How to Hone a Kitchen Knife

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Want extra sharp knives 24/7? You can only achieve this if you know how to hone a kitchen knife. Luckily for you, we’re going to show you the effective and safe procedure of doing it.

To be honest, there are actually several techniques in honing knives. This guide, however, is the easiest and simplest one you can follow.

Without further ado, get a kitchen knife and a honing steel so you can practice with the following steps:

Know the proper work area and handling.

Honing a knife can be dangerous when the steel suddenly slips from your hand. Wrong handling will also make your effort useless since it won’t give you the results you need. To avoid these mistakes, check out the steps below:

  1. Place a dish towel or cutting board on a flat kitchen counter or table to keep your honing steel in place.
  2. Position the honing steel perpendicular to the surface. Its ceramic tip must be touching the board or towel.
  3. Hold the honing steel with your left hand if you’re right-handed. Do the opposite if you’re left-handed.

The positive result relies on the angle.

When it comes to the correct angle, 22.5 degrees is what you need. This is a complicated concept, so make sure to remember the following tricks:

  • Visualize the Angle

    Without using anything other than the honing steel and knife, you have to rely on the power of visualization. First, make a 90-degree angle by placing the blade perpendicular to the steel and parallel to the surface.

    Next, slightly rotate your wrist so that the knife makes a 45-degree angle. Lastly, rotate your wrist again to cut the 45-degree angle by half – and that’s 22.5 degrees.

  • Fold a Paper

    If ever you’d find it hard to visualize angles, feel free to use a sheet of paper. What you need to do is fold the paper diagonally to represent 45 degrees. Then, simply fold it in half to see 22.5 degrees.

    Next, place the paper near the steel so you can see the angle your knife has to follow. If you want a sharper blade, just fold the paper one more time to get 11.25 degrees.

Use the entire honing steel.

The trick to hone a knife effectively is to utilize the whole structure of the steel. You have to use both sides and move your knife from top to bottom. Always hone the base or heel of the knife first, starting from the top of the honing steel.

Pull the knife as you stroke the blade against the steel. Remove it from time to time to prevent pushing it. Also, only use light pressure. Let the knife’s weight control your force.

Check the sharpness.

After the process, slice sheets of paper. If the blade isn’t sharp enough, do the whole procedure again. If your knife is still dull after the second try, improve your angle or put a bit more pressure.

The last resort is to sharpen your knife, not hone it.