Sharpening Steel

Sharpening Steel / Honing Steel

This magic metal kitchen stick has many names – whether you call it a Sharpening Stick, Sharpening Rod, Butcher’s Steel, or Chef’s Steel, everyone has seen chef’s waving one around, although not everyone knows what it does. The job of a ‘Honing’ Steel is to perform light maintenance on the edge of your knives blade – It does not ‘sharpen’ your knife (as no material is removed from the blade), It actually reforms the edge of the blade, and reshapes any tiny rough or uneven parts.

When to use a Sharpening Steel

It is sometimes recommended that a knife is ‘Steeled’ or honed every time you use it. In practice this might be overkill, and your knives can be honed once a week to bring the edge back. Once it feels that the sharpening steel is not having any effect on the blade then it will need to be sharpened with a knife sharpener.

How to use a Sharpening Steel

Sharpening Steels are used by placing the near edge of a knife against the base of the steel and sliding the blade along the length of the steel whilst moving it downwards.

The blade should be held at the same angle to the steel every time it is used (usually around 20 degrees). The action is repeated on the other side of the blade, and each cycle is repeated between 5 and 10 times.

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