Best Honing Steel for Your Knives

Jason Webster
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If you’re anything like me, you’ve experienced the disappointment of using a dull knife to achieve inferior results — many many times. Investing in a good knife set is a good start, but those high quality knives need some extra love and care to really shine.

On this page you’ll find reviews of some of the best honing steels to help take care of your blades. If you’re serious about your kitchen, then you can’t get by without a good honing steel.

These sharpening tools are simple to use and very effective. They’re also inexpensive and small, so it’s convenient to keep one in your kitchen drawer.

NameCategoryProduct
Winware Stainless Steel Sharpening SteelBest OverallWinware Stainless Steel Sharpening Steel
Winco SharpeningBudget PickWinco Sharpening
DMT CS2 12-Inch Ceramic SteelUpgrade PickDMT CS2 12-Inch Ceramic Steel

1. Winware Stainless Steel Sharpening Steel

Our rating: 9 / 10

Winware Stainless Steel Sharpening Steel

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Pros:

  • Durable steel material
  • Sharpening angle is correct for many blades
  • Easily maintained
  • Fits in a kitchen drawer

When it comes to kitchenware, sometimes the basics are all you need. Which is why the Winware Stainless Steel Sharpening Steel is one of our most recommended knife sharpening tools. It's made of stainless steel and features a non-slip wooden handle. It comes at a perfect length for most kitchens and has a tough blade. So it can be counted on to keep your knives sharp for a long time.

A knife sharpener is one of the most important kitchen tools every home cook needs, but many don't realize just how much sharper they actually are. If you only use your kitchen cutlery when cooking, and that cooking happens only rarely, your edge could be pretty dull. Using a sharpening steel regularly helps to keep your blades performing their best. There are three ways to sharpen a knife: using a sharpening steel, using a sharpener, or using a whetstone.

While your best bet is to find a sharpening steel that’s made of stainless steel, you still want to make sure you’re avoiding four things:

2. Winco Sharpening

Our rating: 9 / 10

Winco Sharpening

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Pros:

  • High carbon stainless steel
  • Packaged beautifully
  • Durable handle with handles both ends
  • Easy to use
  • Keeps its edge for a very long time

(surgical steel)

Honing steels are great tools to keep your tools sharp and do it quickly. You'd be surprised by how many "sharp" knives you have in your collection.

Look at this tool as the middle man between a stone and a straight razor.

3. Kota Japan 12 in. Diamond Carbon Steel Professional Knife Sharpener Rod

Our rating: 8 / 10

Kota Japan 12 in. Diamond Carbon Steel Professional Knife Sharpener Rod

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Pros:

  • Made in the USA
  • Durable stainless steel
  • 8.9LBS
  • High quality
  • Double spring file
  • Extra 100% Money Back Guarantee
  • Four (4.5"-7" + 2 Mini) Levels For All Blades
  • A Gift For the Cook
  • Sharpens With Ease

Cons:

  • A little bit costly
  • Not too portable
  • Expensive
  • Bit length is very short compared to others

It is one of the most advanced knife sharpeners that we’ve seen in a very long time. It features tungsten-carbide scrapers that ensure the blade is evenly sharpened on every surface.

The rod is fully adjustable in four (4.5"-7" + 2 Mini) levels for right or left-handed users.

It also has a built-in handle for maximum control and accuracy. The sharpener comes with a lifetime warranty and 100% money back guarantee.

4. Utopia Kitchen 12 Inch Honing Steel Knife Sharpening Steel Sharpening Rod

Our rating: 8 / 10

Utopia Kitchen 12 Inch Honing Steel Knife Sharpening Steel Sharpening Rod

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Pros:

  • Works with all types of knives
  • Handy for sharpening dull knives or fixing serrated edges
  • Suitable for left-handed or right-handed users
  • Attractive design

The Utopia Kitchen 12 Inch honing steel is a high quality, yet affordable product suitable for any kitchen. It is suitable for use on all types of knives including serrated knives and has a conical ceramic sharpening rod to hone your knives.

The sharpening steel is designed around a high quality stainless steel so it will remain strong and sturdy for years to come. Utopia Kitchen also offers a 90 day no questions asked return warranty should you have any issues with your products.

