In praise of the ceramic rod

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by CoolBreeze135, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Scholarly Woodsman

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    Hey folks!

    Until recently, I only used a flat stone and a strop to do my sharpening. I have a blade with a big recurve, and as you know, they can be a bit tricky to sharpen on a bench stone. I ended up grabbing a cheap ceramic rod to try it on. The results were crazy. I was able to get my big BK4 with that wicked recurve sharp enough to dry shave with a couple passes on the ceramic rod and a quick strop. It was so handy that I started using it on many of my other knives as well, with great results. I had no idea that I was missing out by ignoring ceramic rods in the past.

    Anyone else use ceramic rods as a main component of your maintenance routine? I think a ceramic rod and a strop will take care of me 99% of the time. Also, if you ever have frustration with recurves, drop what you are doing and go buy a ceramic rod.
     
  2. Greebe

    Greebe Non ducor, duco. Supporter

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    I have not tried the rods but have grown to really like the ceramic flat stones. Bought a bunch of the 2"x6" ceramics a few years back. They seem to cut fairly fast and leave a great edge. Looks polished and cuts like none other.
     
  3. Butler Ford

    Butler Ford Supporter Supporter

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    I've been using the same "CrockStix" for the last 30 years. There is a huge difference in the quality of ceramic rods out there, if you get a good one, hang on to it!

    BF

    edit to add: The product "Soft Scrub" and a 3M nylon scrubby thingy will clean them very nicely! Just rinse with hot water and you're good to go for another long while.
     
  4. Brommeland

    Brommeland Scout

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    I got hooked on 'em back in the '80's with the old Spyderco (later Lansky) Fold-A-Vee...... This is the easiest way to touch up the edge on a flat grind, or put a micro bevel on a scandi or convex that I've ever seen. I love 'em.....
     
  5. Bigguy49

    Bigguy49 Tracker

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    When I was working for Houston Light and Power (boy that just shows my age) one of the turbine overhaul crew gave me a part of a ceramic thermocouple cover I still have it and have used it for years it's just long enough to be with my Arkansas stone in my EDC kit
     
  6. Greebe

    Greebe Non ducor, duco. Supporter

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    Man now you have me looking at ceramic rods.
     
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  7. freebirdfb

    freebirdfb Bushmaster

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    My sharpening system is a work sharp field sharpener. Coarse and fine diamond stone and a rotating 3 sided ceramic rod coarse, fine, and a hook sharpener. And it has a strop on the fourth side. great little system that has all of the basis covered.

    The ceramic rod is good for the curve of a karambit as well.
     
  8. ACinSA

    ACinSA Bring it, don't sing it! Bushcraft Friend

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    I have one as part of my field kit...several in my main kit at home. The rod makes quick time of keeping the quarter-round on the Trackers sharp...hint, hint Greebe!

    My field kit is basically a Spyderco Double-stuff, a ceramic rod and a portable (foldable) strop.

    Good looking out @CoolBreeze135 for those who have yet to discover their use!
     
  9. Thunderwood

    Thunderwood Scout

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    That's all I use anymore.

    [​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
  10. Eagle Scout

    Eagle Scout Scout

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    Another CR user here. Survival Pax Co. is where I get mine. Good pricing and quality (not affiliated to seller).
     
  11. Butler Ford

    Butler Ford Supporter Supporter

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    For-what-it's-worth department, a chunk off of a broken terracotta pot will serve the same purpose. I guess it doesn't HAVE to be broken, a small plant in one in the kitchen window and you no longer have an excuse for dull kitchen knives.

    BF
     
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  12. Coryphene

    Coryphene Guide

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    Bathroom tiles and even the underside of the lid of your toilet tank all work well.

    I was a chef for a many years and large oil stones were always a pain to keep in my knife kit so they got left at home. I always had a honing steel and ceramic rod to keep the edge nice and sharp though. I was famous at my restaurant for 2 things knife related. 1) They were always the sharpest in the building. 2) Nobody could borrow them.
     
