Honing Steels

A sharp knife makes easy work of your kitchen cutting tasks whether dicing vegetables, carving meats or slicing fruits. All of the knives offered by Williams-Sonoma are high-quality precision tools, but even the finest knife will lose its edge over time with regular use. Between sharpenings, keep your knives at their peak performance with regular use of honing steel. While sharpening a knife creates a new edge by actually taking a small amount of steel off the blade, honing re-aligns the microscopic teeth that we can’t see and reduces the amount of sharpening that is needed. A honing steel can be used often, even after every use, or once a week at least for knives that you use regularly for your culinary creations.

All of our honing steels are crafted of high-carbon steel that is resistant to stain and corrosion, or constructed of ceramic such as the honing steels made by Global cutlery. Ceramic rods are oval shaped, which is the key to their efficiency, exposing more surface area to the knife being sharpened. A ceramic rod also gently sharpens your knife while honing it.

Our honing steels are intended for all knives with straight, non-serrated edges, from large chef’s knives to the smallest paring knives. When selecting a honing steel be sure it is at least the same length or longer than the knives you want to hone. Choose from the fine selection of Wüsthof honing steels, all of which are precision forged from a single piece of high-carbon steel. Handle options include African blackwood or polypropylene, each contoured for easy gripping.

For storage of your honing steels, you’ll notice that all of our knife blocks have a slot for them, so your honing steel is ready at hand, to be used just as often as your knives. We offer many complete knife sets, including those from Japanese knife maker Shun. Shun’s high-carbon steel honers have a very handy built-in 16-degree guide on the steel to help you know at which angle to hone a particular knife. You’ll simply line up the knife with the guide and make a few light strokes on each side of the blade. Their resin-infused pakkawood handles are resistant to moisture and have a D-shape for extra comfort.

More choices await you from quality manufacturers like Wolf, Sabatier, Zwilling J.A. Henckels and KitchenAid®. World-famous French chef Michel Bras offers his high-performance honing steel as well, designed specifically to keep Michel Bras knives in top shape between sharpenings. These honing steels are comprised of bits of diamond, the hardest substance available, to keeping a sharp edge on high-carbon steel knives.