Idahahone ceramic honing rod - Artisan Knives

Sharpening stone vs honing rod

Sharpening stone vs honing rod

 What is the difference and when to use them?

There is a lot of misunderstanding around the use of a honing rod.

One of the misconceptions is that a honing rod will sharpen a blade.

The honing rod will realign the edge of the blade while a sharpening stone will remove steel and create a new edge out freshly exposed steel.

This is in short the difference between sharpening stone vs honing rod and I will further explain in finer detail.

Sharpening is removing old tired steel that was the actual edge and replacing it with fresh underlying steel. When done correctly you create a refined and sharp edge.

The sharpening stone is in fact an abrasive block and if you look under a microscope you will see peaks and troughs.

Sharpening leaves the same finish on the edge of a blade and this looks like serrations under a microscope.

When you use your knife a day and chop and cut on a board the serrations will fold over left and right. This is when you would use a honing rod to bring the serrations back in line. This will give you a feeling of a sharper blade but this action is not sharpening.

This is realigning.

After long use of a knife the edge will get dull this is when metal fatigue sets in.

This is the point where a knife needs sharpening on a stone.

When a knife is dull sharpening is the only option and the use of a honing rod won’t have any effect.

Honing on a rod is maintenance and sharpening is replacing the edge with a new one.

Find our sharpening stones and honing rod


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