Kitchen Knives

How to Use a Honing Rod?

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Not experiencing the cutting you experienced once before when you bought your knife fresh from the store?

Of course, an old and too much-used knife won’t give you the perfect cuts. It is because the constant and repeated use of the knife has bent its microscopic pieces of blades to one side which makes it dull to use. For this reason, we use the honing rod.

When buying the kitchen knives, you often get honing steel with them. It doesn’t actually sharpen the knife’s blade but realigns the edges. However, when you rub the knife with a honing rod, it does sharpen it a little bit.

There are a number of different ways to use honing steel but in this article, I’m gonna give you the one that is easy and convenient. You don’t have to be a professional to do it.

Sharpening The Knife With Honing Rod

To hon your Knives, Just Follow These Simple Steps.

Position the rod on the countertop

Before starting honing the knife, you have to decide which position is best to do the task. Most professionals hold the rod facing upward when honing their best professional knives as they find it more convenient.

But as we are not chefs and our hands are not used to it, it’s better to place the honing rod vertically on the countertop with its tip touching the surface. There is no other way safer than this one.

Maintain the right angle

It might seem a little complex but the angle really matters the most because if the angle is not correct, there is a chance that the blades might get more misaligned and rougher. But don’t worry! Once you’ve started to hone the knife it’ll take you roughly 2 to 3 seconds to discover the right angle.

The suitable angle for most kitchen knives is 15 degrees. However, if you are using Chef’s Knives, most of them are honed at the angle of 17 to 20 degrees.

Slide the Blade

Once you’ve maintained the right angle for your knife, start sliding the blade down to the length of the rod towards its tip. Do it in a sweeping motion. A thing you should keep in mind is that the middle of the blade should be kept in contact with the middle of the rod.

For this purpose, pull the knife towards your body so that the knife and rod stay in contact from the middle.

Repeat the Process

Do these steps four to five times on each side of the blade. If the blade is much dull than the routine, you may hone it more. As the accuracy is more important than the speed, neither does it too fast nor too slow.

Wash the Knife

Once you have properly used the honing rod, wash your knives thoroughly with water so that there are no steel shavings left on the blades.

Safety Precautions While Using the Honing Rod

We all know that using knives and anything related to them is not safe at all. So, you must follow some safety measures while using a honing rod. The following are the safety tips that you should adopt while using the rod.

  • Wear protective gloves so that there is no chance of getting cuts and rubs.
  • Hold the knife away from your body and place the rod far enough on the table so that there is a lesser chance of injuries.
  • Don’t do the honing process too fast if you are not as professional as the knife might slip from your hand or the rod may shake or tremble and give you some severe wounds.

Final Words

Using the honing rod or steel rod is quite easy. It gives you realigned edges of blades in just a few minutes and brings more neatness in cutting.

To bring perfection in your cutting and to give your knife a new look, hon your regular paring knives and others like oyster shucking knives after every 3 to 4 uses. As for the big knives such as boning knives and carving knives, use the honing rod before every use.

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