If you uncrate a knife, you feel that your knife is razor-sharp and can cut almost anything. However, after using the knife for various cutting purposes, it becomes dull. The force you use on the knife while cutting bends the microscopic pieces in the knife, making it hard to push inside the material you need to cut. It makes the user feel that their knife has become dull.
Most of the knives come with a metal rod called sharpening steel or a honing rod. It is used to sharpen your knife. But this sharpening steel or honing rod does not sharpen the knife. The sharpening steel slightly hones the edge of the dull knife. Sweeping the blade’s edge along the sharpening steel decreases the blade’s dullness, helping you not to sharpen the knife regularly.
How does a honing rod work?
A honing rod is also called sharpening steel. It is called so because people think that the honing rod is used to sharpen the blade’s edge. But honestly, this honing rod does not make your knife sharp. It brings your blade to the original condition by smoothing the edge.
The knife you use may feel dull sometimes. To regain your knife to its original condition, you need to sweep your knife with a sharpening steel or a honing rod. This helps to regain its sharpness. When you are cutting lean meat or harsh substances, occasional swipes may be required to keep your knife in its original condition. After every swipe, clean the knife with a cloth before cutting any food substances.
What is the proper way to use a sharpening steel or a knife sharpening rod?
Many cooks believe that properly honing your knife requires very little pressure. When you are working with a knife, listen to the sound. If you listen to a harsh sound, that means you are applying too much pressure on your knife. A quiet ring sound indicates that you are applying a feather-like pressure on the knife. Do not bang your knife against the finger guard because it will damage the edge. The essential thing while sharpening your knife with a honing rod or sharpening steel is the angle between them. A fifteen-degree angle will be perfect for honing.
What is the difference between honing steel and sharpening steel?
Therefore, the main difference between a sharpening and honing steel is whether the material is removed. Honing steel is made from steel that has no sharpening function. Sharpening steels are ceramic or have a diamond coating and, therefore, more challenging than steel. Sharpening removes material from the blade to produce a new, sharp edge while honing keeps the blade sharp by pushing the edge of the knife back to the center.
What is the purpose of sharpening steel?
A sharpening steel is great for two things: One, and it smooths out the rough edge on a blade after you sharpen a knife on a grindstone. And two, it helps to revive the edge after you have been cutting, slicing, or chopping for a while.
Do sharpening steel wear out?
In the worst case, the steel will become smooth, which doesn’t hinder its ability to do its job and align its blade. Ceramic sharpening “steels” will nevermore wear out, but the exterior can get clogged with removed metal particles. This can be wiped out with a scouring pad to perform them as well as new.
How to tell if your knife is sharp?
To determine if your knife is sharp or your knife needs sharpening, you need to perform a test with your knife. The test is called a paper test. Hold a sheet of paper in one hand. Now place the heel of the knife on the top of the paper and cut it downwards by moving the knife from top to bottom. If your knife cuts cleanly without leaving any rough edges, then you don’t need to sharpen your knife. If your knife doesn’t cut neatly and leaves some rough edges, then your knife needs to sharpen.
How to use a honing rod to sharpen your knife? (or) Honing a steel
Honing a knife can be done by different methods. But the method described here will make it easy for you. This method requires you to maintain a proper angle which makes your honing quick and also safe for you as the blade does not move. Throughout the process, make sure to use a fifteen-degree angle between the blade and the steel.
- If you want to use a honing rod safely, you need to hold it vertically with the tip downwards planting on the counter. Now place the blade’s heel against the top of the steel and slightly move the blade upwards. Now hold the blade away from the sharpening steel at an angle of fifteen degrees.
- Applying light pressure and using a fifteen-degree angle, pull the knife downwards along the sharpening steel length. Ensure that the middle of the blade must be in contact with the middle of the sharpening steel.
- Sharpen your knife by passing the tip of the blade along with the sharpening steel. Continue this motion on the other side of the blade too. Five or six strokes on each side of the blade will make your knife restore to its original condition.
How to Sharpen a knife with a rod? (or) How to use sharpening steel?
Here many sharpening items can be used to sharpen a knife. Some of them are honing rod or sharpening steel, whetstone, knife sharpener, grindstone, or grinder.
How to sharpen your knife with a whetstone?
One of the favorite ways to sharpen a knife is using a whetstone. A whetstone is a rectangular block that works like sandpaper. This whetstone helps to refine and reshape the edge of the knife. Most of the whetstones are designed to be soaked in water before they can be used. So you need to check the user manual before honing your knife with a whetstone. You probably wonder that these whetstones are named because they need to be wetted before use. No, I suppose you might be wrong. The whet means to sharpen.
You can use the whetstone in the same way you use a honing rod or sharpening steel. If you are using a honing rod or sharpening steel, you maintain a fifteen-degree angle here. But if you are using a whetstone, you need to maintain a twenty-degree angle. That’s all. Rest all the same.
How to sharpen your knife with a metal knife sharpener?
If you want to fix your knife’s dullness quickly, then this is the one you are looking for. You need to press the knife on the coarse side, pull it inside a few times, and then move the blade to the good side.
How to sharpen a knife with a grinder?
The grinding wheel can be used to trim the wood, metal, and plastic pieces. So a grinder can also be used to sharpen a knife. Many professional knife sharpeners will use a bench grinder to sharpen their knife. Making your knife sharpening is often less expensive than buying a new knife. You need to maintain a forty-five-degree angle if you want to sharpen your knife with a grinder.
You need to know that all these sharpening rods like honing rod, Wheatstone, and knife sharpener do not precisely sharpen your knife. They will help your knife to regain the original shape and condition and prevent dullness.