10 Best Honing Steels – Forget about Dull Knives!

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What is the best honing steel? Whether you are a professional cook or not, you know that a dull knife ruins your cooking speed and experience. Indeed, it makes it difficult for you to cut and slice your ingredients and increases the chances of slipping and injuring. That is when the honing steel comes into play. This fantastic tool will ensure that your knife stays sharp longer.

With that being said, choosing the adequate model will determine how easy and well you work with your knife. But, buying the quality tool is not an easy task, as multiple brands flood the market. That is why we have decided to help you with your choice. We considered a lot of criteria: the rod material, length, handle material, and weight. After reading this article, you’ll know what makes the best honing steel. Now, let’s take a closer look at the different models we have selected!

Editor’s Choice

An outstanding model made of high-grade ceramic for exceptional durability. It boasts shock-absorbing design

  • Ceramic
  • 10.75” rod, 5.5” handle
  • Silicone sealed
Read Our Review
9.7
GrillScoreTM
?
GrillScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best Value

For those looking for affordable honing steel, we recommend this model with a slip-resistant handle

  • Carbon steel
  • 12” rod
  • Can be used for standard and serrated blades
Read Our Review
9.6
GrillScoreTM
?
GrillScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Premium Pick

This premium honing steel features tri-sided grit and impressive durability

  • Diamond-coated steel
  • 10” rod
  • Buck’s forever warranty
Read Our Review
9.4
GrillScoreTM
?
GrillScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best Simple Option

A well-designed model with an ergonomic grip and anti-roll handle

  • Stainless steel
  • 12” rod, 5” handle
  • Metal ring
Read Our Review
9.3
GrillScoreTM
?
GrillScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best with German Steel Rod

Thanks to German steel, this model is sure to last for years to come

  • German steel
  • 12” rod
  • Lifetime limited warranty
Read Our Review
9.2
GrillScoreTM
?
GrillScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Strongest Tool

When it comes to durability, it’s hard to beat this honing steel

  • Ceramic
  • 12” rod
  • Sharpens and aligns the edge
Read Our Review
9.1
GrillScoreTM
?
GrillScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.

This honing steel is incredibly easy to use. Also, it comes with a lifetime warranty against defects

  • Stainless steel
  • 12” rod
  • Metal ring
Read Our Review
8.9
GrillScoreTM
?
GrillScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.

An amazing option with an oval rod and elegant design. Also, its handle is quite convenient

  • Diamond carbon steel
  • 12” rod
  • Unconditional lifetime guarantee
Read Our Review
8.8
GrillScoreTM
?
GrillScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.

This sharpening steel has soft-grip handle with metal ring and oval-shaped rod

  • Diamond-coated steel
  • 10” rod
  • Lightweight design
Read Our Review
8.6
GrillScoreTM
?
GrillScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.

A reliable option with an unbreakable rod, plastic handle with a ring, and lightweight construction

  • Ceramic
  • 12” rod
  • Wear-resistant
Read Our Review
8.5
GrillScoreTM
?
GrillScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.

Top 10 Honing Steels Review 2020

1.

Green Elephant Ceramic Sharpening RodEditor’s Choice

Features
  • Rod material: white ceramic
  • Length: 10.75” rod, 5.5” handle
  • Handle material: polypropylene
  • Weight: 7.2 oz.

More features: silicone seal between the rod and handle, SGS tested, 30-day money-back guarantee, metal ring

If you are looking for the best honing steel, then you will love the Green Elephant Ceramic Sharpening Rod. The product features one of the highest grades of ceramic available on the market. That is why it is perfect for professional use and is suitable for German and Japanese knives.

We also love the fact that it features an interesting shock-absorbing design. This contributes to making the tool durable while preventing it from breaking into pieces when it falls. Besides, it is equipped with an ergonomic handle that facilitates the holding of your rod. This way, it makes the use easy and safe.

Another cool feature of this product is the fact that it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. In case you are not satisfied with it, you can contact the manufacturer for a change or refund.

Also, did we mention that it is lightweight and comfortable? The handle provides you with an effortless sharpening experience.

