How to Hone Your Knives

by Kaelyn Riley

A dull knife is an accident waiting to happen. Maintain your blades with a honing steel and a bit of TLC.

A dull kitchen knife is both inefficient and dangerous, requiring more force to slice and increasing the likelihood that you’ll cut yourself. Regular maintenance will keep the blade sharp, reduce your risk of injury, and make for a more enjoyable cooking experience.

Honing vs. Sharpening

Sharpening and honing are both necessary to properly maintain a knife.

Sharpening shaves the metal to create a finer blade and should be done at least once a year; many grocery and cookware stores offer this service for a nominal fee. Alternatively, purchase a handheld sharpener and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to revive a knife’s edge.

Honing realigns the blade’s edge for smoother cuts. Use this technique to hone your knives about once a week, depending on how often you use them.

How to Hone Your Knives

How to Hone a Knife

1. Hold the steel vertically on a cutting board. Place the heel of the blade against the top of the steel at a 15-degree angle.

2. Maintain steady pressure and a consistent angle while sliding the blade down the length of the steel. Pull the knife toward your body so the center of the blade makes contact with the steel. Continue moving down so the tip passes over the bottom.

3. Repeat on the other side. Complete eight to 10 strokes (four or five on each side), gradually reducing pressure with each repetition to maintain an even edge.

4. Carefully wipe the blade with a damp paper towel before using.

Sharp Tips

Do: Wash and dry your knives immediately after use, and purchase covers to protect their edges.

Don’t: Put your knives in the dishwasher or use glass cutting boards, which will dull the blades.

This originally appeared as “Hone Your Knives” in the November 2018 print issue of Experience Life.

Related at Care2

Images via Getty

35 comments

Olivia M
Olivia M4 days ago

thank you

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Val P
Val P5 days ago

awesome

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Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson8 days ago

Thank you.

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Ruth S
Ruth S9 days ago

Thanks.

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Ruth S
Ruth S9 days ago

Thanks.

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Laura R
Laura R9 days ago

Thanks.

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Daniel N
Daniel N10 days ago

tyfs

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Thomas M
Thomas M10 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Danuta W
Danuta W10 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R11 days ago

Thank you for posting. Very accurate info!

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