A sharp and smooth knife can help enhance your efficiency in the kitchen, but with time it can start losing its sharpness and create resistance. In such cases, you need the best honing steel to align the knife blade to retain its sharpness and cutting power. Honing rods are made of durable materials, and they help align the blade edge for better operation. Available in ceramic, steel, and other varieties, they cater to specific knife and cutter needs for effective results. Here’s our list of top-rated honing steel to help you maintain your knife’s premium condition. So, read on to learn more about honing steel and the available options.
Our Top Picks
13 Best Honing Steel
1. Best Overall: Noble Home & Chef Professional Honing Steel
Designed for safety, this honing rod is magnetized to prevent tiny metal particles from your blade from entering your system or mixing with your food. It is made from hardened carbon steel and has no plastic parts, which adds to its long-lasting performance and makes it one of the best steel honing rods. The rod has a comfortable weight, and it is designed ergonomically for optimal control and safety.
- Easy to clean and dishwasher-safe
- Chromium plating to prevent rust and corrosion
- Oval handle for a firm grip
- Suitable for professionals and home chefs
- Surface may not be textured
2. Best Ceramic: Mercer Culinary Ceramic Rod Knife Honing Steel
One of the best ceramic honing steel, it measures 19.13 x 4.5 x 1.13 inches and is a high-performance tool that helps align the edge as it hones. It has a sturdy Santoprene handle for comfort and grip and can easily remove burrs from the blade’s edges. Although best suited for tough knives, you can use this honing steel for all types of knives for effective results.
- Does not grind down the metal
- Appropriate length
- Comfortable weight
- Easy to use
- Raised lettering on the rod might affect the blade while honing
3. Best For Japanese Knives: Green Elephant Ceramic Sharpening Rod
The SGS-tested ceramic sharpening rod has a hardness of nine Mohs and grit of #1500, making it one of the best honing steel. Its unique shock-absorbing design can protect the ceramic rod from damage when dropped. The silicone seal between the handle and the ceramic helps absorb the vibration to keep the rod safe and durable. Suitable for honing, sharpening, and realigning, this rod can improve your knife’s condition for long-lasting performance. Here’s a video for more information about the product.
- Lightweight and easy-to-grip handle
- Easy to clean
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Suitable for Japanese knives
- Might be small for large butchering knives
4. Best Strength: Tuo Honing Steel
The professional honing steel from Tuo measures nine inches and ensures your kitchen knives are properly aligned and sharp for optimal performance. Made from German high-carbon stainless steel, it is rust-resistant and processed under high-tech vacuum heat treatment for superior strength. One of the best honing steel for kitchen knives, this blade has tiny grooves for sufficient sharpening and edge alignment.
- High-density pakkawood handle
- Sanitary and ensures food safety
- Money-back guarantee
- More convenient than a grindstone
- Might be small for large knives
5. Best Easy-To-Store: G-Ting Diamond Honing Steel
With three-layer diamond electroplating technology, this tool is one of the best diamond honing steel with #600 grit, measuring 12 inches. It is made from carbon steel and nickel-chrome plating that keeps the rod rust-free. This honing steel’s fine surface ensures the blade doesn’t get damaged while sharpening. The kit also includes a blade sharpener made of tungsten carbide and an instruction sheet for your convenience.
- Provides coarse grinding
- Easy-to-grip polypropylene handle
- Metal hanging ring for wall-mountable storage
- Non-slip bottom for safety
• May not be easy to use
6. Best Grooved Design: Wusthof Honing Steel
The honing steel works well to sharpen scissors, cutters, and knives safely. Measuring 16 x 2 x 2 inches, this rod has been precision-forged from a block of carbon stainless steel and treated to 58° HRC. What makes it one of the best honing steel is that it has a slip-resistant, textured handle for a comfortable and controlled grip. The handle also has a protective bolster for safety.
- Grooved rod design for better performance
- Attracts loose metal fibers during sharpening
- Includes a lifetime warranty
- Might be a bit small
7. Best Smooth: UltraSource Honing Steel
UltraSource’s honing steel has a smooth design suitable for daily blade maintenance. This handheld tool is easy to clean and break-proof for long-lasting use. One of the best honing steel, this tool is suitable for butchers, meat and food processors, chefs, and more. It offers an ergonomic grip and can help realign the blade edge without eliminating too much of the metal.
- Poly handle features a built-in hilt for protection
- Attachable to apron
- Magnetized tip
- May not work if the blade is too dull
8. Best Scratch-Resistant: Dalstrong Honing Rod
The ceramic honing rod is suitable for professional use and helps keep your knives in top condition by realigning the blades. Measuring ten inches, it works for most knife sizes and is one of the best honing steel for Japanese knives. It is made from high-carbon stainless steel and has a scratch-resistant ceramic coating that works well for large, heavy-duty knives for its abrasive texture.
- Military-grade, triple-riveted handle
- Ergonomic design for better control and agility
- Non-slip grip
- Money-back guarantee
- Rubber tip may be of poor quality
9. Best Anti-Slip: Levinchy Honing Steel
With a fine grit type, this honing steel is made of hard carbon steel and nickel-chrome plating for durability and long-lasting performance. Its metal wire drawing technology ensures wear resistance and impressive sharpening results. It is among the best knife honing steel, suitable for various knives to meet your requirements. It also has a comfortable weight that doesn’t add pressure to your hands.
