So What is a Honing Steel?
You’ve probably seen honing steels lying around the kitchen, faithfully waiting to straighten faltering knife edges. Commonly referred to as sharpening sticks, sharpening rod, chef’s steel, butcher’s steel, or sharpening steels, honing steel typically looks like a rod that’s about a foot long and can be made out of pure steel or have a steel interior coated with either ceramic or diamond particles. However, Green Elephant ceramic rods are made fully out of ceramic.
What happens when your blade becomes dull is that it loses its alignment and can no longer function as well as when it was sharp. When using a honing steel to recover that lost sharpness, it essentially works to re-align the blade’s edge without the need to shave much off, as opposed to a sharpening tool which produces a newer and sharper edge through shaving off more bits of the edge.
Though originally, honing steels were true to their title with their steel composition, over the years, new materials such as embedded diamond particles and ceramics have surged in popularity for their ability to do more than simply straighten out warped edges. Despite all three materials bringing edges into alignment, the different types of honing steels distinguish themselves in the following ways: