How to Use a Sharpening Steel on Your Knives – Video

First, a quick tour update. Sunday 4/29 was my first day on the road, and I did a book signing at San Francisco’s wonderful Omnivore books. My book was on a shelf next to Jacques Pepin. Talk about feeling not worthy! We had a nice turnout, and tomorrow I’ve got an event for bloggers and media at Cookhouse. On Tuesday I move on to LA. I’d love to meet as many of you as possible while I’m on the road! Please check the tour page for info, and I’m also posting notes from the road and last minute events on Facebook.

Now on to today’s video. Do you have a sharpening steel in your kitchen? Many people get one as part of a knife set, but don’t know exactly how to use it. Although it is often called a sharpening steel, a more accurate name is a honing steel, because it doesn’t remove metal to create a sharp edge, it merely realigns the edge that is already there. A steel very easy to use, and if you do it regularly, your knives won’t need professional sharpening nearly so often. In the video, I’ll show you two ways to use the steel, as well as a way to check and see if your knife is sharp.

When your steel is no longer able to re-create sharp edge, I use and recommend the Chef’s Choice 130 Professional Knife-Sharpening Station, Platinum. It has 3 wheels – one for removing nicks from damaged edges, one for normal sharpening, and one for putting on an absolute razor finish. The built-in angle guide removes all the guesswork. (On the downside, for serious knife enthusiasts, it doesn’t let you choose different angles, it is preset.)

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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, April 30th, 2012 in Cooking Videos.

5 Responses to “How to Use a Sharpening Steel on Your Knives – Video”

  1. Reply
    April 30, 2012 at 6:55 am #

    Congratulations on the book again! Have a fantastic tour and come back to create more delicious recipes – we love it! I just wonder: why the book signing didn’t start in Seattle?! Looking forward to read how your tour is going… Have fun along the way too! Cheers to you!

  2. Reply
    February 23, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    What about sharpening serrated knives?

    • Reply
      February 24, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

      You can touch them up on this device: link to – but if they are badly dull, you have to take them to a professional.

  3. Reply
    April 5, 2013 at 11:06 pm #

    Hey Michael,

    That’s a great video on how to sharpen knives using steel.

    I know with experience that it requires a lot of practice to ensure that you get the angle right. That’s when you will actually get your knives sharpened.

    Else, as you suggested – it’s a good bet to go with the electric knife sharpener

  4. Reply
    October 10, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    This makes no sense, I have been told two distinct ways of how to hone a knife; going against the blade and going with the blade of the knife. In his paper description would you not then want to bend that overlapping potion back by dragging the blade of the knife away and against the honing steel and not pushing it with it?

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