Nothing can ruin your cooking experience like a dull knife. Unlike a sharp knife, a dull knife makes it hard to predict your slicing or cutting. It is also hard to control a dull blade, and chances are it may slip increasing the chances of injuring your fingers. A honing steel is one of the must-have kitchen tools that can help you align your dull knife bringing fun to the exercise.Your kitchen contains knives of various shapes. The length of the rod should be long enough to provide enough space for honing big knives. Also, you need to protect your fingers while honing the knives and most of them have finger guards for protection. The best honing steel for you would be one that gives you a proper grip and refrains from slipping off while honing the knives.
Factors to Consider When Buying A Honing Steel
Honing tools come in a wide variety of materials which include ceramic, steel and diamond. Each material has its advantages.
Ceramic honing tool is one of the great choices if you do sharpening regularly. However, ceramic rods are gentle and offer a slight sharpening effect. The challenge with a ceramic rod is brittleness and requires great vigilance since it can easily break.
Like the ceramic material, steel is also an ideal choice for regular sharpening. The rods come with ridged, smooth, round, or square edges. Though steel rods provide faster sharpening and superior blade honing, the steel wears faster.
Smooth steel rods have low wearing rate and are recommended. However, steel rods are not strong enough to sharpen Japanese knives. If you are looking to sharpen Japanese knives, diamond and ceramic can be a perfect choice for you.
Diamond rods, on the other hand, are an excellent choice for you if you don't do the regular honing process. The rod sharpens and aligns your blade with few strokes. However, diamond is abrasive, and the coating may get rid of substantial metal.
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Honing tools are made of brittle materials which can break easily when not handled properly and this is where your handle design comes in. The handle should be ergonomically designed, comfy, slip resistant and well sized to fit in the hands perfectly. The safety guard is another plus which helps boost your safety when using the tool.
A poorly designed handle will strain your wrist and eventually ruin your honing experience.
Sharpening Rod Length
The length of your honing tool will determine which size of knives you can hone. Most homes used knives are 10” to 12," and a sharpening rod of this length will allow you to hone your cutlery without any challenges.
Ease of Use
Honing steel are not the same in regards to honing experience. Your sharpening skills should guide you in selecting your preferred tool. In case you have little or no experience in sharpening knives, taking advantage of honing tools with guides can turn you into a pro.
If you don’t maintain your honing tool, chances are it will be clogged with tiny metal particles impacting its effectiveness. Like any other tool, your honing steel will require proper maintenance to enhance its performance.
The type of maintenance of your honing tool will depend on its material. Ceramic rods are pretty hard to maintain as compared to steel and diamond. However, ceramic rods are an excellent choice for regular honing.
Top 12 Best Honing Steel
1. Utopia 12 Inch Steel Knife Sharpening Rod
If you may be looking for the best sharpening steel, Utopia kitchen has designed an amazing honing tool. The tool is designed using carbon steel plated with nickel chrome. The steel rod boasts of a fine surface which helps prevent the cutting edge from damage during the honing process.
Whether you are right or left handed, this Utopia honing tool will help you sharpen and align your knives with ease. Its handle is comfy with a slip-resistant rubber bottom and perfectly fits in the hands enabling you to hone your knives perfectly well.
2. Winware Stainless Steel Sharpening Steel, 12-Inch
The Winware honing tool is a Winco product which features a 12” sharpening blade. Its handle is designed using quality plastic with a hanging loop for easy storage.Your fingers will be safe as it has a finger guard at the beginning of the handle. As it is manufactured with stainless steel, there is no risk of corrosion if it came in contact with water. However, we advise not to put the rod on the dishwasher as other dishes and bowls can get damaged. The brand has mentioned wiping the rod with a wet cloth for cleaning.
3. Green Elephant Knife Sharpening Rod
In case you may be looking for the best honing steel for Japanese and Germany knives then this tool from Green Elephant could be an excellent choice for you. The hardness of the tool has been tested to be 9 Mohs which allows you to sharpen and align your blade as desired.
Aside from being a great honing tool for Japanese and Germany knives, Green Elephant is an excellent choice for honing hunting knives. Its comfy and lightweight handle makes the honing process a walkover.
One thing we love most about this tool is its exclusive shock absorption feature. Between the ceramic and handle is a silicone seal which together with the plastic end cap have been carefully designed to help absorb the vibration waves as well as keeping your ceramic honing rod safe.
The honing tool is easy to use and maintain. All you need is to hand wash it with regular detergent and air dry the ceramic knives sharpening rod.Note that steel knife sharpeners are not recommended to be used on ceramic blades. Avoid bending the ceramic sharpening rod or dropping the ceramic knife sharpening rod.
4. ALLWIN-HOUSEWARE W Professional Knife Sharpening Steel
Dull knives are more dangerous than sharp ones and for this sharpening steel is great for sharpening the knife with few strokes. It is a 12 inches long rod that sharpens all types of knives effortlessly. To hold the rod stable on the kitchen top, the ergonomic handle provides a compatible grip and a finger guard prevents it from slipping.
Moreover, this rod is great for regular use as high carbon steel makes it strong and the nickel-chrome plating protects from corrosion. For cleaning, a wet towel should be used instead of soaking in water or putting it in the dishwasher. After wiping, hang the rod with the hanging loop for air dry.
5. Noble Home & Chef Professional Honing Rod
The honing rod from Noble Home & Chef Professional is a heavy-duty material made rod that will give longer service for all kinds of knives. It is a 12 inches long honing rod with magnetized features. It refrains the metal particles from mixing with the food or gets inhaled from the air. There is no need to worry about rusting as it is plated with chromium.
