How to sharpen a knife with a honing steel?
I'm thinking of getting a honing steel to keep my knives sharp. Are there tips on how to use one effectively?
A honing steel is a very useful tool. You will need to slide your knife on it at a 20 degree angle on each side 5 - 10 times and then againd switching sides every time. It does take a bit of practice, but after a few times the process takes only a few seconds. You can use a honing steel as much as you need, even every day.
A honing steel does not sharpen knives. It aligns the edge of the blade so it cuts effectively. A sharpening steel or stone would sharpen a knife, and a well-maintained knife in a regular household kitchen would probably only need sharpening once or twice a year. You can hone as needed which can be a couple times a month or daily depending on how often you use your knives.
My brother works in a meat department and hones their knives daily. Their knives are shipped out biweekly for professional sharpening.
ChefTool's answer on how to hone is correct.
You may want to invest in a good bench stone to re-sharpen your blades. A sharpening steel is good for a quick touch up or edge alignment, but for the most part they dont remove any metal to get a true sharp edge.
There are several stones to choose from on the market everything from oil stones to high end japanese water stones.
If your not used to sharpening on a stone the best to start with is an old fashioned oil stone.
Hope this helps.
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