While many people deem this tool is the best honing steel for Japanese knives, it is not compatible with dishwashers. It can only be washed by hand.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Solid and shock-resistant
  • High-quality material
Cons
  • Can only be washed by hand
Features
  • Rod material: carbon steel, plated with nickel-chrome
  • Length: 12” rod
  • Handle material: rubber
  • Weight: 14.4 oz.

More features: slip-resistant, quick and safe, sharpens standard and serrated edged knife blades, metal ring

Maybe you want a budget sharpening steel and don’t know which one to buy! You will then love the Utopia Kitchen honing rod because you won’t need to spend a huge amount of money to buy it. Additionally, the tool is solid and resistant. Made with chrome-plated nickel carbon steel, not only does it boast sturdiness, but it also possesses a fine surface that prevents damage during honing.

It is practical to use, whether you are left or right-handed. This knife honing steel will help you to both align and sharpen your knives easily. We love the fact that its handle is comfortable and equipped with a slip-resistant rubber bottom. That is how it fits perfectly in the hands, thus enabling you to work properly on your knives.

Besides, this 12-inch knife sharpening steel can work on any type of knives: pocket, sporting, household, etc. It can also sharpen serrated knives blades and standard one, only with a few strokes.

The only limitation is the fact that it is not compatible with dishwashers.

Pros
  • Works on any type of knives
  • Slip-resistant handle
  • Easy and safe to use
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • Incompatible with dishwashers
Features
  • Rod material: diamond-coated steel
  • Length: 10” rod
  • Handle material: polypropylene
  • Weight: 6.9 oz.

More features: tri-sided grit, Buck’s forever warranty, durable

Are you looking for professional honing steel? The Buck Knives EdgeTek Tri-Grit Ultra Steel has got you covered. The tool is a10-inch lightweight honing rod that helps you work easily and effortlessly. You will not feel like having something in your hands that slows you. Additionally, it is equipped with a 100% diamond-coated surface that we love. Not only is it covered by a lifetime warranty, but it also provides you with excellent performance.

We love the fact that it is long enough to work even for bigger knives effortlessly. Additionally, it comes with a tri-sided grit that helps you hone different kinds of knives. According to your needs, you can choose between the grit’s sharpness: 1200 for a fine sided grit, a 750 medium grit, and a 320 coarse grit.

Let’s not forget its polypropylene handle that facilitates its grip and the notch that makes it easy to hang the tool everywhere you want.

But the price could be better. The tool is a bit expensive!

Pros
  • Versatile and easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Excellent diamond-coated surface
Cons
  • High price tag
4.

Winware Stainless Steel Sharpening SteelBest Simple Option

Features
  • Rod material: stainless steel
  • Length: 12” rod, 5” handle
  • Handle material: plastic
  • Weight: 13.6 oz.

More features: metal ring, anti-roll design

The Winware stainless steel honing rod is a simple option for you if you need a well-designed tool. We love the whole product, as well as the fact that it is ergonomic. With this sharpening steel, you can sharpen your knives effortlessly.

Thanks to stainless steel material, this honing rod is stable, solid, and easy to use. Its 5-inch handle provides an excellent secure grip that makes you safe during the honing process. Additionally, it is equipped with a hanging loop that makes it easy to store the tool once you are done working.

On top of that, it is easy to clean. It is both dishwasher-safe and cleanable with a damp cloth. Next, it is budget-friendly. Whether you are a restaurateur or a professional culinary, you will enjoy all the features that it comes with.

Unfortunately, it is rough for softer knives. Although the ridges work well, they are rather hard on fine-edge blades.

Pros
  • Anti-corrosive design
  • Provides an evenly-honed process
  • Hanging loop provided
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Rough for softer blades
5.

Mercer Culinary German Honing SteelBest with German Steel Rod

Features
  • Rod material: German steel
  • Length: 12” rod
  • Handle material: polypropylene
  • Weight: 12 oz.

More features: metal ring, limited lifetime warranty

If you are looking for the best sharpening steel, the Mercer Culinary honing rod has got you covered. Made with German steel, the tool is solid, resistant, and provides you with adequate features to rod your knives evenly. The advantage of German steel is that it is harder than your knife’s steel, and it lasts longer. By buying it, you will use your tool for a very long time.