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  13. plantedtao

    plantedtao Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Didn't know about them until the guy who sharpened our kitchen knives sold me one. He said to use it regularly and I should not need to come back to see him. He was right!

    The one he sold me came with a handle and the ceramic is smoother and finer than the cheaper rods I have bought online. i like the finer CR for the kitchen knives and the cheapo ones for field use.
     
  14. Prairiewolf

    Prairiewolf Supporter Supporter

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    I have had great results with Soft Scrub on ceramic rods. Another good one is CLR liquid bathroom cleaner.
     
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  15. okcmco

    okcmco Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    Will ceramic work on D2? Just received a Dozier WSK....


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  16. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

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    You can buy "blanks" and mount them on handles just like firesteels...

    [​IMG]

    ...and they work as a surface for friction lighting paper matches. I got 8 out of 12 on this one,

    [​IMG]
     
  17. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Scholarly Woodsman

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    Betting that it will, but have never tried it.
     
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  18. okcmco

    okcmco Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    I guess I will try it. If my Dozier ever gets dull


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  19. sonofadoublegun

    sonofadoublegun LL&P

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    I freehand with the ceramic rods from the Spyderco Sharpmaker. All I use the base for now is storing the rods. LOL.

    My favorite part about using them is that they pivot in your hands as the belly of the knife passes by... Makes it really easy to keep the right angles.

    The best thing I have found for cleaning the rods is actually a simple pink eraser. Makes them almost like new. It's amazing. Give it a try.

    Best,
    Jamie



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  20. Wilderness Spirit

    Wilderness Spirit Guide Vendor Supporter

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    I keep an eight inch one on the work bench and a four inch in my field sharpening kit.
    They work great.
     
  21. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

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    I've use a ceramic rod for years. I have a kitchen model that's 10" long with a blue plastic handle. I also use the triangular ceramic sticks in the Spyderco Sharpmaker. They're all good to finish a blade to shaving sharpness. You have to have a fairly decent edge to begin with, though.

    Steve
     
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  22. sonofadoublegun

    sonofadoublegun LL&P

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    This is true - 100%

    Jamie
     
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  23. WILL

    WILL Guide

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    Recent ceramic rod convert here. In the past, I struggled to get a good edge on some of my knives using a stone or diamond block. Then I got this...

    https://www.amazon.com/Messermeiste...F8&qid=1476888996&sr=8-4&keywords=ceramic+rod

    It was very easy to use and quickly produced a sharp edge. I ended up going on a sharpening bender, honing everything in my kitchen. It makes it super simple and fast to periodically do touch-ups too. It takes les than a minute to get the rod out, sharpen the knife and put it away. I know I sound like an info-mercial, but the ceramic sharpening rod is a product that I wish I bought years ago. Now I'm looking for a smaller "field-variant" I can pack.
     
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  24. hidingpool

    hidingpool Scout

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    Ceramic tip from a sandblaster works nice also. whetting.JPG
     
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  25. trentu

    trentu Guide

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    When I forget mine I use the rounded top edge of my car window. I have sharpened many a knife for people at work with that and they are amazed how well it works.
     
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  26. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    IMG_4982.JPG I learned to keep my KaBar Mark 1 deck knife sharp by honing it on the bottom edge of those heavy white porcelain coffee mugs when in the Navy. Still do.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
  27. NCSlice

    NCSlice Tracker

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    I found a brand new looking one at the thrift store. It's the size of a kitchen steel. Love it.
    I use it more than anything else.
     
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  28. .356luger

    .356luger Scout

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    At one time I had 20 of those ceramic rods I built handles for a bunch of them and gave them away. I still have several in my possession kitchen drawer, hunting tote, man closet, truck bag ECT. They are great for the mid point when you are to far gone for a strop but not far enough to pull out the stones for a full resharpen.
     
