Sharpening steels, or honing steels, are probably the most widely seen tool for maintaining kitchen knives, especially in domestic kitchens. This is due to their small footprint, they fit into a drawer easily and they are quick and simple to use.
For regular honing of your knives then a sharpening / honing steel will serve you very well. Depending on the usage of your knives you could be using a steel like this several times every day.
Important: The name often leads to confusion because some of these “sharpening” steels are actually only suitable for honing knives – realigning the blade – and not sharpening them. They are sometimes called honing steels or rods, and that would be a more accurate description of them. We will point out on each product description if the steel is suitable only for honing or also for sharpening
This is a 10″ / 32cm steel from Wusthof and it is a HONING steel only meaning it does not sharpen. I know we talk a lot about the look of Wusthof products, but look at it. They have managed to make a metal rod look stylish. When you hang it up in your kitchen with the attached hanging loop you know it’s going to look great!
That’s all well and good but how does it perform?
Wusthof Sharpening steel features.
Made of very strong high carbon steel the rod on the 9″ Wusthof sharpening steel is magnetic so it will grip any loose metal shavings as you hone your knife.
The handle is a comfortable 5″ in length to allow you to grip it safely and securely. Your hand won’t slip on this handle.
Choosing the right size of steel
A good rule of thumb when choosing the length of a steel is to make sure that the length of it is longer than your longest knife.
This steel is available in lengths 9″, 10″ and 12″.
Using your steel
Not suitable for use with serrated or hollow edge knives. Use with straight edge knives only.
If you are right handed:
Hold the steel in your left hand, preferably with the tip pointing down and resting on a stable surface.
Hold the knife in your right hand at a 20 degree angle to the steel.
Draw the knife along the steel making sure to alternate sides. Never run the same side of the blade along the steel more than once in succession.
It’s much easier to watch honing in action. Check out the brilliant video we found that shows you exactly how to hone your knife using a steel HERE