WHAT IS A KNIFE SHARPENING STEEL?
So, what exactly is a sharpening steel? This awesome sword-like tool keeps the sharp edge of your knife super razor sharp by shaving off tiny bits of blade off. Most knives are made of extremely durable steel alloy, so they are made to withstand sharpening many times.
However, a sharpening steel is not to be confused with a honing steel. With a honing steel, the blade is reshaped into a sharp configuration by slightly bending the metal into shape. No metal is actually shaved off of the knife during honing.
TYPES OF SHARPENING STEELS
Although many sharpening steels may look similar physically, many of them have different features. One of the most defining features is the material that the rods are made of. Some of the most popular materials sharpening steels are made of are steel, diamond, and ceramic.
STEEL SHARPENING STEEL
No, we did not stutter.
This is the most common type of sharpening steel since the material is extremely durable and easy to clean. Usually, steel is chosen since they are easy for daily maintenance. Generally, these are on the more affordable side since they are cheaper to make than other materials. You can find these typically in a knife set.
However, one downfall is that Japanese blades or any soft blades CAN NOT be sharpened with them. Since the steel is too abrasive, the blades will deteriorate, chip, and become ruined.
DIAMOND SHARPENING STEEL
Diamonds are forever, as they say. In this case, these sharpening steels are coated with super abrasive diamond particles that will really get your knife edges pin-point sharp. However, be wary. Since the coating is very rough, the friction causes the diamond particles to slough off easily, making the rod not as effective.
Be sure to choose a high quality product that we suggested below so you don't have this issue.
CERAMIC SHARPENING STEEL
Ceramic steels are like the three bears and goldilocks, just right. Not only do they sharpen better than steel sharpening steels, but they're also a more affordable material than diamond steels. They can also sharpen anything from your best bread knife to a fish filet knife.
Again, be careful! Ceramic sharpening steels don't have the greatest longevity since prolonged use can cause them to crack.
HOW TO SHARPEN A KNIFE WITH A SHARPENING STEEL
Need a little help executing sharpening your knife properly? Here are the steps:
- 1If you are right-handed, hold the sharpening steel pointing straight down perpendicular into your cutting board in your left hand (reverse if you're left-handed).
- 2With the opposite hand, cut into the steel at a 25 degree angle from the steel with a sweeping motion. It will look sort of like you are trying to slice a sliver of the steel off.
- 3Pull the knife backward toward you. This means you will start at the thickest part of the knife all the way to the tip when you slice through. Make sure to not put too much pressure, just graze the steel firmly.
- 4Switch sides and do the same steps with the other side of the blade. Do this about 4-6 times each time you are ready to cut!
If this is a little confusing, check out how Chef Gordon Ramsay sharpens knives like a boss!
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST KNIFE SHARPENING STEEL
When choosing the right sharpening steel, you have to keep a few things in mind.
BEST DIAMOND SHARPENING ROD
BEST CERAMIC SHARPENING STEEL
BEST PROFESSIONAL SHARPENING STEEL
BEST BUTCHER'S STEEL
BEST FLAT SHARPENING STEEL
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