How to Hone a Knife

Honing a knife doesn't sharpen a blade, it straightens it — realigning the edge and maintaining it in between longer and more involved sharpening sessions.

You will need

  • A steel or ceramic honing rod
  • And a knife to hone
  • A flat surface (optional)
  • And a towel or cutting board (optional)

Step 1 Position rod Hold the honing rod in front of you, positioned so the tip points diagonally down and away from your body.

Step 2 Draw knife against rod Place the end of your knife, also called the heel, along the top of the honing rod nearest to the handle. Draw the knife downward against the honing rod at a 20-degree angle. As you draw the knife toward the bottom, pull the knife back so the point of contact slides from the heel to the tip of the blade.

Step 3 Repeat motion Cross the knife under the honing rod to repeat the same motion on the other side of the blade.

Step 4 Follow pattern Hone the blade in the following pattern: 5 times on each side, then 3, then 2, then single strokes alternating between right and left 10 times. Hone your knife this way every time you cook to keep the blade straight and true.