How to Sharpen a Knife with a Rod
The knife is one of the most important tools in the kitchen, up there with the spatula, the stove, the oven, and the dishwasher. But as knives do, their edges get dull, and dull edges don’t make for good cuts. Thankfully, there is one thing that can fix those edges: the honing rod. So, for this tutorial, we’re going to find out how to sharpen a knife with a rod.
Can you really sharpen a knife with a rod?
Okay, it’s time to bury the lead, no. The honing rod doesn’t sharpen a knife; it hones it; there is a difference. Sharpening a knife mostly involves reshaping the knife itself to make it sharper. Honing not only sharpens but cleans the edges of anything that dulls it, such as rust and food particles. Think of it like this: sharpening is like a bath, whereas honing is brushing your teeth.
How to sharpen a knife with a rod | 3 easy steps
Now that we got that out of the way let’s learn how to sharpen a knife with a rod. Make sure that the honing rod you’re using is the same size as the knife you’re honing. The process is simple, but don’t mistake it for the kind of Hollywood shows. This one requires a more delicate and patient approach.
Step 1: Cross the honing rod and knife at an angle
First, cross the knife and honing the rod. What angle you hold the knife at relative to the rod depends on the former’s edge. It’s a good idea to feel the knife before you begin, however, so you can have a better idea about its edge. But don’t forget to wear gloves before you do that, lest you cut your fingers.
Step 2: Hone the knife on the rod
Next, from the bottom of the honing rod, pull the knife towards the tip of the honing rod and do the same with the rod. Repeat this for the other side of the knife, and so on. It’s best if you start off slow and deliberate before you pick up the pace. And don’t clash the knife and rod together. You’ll know the knife is properly honed when the knife feels much smoother to pull.
Step 3: Rinse and clean the newly honed knife
At last, your knife is properly honed. Nothing can get in its way from cutting a tomato in one fell swoop. So, it’s time to give it a nice and clean rinse. The knife still has some iron fillings stuck to it. So, unless you like your dinner with a side of iron chunks, you need to wash them off.
Honing your knife to perfection
This tutorial was made to teach you how to sharpen a knife with a rod. But only did you learn that the “sharpen” part isn’t exactly true, but you learned how the process works and what makes it unique. Honing requires a little time and practice, but once you get the hang of it, your knife will never go dull.