How To Use A Honing Rod In Proper Way?

  • katrin moul
  • By katrin moul
  • Published: November 27, 2021
  • Last Modified: March 11, 2022
How to Use a Honing Rod in Proper Way
A honing rod does not sharpen a blade’s edge but aligns the edge of the blade. The concept of sharpening and honing is different from each other. Sharpening really takes away a layer of the steel particles from the blade. We often mistakenly thought that a honing rod sharpens kitchen knives.
After sharpening your knife with a sharpener, the second most skillful method is how to use a knife sharpener rod. A honing tool is usually made of hard material. It is a long solid rod that you can handle easily.

What is a Knife Sharpener Rod

A knife sharpener rod aligns the misaligned microscopic teeth of a blade very quickly and easily. It is a long solid rod used as a honing tool. Knife sharpener rods are made of two types of materials, diamond, and ceramic. A diamond sharpening rod has a diamond-encrusted surface along with the rod. It works well for stainless steel knives.
A ceramic sharpening rod is not as hard as a diamond sharpening rod. A honing rod should be stronger than a knife that will be honed. As it is brittle, if it drops from hand on rocky ground, you should be careful of how to use a ceramic rod knife sharpener.
Honing Rod from Amazon

Why Use A Knife Sharpening Steel

Sharpening steel does not sharpen your kitchen knives. Using a knife for a long time may go out of alignment. A blade’s edge consists of thousands of microscopic teeth. Over time, those teeth get bent, a honing tool will bring those teeth back into place.
A honing rod is designed to make the edge of your blade smoother. A smooth knife generally generates good effects on cutting, slicing, and dicing food ingredients. You need not sharpen a kitchen knife daily but you can hone your knife daily. What you need to know about how to use a knife sharpener rod.

How to Use a Knife Sharpener Rod

A honing rod is also called sharpening steel- ‘corrects’ or ‘align’ the edge of a blade.
The edge is the razor-sharp of a new blade. Constant use of a knife makes the edge dull. A honing tool that does not sharpen a knife rather homes the misaligned edge of a knife. A honing rod smooths out the rough edge on a blade after you have sharpened a knife with a sharpener. It helps to revive that edge of the blade that has been misaligned.
Some procedures are presented below on how to sharpen a kitchen knife with a rod. Also learn How to Use An Electric Knife Sharpener.

Step by Step

  • Hold the sharpening rod with your dominant hand with its tip firmly on a hard wooden surface. Then hold the knife with your free hand.
  • Hold the rod vertically to get control over the honing tool and it will help to stop moving the rod.
  • The easy and safe way of how to use a honing rod is not involving having the knife-edge facing you at all.
  • To avoid any unintentional injury, hold the honing tool at arm’s length in front of you. If the honing rod slips, there will be enough space to avoid the chance of injury.
  • Maintain the angle of approximately 15 to 20 degrees between the honing rod and the knife. The perfect angle between the knife and steel is 15 degrees.
  • With your stronger hand, hold the knife across the honing tool. Keep touching the knife’s back with the honing rod.
  • Pull the knife backward, toward you and keep most of the blade in front of the steel.
  • Accurate honing needs little pressure. Too much pressure generates a harsh rasping noise. You should apply a featherlike stroke to the honing tool.
  • You can change the angle depending on the type of edge you want to make. You can move to a higher angle if you want to make your blade’s edge sturdier.
  • If you are using a ceramic rod sharpener, then be sure of how to use a ceramic rod knife sharpener.
  • Run the blade down against the honing rod at least 8 to 10 times. The stroke also depends on how dull the blade is.
  • Flip the knife and apply the same method of how to use a knife sharpener rod to hone the opposite side of the blade.
  • Make sure that you are using the same strokes for the alternative side of the blade to hone each side.
  • Clean the blade thoroughly under running water and dry it.
  • To check the sharpness of the blade, use it for a paper test. If your knife can cut through the paper smoothly, then you can count your knife as sharp enough to make food.
Now you are well acquainted with how to use a knife sharpener rod and how to sharpen a kitchen knife with a rod.

Benefits of Using a Knife Sharpener Rod

Sharpening is not perfectly done without honing a knife. Sharpening and honing are important to keep your knife razor-sharp. There are many devices available in the market on how to sharpen a kitchen knife. One of them is a honing rod that really provides you an array of benefits. Look at below how a honing rod can help you with your kitchen knives.

Saves Money:

A honing rod is usually inexpensive. Getting your knife honed from a professional is expensive. For this reason, you can buy a honing tool that will help to save a significant amount of money in the long run.

Less Time-Consuming:

Sometimes, a dull knife needs honing, not sharpening. If your blades get corrected after honing, you have saved time and effort from using other sharpening tools.

Easy to Use:

A honing tool is easy to use and handle. You can quickly restore any dull knife using a few repeated strokes across the honing rod.


Despite aligning and removing notches from your blade, it will serve as a cutlery mileage.

Cautions to Remember

You are now familiar with how to use a knife sharpener rod. There are other things you have to keep in mind while using a knife sharpener rod.

Pros of Honing Rod or Sharpener Rod

  • How to sharpen a kitchen knife with a rod is an easy process to learn.
  • A honing tool is not as expensive as other sharpening tools.
  • A quick way to remove the notches of a dull blade.
  • It is less time-consuming and needs a featherlike stroke to sharpen a knife.
  • It is longer lasting, saves time and effort, and is easy to use.
  • It does not take away any particles from the blade’s edge.

Cons of Honing Rod or Sharpener Rod

  • A honing rod does not fix a knife’s edge.
  • It does not sharpen a knife.


New knives from the factory are easy to use as they are razor-sharp. Constant use makes your knife blunt. Then you need to know when and how to use a knife sharpener rod. A honing rod can quickly align a blade’s bent microscopic teeth.
If you practice a little about how to use a honing rod, you will be able to hone your knives like the professions. However, you can sharpen your kitchen knives once every few months; but you can hone your knives whenever you wish.

Frequently Asked Questions of Using Honing Rod

Q: How often should I sharpen my chef’s knife?

Ans: You should sharpen a chef’s knife once or twice a year. But you can hone your knife once or twice a week. However, the quality of the knife, the type of food you are cutting, and the use of your knife determine how often you need to sharpen yours.

Q: Which is the Best Knife Sharpening Tool?

Ans: After a traditional Waterstone, the best knife sharpening tool is a honing rod. It is easy to handle and you can use it whenever you wish.

Q: Will a honing rod sharpen my Kitchen Knives?

Ans: A honing tool does not sharpen a knife but it removes the notches of a blade to present a precise angle.

Q: How do you professionally sharpen a knife at home?

Ans: To sharpen a knife at home, you need a whetstone and a honing tool. Hold the knife against a whetstone at a 20-degree angle and gently pull the knife through the whetstone at least 8 to 10 times. Flip the knife and do the same. After sharpening, hone your knife properly.

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