Top Five Best Ceramic Sharpening Rods: Stay Sharp

Last time you tried to chop vegetables, the knife wasn’t cutting the way it should. Is there any way to fix that problem at home, or do you need a specialist to give your blades a keen edge again? The good news is that you can handle this issue yourself with ease. Ceramic sharpening rods are a fantastic way to keep your knives from getting dull. Although it does take a little practice to learn how best to use them, you’ll never need to worry about dull knives again. I’ll explain the process and share some of the best ceramic sharpening rods available today.

There are many things we could do for ourselves that folks have gotten out of the habit of trying. It’s wonderful to be able to replace a worn item or have someone fix it for you. However, it’s more important to learn how to do it yourself. Knife sharpening might seem a little intimidating to the uninitiated, but you’ll soon be honing those blades like an old pro. Right now, people are discovering many forgotten skills that used to be normal for anyone to possess. Luckily, sharpening a knife with a ceramic rod is one of the most straightforward skills to learn.

Using a Ceramic Sharpening Rod:

When you get your first ceramic sharpening rod, it helps to understand how to use it properly. The whole point of a sharpening rod is to keep your knives sharp. So how effective are they? Simply put, extremely helpful and satisfying when appropriately used. 

It doesn’t take much effort to learn how to use your ceramic sharpening rod. Although it may take a little practice before you’re both quick and comfortable with the process, anyone can learn to sharpen their knives. The method may even become a zen activity for you. Sharpening metal is repetitive and calming once you’re used to it.

You should sharpen your knife once for every three to four hours of cutting you do with it. Too much sharpening will wear the blade down unnecessarily. Every time you sharpen, you remove a microscopic amount of metal off the surface. It may not be noticeable now, but over time you’ll eventually see a difference.

Quick Guide to Using Your Ceramic Sharpening Rod

Often called ‘steels’ regardless of the material, your ceramic sharpening rod is simple to use. Fortunately, you only need to run the blade up and down. However, there’s a little technique to doing it right so that the edge gets sharp.

The trick to it is mostly getting the angle correct. Plus, you need to learn to move the knife horizontally and vertically at the same time. For most, it feels a little unusual at first, but you’ll get used to it quickly.

  1. Place the steel point down on a flat surface. A tabletop or counter is fine. You’ll want to hold it straight with your non-dominant hand. So, if you’re right-handed, use your left to hold the rod.
  2. Hold the blade edge of the knife against the ceramic near the top. The heel or backside of the knife should be facing upward.
  3. For a regular kitchen knife, you want to hold the blade at a fourteen-degree angle. However, for Asian steel blades, ten degrees is better. This is a very narrow-angle that moves the body of the edge away from the ceramic, so you don’t scrape up your knife. Some people recommend a twenty-degree angle, but I find this wears the blades down unnecessarily without any real added sharpness.
  4. Next, you will move the blade of the knife down the rod. It’s essential to pull the handle of the knife toward your body as you slide downward. At the end of the stroke, you should have moved from top to bottom on the rod, and you also need to have pulled the whole length of the blade across the ceramic.
  5. Switch the knife to the opposite side of the rod, so the other side of the blade rests against it. Next, simply repeat the process by changing sides with both knife and rod with each pass.

Don’t be surprised if it takes a few tries to get the strokes right. Similarly, muscle memory takes a long time. According to some estimates, you need to repeat an action thousands of times before your body recalls it automatically.

Hence, you should not expect to look like a professional chef as you sharpen the first few times. Don’t attempt to sharpen as fast as the pros. Take all the time you need and be patient since knife sharpening isn’t about speed as much as it is about doing it correctly.


Why You Need A Ceramic Sharpening Rod

The best thing about your new ceramic sharpening rod is that it will never wear out. Unless you damage or break it, you can use the same ceramic rod for life. It’s always smart to choose a product that lasts.

Ceramic is almost as hard as diamond. It may not seem like it’s that strong when you drop a coffee cup, but ceramic is made from stone. Specifically, it’s zirconium dioxide, which is incredibly durable.

On the Mohs scale of hardness, zirconium dioxide is an eight-point five. Comparatively, diamond is a ten. Meanwhile, steel ranges from four point five to eight, depending on whether it’s hardened.

There are steel and diamond sharpening rods as well. However, as unusual as it may sound, both of these types wear out. Because the diamond variety has literally embedded diamond pieces, over time, the pieces fall out, and the rod stops working.

Similarly, steel is like your knife. As time passes, it loses a microscopic layer of metal with each pass. That means the rod eventually doesn’t work as well. Furthermore, you can see the wear on a steel rod much more quickly. Although that doesn’t necessarily affect the ability to sharpen, a scratched up rod will degrade faster just like a damaged knife.


How to Clean Your Ceramic Sharpening Rod

As you use your ceramic sharpening rod, you may notice tiny bits of metal’ gunk up’ the surface. Sadly those metal pieces decrease the rods’ ability to sharpen your kitchen knives. However, cleaning them off is extremely simple.

