10 Best Honing Steels – Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Honing Steel

After continual usage, when the knife tends to lose its sharpness, honing it becomes absolutely important. The purpose of best honing steel is to bring the original sharpness of the knife back so that it does not give your hard time while using.

A dull blade can seriously sabotage your cooking experience. Therefore, it is quite essential to keep the knives in best performing shape.

Now, some people will confuse honing with sharpening the knife. However, the difference between the two is quite evident.

  • Honing steel pushes the edge of the knife to its original shape. It rectifies the edge without shaving too much. Honing doesn’t actually means sharpening the knife but it only sets the blade to the right angle.  
  • Sharpening however is a process where bits of the blade are shaved off and ground to generate a fresh sharp edge. This can be done with multiple objects such as electric knife sharpener, water stone, or whetstone.

Product Name

Image

​Features/Benefits

Rating

Current Price

1. Winware Stainless Steel Honing Steel


Winware Stainless Steel Honing Steel

12 inches long honing rod made of stainless steel, easy to clean, durable, and extremely comfortable handle

4.6

2. Utopia Kitchen Honing Steel

Utopia Kitchen Honing Steel

Carbon steel honing rod in 12” size, perfect for all kitchen knives, durable, and easy to maintain

4.8

3. Victorinox Swiss Classic Honing Steel

Victorinox Swiss Classic Honing Steel

10” strong honing rod, durable, suitably priced, and great for routine honing

4.6

4. Messermeister Ceramic Honing Steel

Messermeister Ceramic Honing Steel

Ceramic, long lasting 12” honing rod, with impressive features but little overpriced, great overall product

4.5

5. Wusthof Classic Honing Steel

Wusthof Classic Honing Steel

High carbon stainless steel 10” large knife ensuring best durability and performance, a little costly but extremely likable

4.7

6. Kota Japan Diamond Honing Steel

Kota Japan Diamond Honing Steel

Steel material with diamond plating, extremely performance-savvy, durable, great overall results

4.5

7. Green Elephant Honing Steel

Green Elephant Honing Steel

Suitable for extremely hard knives, 11” length, extremely durable, and shock-resistant

4.7

8. Diamond Machining Technology Honing Steel

Diamond Machining Technology Honing Steel

Largest honing steel in 14” length, excellent quality material and diamond coating for abrasive honing

4.0

9. Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional Honing Steel

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional Honing Steel

Professional grade 12” large honing rod with high abrasive quality, suitable for differently sized knives

4.4

10. Smith’s 3001Diamond Honing Steel

Smith’s 3001Diamond Honing Steel

Quality steel with diamond coating, durable, great in usage, priced suitable, and fine product

4.3

1. Winware Stainless Steel Honing Steel

Top-notch honing steel

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Winware Stainless Steel Honing Steel
  • Handle Material: Plastic
  • Rod Material: Stainless Steel
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 12”

As we talk about the Winware honing steel, the first thing that fascinate the buyer is its super affordable price. But if you think that because of the low-price, there is any drawback in the quality then you are absolutely wrong.

This is one of the best products in our list that does the job perfectly. If your knife has lost its sharpness then this is the most affordable and productive product that will suit your needs.

Well, the material used in the making is stainless steel. Rest assured that your honing steel will stay with you for the longest time while bearing all kind of abuse. It is a 12 inches long rod with a plastic handle and a hanging loop at the end.

This is a very straightforward product; the looks are basic and the performance is commendable. However, let us drop a disclaimer that this is not for professional use.

It might not be able to provide razor-sharp edge. But for routine maintenance, Bingo, this is your product.

Also, the product is a little large and heavy, therefore demanding some extra force while honing. Handle however comes with easy grip technology and provide comfortable grip.

Pros:

  • Comfortable handle
  • Great steel quality
  • Durable
  • Sufficiently large

Cons:

  • Little heavy
  • Not for professional usage

2. Utopia Kitchen Honing Steel

Top rated honing steel

Editor's Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Utopia Kitchen Honing Steel
  • Handle Material: Rubber
  • Rod Material: Carbon Steel
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 12”

Well, this model from Utopia just can’t go wrong with any buyer. It is certainly the top-rated model of our list because of its amazing features.

To start with, the length is 12” which makes it suitable for different types of knives in the kitchen whether they are kitchen, household, pocket, sporting, or serrated edge knives.

Now, coming to the material- carbon steel, it is tested and found that the material is impressively strong and diligent. It has nickel-chrome plating which adds to the element of durability. The fine surface of the steel prevents the damage on cutting edge as you hone.

