The most sharpening steels don't sharpen knives. The primary job of a sharpening steel is to hone a sharpener knife blade, though particular cuts or fashion are able to do minor sharpening.
However, a honing steel that do sharpen knives shouldn’t be used in place of the above sharpeners.
The four most common cuts are regular, diamond, combination and ceramic. The various between cuts are rather minimal and choosing between them mainly depends on whether you need to have the features of sharpening along with how much you're willing to spend.
It is also recommended that you use sharpening steels with an adjustable knife brand because manufacturers specifically design their steels to hone their knives.
Top 5 Knife Sharpening Steel of 2017 – In a Nutshell
- Green Elephant Ceramic Honing Steel Review
- Wusthof 10-Inch Sharpening Steel Review
- WINCO Sharpening Steel, 12-Inch Review
- J.A. Henckels 9-Inch Poly Sharpening Steel
- Messermeister Ceramic Rod Knife Sharpener, 12-Inch
Here’s my pick of the top 5 sharpening stones with reviews:
Sharpening Steel Tips:
Most of the people have a misconception about sharpening steel. They think it will make convert their dull knife into a sharp one.Nope. It’s completely a wrong idea. If your knife becomes dull, there is nothing to do with a sharpening steel.
So, what a sharpening steel can do? Well, if your knife is enough sharp, then it can make it SUPER SHARP.If a knife is used constantly, it will face a dull edge for sure. So, before making your tool dull, use sharpening steels to maintain a perfect cutting edge. However, do not use any electric sharpening tool or a diamond-coated steel to maintain the edge.
These devices may destroy your edge. You may use those for sharpening, but not for maintaining the edges.To sharpen your knife, place the blade against the tip. For the best result, keep an angle of about 20 degrees. Pull the knife down across the steel with a little pressure.
Again repeat this action on the opposite side of your blade. Repeat this step about five to ten times. It is very important to maintain the 20-degree angle. Remember, speedy movement plays no part while using sharpening steel.
So, as you can see the above sharpeners provide the total possible support to the kitchen professional. If you are already fed up on your knives, then you can just go for then one you like from above. But honing steel isn't the only solution. You can also use whetstone sharpener set for sharpening.
Sharpening vs Honing:
There are enough differences between sharpening and honing. But, few people assumed that ‘honing’ is merely a fancy way of saying ‘sharpen’. How embarrassing!
Let’s find out the differences –Sharpening a knife can be performed by shaving off the blade’s metal. This shaving gives a completely new edge to the blade. You need a whetstone to sharpen your blade.
Literally, sharpening is used to remove the flaws of the blade.On the other hand, honing is used to keep the blade straight. Whenever you use your knife for cutting, chopping or slicing, it becomes bent down slowly with the interaction of chopping board. The more you use a knife, the more it will be bent down.
And the honing is used to straightens the knife’s blade. Remember, it straightens the blade, does not sharpen it.
How to Tell If Your Knife Is Sharp:
Testing a knife for sharpness sounds bizarre, doesn’t it? Normally, people don’t bother to check the sharpness of knives. But it is important to check the sharpness before starting cutting, chopping or slicing anything. Here I have listed three easy steps to find out if your knife is sharp or dull. Let’s check it out.
Paper Test: It is the most popular, easiest, quick and effortless way to find out the sharpness. You will need only an A4 paper for this test. To do this experiment, at first hold your knife using your dominant hand.
Now try to cut the A4 paper with the knife. Don’t force the knife, use the minimum pressure only.If the knife is unable to cut the paper properly, it means the knife becomes dull. You have to sharpen your knife using a whetstone.
Vegetable Test: Vegetables are another great option to choose the sharpness of your knife. Choose a vegetable such as lime or tomato and try to cut it. What’s the lesson here? If the knife requires significant pressure, it means your knife becomes dull.
But if you can cut the vegetable effortlessly, then your knife is completely ok and there is nothing to worry about sharpness for now. Though you can use any vegetable for this test, I will suggest choosing lime or tomato. You will get a better result with this.
Nail Test: This is the most dangerous way to check the sharpness. Let’s discuss how this method works.At first, keep your knife in a sitting thumbnail. If you can set it correctly, you will see that the knife will be at an angle of 90 degrees.
After this, run your nail with an extremely small amount of pressure. Remember to be EXTRA CAREFUL while doing this experiment. Otherwise, any accidents could happen. So, what’s the result? If it slid, that means your knife is dull and have to be sharpened properly.
On the contrary, if it remains in place, then your knife is completely ok. Though I dislike this method, it is helpful while you are on hunting, fishing or camping. Moreover, you will get the most accurate result by this method.
Honing Steel Recap:
One of the biggest misconceptions among kitchen tools is between sharpening steel and honing steel. The sharpening and honing steel are totally different. While a sharpening steel will make your blade sharper, the honing steel will realign the edges of the blade.
The rod used in a honing steel is smeared by ceramic, steel or diamonds. Honing steels are used by lightly placing the edge of your knife against the base of the steel. For the best result, the blade has to move diagonally and the steel will remain still.
It will be better to maintain 20 degrees angle between the steel and blade. To make your blade long lasting, regular honing is very effective. The professional chefs recommend doing honing immediately before or after using a knife. It ensures the ultimate durability of your knife.