Honing vs Sharpening Knives: Which Is Better?

A sharp kitchen knife will enable you to work faster and will slice through food in a neater way while a dull knife will damage food, giving a rough and jagged cut which is unpresentable.

It also requires way more force, and you spend more time sawing through.

A sharp knife is safer to use because it is more precise, and it is less likely to slip off the surface of the food item and cause cuts and injuries.

Honing Vs. Sharpening Knives: What’s The Difference?

The difference between honing vs sharpening knives is as follows:

  • Honing means straightening the blade of the knife and pushing back its edge to the centre.

The purpose of this is to increase the duration of time your knife remains sharp. It is done by using a honing steel or home pull-through knife sharpener.

  • Sharpening is when the knife’s blade has material from its edge shaved off, creating a new and sharper edge.

The shaved areas are small bits and not huge areas. It is done by using water stone, whetstone, or a large professional electric knife sharpener.

Does Honing Steel Sharpen A Knife?

No, it does not because the technique of honing works to realign the blade of the knife back to its centre to straighten it.

The edge of the blade seems sharper because of the new position.

Can You Sharpen A Knife With A Honing Rod?

No, a honing steel does not sharpen a knife. It maintains the sharpness of your knives by prolonging the sharpness so that you reduce the frequency of sharpening your knives.

How Often Should You Hone A Knife?

You should hone your knife two or three times after use or when you feel it lacks its sharp edge.

Knives for home use do not need honing as frequently as those of chefs in commercial kitchens.

This is because the more a knife is used, the more it will need to be honed.

Ceramic Vs. Steel Honing Rod, Which One Is Best?

The Ceramic honing rod is made of ceramic (see how to sharpen Ceramic Knives here) and works to improve knife sharpness by shaving a bit of metal from the knife.

It does not hone a knife but instead sharpens it.

A steel honing rod is made of stainless steel and will hone the blade without sharpening the knife. If you are looking to hone your knives, the stainless steel rod is best.

Does Honing A Knife Wear It Out?

No, it does not. This is because it does not remove bits of the blade, similar to what happens during sharpening.

Honed knives will typically last longer as they do not need sharpening often.

Is It Safe To Hone A Knife?

It is safe to hone a knife, but the right technique is key so as not to damage the knives.

To safely and effectively hone your knife, hold the steel and knife away from your body.

Position the knife vertically and at a 20-degree angle to the steel, then touch the steel to the heel of the blade.

Is It Safe To Sharpen A Knife?

Yes. It is safe with the right methods, but it is advisable to have it done by a professional.

They will sharpen your knives safely, making them last longer since they will not take too much material off the edge.

How Long Should A Honing Steel Be Used For?

A honing steel will last for five to ten years with proper cleaning and care