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FAQ: What's the purpose of a 'sharpening steel'? How often should I use it?

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A "sharpening steel" (more accurately, "honing steel") is used to realign the very fine "micro edge" of a kitchen knife. Gently drawing the blade across the rod at a shallow angle realigns the edge.

How often you hone your knives depends on how often you use them. The relatively hard steel used in Japanese kitchen knives may require attention only once a week or so, while softer German steels might benefit from honing after each use.

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