What’s the Difference Between Honing and Sharpening

It is a very prominent thing that daily basis maintenance is necessary for optimal condition of knives. Many people know they should sharpen their knives but what is the actual meaning of sharpening a knife? And also what is honing ? If you are one of those who do not know the difference between sharpening and honing then you should keep reading the following section.

Honing and sharpening are two processes to keep your knife sharp and effective. There are some similarities in both terms but they are not actually the same, in spite of the fact that the terms are often confused. To understand both terms you need to know first why knives get dull.

Why Knives Get Dull 

Usually there are two reasons which lead to the cause of dull knives.

  • The sharp edge has fallen.
  • The blade edge is no longer aligned properly.

You need to sharpen those knives that don’t have teeth now. And a knife whose teeth are misaligned or bent which can happen as often as each use needs to be honed.


Honing is a nourishing of an edge that is already sharpened. The honing steel pushes the edge of the blade back to the alignment. You can also say : folding back the blurr. It is recommended you hone your knife immediately as experts hone their knives after every use.


On the other hand, sharpening is the process of removing particles from the blade edge and it is done by grinding it against the sharpening stone. It is a fact, if you hone your knife regularly then you will not need to sharpen it more than twice a year. 

The sharpening process also depends on how much you use it. So what is the difference between honing and sharpening ? Sharpening is the way to remove material from the blade to create a new, sharp edge, while honing keeps the blade sharp by pushing the knife edge back toward the center.

Honing and Sharpening Tools

Now this is a step where the majority of the people get confused. The tools used for sharpening and honing are often commutable. To get guidance regarding which tool is best for your knife read the below section.

Sharpening Stone

There are many who say that an electric sharpener could be too harsh and weaken your knife. However, they take a lot of work out of the process. Some of the experienced people agree that sharpening stones can be the best for sharpening knives. It helps you to sharpen the edges of the blade without removing excess amounts of steel from the knife. 

You can use sharpening by grabbing the edge of the blade against the stone at the angle of 20 degree. Release the pressure on it with your other hand, As you move the blade across the stone from heel to tip.

Honing Steels

It is important to maintain the beautiful sharpened blade which you get after a great struggle, you need to hone it after sharpening after each use. For that purpose, we recommend the honing steel or sharpening steel available on amazon in huge amounts.  Its work would not sharpen your knife as its name shows it will just hone your knife.

You can use the honing steel by holding it vertically, having a tip placed on the counter. Now slide or drag the blade down the rod at the angle of 15 degree, apply a little bit pressure. Repeat the same process 8 to 10 times on alternative sides.

How to Know When Your Knife is Dull

How to know when your knife is dull

Hundreds of tests are available to check the sharpness of your knife. One of the simplest methods is known as a paper test. All you need to do is run the knife down a piece of copy paper, moving from the heel to the head. If your knife doesn’t come clean, it may be time to sharpen it.

Our Honing Product Recommendation

Noble’s Knife Sharpener

We love to recommend Noble’s Knife Sharpener as it is built for daily use and mesmerized for safety and enables you to sharpen your knife for a long time.

Our Pro Maintained Sharpening Product Recommendation


Too much sharpening a knife means you are wearing it down over time. Due to that reason we recommend whetstone sharpening sets to our users. We can sharpen carefully with whetstone as it is the best method to maintain the quality of your knife for future use.

Our Pro Ease Sharpening Product Recommendation

 pro ease sharpening product

Using a whetstone is a more feasible sharpening option in our suggestion and it requires more patience, skill and time. If you are using a cheap knife then sharpening tools like this can be the best option for you.


We hope you found the above tips very useful to make decisions about honing and sharpening. Remember that honing is best for lasting maintenance and sharpening is best for reviving a knife.

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