How to use a honing steel

A honing steel will help keep your knives sharp and well aligned in between professional sharpening treatments. Honing doesn’t replace professional sharpening - the two different techniques are much rather comparable to brushing your teeth daily as opposed to having a dental checkup twice a year.

Professional chefs recommend using a honing steel every time they pick up a knife. Those with a trained hand might hone their knives freehand, which looks a little fancier than placing the honing steel down. But going for the below method will make it less likely to injure yourself:

  • Place the steel perpendicular onto a non-slip surface
  • Angle the blade at about 12-15 degrees to the steel (depending on the angle your knife originally came with), with the sharp edge facing down. Unsure about the right angle for your knife? Click here!
  • From the heel of the knife to its tip, let the knife move downward, as if you were slicing part of the steel off
  • Alternate sides and repeat four to six times on each side