Every knife must be sharp enough to handle a quick and efficient cutting job. A sharp knife is also convenient and safe to use. But over time, its edge needs honing with the help of honing steel; it will give your knife a quick edge realignment. Honing steel needs to be used in the right way to be effective. Keep reading to learn how to use a honing steel.
What Is a Honing Steel?
Typical honing steel is made from steel; others have surface coatings while others don’t have. It effectively sharpens back a dull knife. It works by aligning small metal particles on a knife’s edge. If your kitchen knife feels dull, its edge needs strokes on the honing steel to correct its edge and restore its sharpness. You can use honing steel as frequently as necessary. It won’t cause any damage or wearing out of a knife. For your extra safety and precaution, you must know how to use a honing steel.
Steps to Use A Honing Steel
Find the right angle. The first step on how to use a honing steel is to find the right angle between the knife and the honing steel so you can do it effectively without straining your hands. Hold the knife at about 16 – 20 degrees angle against the honing steel. A good angle is also safe for you since the blade won’t be moving towards your hands.
Maintain the right angle. Once you have positioned to the right angle, slide the knife’s blade down the steel; do it in a sweeping motion. Then, pull the knife toward your body so that the blade’s middle portion will contact the steel’s center area. As you do the honing, make sure that the tip of the blade points down.
Finish the honing. Finish honing on one side and switch to the other side of the blade. With the same amount of pressure, repeat the sweeping motion on the other side. As you do it, the edge is realigned. Finish your task by doing the final five strokes on each side of the blade for uniform realignment, and you’re done.
How to Know if the Knife is Sharp Enough
After using a honing steel, you need to test the sharpness of your knife. The safest and excellent way to do it is by using a paper test. Get a sheet of printer paper first. To do the test, grip at the corner and hold the knife to the top edge. Using a bit of pressure, draw the knife down through the paper. If you can pull it through the paper smoothly, your knife is already sharp. But if you can’t, you need to hone the knife a bit more. After enough honing and still cannot cut through a paper, you might need to use a knife sharpener.
Some Honing Tips
- Use honing steel with the same length as the knife’s blade that you are about to hone.
- After using the honing steel, you must rinse and wipe dry your knife’s blade using a towel. This practice will prevent the tiny metal bits from being inhaled.
- Keep your honing steel in an accessible area in your kitchen so you can use it whenever you need to.
- When you use the honing steel, you need to move the knife and not the honing steel.
- Make sure that only the knife’s edge will touch the steel. Letting the side touch the honing steel will only cause scratches on it.
- Take extra care when holding the honing steel, and have complete control of your knife. Always move in a slow and even stroke to keep your hands and fingers safe.
- If you have made enough honing, but your knife is still dull, you will need a sharpening stone for your knife.
- Always ask the help of professionals to guide you in using your honing steel if you are not confident on how to use a honing steel.
Honing steel works hand in hand with a knife to keep it in its best shape and sharpness. Using honing steel is easy and very helpful. As long as you know how to use a honing steel, you will be able to use it quickly to restore your knife’s sharpness in no time. A sharp knife will be consistent in its job that will make your kitchen tasks easier while saving time. Know more about knife sharpeners.