MAC Ceramic touch-up

20.11.2017

This is my latest maintenance device. It is a MAC ceramic touch-up rod. Basically it got some grit so it can be used for much more than touch-up tasks. I have heard good things about this device and it is a bit different from traditional sharpening steels because this fulfills a sharpening role as well. In the box comes some information on how to use it and that it is important to clean it after use. It can be used in several directions and with different angles. The paper information just shows the basic use. Ceramic rod can be used for honing, sharpening, polishing and other maintenance. It is best for the touch-up and correcting maintenance. It is a wonderful maintenance device and it is again the pressure applied that determine the result. Only light pressure is necessary when using it.

If you read my articles and pages you will find information on diamond coated stones and how the best performance comes after using it a few times. This is the case with ceramic rods too. If you look on the surface of the rod you can see some nubs and surface differences. My advice is to use a test knife, perhaps the one you use to break in a diamond stone. Use it on the new ceramic rod a few times to make sure the surface is without the nubs. Sometimes you may have to use it a few times to have it ready for use. For sure there is a limit for how perfect it has to be. Most would start using it momentarily with a result they are happy with. For those that want the best result then it is smart to use the ceramic rod a few times. Clean it each time and then you will have it ready for a very good result.

If you look on the handle at the place of the MAC engraving you can see a flat section. Take advantage of that when on the table preventing it from rolling. This flat section also makes it possible to use the rod on the table when using it. It also got a lanyard to hang it up with. All these factors mentioned are important because you can damage the rod if it falls down on a hard floor.

 

 I have already used mine and the surface is already better. It brings out a very good result. I recommend using a very light pressure frequently to have the edges ready all the time!

Typically it is best for larger knives but if you use it on smaller SAKs with a cross motion you will achieve superior sharpness.

13:24

I recommend reading my articles and pages on SAKhome.com, including sharpening steels. Sharpening steels does not really sharpen. There are several names for them and I will not go into this. Ceramic rods with some grit remove a bit more metal and therefor I feel it fulfills a sharpening role. It all depends on what knife steels you use it on as well. Isn’t it wonderful the world of sharpening and maintenance? I love it. In the paper information in the MAC box you see how to use it on the tip section. Ceramic rods and stones can be found with different surfaces. Some are extremely fine and can be used for polishing the edge to an extreme level.

14:50 directions

There are no rules against using the ceramic rod in several directions for sharpening. If you use it in cross motion then it can be smart to do the full length of the edge on both sides. Find the angle and use very light pressure.

15:07

Same goes for using it over like you would use a small traditional sharpening stone. It requires some precision because the design of the ceramic rod is round and therefore you get a very little surface contact. Doing like on the picture then use very very light pressure…..Doing like on the picture require having the angle in very focus all the time..

15:28

 

On the next 3 pictures to the right you will see what the best use for the ceramic rod is. You can decide if you want to hold it in the hand or on the table. In the hand is the best because this is the freest method.  You can hold it upside down or in either direction. You can hold it in an angle. What is important is that you remember to find the angle and hold it during the complete sweep on both sides of the edge. You start at the inner section of the edge and end up at the tip section. It is possible to be a bit daring with the edge angle. Remember that the pressure you use during the complete sweep must be the same. You can adjust the pressure on the next sweep to a lighter one. Doing so you can polish the edge.

here you see in the middle of the sweep...

Here you see close to the end of the sweep. Remember to not let the tip section fall outside..

15:58

There are also no rules against circular motion. Remember that the surface contact is very small and if you do circular then use very very light pressure. This depends on the grit of the ceramic. If it got a fine surface then you can use it in any direction easier. This is a medium grit rod and therefore the pressure and angle must be correct. The surface contact during traditional use is also small but you cover the complete length of the edge in one sweep. This is done in a free motion with light pressure making it easier.

16:03

 I hope you have had fun following me today, please feel free to ask or send me questions. Medium grit ceramic rods are versatile.

PS by not letting the tip fall outside i mean if you stop during the sweep not to damage the tip. Let the tip follow the direction of the sweep until it is free in the air. If you stop then before and you alter the direction the tip can have the point wrong and you dull it......

19:57

I received a question on what pressure applied with Swiss Army Knives on this rod?

Answer..

The pressure you apply on this medium grit (1200) grit ceramic rod should never be hard on any knife. This is best for touch-up and correcting of the edge. That said it will remove some metal anyhow. Sharpening steels, honing steels and ceramic rods are typically maintenance and correcting devices. It will fulfill a sharpening role either as a device that remove metal from delicate edges or as the last step after using it on a 600 grit diamond stone for example. It is never so in my opinion that a ceramic rod is only for polishing an edge. The pressure you apply should never be hard because it is not designed for it and it will never help the edge by doing it wrong. Swiss Army Knives and especially 111mm and 130mm category ones fit very well for this device. It is not because the SAKs categories HRC is 55-58 that you must be careful with the pressure. It is the same on knives that are 60 HRC. With this ceramic rod you cannot use hard pressure and expect more metal to be removed instead you will make it difficult to hold the correct angle and you could by the pressure bend or fold the edge. The pressure used before you learn and understand is to just slide the edge over the surface in the sweep motion. This is only to get the correct feel and motion. When you have done this you can apply a bit more pressure and feel the contact better. The best result is to use lighter and lighter pressure for the best edge. I said that is fully possible to be a bit daring on the angle for your edge and by this I mean to keep the edge angle a bit sharper than it is on the blade. This is best to do on the last sweeps.

 Sharpening is a term that is a bit difficult to type cast. Maintenance is the best to write perhaps. Maintenance prolong the time before you must fully sharpen the knife. The larger categories like the Wenger New Ranger blade got a very good stainless steel.   

 

20:12

 

Ceramic rods are perfect for the SAKs, butcher and kitchen knives. The number of sweeps across the device will determine the result.

 

 

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