How to Hone a Knife

It may seem counterintuitive, but a sharp knife is safer than a dull one. (It’s a lot less likely to slip off the carrot you’re chopping and slice your finger instead.) This video shows what to do after every use to keep your knife sharp.

What You Need

  1. Check honing steel
  2. Check flat surface
  3. Check chef’s knife
  4. Check dish towel
  5. Check fresh tomato (or a piece of paper)

Follow These Steps

  1. Steady the honing steel

    Holding the handle of your honing steel, point the steel straight down and rest its tip on a countertop or another secure, flat work surface. Hold the knife in your dominant hand, with the sharp edge of the blade touching the steel, and position the blade so it rests at a 20-degree angle to the steel.

  2. Draw the knife down across the steel

    Starting with the heel of the knife (the part closest to the handle), draw the blade downward along the steel toward the counter, maintaining light pressure and pulling the handle back toward you so that the entire length of the blade, from the heel to the tip, comes in contact with the steel.

    Tip: As the edge of the blade makes contact with the steel, you should hear a light ringing sound. (A grinding sound means you're using too much pressure.)

  3. Repeat the action, alternating sides

    Use the same motion for the other side of the knife blade, using the opposite side of the steel. Repeat four to five times on each side. Wipe the knife with a dish towel to remove any residue. Slice through a tomato (or a piece of paper) using light pressure to check that your knife is completely honed.