There are many techniques using which you can hone your dull knife of steel.
But here are some facts we want to let you know before hopping into the process of honing. Sharpening a knife and honing a knife is absolutely not similar.
When you take a steel to the knife that means you are realigning a blade. More precisely re-aligning includes bending of a blade to each side of a knife it is more like you are straightening and truing your knife not sharpening. You are just simply honing your knife.
Now, what sharpening a knife means? It means the removal of the metal from a knife. When you sharpening all you have to focus is on making the primary edge of the knife thinner. Always keep in mind that as much as the edge gets thinner the sharper your knife is.
To perfectly hone your blade on a rod depends much on how you are angling the knife. The knife can be simple scratched if it is not being angled in a proper way. Hold the knife in a high position and stroke it if your knife is being placed flat to the steel. Doing this the blade of the knife will be deformed.
You can hone your steel of knife with the use of cutting board or a dish towel. Stand the blade you want to hone on a kitchen counter in such a position that the blade is perpendicular to the kitchen counter.
Now, remember never hold the knife and place it in a position that is too low to the blade then doing this you will get nothing but leave your primary grind of knife scratched.
So it is very important to place your angle in the correct way. Make sure you do not apply hard pressure on the edge of the blade while realigning. Giving way too pressure on the edge of the blade make it rolls up the other side. So that is the reason why you should not pressurize much. Just pay attention to the way you are angling. The correct and smooth angling will make the blade of the knife realigned.
There is a fact most of us seem not to consider and that is Rockwell hardness. Many of us do not even know what Rockwell hardness is. So Rockwell hardness is like a virtue belongs to the steel of a knife. More precisely the toughness of the steel or the blade of the knife it deals with.
The standard amount of Rockwell hardness of an average stainless steel knife is between 56 to 59. Maximum common steels intend to have between 57 and 62-63 Rockwell hardness. But many people do not care much about that and intend to buy fancy knives such with high steel which do not have the standard Rockwell hardness.
So before going for buying a knife, it is necessary to know what type of knife and also the kind of steel you actually need.
It is totally up to you how many times you want to hone your knives. There is no specific time schedule for honing knives. You can do it often if you want. If your knives do not have the sharpness it has then that time you should give the blades of your knives a thinner edge.
The honing can be done multiple times if you feel the sharpness of the blades is fading while chopping or cutting. If you are not a professional cook and using kitchen knives for home cooks then hone them once every six months that would be enough.
For the professional purpose and cooking, knives need to be honed on a weekly ritual. Always try to keep the knives neat. No matter what type of knife you are using always pay attention to its cleanness.
Make sure that your knives do not have metal residue. To keep your knives free from metal scum you can wipe the steel with using a damp towel.
One of the most important facts is the length of steel no matter what kind of steel you are purchasing. The longer in size the steel the more you need to pull the knife along.
For pairing or any small knife similar to this does not need this type of consideration. When the steel is long in size such as slicers or chef’s knives then the length of steel is an important criterion to consider.
According to the rule of thumb, it is advisable to have a length of minimum 12 inches without considering the handle part of the steel. Vertical honing methods can be done well with a 12 inches length of steel.
For most common use 12 inches are suitable. The work surface may be hit by the knife so stay careful. You can also follow the sharpening steel guide.