As far as handle is concerned, this one has ergonomically fitting, slip-resistant rubber handle that is easy to maintain and hold. Overall, you might just find it a bit over aggressive with the honing.

The usage and cleaning are easy. You can simply clean it with the damp cloth and nothing will go wrong with the rod for the longest period. Even if you are washing it with water, make sure to dry it instantly. This will encourage the life of the honing steel.

Pros:

  • Decently priced
  • Great quality
  • Less in maintenance
  • Easy in usage

Cons:

  • Bit aggressive than usual honing rods

3. Victorinox Swiss Classic Honing Steel

Easy to use honing steel

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Victorinox Swiss Classic Honing Steel
  • Handle Material: Fibroz
  • Rod Material: Steel
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 10”

This honing tool from the leading brand- Victorinox is curated and crafted with the highest-quality steel that helps in maintaining the edges of the knife perfectly. It boosts the lifespan of your routine-usable cutlery.

Unlike the previously discussed models, this one has a length of 10 inches. While some people will find it unfit for all kind of knives in the kitchen, others will think of it as handier tool.

Certainly, this one cannot work smoothly with the large butcher knife, because of the length. The product is NSF approved and has lifetime warranty.

The fibrox handle is slip-resistant, comfortable, and ergonomically designed for convenient usage of the rod. You will not feel any kind of strain on your wrist or arm as this is easy to hold and work with. Also, this model gives you better control over the rod and honing.

This not only sharpens the knives but also set the cutting edge straight. However, you might feel a little disheartened on the fact that it demands immense care and maintenance. Make sure that the model is not exposed to air after washing.

Pros:

  • Comfortable handle
  • Ergonomic
  • Great material quality
  • Suitably priced

Cons:

  • Length not ideal for large knives
  • Require care and maintenance

4. Messermeister Ceramic Honing Steel

Quality ceramic honing steel

Editor's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Messermeister Ceramic Honing Steel
  • Handle Material: N/A
  • Rod Material: Ceramic
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 12”

This one is a safe choice because of its material. The length of this model is 12” which can pretty much cover all kind of knives that you could use in your kitchen.

This model is made of 1200-grit industrial ceramic and does not request a lot of maintenance. However, you should handle it with care and make sure that it does not fall down on the ground.

To ensure perfect finishing of the edge, this model is made slight abrasive in nature. However, it might take off some steel from the knife with each pass. Therefore, you should be careful with the amount of force applied.

Best is if you can use this model for occasional honing. Now, coming to the handle, it is quite smooth and does not tire your hand at all. It provides soft grip and is ergonomic in nature.

Cleaning is not a hassle with this product. As the surface gets clogged, you can use the grey swarf off by using erasure. For regular clean-up, simply damp the rod in hot soapy water to do the trick.

Pros:

  • Easy to maintain
  • Length is quite suitable
  • Comfortable and ergonomic handle
  • Easy in usage

Cons:

  • Little fragile in nature
  • Slightly abrasive

5. Wusthof Classic Honing Steel

Extraordinary honing steel

Editor's Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Wusthof Classic Honing Steel
  • Handle Material: Plastic
  • Rod Material: High Carbon Stainless Steel
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 10”

The Wusthof classic honing steel is among the most talked-about models. Clearly, the features are super-influential and noticeable.

We will start with the rod length which is 10 inches. The length is suitable for majority of the kitchen knives but not all. This can be a deal-breaker for many buyers because you might have to purchase an alternative rod for the larger knives.

The high carbon stainless steel is super rigid and performs extremely well. You can rest assured that the rod will not leave your kitchen soon and serve for the longest period.

Now, coming to bolster in between the blade and the handle. This is convenient and placed thoughtfully to protect the hand from possible accidents.

The handle is made of high-quality plastic material which is rigid in construction and is triple riveted to add more security to the product.

This product is not dishwasher safe and we recommend hand wash with earliest drying.

Pros:

  • Comfortable and easy to hold handle
  • Excellent quality material
  • Comes with a bolster
  • Added security with triple rivets

Cons:

  • The rod length might disappoint the buyers

6. Kota Japan Diamond Honing Steel

Durable diamond honing steel

Editor's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Kota Japan Diamond Honing Steel
  • Handle Material: Plastic
  • Rod Material: Diamond Steel
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 12”

From the makers- Kota Japan, this is among the most rigid and tough honing steel rods available in the list. It has got a perfect length of 12” that suit the need of every buyer as it can attend the differently sized knives for honing.

About the material, the core of the rod is steel with diamond electroplating. This helps in adding the element of precision to the honing. This way, it ensures sharpness of the dull knives and tools.

