A dull knife is one of the most frustrating things that you can have. Whether you are hunting or grilling, the sharper your knife is, the easier it will be to get the job done. To keep your blades in the best possible condition, you need to sharpen them from time to time. The best honing steel can provide you with these benefits and make it work better.
Having been a fan of cooking for a long time, I have used many knives, and while there are specific features that make them stand out, sharpness is the most important.
In this article, we look at some of the top honing steels. After buying one, you can be sure that your knife will always be in the best possible condition for preparing meals.
Table of Contents
- A Comparison Chart of the Best Honing Steels
- Best Honing Steel Selection On The Market Today
- #1. Green Elephant Knife Sharpening Rod – Best Honing Steel
- #2. Kota Japan Professional Knife Sharpener – Best Honing Steel From Japanese Manufacturers
- #3. Utopia Kitchen Honing Steel – Best Budget Honing Steel
- #4. Dalstrong Honing Steel – Best High-End Honing Steel
- #5. Shun DM0790 Classic Knife Blade Sharpener – Shun DM0790 Classic Knife Blade Sharpener
- #6. Winware Stainless Steel Sharpening Steel – Winware Stainless Steel Sharpening Steel
- Special Features To Look For In A Honing Steel
- Which One Is The Best?
A Comparison Chart of the Best Honing Steels
Best Honing Steel Selection On The Market Today
A honing steel or knife sharpener is not that expensive, and this means that many of them are readily available. However, some tend to stand out a little more, and we have focused on the best options.
Before we look at some of the key features, here are the top 6 honing steels that can be used to sharpen virtually any knife.
The Green Elephant Knife Sharpening Rod is one of the unsung heroes when it comes to sharpening your knives. It is made from ceramic steel, and this makes it a little more durable. On the Rockwell Hardness Test, the rod scored higher than one hundred. Additionally, it is also tested to have a hardness of 9 Mohs.
The rod has a length of around 10.5-inches, which makes it much easier to have longer knives sharpened. This can make it ideal for hunting knives as well. With the hardness of the steel, the manufacturer recommends that only between 5-10 strokes on either side of the blade will ensure that it remains sharp after use.
Since this rod has a ceramic coating, you can also sharpen some of your ceramic blades. Generally, it is not good to sharpen ceramic blades on a standard steel sharpener. For the handle, you will notice that it has an ergonomic composition.
This allows it to fit comfortably in your hands while remaining lightweight for more strokes.
Even though the rod is not that expensive and will give you an excellent sharpening experience, you will need to get the angle of the rod right. If you don’t get the edge of the rod right, it can be a little ineffective. We recommend playing around with it, especially since you will be using it for a couple of years.
Since many of us tend to favor Japanese steel when it comes to top-quality knives, the Kota Japan Professional Knife Sharpener is one of the handiest tools that you can have for your Japanese Knives. The rod has been constructed from solid steel but features a diamond coating. We all know that diamonds can sharpen virtually anything.
While many people are struggling to find the right angle with a knife sharpener, this one features an oval shape. The oval shape has been specifically designed to make finding the right corner a little easier for beginners. Much like most of the others, the handle is ergonomic, and this will make it feel more comfortable in your hands.
If you are not well versed in stroking the knife upwards, you will find that a plastic tip has been added to the front. This tip can be buried into the surface, which makes it easier for you to use a downward motion and apply more pressure. It also helps users to avoid any slippages along the way as they sharpen.
At around 12-inches, you have one of the most extended knife sharpener rods for sharpening your special knives. Additionally, it is a more affordable option on the market as well. Kota has thrown in an unconditional lifetime warranty, and this gives you a lot of peace of mind for sharpening harder steel blades.
We all find ourselves strapped to a budget at some point. However, your knife still needs maintenance to work effectively. The Utopia Kitchen Honing Steel is one of the most affordable options, while still being constructed from carbon steel. For added durability, it has been nickel and chrome plated to withstand pressure.
At 12-inches, you have a lot of surface area for your knives. The handle also breaks away from the stereotypical right-handed grip to give you an ambidextrous grip that can be used by either hand when sharpening. Even when the handle is wet, the rubber grooves that are integrated will ensure that it does not slip out of your hands.
Since you will likely be buying a sharpening rod for lifetime use, you still need to make sure that you can effectively use it in the long-term. The only issue with the handle is that some of the rubber and plastic components will wear off over time. It is also recommended that you clean it with a cloth and leave to air dry.
This is a great budget option when you are strapped to a tight budget. On the Rockwell Hardness Scale, we could not accurate find the precise harness. However, it is estimated that this sharpening rod should be somewhere in the region of 50 or even more. Many people have been using it for the better part of 3 years.
The Dalstrong Honing Steel is one of those unique items that you don’t see very often. It has been constructed from solid carbon steel. This steel is also stain-resistant and compared to ceramic coatings, it will last a little bit longer as well. At around 10-inches in length, you have a lot of steel to work with on your blades.
For the handle, PakkaWood has been imported from Spain, allowing the handle to be durable as well. Since many of us tend to get carried away with a honing steel, you can find some joy in the fact that it is triple riveted. Your handle will never fall apart when sharpening your blade, no matter the size of the edge or the pressure you apply.
