I had to head to Pigeon Forge on Saturday to help my wife clean the home of a relative who had entered a nursing home. I had to drive by Smoky Mountain Knife Works on the way so I dropped in to pick up a gift knife for someone (another BlackWash Leek), and to look at sharpening rods.
Dan had done a piece on the Wusthof Ceramic Sharpening Rod a while back and I have been intrigued. I couldn’t remember which one he had written about, and it was the middle of the DDoS attack we experienced, so I just went in with an open mind. As it turns out, SMKW, while a Wusthof dealer, doesn’t list the rod as a stocked product anyway.
I asked at the kitchen knife area, and they sent me to sharpening. There was a wide variety of rods to choose from, and without much to go on in terms of research on my part I saw a couple that bore the Lansky name. While I am a big fan of the Spyderco Sharpmaker, the Lansky Sharpening System is extremely reputable and favored by some. I figured if they were going to put their name on a sharpening product, it would at worst be adequate.
I chose the 9″ Diamond Sharp Stick which cost me $24. There is also a 13″ version available for $32, but I went with the smaller one. First in the course of testing, I would be able to say if I would rather have the bigger one if it proved awkward in sharpening my longer knives. Secondly, I knew the 9″ rod would fit in my knife block. I wasn’t positive about the 13″.
Next to the diamond rods I also saw an 8″ Lansky Ceramic Sharp Stick. It had a $9.99 price tag so I grabbed one for comparison purposes.
I haven’t had a lot of time to play with them yet. I did sharpen my S30V Spyderco Native because I had it in my pocket. My first impression of the diamond rod is it does a good job but leaves an edge that feels slightly fuzzy for lack of a better term. These micro-serrations actually do a really nice job. I tested the knife on a couple of cherry tomatoes and they sliced like butter. The knife didn’t do a great job of slicing paper in this state, but the ceramic rod finished the edge and it continued to preform excellently.
I also gave my D2 Leek a few swipes on the ceramic. It was not by any stretch dull, but 2 weeks of use had degraded the blade slightly from its factory-freakish sharpness. D2 is notoriously difficult to sharpen, and the rod had no trouble touching the edge back to scary.
I was given a shoebox containing a variety of kitchen knives from the home we were cleaning. They are nothing fancy, but will provide me with a range of different knives to try the rods on. I will keep you posted.
Does anyone have any experience with sharpening rods? Any other suggestions for testing?