While a honing steel doesn’t actually sharpen your knife’s blade, it keeps it aligned so that it stays sharp for longer. Learning how to hone a knife can help keep your knives from going dull quickly.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Using a Honing Rod
For the safest and easiest way to hone a chef’s knife, start by placing the tip of the honing rod on a kitchen towel and hold the handle securely.
Position the knife perpendicularly to the rod, then cut the angle in half to 45º, then in half again to ~22º.
Using a proper knife hold, run the knife edge from heel to tip 5-7 times on each side.
Wipe the blade with the towel.
Your knife is now aligned and ready to use!
How often should you hone a knife?
Can you hone it too much? It depends on how often you use your knife! It’s helpful to hone your knife before starting on a meal that requires a lot of slicing and dicing, but you don’t necessarily have to hone it daily. You can’t hone a knife too much, but you can sharpen it too much!
If your knife is already dull, honing it will not sharpen it. The best way to sharpen a knife is to take it to a professional knife sharpener once a year and learn how to use a handheld knife sharpener tool between sharpenings.
Learn how to sharpen a knife at home here!
Want to take your knife skills to the next level? Take our online knife skills 101 course!