Honing Knives: Tips and Techinques Knife sharpening grinds the blade while honing is done to keep the edge of the knife straight. Unlike sharpening, which removes material and actually sharpens the blade, honing is more of a “fine tuning” of the blade and should be done often. Most professional cooks "steel" their knives every day.
There are several ways to hone your knife, but they all share the same fundamental elements. Draw the entire blade across the honing steel at a 20 degree angle. Use a small amount of pressure evenly across the whole blade as it cuts across the steel.
Here is our recommendation on how to steel your blade:
Hold the sharpening steel handle side up and rest the tip on a counter.
Hold your knife as you would to carve a turkey and slice against the steel at a 20 degree angle making sure to apply even but light pressure as you sweep across the entire blade surface on your way down toward the counter.
Repeat on the other side of the blade and alternate on each side several times.
Don't grind hard against the steel or slap the blade against it. Listen for a light ringing sound as the blade moves across the steel.
At a certain point, honing the blade will become ineffective as the blade edge degrades from use (usually several months). At this point it should be sharpened using a sharpening stone or other sharpening tool.