You will enjoy the fact that it is easy to use! The tool comes with a polypropylene handle that provides you with a solid and safe grip. Thus, there are reduced risks of accidents and injuries happening when you are working.

Its exceptional materials, dedicated craftsmanship, and unique design make this tool perfect for kitchen professionals and food enthusiasts. It comes with a hanging loop at the edge of the handle. This loop is practical and useful for the storage of your honing rod when you are done working. But compared to the weight, the handle is relatively lightweight.

Pros
  • Durable
  • Can be used by both food enthusiasts and kitchen professionals
  • Ensures safe grip
  • Convenient hanging loop
Cons
  • Lightweight handle compared to the weight

Features
  • Rod material: ceramic
  • Length: 12” rod
  • Handle material: rubber
  • Weight: 9.6 oz.

More features: ergonomic handle, sharpens and aligns the edge, metal ring

The Messermeister rod knife sharpener is probably the best ceramic honing rod. It may look fragile, but it is not. The tool provides you with a solid and sturdy ceramic surface that is perfect for both aligning the edge and sharpening your knives. These abrasive and honing features are practical, as they help you benefit from the 2-in-1 model. This way, you save money by purchasing this versatile tool. Besides, it comes with an ergonomic grip, perfect for effortlessly holding the steel honing rod while working.

Additionally, it has a hanging loop at the edge of the handle. We love it because it helps store the tool when you have honed and sharpened your knives. Did we mention that it is comfortable? We also appreciate that it is a 1200 grit rod. This makes it perfect for all types of knives, especially Japanese ones.

Also, it comes with a plastic sleeve that protects your rod in-between uses. That is why the tool can last for a long time! On the other hand, some people think that it is a bit coarse.

Pros
  • Comfortable handle for a firm grip
  • Sharpens and realigns knives
  • Easy to use
  • Equipped with a hanging loop
Cons
  • Some customers think it is a bit coarse

Features
  • Rod material: stainless steel
  • Length: 12” rod
  • Handle material: plastic
  • Weight: 14.4 oz.

More features: lifetime warranty against defects, metal ring

This honing rod will be ideal for you if you are looking for an easy-to-use product. It is made with top-quality hard steel-alloy that makes it robust. It can, therefore, withstand shocks without breaking down easily. We also love the fact that it comes with a sturdy handle. This provides you with the best grip you need to realign your knives, sharpen their edges, and remove any burrs.

As if it is not enough, it is also lightweight. Thanks to its construction, you can easily manipulate it. Next, it has a metal ring that can be used to hang the tool once you are done working. This way, you will protect it and prevent it from falling.

It comes with an oval-shaped surface, thus providing you with more surface contact to easily achieve perfect results with fewer strokes. But the price is rather high.

Pros
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Fast honing due to the oval-shaped surface
  • Lifetime warranty against defects
Cons
  • High price tag

Features
  • Rod material: diamond carbon steel
  • Length: 12” rod
  • Handle material: plastic
  • Weight: 8 oz.

More features: oval shape, elegant design, ergonomic handle, unconditional lifetime guarantee

This fantastic honing rod is one for the professionals. It is built with diamond carbon steel that makes it both durable and efficient, all without spending a lot of money. The material provides you with precise honing so you won’t need to pun in much effort. Besides, you can also use this tool to sharpen your old and not well-maintained knives.

This diamond sharpening steel is also sturdy. Therefore, you can use it for a long time and sharpen any type of knives: carbide, ceramic, titanium, steel, etc. The best part? The manufacturer provides an unconditional lifetime guarantee on this product. This shows their complete trustworthiness and belief in their tool. Also, this means that it neither stops sharpening knives nor does it get old, making it the best honing steel for Global knives.

As for the drawbacks, the guard could be a little bigger. Additionally, its design is dull, although it possesses excellent features.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Can be used for any knife type
  • Unconditional lifetime guarantee
Cons
  • The guard could be bigger
  • The design is dull
Features
  • Rod material: diamond-coated steel
  • Length: 10” rod
  • Handle material: rubber
  • Weight: 7.84 oz.

