Keep Your Knives Sharp with a Honing Steel

To ensure that your knives stay beautifully sharp, a honing steel should be used regularly. Over time, knives will deteriorate and lose their edge. Honing re-aligns the microscopic teeth in the blade that can’t be seen with the naked eye. By regularly honing your knives, you will maximize the time in between sharpening.
WÜSTHOF honing steels are made from hard chromium plated steel with a hardness of 65 Rockwell. All honing steels are produced from an alloy tool steel (material no. 2210) with 1.15%C (carbon) content, .6% chromium and .03% vanadium.

How to use a Honing Steel

The safest way to use a sharpening or honing steel is through a supported method.

    1. With your non-dominant hand, place the honing or sharpening steel point-down, with the tip of the steel resting on a dry firm surface such as a cutting board.
    2. In your dominant hand, hold the knife to the steel. You should begin honing/sharpening with the heel of the knife towards the top of the steel. You will be pulling towards you and downwards simultaneously, as if you were going to gently slice into something.
    3. Tilt the knife so that there is a 14 degree angle between the knife and the steel. If you are honing or sharpening an Asian styled knife, tilt the knife to a 10 degree angle.
    4. Gently pull the blade toward you while gliding it downward, ending with the top of the knife at the bottom of the steel. Be sure to maintain the correct angle as you go. A fairly sharp knife may only need 2-3 repetitions, while a dull knife will need more.
    5. Place the knife on the other side of the steel so you can sharpen the other side of the knife and repeat the process.
    6. It is important to clean your knife after honing or sharpening so that you remove any excess steel.