The oval shape of the rod is designed to provide more efficiency to the honing process. Handle is made of slip-resistant material and has ergonomic design for best grip and holding of the rod.

It makes holding so easy and does not tire your hand at all. The design is pleasing and the cost is suitable. The only drawback is that the diamond plating comes off too soon. You should be extremely protective about the usage of the rod.

Pros:

  • Deliver sharp edge
  • Great material
  • Priced suitably
  • Efficient performance

Cons:

  • The diamond plating might come off soon

7. Green Elephant Honing Steel

Highly efficient honing steel

Editor's Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Green Elephant Honing Steel
  • Handle Material: Plastic
  • Rod Material: Ceramic
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 11”

This is another ceramic-based model as we discuss. With the total length of 11”, it is suitable for many differently sized knives in the kitchen and used on daily basis. However, this length also does not correlate with the large sized knives.

The sharpening surface is made of the highest-grade ceramic which keep the knives sharp and is easy to use. This is probably one of the finest honing rods available in the market that ensure effortless honing on the routine basis.

It is lightweight and the handle is super comfortable. You will find it rigid in your hands as you work through the honing process.

The best feature is that it has exclusive shock-resistant mechanism that protect the rod when it drops. The plastic cap at the end of the rod prevent any kind of damage from dropping. However, if it does touch the ground then will surely break into pieces.

The cleaning is easy and there is no side-effect on the material. It has extraordinary hardness and is suitable for Japanese knives.

Pros:

  • Gives effortless honing
  • Suitably priced
  • Great in usage
  • Lightweight and durable

Cons:

  • Will instantly break into pieces on dropping

8. Diamond Machining Technology Honing Steel

Extremely diligent honing steel

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Diamond Machining Technology Honing Steel
  • Handle Material: Plastic
  • Rod Material: Diamond Steel
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 14”

As far as our list is concerned, this is the largest honing steel that we have mentioned. It is available in the length of 14 inches. While the length makes it suitable for all kind of knives, it becomes equally competitive for some people to use.

The highest-grade steel material has diamond coating on the surface that ensure effortless honing. It is sleek and sets in the angle pretty well. There is extra fine polish to refine the edge.

This model has excellent handle, ergonomic in nature and provide secure grip of the rod. The construction is durable and you can rely on the product for great honing. However, the cost is definitely something that you will discourage.

Pros:

  • Ergonomic design
  • Great holding
  • Amazing performance
  • Suitable for all sizes in knives

Cons:

  • Highly priced
  • Large size is not as comfortable to hold

9. Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional Honing Steel

Professional-grade honing steel

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional Honing Steel
  • Handle Material: Synthetic
  • Rod Material: Stainless Steel
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 12”

Well, if you want to lock the deal with a nice stainless-steel honing rod then this is another considerable model.

This is 12 inches long honing rod with excellent features. To begin with, the material is quite promising. It’s not breakable or fragile that you cannot afford to drop it on the ground.

The abrasive quality of this model is high, that is why it is a great choice for professional usage. The handle is made of highest-quality synthetic material.

It can be held easily and will not tire your hand at all. The cleaning and washing are easy. However, you should not set it in the air with water on. It might corrode. Also, the cost might also bother the buyers.

Pros:

  • Professional quality
  • Great material
  • Durable
  • Easy to handle

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Needs maintenance

10. Smith’s 3001Diamond Honing Steel

High-grade diamond honing steel

Editor's Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Smith’s 3001Diamond Honing Steel
  • Handle Material: Rubber
  • Rod Material: Diamond Steel
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 10”

The Smith’s diamond honing steel has oval design that increases the sharpness area of the rod. This product can be used for routine honing and realigning of the knife edge.

The material used in the making is decent and quite abrasive. However, the quality of diamond coating is questionable. It might come off after few usages.

The uninterrupted surface also encourages the speed of the rod as well. The handle comes with rubber covering that helps in handling the rod pretty well. It is slip-resistant and keeps the hand comfortable.

There is a plastic tip cover that protects the counter from accidently damage. The cost is decent and it is a basic product.

Pros:

  • Genuine quality steel
  • Decently sized
  • Plastic tip cover

Cons:

  • Diamond coating is not of high standard

How to Buy the Best Honing Steel

​How to Buy Best Honing Steel

So, just like every other thing, there are some key notes that every individual should know in order to buy the best honing steel. Here we discuss the significant tips you should keep in account: 

#1. Material

The honing steel is available in a variety of materials. Irrespective of the material, one thing that you should always keep in head is the length of the steel. The smaller knives can suffice with the smaller length rod but you will have immense trouble while honing a larger knife.