More features: oval shape, soft-grip handle, metal ring

Another reliable diamond honing rod is the Smith’s Diamond Sharpening Steel. This tool comes with an oval-shaped surface that makes it easy for you to sharpen and hone your knives. No more will you be slowed down by dull knives. They will perfectly cut or slice your ingredients and save your time when cooking.

On top of that, Smith’s brand is trustworthy. It is an old manufacturer that makes sure that its products are of high-quality, and this honing rod is of no exception. Apart from sharpening your knives with it, you can also use it to realign them. You will love the good grip it provides with rubber handle. This prevents the tool from accidentally falling from your hands when you are working.

The tool is equipped with a metal ring for easy storage and use. Additionally, it is equipped with a plastic tip at the edge, which serves to protect your cooking platforms against scratches.

Last but not least, it ergonomic. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with all types of knives.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Sharpens and realigns the knives well
  • Non-slip grip
  • Metal ring for easy storage
Cons
  • It is not compatible with all knives
Features
  • Rod material: ceramic
  • Length: 12” rod
  • Handle material: plastic
  • Weight: 8.2 oz.

More features: unbreakable, lightweight, wear-resistant

What we love about DMT CS2 12-Inch Ceramic Steel is the fact that it is lightweight. This way, you will easily work on your knives. This tool features a perfectly designed handguard that facilitates the use. Additionally, it is equipped with a plastic handle that helps you get a good grip on the honing rod. Whether you are making a heavy use, it will remain in place!

Crafted from the highest quality materials, the tool is solid and sturdy. It is built for durability and performance. It is wear-resistant, unbreakable, and provides you with years of consistent performance and reliable service. Whether you use it consistently or not, it will always feel well-balanced.

Last but not least, this honing steel does not require the use of oil for maintenance. This tool cans either be used dry or with water for easy cleaning.

As for the drawbacks, its handle is a bit small.

Pros
  • Durable and lightweight
  • Hang ring provided
  • Non-slip handle
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • The handle is small

Buying Guide

A honing rod is a fantastic tool that helps you maintain the blades of your knives. Generally, it looks like a thin, long, metal rod. This device is also called “sharpening steel”. While both are different, it is possible to find a 2-in-1 model (honing and sharpening tool). With that being said, honing your knives is an action that you can undertake in-between each sharpening. This helps you keep your knives in excellent condition without subjecting it to the aggressiveness of sharpening. But how to choose the best steel honing rod according to your needs? To help you, we have considered some important criteria!

How to find the best honing steel?

We know various models and brands are manufacturing honing rods. But it is not easy to choose between them. All of them possess many different features, and the key is to identify the product that meets your specific experience level and needs. Now, let’s check the criteria that we considered when looking for the best honing steel for knives.

Rod material

10 Best Honing Steels – Forget about Dull Knives!

The first criterion to consider when buying honing steel is the rod material. Generally, this kind of tool offers a wide variety of materials, including diamond-coated steel, stainless or carbon steel, and ceramic. Each of them has its advantages.

The ceramic material is good for you if you want to sharpen your knives regularly. Its sharpening effect is, however, gentle. The Green Elephant Ceramic Sharpening Rod is a great example of such a product.

Steel is another interesting material for regular sharpening. These models, including the Winware Stainless Steel Sharpening Steel, provide you with excellent honing and fast sharpening.

As for a diamond rod, it is an excellent choice if you don’t hone regularly. It aligns and sharpens your knives with just fewer strokes.

Our honing steel reviews above provide all these types of those materials, and the choice will depend on your preferences.

Length

The length of the honing rod also matters when you decide to buy this tool. That is why you need to check it and make sure it suits your needs.

When choosing, you need to make sure that the honing steel is not too long and that it matches your knife’s length and feels comfortable.

If your blades are small, you will need a small rod; if they are long, you will need a long rod. Generally, a 10 to 12 in. hone is the adequate size for most knives. These lengths are available in our honing steel reviews above, with the Buck Knives EdgeTek Tri-Grit Ultra Steel being a great 10“ example.

Handle

When choosing your tool, you have to make sure that it is equipped with an ergonomic handle to ensure a non-slip grip. This is the case of the Utopia Kitchen Honing Steel. The tool is safe, and the slip-resistant grip prevents it from falling and breaking.

