9 Best Honing Steels For Your Knives Collection

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    OUR TOP CHOICE

    OUR TOP CHOICE

    Key Features

     Compatible with all knives

      High quality steel

      Perfect for beginners to experts

      Ergonomic handle

     Steel hanging ring

     Has medium to coarse grit

    This traditional honing steel is a perfect kitchen tool for every chef. Forgiving enough for the beginner but quick and efficient for the professional, this honing steel will be a welcome addition to your kitchen.


    Knife Sharpening ToolWorking in the kitchen can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Having the right tools can make your culinary adventures easier, too. A great set of knives is one of those must haves for the amateur and professional chef. Just because you’re cooking for your family doesn’t mean that you should forego good tools. However, a great set of knives is only great when they’re sharp. 

    Dull knives can make your kitchen adventures much more challenging. Soft fruits and veggies squish instead of cut. Working through meat becomes a chore. Now when your knives get dull, you don’t want to run out and buy a new set, so it’s handy to have a quick way to refresh your blades. That’s where a honing steel comes in handy. These essential kitchen tools are a quick and simple way to refresh the blades of your knives, so that you’re back to easy cooking, with minimal effort.

    It is important to note that honing steels do not sharpen your knives. To sharpen knives, you need to remove a layer of metal. Honing steels simply return the sharp edge of the knife to a more effective cutting surface. Sharpening knives requires a whetstone, which will actually remove a layer of metal on the edge of your knives. Honing your knives is fairly simple, and can be done safely by most people. Sharpening knives is a task better left to professionals, if you aren’t sure what you’re doing.

    Buying a honing steel is something that most of us don’t know how to do. What should you look for in a honing steel? Do all honing steels work on all knives? Is it better to buy a honing steel that matches the brand of knives you’re using? We understand that this challenge can make many people avoid buying and using a honing steel. But for the safety of your fingers, it’s important that if you’re using sharp knives in your kitchen, that you invest in a honing steel.

    We’ve put together this review to help you make sense of the multitude of honing steels on the market. We tested many, and read buyers reviews to come up with a list of 9 honing steels that should fit the needs of most chefs. Whether you’re working in a professional kitchen or you’re just an at-home pro, we’ve got a honing steel for you.

    If you don’t love our choices, we’ve also put together a handy buying guide that will help you find the right steel for your kitchen. We’ve used the same criteria to create our list of 9 great products, so we think that you should find it helpful, too.

    Our pick for the best honing steel is the Zwilling JA Henckels Edge Maintenance Steel Honing Steel. We found that it was easy to handle, and worked well at refreshing our knife blades. It had a comfortable handle, and was reasonably priced. Overall, we felt it was the best honing steel for cooks with a variety of experience.


    Here are the best honing steels you can buy:

    For the complete product list, please continue reading…


    Top 9 Best Honing & Sharpening Steels (2020 Reviews)

    1. Best Overall – Zwilling JA Henckels Edge Maintenance Steel Honing Steel

    Pros:

     Very compatible
     Durable German steel
     Good grip handle
     Lifetime warranty

    Cons:

     A little heavy for some

    Specifications:

      • Size: 10” or 12”
      • Material: Steel
      • Dimensions: 18.75×4.5×1.75 inches
      • Weight: 1.1 pound

    Our pick for the best honing steel is the Zwilling-J.A. Henckels edge maintenance honing steel.

    This steel comes in two sizes, which allows you to pick the right length for the knives in your kitchen. The comfortable, gripped handle allows you to maintain control of your honing steel while you are working on your knives. This added control reduces the risk of cuts to hands and fingers and also protects against damaging your knives.

    While some honing steels are made to match a particular brand of knife, the Zwilling-J.A. Henckels honing steel will work well with any knife in your kitchen. Though we do recommend this honing steel for other Zwilling-J.A. Henckels knives you might already own.

    Wrapping up

    If you’re looking for a quality product, at a reasonable price that will allow you to extend the life of your kitchen knives, then our top pick is the right honing steel for you. The Zwilling-J.A. Henckels honing steel is perfect for any kitchen.


