Adding fine abrasive action to the resetting function of the steel hone, the Ultimate Edge Model 10W Gourmet 10-inch Oval Diamond sharpening steel outperforms the traditional sharpening steel. The Ultimate Edge 10W won’t completely take the place of flat whetstones — still necessary for reworking badly worn or damaged blades — but will extend any blade’s life and restore the edges of blades too hard for ordinary honing steels. The oval cross section of the rod also puts more abrasive against the knife edge for quicker results.
Diamond abrasives embed fine particles of diamond dust in a hard matrix, backed up by solid steel. The diamonds coating the surface of this steel hone don’t form a thick layer, but in ordinary use will last for years. Cutting action is fastest when the hone is new, since the fresh surface includes many diamond chips set slightly above the cutting base. These cut fast but wear away quickly, exposing the more uniform layer beneath. The amount of steel ground away drops, but the result is a more polished edge. The 600 grit abrasives in this hone should polish rather than shape the edge of the knife. For reworking chipped blades, you’ll need a coarser sharpening stone rather than the Model 10W Gourmet.
Many high-end knives made of extremely hard steel can’t be sharpened with plain honing steels. Damage results when the hone is pressed too hard against an edge, chipping the knife. With the diamond hone, these harder blades can be touched up without a full range of honing stones. A light touch is necessary and major changes shouldn’t be expected, but if an edge is in good shape, the 10W puts the razor edge quality back.