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  29. Fat Old Man

    Fat Old Man Perpetual Student Supporter

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    The unglazed ring on the bottom of your coffee mug :44: will do as well. (Drink the coffee first...:9:)
     
  30. tabasco_joe

    tabasco_joe Supporter Supporter

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    So I'm sitting in a boring meeting sneaking peaks at the forum and reading this thread. I decide while I have a few ceramic sharpening rods I'll check out Amazon and pick up a couple inexpensive rods to add to my kit. Of special interest would be one to add to my backpack gear. Not paying as much attention as I should here is what arrived from one purchase. Something like $12. Placed beside a hand axe I just hafted.
     

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  31. will62

    will62 Guide

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    Been using Crock Sticks for more than 30 years in addition to both hard and soft Arkansas stones. Like the ceramic rods for quick touch ups and to sharpen my SAKs.
     
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  32. Out West

    Out West Tracker

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    I use them all the time. Don't need anything else to keep a good blade shaving sharp. Chips or dings require other techniques.
     
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  33. weltondl

    weltondl Sergeant of Marines

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    I don't have a ceramic rod but I have a carbide welding rod that I've used for years that works really well.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
     
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  34. Luafcm

    Luafcm Scout

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  35. Redneck Bear

    Redneck Bear Scout

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    Can any of you bush gentlemen recommend a ceramic sharpening rod short enough for comfortable backpack carry, that is still long enough to be quite comfortable to use, please? I'm not sure about its size. I only have some larger stones at home and a portable CC4 ...
     
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  36. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    Yup and yup. Been using them forever and BF is right: big differences in quality levels out there.

    I really like the Lansky 2D2C box set. Small but big enough. The one downside of ceramics sticks is they can’t put an edge on a knife, only maintain an edge. This set has diamond rods too, so you can establish a good edge as well as maintain it. A self-contained package.

    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B008EKY5OA/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     
  37. WY_Not

    WY_Not Supporter Supporter

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    Just buy some 4" ceramic rods on Amazon and make your own? Add handle material of your choice and a little bit of Gorilla Glue.

    Here are are some of the ones I've done for GAW's and such.

    [​IMG]

     
  38. P40

    P40 Supporter Supporter

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    And if you lift up one of the diamond sides, inside the cavity underneath (where the intructions were) I store a piece of an eraser for cleaning the ceramic. And a piece of stropping compound.
     
  39. blind & lost

    blind & lost LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    IMG_20190801_113413_hdr.jpg I got one from @T. Pollock a couple of years ago, it works great. Not sure if he still makes them though.
     
  40. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

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    Making your own is a good option. It's just like putting a handle on a firesteel. You can make it any size you desire.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  41. Bush Billy

    Bush Billy Supporter Supporter

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  42. trailhermit

    trailhermit Supporter Supporter

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    I just got a ceramic rod from bushcraft USA. It the perfect size.
     
  43. trailhermit

    trailhermit Supporter Supporter

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  44. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Scholarly Woodsman

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  45. cmgoat

    cmgoat Scout

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    Ive been using crock sticks for years, then stropping on a belt and finishing @BradGad style on my forearm. :57:
     
  46. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Bushmaster

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    It really depends on how big your pack is...
    IMG_20190801_194258.jpg
     
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  47. Nic7364

    Nic7364 Supporter Supporter

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    Did you make that kit yourself?
     
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  48. Prairiewolf

    Prairiewolf Supporter Supporter

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    In 1970, i worked all summer sandblasting fertilizer spreaders. I probably threw away 50 of those. Live and learn!
     
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  49. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

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    Yes...sewed the tool roll, rehandled the Mora, made the strop and ceramic rod handle. There's been a few changes to content since that photo.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  50. SkipJunkie

    SkipJunkie Scout

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    Sometimes you you just gotta have one .
    IMG_20190801_212009571.jpg
    15" Kukri for scale .
     
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