To hone a knife, hold your honing steel in your off hand with the point down. Brace the steel against a stable surface, using a rag or similar object to protect the surface from damage. With your main hand, start by holding the knife so that its edge is perpendicular to the honing steel. To reach the appropriate angle, rotate the blade to half of perpendicular, then half of that again, with the edge angled downward. Starting from the tip of the steel and the base of the edge, drag the knife up and towards you along the length of the steel, applying moderate pressure. Repeat this several times while alternating sides.
While honing steels will remove some burrs from a knife, it is not meant to file off a significant amount of steel. Rather, a honing steel is meant to tease minor curls and dings back into alignment. Since it is not intended as an abrasive tool, a honing steel can be used regularly to keep a blade at peak sharpness. However, a knife’s edge will eventually erode to a point that it is truly “dull,” and will require abrasive sharpening to restore its sharpness.
With our multi-stage sharpener, begin by setting the device to the correct angle and place the sharpener on a stable surface. Starting with “Coarse”, draw the knife through the slot, keeping the blade vertical and perpendicular to the device. Draw through several times before repeating the process with the slot labeled “Fine.”
Whetstones require finesse and a steady hand but can provide an unmatched edge for your knife. Staring with the softest stone, apply sharpening oil and, while holding the blade at the appropriate angle, gently slice into the stone along the length of the blade. Repeat several times on each side, and then repeat the process again on any successively harder stones.
To get the most out of your knives, it is important not to over sharpen your blades. While generally only an issue in the long-term, excessive sharpening will slowly change the geometry of the knife and can eventually leave you with no knife at all!