13 Best Honing Steel To Keep Your Knives Sharp In 2024

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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 expert-recommended options.

In This Article

13 Best Honing Steel

1. Best Overall: Noble Home & Chef Professional Honing Steel

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4.6
Noble Home & Chef Professional Honing Steel Image: Noble Home & Chef

Designed for safety, this tried-and-tested 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.

Color: 3 Pin | Material: Chrome plated, High Carbon Steel, Plastic, Steel | Item Weight: 11.2 ounces | Product Dimensions: 15.25 x 1.75 x 1.25 inches

Pros

  • Easy to clean and dishwasher-safe
  • Chromium plating to prevent rust and corrosion
  • Oval handle for a firm grip
  • Suitable for home and professional chefs

Cons

  • Surface may not be textured

Our Reviewer's Experience

"I find this honing steel an effective device for my kitchen, fitting nicely with my other knife sets. Its quality feels good, too, especially for regular honing. All in all, it's safe and reliable."


protip_icon Quick Tip
Always use a sharp knife that cuts in one swipe. Cutting with a dull knife requires additional pressure, which can increase the risk of slippage and cuts (1).

2. Best Ceramic: Mercer Culinary Ceramic Rod Knife Honing Steel

One of the best ceramic honing steels, it measures 19.13 x 4.5 x 1.13 inches and is a high-performance tool for precise edge maintenance and alignment. 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.

Color: Black/White | Material: Ceramic | Item Weight: 8 ounces | Product Dimensions: 19.13 x 4.5 x 1.13 inches

Pros

  • Does not grind down the metal
  • Appropriate length
  • Comfortable weight
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Raised lettering on the rod might affect the blade while honing

Our Reviewer's Experience

"After adding this ceramic honing rod to my tool kit, I've noticed a significant improvement in the performance of my knives. It maintains its razor-sharp edges with just a few strokes. I also find the length ideal for different types of knives, even the larger ones."


3. Best For Japanese Knives: Green Elephant Ceramic Sharpening Rod

The SGS-tested ceramic sharpening system 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 of a reviewer, demonstrating the quality and applicability of the product.

Color: Black/White | Material: steel, Polypropylene, Ceramic | Item Weight: 7.2 ounces | Product Dimensions: 1.18 x 0.08 x 6.54 inches

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy-to-grip handle
  • Easy to clean
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Suitable for Japanese knives

Cons

  • Might be small for large butchering knives

Our Reviewer's Experience

"Despite the bulky design, the non-slip tip lets me sharpen safely. The sturdy construction reassures me of its durability. Also, it is slightly less abrasive, which preserves the knives' edges. It's been a decent choice for regular use."


4. Best Strength: Tuo Honing Steel

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4.7
Tuo Honing Steel Image: Tuo

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 tested to provide strong resistance against rusting and processed under high-tech vacuum heat treatment for superior strength. One among the safe honing steel for kitchen knives, this edge sharpening system has tiny grooves for sufficient sharpening and edge alignment.

Color: Fiery | Material: Stainless Steel | Item Weight: 12.2 ounces | Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches

Pros

  • High-density pakkawood handle
  • Sanitary and ensures food safety
  • Money-back guarantee
  • More convenient than a grindstone

Cons

  • Might be small for large knives

Our Reviewer's Experience

"Simple yet effective, this honing steel has been reliable for my everyday knife maintenance. It revives the dull knives and restores the fine edges easily. However, I wish it had come with a safety case for easy storage."


worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The tried-and-true product has earned over 110 good reviews on Amazon.

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.

Pros

  • Provides coarse grinding
  • Easy-to-grip polypropylene handle
  • Metal hanging ring for wall-mountable storage
  • Non-slip bottom for safety

Cons

  • May not be easy to use

Our Reviewer's Experience

"This sharpener is effective and adaptable to different steels and blade shapes. It also works well on my Japanese sickle. Plus, the compact carbide sharpener comes in handy for travel needs. However, it could have been more durable. Nonetheless, I'm happy with my purchase."


protip_icon Quick Tip
When honing the knife, a lubricant such as honing oil or petroleum jelly can help reduce friction and protect the blade from damage.

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. As per reviews, the handle also has a protective bolster for safety.

Color: Black, Steel | Material: Steel, plastic | Item Weight: 6.4 ounces | Product Dimensions: 16 x 2 x 2 inches

Pros

  • Grooved rod design for better performance
  • Attracts loose metal fibers during sharpening
  • Lightweight
  • Includes a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Might be a bit small

Our Reviewer's Experience

"It does a good job of keeping my regular knives in top condition but it isn't that effective on extremely dull knives. It's simple and easy to handle, making the quick touch-ups a breeze. I'm satisfied with its utility."


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, professional chefs, and more. It offers an ergonomic grip and can help realign the blade edge without eliminating too much of the metal.

Color: Orange | Material: Steel | Product Dimensions: 15 x 2 x 1 inches | Weight: 6.38 Ounces

Pros

  • Poly handle features a built-in hilt for protection
  • Attachable to apron
  • Lightweight
  • Magnetized tip

Cons

  • May not work if the blade is too dull

Our Reviewer's Experience

"I’ve been using this honing steel for a while now, and it's been quite useful for maintaining the sharpness of my kitchen knives. The handle size is comfortable for use, allowing a firm grip."


8. Best Scratch-Resistant: Dalstrong Honing Rod

4.1

Tested for durability, the ceramic honing rod is suitable for professional chefs and helps keep your knives in top condition by realigning the blades. Measuring ten inches, it works for most knife sizes and is an excellent 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.

Color: Scratch-Free Ceramic, Black G10 Handle | Material: Stainless Steel | Item Weight: 1 pounds | Product Dimensions: 46 x 39.5 x 25.5 inches

Pros

  • Military-grade, triple-riveted handle
  • Ergonomic blade designfor better control and agility
  • Non-slip grip
  • Money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Rubber tip may be of poor quality

Our Reviewer's Experience

"The well-crafted, solid build offers good balance and weight, making it comfortable and safe. It performs great in keeping the blades of my knives in peak condition. Surprisingly, the rod's design complements my kitchen counter, too."


9. Best Anti-Slip: Levinchy Honing Steel

With a fine grit type, this tried-and-tested honing system is made of hard carbon steel and nickel-chrome plating for exceptional durability and long-lasting performance. Its metal wire drawing technology ensures wear resistance and impressive sharpening results. It is among the best honing steel, suitable for various knives to meet your requirements. It also has a comfortable weight that doesn’t add pressure to your hands.

Color: 10" Honing Steel | Material: High Carbon Steel, Steel | Item Weight: 10.6 ounces

Pros

  • Works for serrated blades
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Hanging ring for easy storage
  • Anti-slip support point

Cons

  • May not work for blades that are too dull

Our Reviewer's Experience

"My new sharpener has impressed me with its excellent quality. It's pretty easy to use and hold. Now I don't have to visit the meat market for sharpening."


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 a smooth surface suitable for regular honing and a micro-ribbed surface 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.

Color: Metallic | Material: Stainless Steel | Item Weight: 9.1 ounces | Product Dimensions: 13.88 x 1.25 x 1.25 inches

Pros

  • Walnut-finished pakkawood handle for left and right-handed users
  • Built-in angle guide
  • Easy to use
  • Well-balanced

Cons

  • Might have a dull wood finish

Our Reviewer's Experience

"Its sharpening ability is great for my dull knives. Also, it feels pretty light, making it easier to handle. The grip is also noteworthy. Overall, it's been a satisfactory purchase."


11. Best For Kitchen Knives: Kuma Kitchen Knife Sharpener

Suitable for all types of knives, Kuma’s best honing steel works well to revive the sharpness and make your favorite knives and 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.

Color: Steel | Material: Carbon | Item Weight: 8.6 ounces | Product Dimensions: 15 x 2.8 x 0.8 inches

Pros

  • Anti-slip ergonomic handle
  • 100% money-back guarantee
  • Well-balanced
  • Finger guard for safety

Cons

  • May not be rust-resistant

Our Reviewer's Experience

"I like the user-friendly design; it's evenly weighted and has a solid grip, which makes it comfortable to handle while sharpening the knives. Also, it caters well to various knives, be it my large knives or pocket knives. It is a worthwhile purchase, indeed."


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. As per reviews, 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.

Item Weight: 0.09 Kilograms | Product Dimensions: 9.65"L x 1.38"W x 0.98"H | Material: Steel

Pros

  • Easy to wash and maintain
  • Lightweight for easy handling
  • Ergonomic grip
  • Portable

Cons

  • Might be too small

Our Reviewer's Experience

"To my satisfaction, the coarse finish of the ceramic seems useful for sharpening even the trickiest curved knives. Though the handle feels a bit delicate, it performs remarkably well. Moreover, its compact size has been a good fit for my smaller storage space."


13. Best Magnetized: Mitsumoto Sakari Honing Rod

Made of high-carbon steel and diamond coating, this honing rod has undergone various testing processes to ensure its reliability and quality. It has a hardness of 80 HRC and a grit level of 3000. It is made using innovative Japanese technology and is magnetized to prevent the metal fragments 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 handguard to protect your hands from injuries, making it one of the best steel honing rods.

Color: Flat | Material: Premium Diamond Material | Item Weight: 13.2 ounces | Product Dimensions: 10.07 x 3.26 x 0.75 inches

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy to use
  • Ideal for standard blades and knives
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Handle may come off

Our Reviewer's Experience

"The abrasive coating on this nifty tool made my years-old knives as sharp as new. It could have been a little longer, but using it is pretty straightforward, and the metal loop on top allows easy storage."


*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

How To Choose The Right Honing Steel?

Here are a few factors to consider when choosing the best honing steel.

  1. Material: You can choose polished 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Safety: Choose honing steel with finger and handguards to protect your fingers and hands from accidental cuts.
  4. Length and Weight: Consider the rod’s length and weight 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, a short and light tool may be more suitable for home use, while large butcher knives may require a 12-inch rod.

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 helps 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?

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, then 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, and 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.

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 reviews and feedback and studied various products available in the market to find the best quality-tested 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.

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.

Infographic: What Is The Difference Between Honing And Sharpening Knives?

Does your knife need to be honed or sharpened? Most of the time, your knife may require honing instead of sharpening. So check out the following infographic to comprehend the differences between honing and sharpening to help maintain your knives better.

Honing Vs. Sharpening Knives (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team


References

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  1. Be Careful with Kitchen Knives
    https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=1&contentid=263#”

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Wedetso Chirhah
Wedetso ChirhahMA English
Wedetso Chirhah holds a masters degree in English Literature from Mangalore University and has over 13 years of experience in content. He has written content for more than 15 B2B websites and edited school books before joining MomJunction as an editor.

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Shreya is a gold medalist with a master’s degree in clinical psychology from SGT University, Gurugram. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in applied psychology from Amity University, Gwalior. Her interest in human behavior and extensive years of learning and training in psychology has instilled in her the skills to understand the consumer psyche to optimize the reader's experience.

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Poulami Nag
Poulami NagMA, PG Dip.
Poulami is an associate editor at MomJunction. She did her MA in English from Miranda House, University of Delhi and has qualified UGC-NET. She also holds a PG diploma in Editing and Publishing from Jadavpur University. Her journey as a content writer began in 2017 and since then, Poulami has garnered diverse interests along the way.

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