    2. Runner up – Messermeister Ceramic Rod Knife Sharpener

    Pros:

      Ceramic sharpens as it aligns
     Durable 1200 Grit rod
     Has an ergonomic, soft-grip handle
     Comes with a plastic sleeve

    Cons:

     It requires appropriate cleaning
     More fragile than steel

    Specifications:

      • Size: 12 inch
      • Material: Ceramic
      • Dimensions: 18.5 x 2.5 x 1.5 inches
      • Weight: 9.6 ounces

    Our runner up product, the Messermeister ceramic knife sharpener is a wonderful option that allows for realignment of your blades, with some sharpening as well.

    Ceramic honing steels are a great option for those chefs that want a lighter option. This honing steel, not made from steel, but ceramic, is much lighter than traditional steel honing steels. The 12-inch length of this ceramic sharpener is perfect for any knife in your kitchen. We do like that this honing steel has a soft grip handle, which adds extra comfort and control.

    Our only comment about this honing steel is that while it is a great product, it should be used with care. Because this honing steel is made of ceramic, it will actually sharpen your knives slightly as it hones. This product may be a better choice for more experienced chefs.


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

    Pros:

      Comfortable grip
      The design ensures sharpening efficiency
      Rubber anti-slip tip
      Lifetime warranty

    Cons:

     Not a solid rod
     Not as durable

    Specifications:

      • Size: 12 inch
      • Material: Diamond Carbon Steel
      • Dimensions: 17.09 x 2.13 x 1.26 inches
      • Weight: 8.8 ounces

    If you want to sharpen your knives while you also realign the blade, and you don’t want to spend a ton of money on two different tools, then you’ll like our pick for the best budget honing steel.

    The Kota Japan, 12-inch diamond sharpening rod and honing steel will do both tasks at one time. This diamond coated, steel sharpening rod aligns your blade, while at the same time, removing a small amount of metal, improving the sharpness and shape of your knife blades.

    We like this honing steel for its comfortable grip, and the non-slip, rubberized tip that allows you to prop this sharpener on the counter, and keep it in place. It is also a fairly light weight honing steel, so it is a good option for most chefs.

    Do keep in mind that the diamond coating will remove some metal from the blade of your knife, so extra care should be used when working with this honing steel, to protect your knives from damage.


    4. Best Ceramic – Green Elephant Ceramic Sharpening Rod

    Pros:

      Shatterproof
      Very light
      Rubber tip
      Hanging loop

    Cons:

     Hand wash only
     Only 30 day guarantee

    Specifications:

      • Size: 11 inches
      • Material: Ceramic
      • Dimensions: 3 x 0.2 x 16.6 inches
      • Weight: 7.2 ounces

    The Green Elephant ceramic honing steel is our pick for the best ceramic option. Both affordable and effective, this is a great product for refreshing your knives. 

    The Green Elephant honing steel is made from durable ceramic, that gently sharpens your knives as it realigns the blade. This lighter weight option is easier and safer for most chefs to manage. The comfort grip handle is well proportioned and provides an extra bit of safety for the user.

    We like the unique “shock absorbing” features of this honing steel. The rubber handle is connected to the steel with a silicone layer that reduces vibration. This combined with the plastic end cap also ensures that the honing steel will not shatter if it is dropped.


    5. Best for Beginners – Utopia Kitchen Honing Knife Sharpening Rod

    Pros:

     Comfortable grip
     Rubber tip
     Hanging loop
     Basic and easy to use

    Cons:

     Not for sharpening
     Do not put in dishwasher

    Specifications:

      • Size: 12 Inch
      • Weight: 15.2 ounces
      • Material: Carbon steel plated with nickel-chrome
      • Dimensions: 17.9 x 2.4 x 1.7 inches

    If you are looking for a basic honing steel that is perfect for new chefs to learn how to care for their knives, then the Utopia Kitchen steel honing steel is the perfect option.

    As a traditional honing steel, this tool does not sharpen your knives. It allows you to realign the edge of the blade, returning it to a thin, sharp cutting surface. For beginners and new chefs, this honing steel is more forgiving than other types of honing steels on the market.

