Knife Honing

What Is Knife Honing?
When it comes to knife honing, it usually refers to realigning your blade so it can cut efficiently. Honing is often mistaken for sharpening which is due to the honing utensil used in the process.

A honing rod is what you use for your knife, but it does not sharpen your knife as a sharpening rod would do. The physical attribute of a honing rod is a rounded stick, usually made from ceramic, stainless, or carbon steel.

How Do You Hone a Knife?
There are multiple ways that you can hone a knife. Believe it or not, several methods don’t even use a honing rod. Below, we will provide a tutorial on honing steel knives — all you need is a dull kitchen knife and a honing rod.

Angle Your Honing Rod and Kitchen Knife
The first step in honing your kitchen knife is to angle your rod correctly against the knife. Place the honing knife vertically against your cutting board, holding it with your non-dominant hand and the kitchen knife in your dominant one. Place the heel of the blade at the top against the honing rod at a 20-degree angle.
It’s important to note that angling your honing rod against your kitchen knife has to be at the right angle. If you do not angle your honing rod properly, it cannot properly file your blade. If it’s too narrow, it won’t hone your knife, and if it’s too wide, it will further dull your blade.

Apply Pressure and Start Honing
Once you angle your honing rod at a 20-degree angle and place the blade’s heel at the top, apply light pressure to the knife against the rod, then slide down in a sweeping motion. Ensure that the blade’s edge is touching the rod and that it’s pulling towards you. The knife should be touching the middle of the steel.
To avoid damaging the blade and potential accidents, apply gentle but firm strokes. The usual amount of strokes on each side would be three to five, but you can repeat the process if your knife’s blade isn’t correctly aligned.

Check Your Knife and Repeat
Applying three to five strokes against the honing rod on each side should be enough to align your knife.
To make sure that it cuts properly, you can always try to cut a piece of fruit. A sharp knife should cut efficiently, but if it struggles or requires more pressure, you might have to repeat the process.

Why Should You Hone Your Knives?
Honing your knife is essential because it affects how you cut your ingredients and prevents potential accidents when adequately maintained. Honing ensures that your blade is properly aligned. Repeating this process frequently eliminates the likelihood of the blade becoming dull.

Cutting with a dull blade causes you to apply more force, leading to the knife slipping off what you are cutting. Nobody needs that.

When ensuring that your kitchen knife can function efficiently by sharpening it, honing aligns your cutting edge so that it performs efficiently.

How Often Should You Hone Your Knives?
Fortunately, it’s not a requirement to hone your knives before every use. However, you should generally hone your kitchen blades every three to five uses. You don’t have to repeat this process every week, but aside from doing this at home, you should also get your knives honed professionally at least two to three times a year.

Can You Hone Your Knives at Home?
Yes! You can hone your knives at home. There are honing rods and other products that you can buy to use for your kitchen tool. We provide a versatile nine-inch honing steel rod that works efficiently with any type of blade material, including Japanese knives.

However, even though you can do this at home, it’s essential to get your blade honed professionally whenever you can — ideally two to three times a year.
One of the reasons you have to take your knives to a professional is that, over time, without frequently honing, your knife may become bent or misaligned. Also, even if you do hone your knives every so often, sometimes they still won’t cut efficiently.

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