Moreover, you can see from the design that it has a sleek look and also dishwasher safe. Though the brand recommends cleaning them gently with a damp cloth. Putting the rod in the dishwasher with other things can get damaged. However, it does not come with a hanging loop or cover for safe storage.
6. Messermeister Ceramic Rod Knife Sharpener
If you are looking for a superior quality ceramic honing steel, then this sharpener from Messermeister could be an excellent choice for you. The tool is sturdy to withstand rigors honing. One thing we love about this tool is its ability to sharpen and align the blade with slight abrasion.Its handle is soft and ergonomically designed to give you secure grip each time you are using it.
The rod is not prone to breaking as the core is strong. However, the rod is magnetized and the small metal pieces can easily get mixed with your food. We will advise not to put the rod in the dishwasher for washing as it will destroy all other kitchen accessories. You can clean the honing with a wet towel and hang them for air dry.
7. DALSTRONG Honing Steel
This honing steel is 10 inches long and made from premium quality carbon steel to make it durable. Its specialty is that the rod has a full tang to ensure the full support of the knives. The rod is triple riveted at the handle. The ergonomic handle ensures to provide a compatible grip whenever you are honing any type of knife.
However, this heavy-duty honing rod does not have a hanging loop but comes with a box where you can store it easily. Moreover, they do not require much cleaning as you can keep them clean by simply wiping them with a wet non-woven cloth.
8. Mercer Culinary German Honing Steel
As you can see from the name, the honing steel is made from German steel which makes the rod harder compared to others. It has fine medium grit that makes the honing smooth and easy. This 12 inches honing steel is only 12 ounces in weight that is easy to hold from honing.
However, it is not a full tang metal so you might need to be careful how much weight you put on. The handle is made of polypropylene that will absorb the wetness from hands and reduce the risk of slipping off. The rod also has a hanging ring to hand at any hook. Furthermore, the rod is magnetized so the metal parts might mix up with nearby food and air during honing.
9. Amesser Knife Sharpener Honing Steel
The professional chefs use various kinds of knives and for their knives they need a good quality honing steel which can be Amesser Knife Honing Steel. It is a strong and 10 inches long rod with carbon steel and nickel plating. The plating makes them safe from rust.
The feature we like about this honing steel is that its handle can absorb shock and resist heat. The handle is ergonomically designed to provide a comfortable grip. This handy rod is easy to clean as just wiping with a wet piece of cloth will do the work.
10. Chefast Honing Steel Knife Sharpening Rod
Chefast Honing Steel Knife Sharpening Rod is a 10 inches long rod that can hone all kinds of knives. Carbon steel makes the knife strong whereas chromium plating prevents rust. It has fine grit that effortlessly hones the dull knives.
The sharpening rod comes with a storage bag, wiping cloth, and instruction manual. As the cooks need to travel with their knives, honing steel is also carried and this one can be easily carried in its storage bag.
The bag will protect from damaging other cutleries. Many people get confused about cleaning the rod and for that, the wiping cloth is given. Simply wipe the rod with the given cloth, you can also wet it with water if you want to deep clean the rod.
11. Fanerfun Knife Sharpener Rod
This rod from Fanerfun is a heavy-duty rod that is made from carbon steel that makes it strong to hone various types of knives. The rod is in medium grit which ranges from 1000 to 3000. It is manufactured with magnetic casting technology to make it strong and scratch-resistant.
All kinds of knives are suitable to hone on this rod. You don't have to fear the slipping of the rod as it gives a comfortable grip and the finger guard protects your fingers from accidents. The handle has a hole to hand the rod on hooks. The brand has refrained from using water for cleaning the rod. Simply wiping with a dry towel will remove the particles.
12. HENCKELS Fine Edge Pro Sharpening Steel
At the end of our list, we have HENCKELS Fine Edge Pro Sharpening Steel that sharpens the dull knives within a very short time. The rod is made of stainless steel that makes it durable and strong for regular use. Moreover, this rod has fine grit lines to sharpen the knives swiftly.
The handle has an ergonomic design with a finger guard for the protection of your hands. The handle will not slip off easily. However, you need to separately store the rod so that other kitchen tools don't get damaged as it does not come with a storage bag or a box.
What Is the Best Honing Steel?
The market provides varied types of honing steel to choose from. Each of these tools is designed to hone cutlery with specific requirements. If you are looking for a quality honing steel, all the above-reviewed products are right when used as per the manufacturer's requirements.
Know what you want in honing steel and check out which one matches your needs.
How honing is different from sharpening?
Sharpening the knives means it removes some materials from the knife to make the edges sharp. Honing the knives means it pushes the edges to the middle to sharpen the edges.
How grit helps in sharpening the knives?
Grit helps to remove the material to restore the sharp edges. 1000 to 3000 grit numbers are used to hone the dull knives.
At what angle do the knives be honed?
The kitchen knives are usually at an angle between 15 to 20 degrees to provide sharp edges. However, the Japanese are honed at 17 degrees most of the time.
How regularly should you hone the knives?
Honing of the knives depends on the material used to make the knives. Stainless steel knives require honing after 2 to 4 uses whereas carbon steel knives might need to be honed after every use.
Professional cooks require honing steel frequently as the blunt knives will ruin their dishes. Honing steels are used to sharpen the knives so you need to be careful while working with them. As you will find most of the honing steels have finger guards to protect your fingers. So, the best honing steel should be able to provide a compatible and non-slippery grip to reduce the risk of accidents.
Moreover, you also need to keep in mind that the honing rods should not be put on the dishwasher because the grits will cause damages to other cooking tools. Storing is also a big factor to consider as not all of them have a hanging loop on their handle. In our article, we have discussed the features of the honing steel to help choose the right one.