    This honing steel is comfortable to hold on to, thanks to the ergonomic handle, which is good for left or right handed users. The rubber cap provides extra grip when balanced on the counter for added safety and control.

    This is a slightly heavier honing steel, which could be more challenging to use for some individuals.


    6. Best Value – Noble Home & Chef Professional Knife Steel Magnetized Honing Rod

    Pros:

      Elegant design
     Rods are magnetized
     Rust-proof
     Dishwasher safe for deep cleaning

    Cons:

      No hanging loop

    Specifications:

      • Size: 10 or 12 inches
      • Material: Carbon steel
      • Dimensions: 17 x 1.75 x 1.5 inches
      • Weight: 6.4 ounces

    Both functional and affordable, the Noble Chef magnetic honing steel is our pick for the best value honing steel.

    This honing steel is unique because the rod is magnetized. This added feature keeps tiny shards of metal that may flake off of your knife blade while honing, from getting into your eyes or your food.

    This is a relatively basic honing steel otherwise. Despite its simplicity this honing steel did a good job of refreshing our knives. We do like that it comes in either 12 or 10-inch options, and each size has three different handle options that you can pick from.

    Also, this is one of the few honing steels that is actually dishwasher safe, so you don’t have to think about any special care methods for this honing steel.


    7. Best Versatility – Zwilling JA Henckels Bob Kramer 12″ Honing Steel

    Pros:

     Features two rough sides for honing and two smooth sides for polishing
     Limited lifetime warranty
     Magnetic for safety
     Compatible with all knives

    Cons:

     No hanging loop

    Specifications:

      • Size: 12 inch
      • Material: Stainless-steel
      • Dimensions: 17.6 x 1.5 x 1.1 inches
      • Weight: 9 ounces

    Another great product from Zwilling-J.A. Henckels is the Bob Kramer honing steel. This honing steel is our pick for the most versatile honing steel.

    If you want to do more with your honing steel than just work your kitchen knives then you’ll really like this honing steel. It has two rough edges for honing and realigning any straight edge blade. This includes pocket knives, camping knives and even scissors! The other two sides of this square honing steel are smooth and made for polishing knives and other blades.

    We also like that this steel is magnetic, keeping food and eyes safe from metal flakes. The plastic handle was easy to hold, and provided good control and safety. This one is a bit heavier, so it might not be a great option for all chefs.


    8. Best Small – Wusthof Honing steel

    Pros:

     Compatible with all knives
     Good for honing and sharpening
     Comfortable slip-resistant handle
     Non-slip tip

    Cons:

     Not dishwasher safe
     No hanging loop

    Specifications:

      • Size: 9 inches
      • Material: Steel
      • Dimensions: 9” H x 1” W x 1” D
      • Weight: 16 ounces

    If you’ve got limited space or don’t have any large knives to sharpen, you may want to consider a slightly shorter honing steel. The Wusthof honing steel is our pick for the best small honing steel. 

    At just 9-inches long, this honing steel is everything you expect from a larger honing steel, just a bit smaller. Wusthof has been making exceptional kitchen cutlery products for over 200 years. With this history, you know that the products they make are meant to last. This honing steel is no exception. Its comfortable plastic handle is comfortable to hold on to, and it just feels nicer than the plastic handles on other products.

    Wusthof products can be a bit pricey, but that is not the case with this honing steel. It is reasonably priced, and does a great job.


    9. Best Diamond – Ergo Chef Pro-Series Diamond Honing Steel

    Pros:

     Compatible with all knives and scissors
     Ergonomic comfortable handle
     Good for honing and sharpening
     Lifetime warranty

    Cons:

     Only hand washing recommended
     No hanging loop

    Specifications:

      • Size: 10 in.
      • Material: Diamond
      • Dimensions: 16 x 2.5 x 2 inches
      • Weight: 9 ounces

    The diamond honing steel from Ergo Chef is our pick for the best diamond honing steel. This honing steel is nice because the diamond surface not only aligns the blade, but also removes a small amount of metal and burs. This process sharpens and refreshes your knives all with one tool.