One of the unique features that we liked is the small grooves that have been incorporated when it comes to steel. These grooves are useful when you need to straighten the blade. Additionally, all of the components have been handcrafted, and they are also assembled by hand for each rod.
While the Rockwell Score is only 55, it is still an extremely sturdy unit that will last you many years. The downside is that it is quite expensive to buy if you don’t use a honing rod often. Fortunately, you are backed by a limited lifetime warranty. No matter which type of knife you have, this rod will make it sharp.
Sticking to some of the classics, we have found the Shun DM0790 Classic Knife Blade Sharpener. This sharpener has been constructed from stainless steel for the sharpening of your blades and can still get the job done effectively. At 9-inches in length, it can be useful for some of the shorter knives that you are sharpening.
Once again, we find the PakkaWood, which has been imported from Spain used for the construction of the handle. It might sound slippery, but with small rivets being added, the handle will not slip out of your hands.
Small incisions have been made on the steel, and this will ensure that you have the optimal amount of resistant when sharpening the blade. Additionally, it can also realign the edge if it has been slightly bent over the years of usage.
While it is not the most affordable option, you can use it when you are collecting some of the Shun Knives. It has been specifically designed for these blades, and the design matches them as well. Additionally, the brand also allows you to engrave something on the honing steel if needed.
As a beginner, you need decent steel that will teach you some of the fundamentals of sharpening your blades. Fortunately, the Winware Stainless Steel Sharpening Steel is an affordable option, made from durable stainless steel. At 12-inches, it also gives you enough length for sharpening some of the long knives.
Much like some of the top sharpening steels, it has been slightly grooved on the steel. As mentioned, it helps the realignment of the blades when they have been bent from years of working with them. Since the weight is only 13.9-ounces, we can also consider this to be one of the lightest options currently available on the market.
Unfortunately, the handle is one of the downfalls, and it can wear out over time. Since it has been constructed from plastic, you can wash it with ease, but this will eventually take a toll on the vinyl. The upside of the handle is the size and 5-inches will give you a lot of space to grip the handle when honing your knives.
It might not be an advanced option on the market today, but it is definitely worth the price. If you are a newcomer, and you need to learn all the ins and outs of sharpening your blades, this steel will show you.
Special Features To Look For In A Honing Steel
Honing steels are available in abundance, and you will find one in almost any store. However, there are a couple of important features that we think you should look for.
We have used these features for selecting the options mentioned above and believe that you would be able to use them when selecting one for yourself
1. Steel Type
The steel that is used in the rod is one of the most important things to look for.
Stainless steel might be a great option, but unless it has been coated with something like nickel or chrome, it does not have the same level of hardness.
On the other hand, you have carbon steel, and this is naturally harder for more durability. We would recommend sticking to carbon steel.
Not all of these rods have the same range, and this could be detrimental when it comes to the extent of your blade. It is no secret that a shorter rod is more comfortable to handle, but when you have longer blades, it might slip off.
Ideally, you will be looking for something in the range of 10-inches as the norm for a decent length.
3. Handle Type
These honing steels all have a handle, which is the area beneath the lip of the rod. You need to make sure that it is the right length to give you an optimal grip. Rubber and plastic might feel good, but it wears out over time.
The more expensive PakkaWood will provide you with some grip and last a little longer.
Not everyone will focus on the warranty, and they put a lot of trust in the honing steel. However, we have noticed that a better warranty does ensure that it lasts longer.
Additionally, your warranty shows confidence in the steel from the manufacturer. This can be a useful add-on to your knife collection in the long run.
Finally, we would advise you to do some research on the brands. As mentioned, these honing steels are easy to manufacture, and you can find a rip-off if you are looking for a bargain.
We have noticed that even though the top brands are a little more expensive, they are accurate to the specifications of the unit.
Which One Is The Best?
With so many useful options, it is hard to specify one of them as being the best. However, the Green Elephant Knife Sharpening Rod gives you the perfect combination of quality and reasonable price tag. It can be used for longer blades and still offers you some value for your money in the long-term. Nevertheless, the others also come with a decent reputation to make it onto our list.
- DURABILITY with the highest quality ceramic available on the market - hardness of this ceramic sharpening steel is 9 Mohs (SGS tested). Rockwell hardness over 100 (Yes, that's correct). Grit #1500....
- Exclusive SHOCK ABSORBING feature - Our unique vibration absorbent design will protect your ceramic sharpening rod from shattering when dropped. The silicon seal between the handle and ceramic...
- LIGHTWEIGHT AND COMFORTABLE handle will provide effortless and safe sharpening experience.
- Extremely EASY TO USE sharpener- Ideal for honing, realigning and sharpening blades. Only 5-10 strokes on each side of the blade after every 1 hour of knife use makes it one of the easiest tools to...
- HAND WASH ONLY - use regular detergent and air dry your ceramic knife sharpener rod; keeping your honing rod clean is easy. Green Elephant sharpening rod will come with a 30-DAY HASSLE FREE MONEY BACK...
Now that you understand more about honing steels, it should be easier for you to find the best options. We would recommend all of these options for the value they offer. If you disagree, we would love to read some of your comments.