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Do ceramic hones wear out under pressure?

I've had Spyderco big ceramic hones (think they're 8"x2") for a long time. I favor my DMTs most of the time, but used the Spydercos for a while before I got the DMTs. I still use those Spydercos now and then, and have pressed much too hard on them at times. So far, no signs of wear. I wonder if they ever made an x-coarse version of those hones.

Overall, BTW, I definitely like those ceramic hones. They're really big, and seem more wear-resistant than natural stones or diamond hones. They're ridiculously easy to clean, and can be used dry so they don't make a mess in use. And they're not too expensive.

Hmm, now you've made me want to start using 'em again!

Joe, I just got my Profiler Set from Spyderco. I tried using the white ceramic stone, and it's pretty easy to put an edge back to a dull blade, I must say..

The problem is that I find it difficult to remove the stain left behind by the knife blade. I used the Scotchbrite green pad and I couldn't remove the line made by sharpening the knife. I dont want to press down really hard, as I might break the stone, but scrubbing it only gave me green stuff that used to be the scouring pad.

Should I really use steel wool for this after all? I was hoping regular synthetic scouring pads like 3M would do the trick.

Danny --

Steel wool with detergent pads (like SOS or Brillo) are the only way to go in cleaning ceramic hones. There's no reason to mess around and be frustrated with anything else.


Use Comet (or any similar abrasive cleanser) and a little hot water with the Scotchbrite pad and your ceramic rods will come clean easily. Hope this helps.


Knife lover, Philosopher, Humanitarian, and All-around nice guy
(all right, so I'm just a knife lover)
I use one of those all purpose erasers that you can buy from the Knife Center or AG Russell and that immediately removes the matal particles and then I do what Win says....I use Comet and hot water with a Scotchbright pad for a final cleaning. Works really well.

Joe, should I use SOS on the diamond stones, too? I was wondering about that.


Gee.. thanks guys! I'll try out all these, and see which one works best. It seems that I can get most of the smudges out of the stone, except for one or two stubborn lines that's resisting all my attempts in cleaning it.

Win, Kodiak, any idea what is it with hot water that would make it more effective than tap water?

Joe, I wasn't messing around.. lol... but it sure did create a mess!
green plastic wool all over the place.. ugh..

Hmmm.. even after all these topics over and over again, I still don't get it as to why steel wool won't be eaten away by the ceramic stone, as it is also steel, right? Though I'll try the different methods, but I'm sure all these will work. I guess I'm just not using the right materials to begin with.


PS. hehehe.. maybe dipping it in an acid solution would get rid of those pesky steel filings buried deep in the ceramic stones.. melt them away or something, as ceramics dont get affected by acid, eh?
Danny: Yeah, I know, it seems like the steel wool should re-clog the stone, but it doesn't, due to the detergent. I talked Sal Glesser into trying it, and even he is advocating using steel wool now! Can't get a higher recommendation than that

Kodiak: I've never used steel wool on my diamond hones because I've always found they cleaned up really easily with just a rag and water, or at most the plastic scrubbie pads. I've found diamond hones just don't grip onto steel filings the way ceramic hones do.

Dannyc, hot water will dissolve more cleaner in it than cold water.

Joe, how much pressure do you use with steel wool pads? I would bet that is why people are thinking they clog the stones as if you press hard (which you don't need to) they will glaze it over as the steel is mushy soft compared to blade steel in most knives.

I don't have any ceramic benchstones yet, but do have a couple of rods and I the first time I used a steel wool detergent pad on them I glazed them a uniform grey really quickly as I pressed way too hard.

Cliff -- I'm surprised! You did this with the steel wool plus detergent pads (like SOS), with plenty of running water? You're right, you don't have to press hard, but I've never glazed my ceramic hone even when I did press a bit harder!

Joe, to be specific, the 800 grit ceramic rod that came with my edge pro apex set glazes really easy under pressure with a detergent pad. This was not an actual SOS pad but some no-name brand, but I doubt that makes any difference. This is cleaning it in the sink with the water running over it while I was scrubbing. If I do it lightly it will not glaze but I found that I can use much more pressure with a plastic-type synthetic pad and AJAX, which allows me to clean it faster. I will be getting a set of stones from Spyderco so I'll see if there is any difference there.