp knives. So I'd steel the sharpest chef knife on the back of another. Works pretty good in a pinch. You can also use the edge of a hotel pan etc.

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Jazz
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Re: Why no steel strops?

Postby Jazz » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:02 pm

If I want to sharpen, I use a stone, ceramic, or whatever- if the knife was used but is kind of sharp, I steel it to simply straighten the rolls. It’s sharpening or straightening - simple. I steel my chef knife and parer every time I use them. They stay sharp. Simple. I steel my work Delica wharncliffe every so often. Better than sharpening unnecessarily and wearing out the blade.
- best wishes, Jazz.

vivi
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Re: Why no steel strops?

Postby vivi » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:07 pm

Jazz wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:02 pm
If I want to sharpen, I use a stone, ceramic, or whatever- if the knife was used but is kind of sharp, I steel it to simply straighten the rolls. It’s sharpening or straightening - simple. I steel my chef knife and parer every time I use them. They stay sharp. Simple. I steel my work Delica wharncliffe every so often. Better than sharpening unnecessarily and wearing out the blade.
I feel like the amount of steel removed with say, a F or UF sharpmaker rod, is pretty minimal, and I get a better edge. I've yet to wear out a knife from repeated sharpenings, even ones with 10-15 years of use. What you say does make sense for knives that see heavier repeated use I suppose.

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Jazz
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Re: Why no steel strops?

Postby Jazz » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:15 pm

Yes, and like I said, the edges just need a bit of straightening. If you hold the blade edge up facing a light source, you see the shiny, bent over areas from use. Cutting boards are bad. Hence the constant steeling. And yes, the edge rolls even with the wire edge removed. Just my opinions. I’ll use steels forever, and sharpen when needed. I use ceramic plate bottoms at work for the parer and Delica.
- best wishes, Jazz.

FK
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Re: Why no steel strops?

Postby FK » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:18 pm

Jazz,
What brands of knives are you using in the kitchen?
They must be European?

Chefs using Japanese knives never use steels and only refresh the apex with fine stones.
The better Japanese steel will last several shifts with heavy use,,, only on end grain cutting boards,,, plastic or other synthetic boards are very rough on edges.

Regards,
FK
Member since Feb 17, 2001

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Jazz
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Re: Why no steel strops?

Postby Jazz » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:43 pm

It’s from Portugal. Lasts even better than my expensive Dexter Russell. Can’t remember the brand off hand. Superior Culinary something or other. Factory edge and steel only for over a year. No lie. Henkels sheepsfoot paring knife I ground to wharncliffe.
- best wishes, Jazz.

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Re: Why no steel strops?

Postby Ed Schempp » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:44 am

Ribbed steels work like smooth steels. The give more pressure but they don't have an abrasive action.

FK
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Re: Why no steel strops?

Postby FK » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:03 am

I have seen ribbed steels with round peaks and some with sharp peaks.
It all depends upon the relative hardness of the steel rod and the blade steel.
With a sharp edged rib and many of the Euro knives,,, you will remove (shave) thin layers of steel from the knife blade.

Regards,
FK
Member since Feb 17, 2001


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