While the Utopia Kitchen knife sharpener is a little bulkier than other honing steels on the market it also offers a larger surface which makes sharpening easier. The light weight of the honing steel also makes it great for travel.

5. DMT CS2 12-Inch Ceramic Steel

Our rating: 7 / 10

DMT CS2 12-Inch Ceramic Steel

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Pros:

  • Ergonomic design
  • Exceptional sharpening and honing
  • Made from ceramic and not steel, meaning it won't rust or react with your blade
  • Sharpens any steel blade
  • Wide and stable base
  • Very durable (lifespan of 300 to 400 uses)
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Available in a non-slip handle

The DMT CS2 12-Inch Ceramic Steel is one of the absolute best Honing Steel for sharpening and honing your blades. This particular model has been designed with our two-piece whetstone formula.

A two-piece whetstone formula means there's a stabilizing non-slip handle on one side, and the smooth ceramic stones on the other. It has a non-slip handle that provides a sure grip, even when your hands are wet.

The ceramic stones sharpen and hone the blade without actually removing any metal, instead it gives it a smooth and polished finish. This steel can use either side thanks to the different grades of belts and grits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best knife sharpening steel?

What is the best honing steel for your knives?

Honing steels are thin and narrow knife sharpening tools. When shopping for one, consider your budget, the size, the material and the desired result. Steel with ceramic or diamond coating are often used by chefs as these allow for smoother sharpening. Ceramic honing steels are considered more durable to long-term use because there are no stones, unlike the case with whetstones.

Honing steels differ greatly in shape and size. Shapes like flexible boning, oval, triangular and round sharpening steels are smaller. They are perfect for fine and delicate work like sharpening points of knives or sharpening in tight spaces.

Large and wide honing steels also exist. These types are best for maintaining and sharpening for commercial knives.

What to look for in a honing steel?

A honing steel is an essential part of every kitchen. A honing steel is used to keep a sharp edge on knives and tend to offer a wide blade angle. They are hand-held rods that have ball-bearing guides. You place the knife’s blade above the rod and swing it down along the rod. This will hone the knife effectively.

Stone vs. Steel

There are many things to consider when purchasing a honing steel including the issue of materials. You may ask yourself: should I get a steel or stone guide?

There is actually quite a debate about this matter. Steel tends to be smoother than stone so some people prefer it to stone. However, some people like the natural feel that comes with a blade that’s been sharpened on stone.

Can you use a honing steel on Japanese knives?

The popularly believed misconception is that you should never use a honing steel on your Japanese knives. But it is actually okay to use them on other Japanese knives that are not made of ceramic, but not on ceramic ones. The reason for this is that Japanese knives are sharpened by water stones while European knives are sharpened by harder stones which result in a need for steeling. However, you should still not use a honing steel to sharpen your Japanese knives.

The best way to sharpen your Japanese knives is to use a sharpening kit such as the whetstone that sharpens your knives like a pro.

Does honing steel brand matter?

For most people, getting a honing steel is the first step on the journey into home knife care. Honing steels are tools that are essential for sharpening your knife, cutting vegetables, fruits, or any other food. Sooner or later, you’ll want to look into purchasing a knife sharpener, but you don’t need to buy a fancy, expensive one.

The reason for this is because any good steel will get the job done. So long as your knife is made of decent steel, honing your knives will result in a sharper blade, improving your knife-handling experience, and the quality and stability of the cuts you’ll make. Honing steels are also a must for every at-home chef, and as a result, the market has a wide range of choices available, making it hard to pick the right one.

Conclusion

If you are concerned about your knife because of the risk of corrosion, dullness, or limited service life, it’s vital to find the best honing steel to ensure the best qualitys possible.

In this article, you will learn more about honing steels for knives and other equipment that can help you when sharpening your blades. Read on to learn more.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Winware Stainless Steel Sharpening SteelBest OverallWinware Stainless Steel Sharpening Steel
Winco SharpeningBudget PickWinco Sharpening
DMT CS2 12-Inch Ceramic SteelUpgrade PickDMT CS2 12-Inch Ceramic Steel