    The 10-inch honing steel is a good size for most knives in your kitchen, though with larger knives, you may be challenged with this honing steel. We do like that this honing steel is a bit thicker than others, giving you a larger surface to work with. The comfort grip handle and TPR end cap provide stability and control while you’re working with this honing steel.


    Final Verdict

    ZWILLING J.A. Henckels 32555-260Check Price on Amazon

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    When it comes to honing steels, our favorite, the Zwilling JA Henckels Edge Maintenance Steel Honing Steel, is a great combination of affordability and ease of use. It is a good pick for most kitchens, and does a good job of refreshing your knives.

    A honing steel is an important kitchen tool. While many home chefs don’t understand or feel comfortable with them, a honing steel can make a huge difference in your cooking experience. Sharp knives are easier to use, and safer. So, a honing steel is an essential for every kitchen.


    How to Choose the Best Honing Steel

    Choosing the right honing steel can be a bit of a scary task, especially if you’ve never considered a honing steel before. How do you know if the one you get is going to be right for your kitchen? 

    And, will the honing steel you select work with your knives? We’ve put together this buying guide to help you find the right honing steel for your knives and your cooking needs.

    LENGTH

    The length of your honing steel really depends on the size of knives that you have in your kitchen. Most home chefs only have a few different paring knives and perhaps a couple of chef’s knives. If you’re really enthusiastic about cooking, you might even have a cleaver. Most of these knives, for at home use, are no more than 8 to 9 inches long. Professional knife sets may have specialty knives that are longer.

    Knowing the length of the knives you will be sharpening is important to buying a honing steel. You want to select a steel that is at least a few centimeters longer than your longest knife. It is much easier to hone a blade on a steel that is longer than your knife. Though it is possible to hone long knives on a shorter steel.

    We recommend that for most at-home applications, a honing steel around 10-inches long will work best. We find this length easy to manage, and useful for most knives in the home chef’s knife block.

    HONING MATERIAL

    There are three options when it comes to honing materials. Depending on your needs, and your experience, you’ll want to pick between the three options, for the best performance.

    • Steel: Steel is the most common and affordable of the honing materials. It allows you to refresh the blade of your knives without removing much metal, if any. Steel is great at reshaping your blades, and will help extend the life of your knives. Of the materials that you can choose from, steel is also the most forgiving. If you aren’t experienced with honing your knives, but want to learn, start with a steel hone. It will allow you to learn without destroying your knives.
    • Ceramic: Ceramic hones are more like a whetstone than steel hones. When you use a ceramic hone to refresh your knives, you should be aware that they will remove a bit of metal from the blade. This isn’t a problem for experienced chefs, but if you’ve not used a honing steel before, you can cause problems with your blades, if you don’t use a ceramic hone correctly. Ceramic hones are much lighter than steel or diamond hones, so they are a nice option for cooks that want a more manageable option.
    • Diamond: Diamond honing steels are by far the most aggressive of the honing steels, and will produce a result more like sharpening than the other two materials. Diamond hones are best for experienced chefs who are practiced in honing their knives. Diamond hones will remove a good amount of metal from your knives, which makes them the least forgiving of the three materials as well.

    HANDLE

    A good handle is important when you are shopping for a honing steel. Because you are using a tool that is creating a sharp edge on your knives, it is important that you have good control of your honing steel. Look for a honing steel with a comfortable handle. 

    Many honing steels come with a soft grip handle, or textured handle that will allow you to maintain control, even if you have wet hands. A good handle will also allow you to most effectively refresh your blades, without causing damage to your knife.

    EASE OF USE

    The last consideration when shopping for a honing blade is ease of use. Ease of use is a combination of the first three features, and can make a big difference in the success you have honing your knives. It is also a matter of personal preference. 

    For instance, a 12-inch long honing steel, made from steel, is probably not as easy to use for a person of smaller stature, as a 9 or 10-inch steel might be. For this smaller person, if a longer honing steel is necessary, they may want to select a ceramic hone, which is lighter. When it comes to ease of use, select a hone that fits you, this will ensure that you are safe and successful.

    What’s your favorite sets of knife? We have all the different type of blades and brands like Schmidt Brothers Knives, J.A. Henckels Knife Sets and more.