Honing and Sharpening Knives - The difference and why you need to do it?

Honing and Sharpening Knives - The difference and why you need to do it?

Ever hear of honing and sharpening a knife? Is there a difference between these terms, or are they interchangeable? You'll quickly discover that both are crucial if you want to keep your knives sharp and in good shape for a long time, in addition to the fact that it's necessary to grasp the differences between them.

The article below will help you to understand the difference between honing and sharpening.

What is honing?

The bevel of a knife's blade gives it a sharper point, but as it is used frequently to cut and chop, it will begin to bend somewhat. Although you might not be able to see this bent, over time it begins to damage the knife's functionality. You could want an honing rod or honing steel to fix this problem so that the knife edge is once more straight.

It is observed that sharpening may cause degradation of the knife because during sharpening process you actually end up removing some microscopic metal particles from your knife’s blade. With repeated sharpening, you may end up reducing a considerable amount of metal.

Note that, there are a wide range of honing rods available on the market; you can easily find one to keep your knives in the right shape. Some of the most popular options are steel honing rods, ceramic honing rods, and diamond honing rods.

Please note: You cannot hone a damascus steel blade with a honing steel. These knives mostly have a hardness of 59 HRC or higher. The steel of the knife is therefore harder than the steel of the honing steel which means you could damage both.

What is sharpening?

It is probably clear to you now that honing and sharpening are two different procedures and both have their own importance for kitchen knives. Note that, it is also important to sharpen the knives from time to time, but at the same time, one needs to understand that over-sharpening can also ruin their quality.

There are different methods to sharpen knives. Some people prefer to execute this task manually; however, professional chefs are more comfortable with electric sharpeners. In order to avoid ruining the blades of your knives, it is always important to sharpen them at the right angle. The most preferred choice is to sharpen them at 15 to 20 degrees.

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