Let’s see a comprehensive view on all the different materials:

Stainless Steel: So, this is among the classic versions that one can buy. It has a long length with ridges running along the length. These are also available in smooth versions.

One of the major tips that we would like to share here is that one should never hone a hard metal knife with a less-hard metal honing steel.

The logic here is that the harder metal knife will be brittle and could damage the honing steel itself.

Well, as far as the pros related to the stainless steel are concerned, this is relatively cheaper in price, and rejects rusting and corrosion.   

Ceramic: You will be surprised to know that this is also a category of steel. For many people, ceramic is a different kind of material but factually, its cornerstone is steel.

The best part is that this material has great tendency to rub off the smallest amount of metal from the knife as you hone them. When you see grey streaks on the white rod then this mean that they have slight sharpening effect.

Ceramic steel is however gentle enough to hamper the blade in any way. This material is great for the people who like to hone their knives on routine basis and postpone the sharpening to a large extent.

The downside here is that the material is a little fragile and demand care. It may also break if handled harshly.

Diamond Steel: By far, this is the most controversial ones as their abrasive diamond coating can remove large amount of metal while honing. This somehow makes these steels a poor choice for routine honing.

This can be considered by the users who occasionally like honing the knives. The affects are generous that you can skip sharpening for the longest time.

Buying Advice

Well, if we have to recommend then it will be stainless steel. This is among the most durable steels and also comes with lesser drawbacks.

#2. Handle Design

The honing tools are usually made of brittle material that can easily let lose if not handled cautiously. This is where the role of handle comes to the surface.

The design of the handle should be ergonomic, slip resistant, comfortable, and perfectly fitting in the hand. On the top of that if it has safety guard then that will be a plus.

While buying the best honing rod, be very sure of the handle as it can cause a lot of strain on the wrist and largely ruin your honing experience if you purchase a product with bad handle.

#3. Sharpening Rod Length

While you can find the sharpening rods in various sizes, the ideal ones are 10” to 12”. Such a size will allow you to hone the cutlery without facing any specific challenges.

#4. Ease of Use

Well, the whole point of spending your money on a honing rod is to purchase something that is least complex in usage. You need to invest your money in a honing steel that comes with a guide so that you can easily learn the process.

How to Hone a Kitchen Knife

How to Hone a Kitchen Knife

There are three preliminary tips that you should learn before honing the knife:

  • Look for the right angle and find it. Keep the knife at the right angle.
  • There is no need to press it too hard. You can simply add little weight, little more than what knife’s original weight is.
  • Normally, 3 to 4 swipes per side are sufficient. So, don’t overdo it.

#1. Set the Angle

You must have seen various YouTube videos on honing but one can only learn from a step to step approach that we will share with you.

You have the knife sharpener steel and the knife itself. Now, the first thing to sort is the right angle. It is important to anchor the honing steel with a dishcloth or towel on the countertop. This will prohibit it from skidding away. Hold the knife vertically.

Now, angle the knife on 90 degrees to the centre of the honing steel. Now, tilt the knife halfway between perpendicular and parallel to the steel which should probably position the blade to 45 degrees. Rest there and tilt the handle halfway again to 45 degrees, parallel to the steel.

This should bring the knife to 22 degrees angle. Setting the right angle is crucial as not all the western knives are moulded with the blade that is 20 degrees off of vertical on any side.

You should start by practicing the angle making before anything else. Once you are familiar with the right angles, the honing can begin. The same rule applies with a sharpening stone while the method of sharpening will vary.

#2. Honing the Edge

You can start with the honing process as soon as you have the angle down. Move forward towards the heel of the knife to get started.

Make sure that the knife is at 22 degrees angle and start to pull it back towards you. The process has to be done all the way across the blade until you pass the tip.

Identically, process the motion of the knife to the other side of the steel. You need to repeat the step on the other side as well.  

As we have mentioned earlier, you don’t need to overdo the step. It just requires 4 – 5 repetitions to get your blade ready for use. It seems like a fair idea to do this every time before you use any of your knives.

This will help in boosting the safe usage of the blade and also keep it in the aligned form.

Conclusion

As we close our honing steel review, we would like to say that our list comprises of some strong models in the niche. Whether you want to purchase the best honing steel for Japanese knife or any other, you can easily find handful of amazing choices listed above.

We have closely monitored the performance of these knives and are fairly sure that these can make a perfect product for your kitchen knives.

The products are decently priced and offer powerful performance. Explore our suggestion list above and make suitable purchases. Happy Shopping!

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