All you need for this is a bit of steel wool, soap, and some water. Scrub your ceramic rod thoroughly to dislodge the metal bits. Then rinse it off. You can repeat as many times as necessary to get all the debris off of your sharpener.

In a pinch, you can boil ceramic to sterilize it since this is one material that can stand up to heat. Anything you can use to pour near-boiling coffee into is more than capable of taking the heat. However, it’s much easier to simply use a couple of drops of dish soap to clean your rod.

Make sure you let your rod dry completely before you use it again. Unlike a whetstone, you don’t need a damp surface to sharpen your blades on ceramic. That’s all it takes to maintain your knife sharpener.


Top Five Best Ceramic Sharpening Rods

With over three million hits on Google for ceramic sharpening rods, it’s all too easy to get bogged down trying to figure out which one you need. Luckily, you don’t need to worry about it. I’ve checked the features and reviews on hundreds of knife sharpeners and honed my list down to the top five best options you can have delivered.

Outstanding ceramic sharpening rods are surprisingly easy to come by. Furthermore, a good rod will last years and never need replacing. You’ll save on knives by simply keeping yours in good shape. Any one of the rods on this list will have your kitchen knives cutting like new in no time.

1. DMT CS2 12-Inch Ceramic Steel

Diamond Machining Technology or DMT is an industry leader in knife sharpeners. This ceramic sharpening rod was a natural choice for the top of the list. DMT has been around since nineteen-seventy-six, and their patented, award-winning knife sharpeners are sold worldwide.

Predictably, this company sells a lot of diamond sharpeners, but I recommend the CS2 Ceramic Steel Sharpener from Amazon instead. DMT is a US company, and its products are made here, helping to provide jobs to US citizens. You have to respect a company that both creates a great product and uses local labor.

It’s no surprise that such a dedicated company is known for its innovation and high-quality products. Originally DMT was a company that made grinding wheels. Branching out to sharpeners was a natural progression. While whetstones and grinding wheels need water or oil, a good sharpening rod does the same job with no mess.

You won’t need any liquids to keep your knives sharp using the CS2. Both lightweight and wear-resistant, you’ll appreciate the years of research and development that went into DMTs’ sharpening rods. Moreover, the hanging ring makes it easy to store this rod, so you have it accessible whenever you need to sharpen a kitchen knife.

Learn more about the DMT CS2 by clicking right here.

2. Messermeister Ceramic Rod Knife Sharpener

Messermeister might sound unusual to the American ear, but the name translates as knife-master from German. This outstanding company began in 1967 when the founder Bernd Dressler came to America. He was pursuing a bigger dream, like so many who came to our country.

From the humble beginnings as a cutlery salesman in the sixties, Bernd clearly knew his future was invested in the kitchen. However, it wasn’t until 1981 that he finally struck out on his own and opened DAMCO (Dressler American Marketing Company) to distribute German and Japanese kitchen products here.

Along with his wife, they eventually moved into manufacturing cutlery. According to the Messermeister website, “While studying the manufacturing craft from the German masters, he also learned from chefs that a need existed for more functional, better-performing knives. Bernd’s innovations are the first bolsterless heel, the first truly cambered chef’s knife, and the sharpest polished edge angle.”

In the mid-nineties, Bernd’s brother helped them expand to the Australian markets. Resultantly, the brand began to gain fame internationally. You may remember this name because of the Oprah Winfrey show. In 1998 they showed off the first-ever serrated peeler on Oprah. Naturally, it was a hit.

Onward & Upward

Over the course of four decades, the Messermeister brand has built its name, making great utensils and kitchen accessories. Sadly, in 2002 the Bernd passed away, leaving his wife and three daughters the company. There aren’t many female-owned knife making companies in the world, but Messermeister remains a hundred percent female-owned to this day.

Mrs. Dresslers three daughters, Debra, Chelcea, and Kirsten Dressler, all became a part of the business. They went to school for degrees in business and joined their parent’s tradition of making outstanding kitchen utensils.

By 2006 the ladies of Messermeister had landed an enormous contract in the culinary world. Le Cordon Bleu began using Messemeister products. That certainly says something about the quality and reliability of their products. However, they weren’t through yet.

Although they never stopped innovating, one of the things that makes Messermeister the knife masters is the commitment to classic forging techniques. If you already own some of their drop-forged knives, then you need a matching ceramic sharpening rod. However, any knife can benefit from this high-quality sharpener.

It’s easy to see why the Messermeister Ceramic Sharpener made this list. I would even say it’s tied for first place. Unfortunately, it’s not a top-five list if I don’t rank one highest. Regardless, you can be confident in your superb Messermeister sharpener.

Check the reviews for Messermeister on Amazon, click here.

3. Cooks Standard Professional Ceramic Rod

Another fantastic ceramic sharpening rod is the Cooks Standard Professional. If you’re not familiar with this brand already, you don’t need to look very far to find it. CS is sold in many places, like Belk and JC Penney.

As an international brand, Cooks Standard is one of the more notable. Their Professional line is undoubtedly worthy of inclusion in any chef’s kitchen. This brand is known for its durable cookware, and the ceramic sharpening rod is no exception.

