Tom reviews the Smith’s 10” Oval Diamond Sharpening Steel as a better way to sharpen flexible fillet and boning knives.
But if you’re having trouble getting your boning or fillet knives sharp, then I have a new option that I’m recommending that you try, the Smith’s 10” Oval Diamond Sharpening Steel.
Flexible boning knives and fillet knives can be somewhat awkward to sharpen at times due to their flexibility. They can slightly wobble all over when you’re trying to sharpen them on a stone. Due to this characteristic, I thought the Smith’s 10” Oval Diamond Sharpening Steel would be the fix, so I wanted to test it out.
There are two reasons why I say this. First, it is a little easier to sharpen these knife types on the Smith’s 10” Oval Diamond Steel than on a regular flat stone. The flexibility won’t affect you as much on the steel as it does while sharpening on a stone.
And secondly, (This is a big reason). The major trouble that nearly everyone has is trying to match the angle that they used while sharpening their knife on a stone to the angle they use while steeling their knife.
That is 95% of the secret in learning to use smooth steel on your boning/fillet knives. Trying to run the knife down the steel at the same angle that you sharpened it at. You are a lot more likely to hit the same angle by using the Smith’s 10” Oval Diamond Steel.
Here’s why I say this. Out of habit, you’re more likely to use the exact same angle if you’re using a diamond steel instead of a stone to sharpen your knife on. The Smith’s 10” Oval Diamond Sharpening Steel is taking the place of using a stone. So after using the diamond steel, you’re very likely to use the exact same angle from muscle memory when following up on your smooth steel. Make sense?
I don’t apply a significant amount of pressure while using the Smith’s 10” Oval Diamond Sharpening Steel. It is not necessary plus with flexible knives; you’ll bend the blade which will make you end up leaving a weird angle.
To make it clear. The Smith’s 10” Oval Diamond Sharpener Steel is not a steel. It is a diamond stone. To obtain a razor edge, after you sharpen your knife, you then need to use a smooth steel which you have run 80 grit Emory cloth up and down with to put microscopic lines lengthwise on it.
Here is Smith’s description of the Smith’s 10” Oval Diamond Sharpening Steel:
Smith’s is proud to offer the ultimate in sharpening steel technology with the “World's First” interrupted surface, diamond coated, oval sharpening steel. Smith's 10″ Diamond Sharpening Steel features a unique sharpening surface with an overlapping oval hole design, which is coated with multiple layers of micron-sized mono-crystalline diamonds. This innovation helps speed the sharpening process by collecting and holding the metal filings which ordinarily build up during the sharpening process. It comes with a soft grip rubber handle and an oversized hand guard for comfort and safety. Unlike conventional steels, which only realign your cutting edge, the Smith's 10″ Diamond Sharpening Steel hones and realigns your edge at the same time.
When I first saw this steel, I thought it’d be a home run deal for packinghouse workers, especially on the kill floor where you can dull your skinning knife in a hot second when running your knife through a mud-crusted hide.
You know how bad it’d mess up your edge if you stuck your knife into the dirt. Pretty much the same scenario when you run your knife through the hide cutting the pattern from the belly to the hoof (cutting the hide down the leg).
So now instead of having to run to the nearest stone to resharpen your knife, just pop up your trusty Smith’s 10” Oval Diamond Sharpening Steel and you’re back in the saddle. Like I said above, I knew this steel should be a home run deal for packinghouse workers. To prove this, I had a buddy Thomas Ortiz who is a supervisor on the Kill Floor for IdaBeef test one out.
He loved it. The only problem he encountered was that as soon as his employees tested it out, they all wanted to steal it from him. So, you might want to buy two instead of just one!
MSRP is $29.99(less $$ online)
Care: Always clean your sharpener after use. Smith’s recommends that you use a damp cloth with a mild, nonabrasive brush, never use a steel brush. After cleaning always dry off your sharpener before storing.
About Tom Claycomb
Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoors writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops, Bowhunter.net and freelances for numerous magazines and newspapers. “To properly skin your animal you will need a sharp knife. I have an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening for $.99 if you're having trouble.”