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 as it is made from ceramic it will SHARPEN your knife.
Ceramic steels have an abrasive edge to them which is what makes them sharpen as oppose to hone only.
This model is the 4455 10 inch ceramic steel from Wusthof and has a coarse grit on it. The 4456 model has a fine grit.
Wusthof Ceramic Sharpening Steel Features.
Ceramic sharpening steels are stronger than the steel alternatives. They are not as strong as diamond sharpening steels, but they do last longer as they will not wear down during use.
Ceramic rods tend to give a slightly finer edge than diamond rods, due to being less coarse than diamond.
The sturdy handle is easy to grip and is non slip, obviously an essential requirement!
They sharpen your knives – not just hone.
Ceramic steels can handle stronger knives.
Choosing the right size of steel
A good rule of thumb when choosing the length of a sharpening steel is to make sure that the length of it is longer than your longest knife.
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 / sharpen your knife using a steel HERE
Cleaning your ceramic steel
Wipe the steel with a damp cloth after each use to remove any metal filings. Do not submerge the sharpening steel in water.
Be careful not to drop ceramic steels – they will probably break if dropped onto a hard surface!