The twelve-inch long rod gives you plenty of space to make even sharpening strokes. Furthermore, at five-eights of an inch diameter, it’s wide enough to provide you with lots of sharpening surface before you need to clean it off. The ability to rotate the rod for a clear, sharpening spot is a definite bonus.

Cooks Standard Professional is rust-proof and extremely durable. However, please don’t drop or hit a ceramic sharpening rod against any surface. There’s a difference between durable and invulnerable.

Get your Cooks Standard Professional Ceramic Sharpening Rod right here.

4. Noble Home & Chef  Ceramic Honing Rod

Lots of companies make superb homewares. However, Noble stands out because of its commitment to the needs of its customers. It’s pretty rare for a company to listen to both chefs and average Joes. Not many significant producers of household goods think about what happens when a tired parent hip-slams a drawer shut on their utensils.

The obsession with how people use their kitchen wares is a beautiful thing for any company that wants to get into your kitchen. Moreover, they seem to genuinely care what features and capabilities the utensils, and accessories they create can offer. If you have an idea, they’ll hear you out, and it might become a feature on the next generation of designs.

You’ll appreciate having two different grit options in your hand. You can use the stropped thousand grit on knives that need to be sharpened badly. Plus, when you’re done, or the blade just needs a touch-up, the two thousand grit side is finer-grained to make those edges shine. None of the other superb rods on this list can say that. It’s unique to the NH&C tool.

Japanese ceramic is known for its quality, and you’ll love the finish this Noble Home and Chefs Honing Rod puts on your utensils. They also offer outstanding customer service, and will happily answer any questions you have about your honing rod. Plus you’ll find a video about knife maintenance on their Amazon page.

Check out Noble Home and Chefs’ honing rod by clicking here.

5. Green Elephant Ceramic Sharpening Rod

Some companies are high concept or focused on features. However, Green Elephants’ greatness comes from their connection to everyday working people. GE wants you to do more than sharpen a knife with its ceramic sharpening rod. In addition to taking care of your tools, they want you to have a sense of accomplishment and pride using this tool.

Every sharpening rod on this list comes with something that makes it extra. What earned Green Elephant a place was the shock absorbant qualities of their product. All ceramics are prone to breakages, which is a serious issue. However, this rod has three exceptional fixes for that.

First, Green Elephant sought out the hardest ceramic possible. At a nine on the Mohs scale, this is the hardest sharpener on the list by half a point. That’s more than you might expect since the difference between hardened steel and diamond is only a point and a half. However, that alone isn’t enough to create a good shock absorber, though it helps.

Secondly, there’s a plastic cap that helps take some of the brunt on impact. Vibration moves in waves, and plastics are more capable of going with the flow than a solid ceramic rod or steel ever could. Allowing the cap to help redirect the force is genius.

Finally, there’s a real secret weapon. Instead of one piece on a handle, Green Elephant’s Ceramic Sharpening Rod has the extra-hard ceramic length, but between the cap, handle, and main body, they use silicone. Jelly-like silicone is an excellent shock absorber that evenly distributes force.

Get a Green Elephant from Amazon when you click here.

Upgrade to a Kit: Idahone V-Type Ceramic Rod Sharpener 

If you want to take it one step further and go beyond a simple ceramic sharpening rod, try Idahone’s kit. Their unique V-Type sharpener setup is different than anything you’ve ever seen for honing and polishing a blade.

Especially if you are new to sharpening, and a bit nervous, then freeing up your off-hand might be more comfortable. Plus, Idahone makes DIY sharpening accessible to people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to sharpen a blade. Those with disabilities, arthritis, and other issues that make it hard to work two-handed also benefit.

When you’re not sure how or even where to store your sharpening rods, Idahone has you covered there as well. The hardwood oak base looks great on the counter if you don’t want to put it away in a drawer. Furthermore, oak is a food-safe wood. No one wants to bring a dangerous material into their kitchen accidentally, but it happens more often than you might expect.

The Idahone V-Type Ceramic Rod Sharpener comes with two pairs of rods. The pink will bring even the dullest blade back to life. Meanwhile, the white set is a finer 1200 grain for regular use. Using both rods in the pre-set configuration makes it easy to judge angles. Plus it’s faster to sharpen when you can shift between the two without needing to turn anything or swap sides on an average single rod. 

Learn all about this outstanding kit from Idahone on Amazon here.


Final Thoughts

It wasn’t so long ago that most people had necessary supplies like ceramic sharpening rods around their homes instead of visiting specialty shops. However, it’s easy to get spoiled and let yourself believe that you need someone else to do essential maintenance for you. Instead of paying to have someone else fix a dull blade, you should learn this trick.

If you need a refresher on how to use your new knife sharpener, check out this video. Sometimes it’s useful to watch another person show off the technique. After all, visual learning is important as well.

There’s no reason to settle for dull knives, or waste money replacing perfectly good utensils. Moreover, once you master knife sharpening, you’ll never accidentally pulverize a delicate food again.

Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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