- Works for serrated blades
- Ergonomic handle
- Hanging ring for easy storage
- Anti-slip support point
- May not work for blades that are too dull
10. Best Combination Rod: Shun Japanese Honing Steel
Shun’s nine-inch premium combination honing steel helps correct the bends on your blade to maintain its quality and sharpness. It offers dual-sided operation with one smooth side suitable for regular honing and a micro-ribbed side for more heavy-duty honing. This honing steel is lightweight and offers optimal comfort for hassle-free usage. Handcrafted by high-skilled artisans, this is one of the best steel honing rods.
- Walnut-finished pakkawood handle for left and right-handed users
- Built-in angle guide
- Easy to use
- Might have a dull wood finish
11. Best For Kitchen Knives: Kuma Kitchen Knife Sharpener
Suitable for all kitchen knives, Kuma’s best honing steel works well to revive the sharpness and make your blades smooth and effective. You need to strike the blade against the honing rod a few times at a 20 to 25° angle to remove the bends in the blade and realign it. Measuring 15 x 2.8 x 0.8 inches, this carbon steel rod is easy to use and has a comfortable weight to prevent straining your wrists.
- Anti-slip ergonomic handle
- 100% money-back guarantee
- Finger guard for safety
- May not be rust-resistant
12. Best Ergonomic Grip: Product Of Gifu Japan Seki Chef Knife Sharpening Rod
One of the best ceramic honing steel, the rod measures 9.65 x 1.38 x 0.98 inches and has a fine grit type for effective results. It is non-consumable, and thus stays the same shape after repeated use. The rod’s round shape allows you to sharpen your blade from different angles conveniently. Apart from your kitchen knife collection, you can also use this rod to hone other blades, including scissors, mowing sickle, steak knife, clippers, and more that are difficult to hone.
- Easy to wash and maintain
- Lightweight for easy handling
- Ergonomic grip
- Might be too small
13. Best Magnetized: Mitsumoto Sakari Honing Rod
Made of high carbon steel and diamond plating, this honing rod has a hardness and grit of 80 HRC and 3000. It is made using innovative Japanese technology and is magnetized to prevent the metal particles from spreading. This ten-inch rod is suitable for most knife sizes, and its easy-to-grip, ergonomic ABS handle prevents slippage for optimal control and balance. Moreover, it also has a steel handle guard to protect your hands from injuries, making it one of the best steel honing rods.
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to use
- Works for most knives and blades
- Easy to clean
- Handle may come off
How To Choose The Right Honing Steel?
Here are a few factors to consider when choosing the best honing steel.
- Material: You can choose steel, ceramic, or diamond build depending on your requirements. While steel and ceramic work for all knives and cutters, the diamond might be more effective for heavy-duty, large knives that require intense alignment. However, diamond honing rods also scrape off more metal.
- Handle: Ensure the handle is easy to grip and designed ergonomically to reduce the strain on your wrists and hands. You can choose from metal, wood, or rubber handles that are anti-slip, well-balanced, and offer optimal comfort and control.
- Safety: Choose a honing steel with finger guards to protect your fingers from accidental cuts.
- Length: Consider the rod’s length to ensure it is appropriate for your honing requirements. Most rods that are suitable for all knife sizes measure around nine to ten inches. However, if you use large butcher knives, you may require a 12-inch rod.
Why Trust MomJunction?
Wedetso Chirhah writes on home improvement tools, kitchen equipment, electronics, and more, and his passion for exploring the latest trends allows him to create well-researched articles. In this article about the best honing steel, he has considered customer feedback and studied various products available in the market to find high-quality options for the readers. The article includes detailed descriptions, pros, and cons to guide you in the right direction. He has also included a buying guide to help you understand the essential factors for choosing the right product.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What’s the difference between a honing steel and a sharpening steel?
Although very similar, a sharpening steel helps sharpen a blunt blade, whereas a honing steel help realign the blade’s edge to the center. A honing steel cannot sharpen a blunt knife; it fixes the irregularities and bends on the blade for better usage.
2. What’s the best way to clean a honing steel?
Wipe the honing rod with a dry cloth after every use. You can also dampen a cloth with vinegar and wipe the rod to clean excess metal particles.
3. Do honing steels wear out, and how often do they need to be replaced?
Since honing rods are made of robust steel, they can last for decades, even with regular use. For professional kitchens, honing steel may have to be replaced every five to ten years for optimal performance.
4. How do I use honing steel?
You can follow these steps to use honing steel properly.
- Hold the rod vertically with the tip placed on the counter.
- Place the blade at a 15° angle away from the rod and point the knife tip tad upwards.
- Slide the blade along the rod so that the blade middle touches the middle of the rod.
- Move the blade’s tip over the bottom of the steel.
- Repeat the process four to five times on both sides of the blade.
5. Why should I use honing steel?
With regular use, the edge of the knife slowly starts to bend, affecting its sharpness and performance. So, the knives need to be honed with a honing steel to realign the edge and remove the irregularities. The honing steel helps improve the knife’s quality and maintains it for long-term use.
From kitchen knives and cutters to scissors and other blades, the right honing steel can revive its sharpness and quality and enhance its durability. When choosing a suitable rod, ensure it is of the appropriate length for your needs and has enough grit to smoothen and straighten the knife edge without shaving too much of the metal. Also, check the handle and the weight of the rod to prevent hurting your hands or accidentally dropping it. We hope our list of the best honing steel helps you understand the available products and features to make a well-informed decision.