F. Dick’s 11-inch Multicut Knife Sharpening Steel strives to combine seven different types and grades of sharpening steels into one product. You might find it hard to pick out all seven, but the Multicut really is a faster and more versatile sharpening system than other round steels, and even competes well with diamond hones — for a while.
The one-year warranty reveals the Multicut’s only real weakness. After long months or years of use, the filing effect of this fine honing steel will fade since the micro-edges which do the actual cutting eventually dull. The useful lifetime should extend well beyond the warranty, but this older approach to sharpening does have a shorter working life than equivalent diamond-grit tools.
F. Dick’s flattened Multicut hone does outperform round and oval hones, because more of the filing surface of the hone actually contacts the edge of the blade. Cutting action is controlled by pressure. To actually remove steel and shape the blade edge, hold the blade across the flat of the hone and draw it across with a steady pressure, moving down the hone as you finish the stroke. To just touch up an edge, use a light pressure and only a few strokes. The Multicut doesn’t completely replace whetstones. Badly worn or chipped edges should be re-shaped with a whetstone before refining the edge on this steel. Regular use of the Multicut will cut back on the amount of whetstone work needed — something many chefs will appreciate in terms of labor as well as mess.
Treat the Multicut as you would any other fine piece of cutlery, hanging it by the storage ring instead of throwing it in a drawer. Rinse steel particles from the hone after heavy use to prevent glazing.
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