Honing is the process of restoring a folded edge (re-alignment) of a Knife. It may remove some steel and can be performed before each hard kitchen task. It is mostly to refine your knife and not for sharpening.
How to hone a knife:
- In a kitchen board place a towel and place the honing rod vertical, with the tip down.
- Place the knife to the rod at the angle that was initially sharpened (usually 15-20º).
- With little to medium pressure, stroke simultaneously downward and towards you. Be sure to track the whole edge heel to tip.
- Stroke the knife alternately few times and you are done!
Types of Honing Rods:
- Ceramic rods: these are more aggressive than steel rods and will remove small amounts of metal.
- Steel rods: these are used for straightening the blade and removing a decent amount of metal depending on the distance between the grooves of the rod.
- Diamond rods: These are used usually for sharpening and not for straightening a curled edge. They will remove a significant amount of metal.
Rods usually have two sides. A coarser side for more metal removal and a smoother edge for straightening the blade.
Sharpening is the process of rebuilding the edge of a dull knife. It will remove some steel and it is usually necessary after a considerable amount of time.
It is considered difficult and “demanding” process, actually it is not(..in most of the cases..)
There are great videos on the net where you can see various sharpening techniques, but all share the same philosophy. Choose a style and practice!
With a clean towel, clean carefully your knife after each use.
- Never leave your knife sitting in the water.
- Do not use aggressive detergents.
- If you do not have a towel, use the soft side of a kitchen sponge.
*If your knife is from non stabilized wood you should treat it with pure Tung oil every year or two, to bring it to its initial state.
Do not throw the knife in the kitchen drawer. Store it in its sheath or on a clean magnetic rack/strip. You could use a wooden knife block, but be sure that the blade isn’t touching anything while stored.
The best option is wooden cutting boards and especially “end grain cutting boards”.
Good wooden boards won’t harm your knife as much as other materials like plastic and glass. You should choose a board made from non-toxic hardwood and preferably “tight grained” (small pores) as it will not scratch easily. With that in mind, you can choose between maple, cherry or walnut.
* Some say that the wooden cutting boards are not safe and sanitary. This is NOT true and in fact, in many cases, plastic boards have been proven that may be more bacteria friendly than the wooden ones!
Why end grain cutting board?
End grain means that the fibers of the wood board are vertical to the blade of the knife. That prevents fibers from splitting making it better for the knife and also for sanitary reasons.
How to use and care a wooden cutting board?
- Do clean your cutting board after each use!
- Do use hot water and soap!
- Do dry it completely!
- Do store it in a dry area.
- Do apply a food-safe mineral oil before first use and let it dry overnight.
- Do apply occasionally (approximately every month) food-safe mineral oil.
- Do not use vegetable or animal oil!
- Do not put your board in the dishwasher!
- Do not leave it submerged in water!