Your rod can also come with an anti-roll handle design that also prevents it from falling and breaking. The important thing here is that your tool must boost your safety.

A poor handle strains your wrist and ruins your knife maintaining experience.

Weight

The weight is also an important criterion to consider when buying the best honing steel. It is fundamental because it determines how you will work with your tool. If it is too heavy, then you will have difficulty in easily honing. Do not hesitate to check this feature on your products.

Based on our honing steel reviews above, the most lightweight product is the Green Elephant Ceramic Sharpening Rod. It lays comfortably in hand and helps you work easily and effortlessly.

Grit

The grit is also an important feature to consider when buying your honing rod. During your purchase, you have to make sure that it suits your knives.

The finer the grit is, the more finely it will help you sharpen your tools.

The Buck Knives EdgeTek Tri-Grit Ultra Steel features tri-sided grit that makes it a marvelous model suitable for various knife types.

Warranty

Whether it is a short or long guarantee, each honing rod possesses a warranty period that protects the customers against the manufacturer’s defects. Although the duration of such a warranty is important, you also want to make sure that the terms are also advantageous. Before purchasing your preferred model, do not hesitate to read and understand the condition of the warranty.

With that being said, you will adore the Kota Japan Diamond Carbon Steel model, with its unconditional lifetime warranty. Additionally, the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Sharpening Steel also comes with a lifetime warranty against defects.

Hanging ring

On a honing steel rod, the hanging ring is an important item. It helps you store and safely keep your tool. You can use it to hang your rod in your kitchen or any room in your house. This way, it prevents the tool from rolling, falling, and breaking.

Most honing rods in our reviews above, including the Smith’s Diamond Sharpening Steel, possess the hanging loop!

Prices

10 Best Honing Steels – Forget about Dull Knives!

While there are many options available on the market, the prices for honing steels are not that high. Thus, you will be able to find affordable models that possess some excellent features.

That is the case with the Utopia Kitchen Honing Steel and the Winware Stainless Steel Sharpening Steel. Both are budget-friendly options that can be found for less than 20$.

At the same time, you can go for premium options like the Buck Knives EdgeTek Tri-Grit Ultra Steel. This model will cost a tad above $50.

If you are looking for something slightly different, you can check other options in between. These top-rated products also offer marvelous features and ease of use.

When purchasing your honing steel, make sure that its price matches your budget. You don’t necessarily need to buy an expensive tool to benefit from all its features.

FAQ

First of all, you need to know that sharpening a knife takes metal off its blade. Therefore, this appears that sharpening it often can lead to a shortage of life of your knife. The best method to make it live longer is to hone it frequently. Honing does not sharpen; it simply keeps your knife in a peak condition. Additionally, there is no rule as to when and how often you can hone your tools. You can even do it before or after every use, depending on your needs and preferences. This will generally vary according to the quality of your knives.

Your knife has to be dull before you hone it. A honing rod is rather a maintenance tool than a sharpening one. That is why it can be used daily. With that being said, when you want to use this tool, first put the steel straight on a cutting board.

Additionally, you will have to anchor it and make sure it is safe. The next step is putting your knife perpendicularly to your honing rod while making it face away from you. Finally, perform firm but light strokes by pulling the knife towards you to hone it.

The durability of a honing rod will generally depend on the materials used to manufacture it. Generally, they last for decades before wearing out. Depending on the frequency of use, you might change your tool every five to ten years if you regularly use it. As for the impact resistance, you shouldn’t have any issues with that because they are quite sturdy.

Our verdict

Now, you know a thing or two about taking care of your knives. Adequately catering for them with a honing rod will make them last longer and be useful in the kitchen.

According to our reviews above, our Editor’s Choice is the Green Elephant Ceramic Sharpening Rod. We recommend it because it possesses all the features to be efficient. Additionally, it is lightweight.

If you want to purchase an affordable tool, you will adore the Utopia Kitchen model. It is slip-resistant and sharpens standard and serrated edged knife blades.

If you are looking for the premium model, then the Buck Knives EdgeTek Tri-Grit can be the best honing steel for your needs. It is lightweight, versatile, and has a lifetime warranty.

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