Is there a difference between honing and sharpening? I have always understood that there is, in that honing with a steel realigns the edge, not removing any metal, as compared to sharpening with a stone, which does. I've been told that a good knife needs little sharpening on a stone if honed regularly. So now I'm wondering, how often should I hone? Many thanks. ;o)

  • 9307 views
  • 2 Comments

2 Comments

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser August 17, 2010

I found the following explanation at http://www.cookswares.com/discussions/honing.asp

What is the difference between honing and sharpening? When a typical knife is sharpened, it has tiny microscopic teeth all along the cutting edge. When the knife is used, the teeth and edge gradually flatten out. A honing steel, which looks like a short sword with a round blade, is used to draw those teeth and the metal of the cutting edge back into shape so the edge is keen. The honing steel is not designed to remove metal. If used aggressively, it will do that, but that is not its primary function. A good steel is magnetized to help in drawing the cutting edge back into shape.

Sharpening is removing metal from the cutting edge to remake the edge. The most common sharpening device used to be a whetstone. Now diamond and ceramic rods are available and widely used.

Answer image

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
HeritageCook
HeritageCook September 16, 2010

With both sharpening and honing, make sure you rinse and wipe your blade before using!

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
Showing 2 out of 2 Comments Back to top
Recommended by Food52