Honing Steel vs Sharpening Steel
What you need to understand about knives is that knives get dull in at least two different ways. Obviously a knife that is no longer sharp means that it is dull and can't cut properly but what you might not know is that if the blade gets out of alignment it also won't slice your foods properly. Here's where either the honing steel or the sharpening steel comes in.
How to use a Honing Steel
When your knife first gets dull, the first tool that you want to pull out of your arsenal is the honing steel. It's a maintenance tool and you can use it on a regular basis. The material of the steel is much harder than the edge of your knife.
Watch the video above to see how Bob Kramer demonstrates using the honing steel or read our description below.
The way that we recommend using the honing steel is to put the steel straight down onto a cutting board and anchor it. Make sure that its secure. You're going to use a very slight angle, about the same angle as if you laid a matchbook up against the steel and then lay a knife against the matchbook. This is somewhere between 12 and 15 degrees. With the knife perpendicular to the honing steel and facing away from you, pull the knife towards you with a light but firm stroke.
Generally people don't use enough pressure when honing a knife. What the honing steel is doing to your knife is straightening and aligning the edge. When you are done steeling your knife you should find that the edge is improved.
Its not necessary to hone your knife every single time but you should definitely do it often. As soon as you detect that its not cutting as well, hone immediately!
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