As you use any Chef's Knife, the edge will curl over and require "honing". The rate at which this happens depends on a variety of factors such as the cutting surface, hardness of the knife, how hard the cutting surface is struck, etc. While diamond and steel cutting rods do exist, ceramic honing rods are the preferred style for most. They are gentler on the blade of the knife and uncurl the edge without aggressively stripping off material.
These honing rods are 12" of ceramic with a black handle. They feel great in the hand and work wonders on your knife's edge. There are other honing rods to choose from, but this one is our favorite, especially for the Gallatin's high hardness.
Anytime that you feel your knife is less sharp than it should be, its time to get out the honing rod. This can greatly extend the lifetime of your blade and the time between resharpenings.
How to use a Honing Rod
1. Hold the rod straight up, with the tip planted on a folded, slightly damp dish towel to anchor it securely, so the only moving part will be your knife. This helps you keep a consistent motion, which is important for good results.
2. Start with the heel (back corner) of the knife blade at top of the rod. Tilt the knife away from the rod at a 15-degree angle. Keeping that angle, draw the knife smoothly and fairly lightly down the rod. As it descends, you are also sliding the knife from heel to tip, pulling it down and toward your body. It sounds more complicated than it is. A few minutes’ practices makes perfect.
3. Alternate sides of the hone with each stroke. A half-dozen strokes on each side should be enough for a light touch-up.
4. Try to duplicate your motion and pressure on each side of the hone. This is important if you want to keep the knife’s cutting edge straight.
While I may be biased, as I am a member of the company, this rod is the perfect companion for my Gallatin Chef's Knife. It keeps the edge in tip-top shape! If you get one of our Chef's knives, I highly recommend this rod in addition.
It has made sharpening easy and I think it puts a little better edge on my knife than the steel does. This knife is 15N20 that I made myself with a cocobolo handle