As any seasoned chef knows, there is a knife for virtually every kitchen task. And in order to get the most out of your favorite knife, you’ll want to make sure that its blade is in good condition. One of the easiest ways to maintain the perfect cutting edge is with a honing rod.
Usually made from steel, ceramic or diamond-coated steel, the honing rod is an instrument used to realign blade edges. It is a misconception that honing rods sharpen knives; instead, regular use of one of these kitchen essentials ensures your blades stay straight. And while you should still sharpen your knives from time to time, a honing rod will help with basic maintenance between sharpenings.
If you’re serious about your knives, then you’ll know that they require a great deal of care. That’s why you’ll want to invest in a honing rod to ensure you’re maximizing your knife collection’s potential. Here are four worthy of your consideration.
1. Zwilling Sharpener
Zwilling’s honing rod is a stylish and easy-to-use tool that will keep your knife blades in impeccable shape. The instrument is a rod made of hard steel-alloy that will reset a knife’s edge, realigning it and removing any niche or burr. This component is oval-shaped, providing more surface contact so that you can achieve the same result with fewer strokes. Plus, its tough, synthetic handle will last you for years to come.
Pros: The oval shape of the steel makes honing a faster process.
Cons: Utilitarian design may not blend well with your more ornate kitchenware.
2. Green Elephant Ceramic Sharpening Rod
While honing rods are traditionally made from steel, ceramic options are becoming increasingly popular. They’re lighter than their steel peers, but that doesn’t come at the cost of quality or durability. Green Elephant’s ceramic rod, for example, is one of the most durable on the market, and has a vibration absorbent design that will protect it from any falls. It also has a Rockwell hardness level over 100, so you won’t have to put too much work into honing your blade either.
Pros: A rod that was designed to take a beating.
Cons: Must be washed by hand.
3. Kota Japan Diamond-Coated Steel Sharpener
The Japanese know a thing or two about knives. Turns out the same goes for honing rods. Kota Japan’s carbon steel rod features diamond electroplating, making it both efficient and durable—all without breaking the bank. It also has an oval shape, which seriously cuts down on the number of strokes you’ll need to realign a blade.
Pros: An efficient honing rod made from diamond-coated steel.
Cons: Its rather dull aesthetic won’t turn any heads.
4. Messermeister Ceramic Rod Knife Sharpener
Messermiester’s ceramic honing rod may sound fragile, but it’s anything but. The instrument features a rock-hard ceramic honing surface that has an abrasive characteristic to it—the brand promises this will sharpen your knife’s edge while realigning it. Additionally, an ergonomic, soft-grip handle makes the rod easy and comfortable to use.
Pros: A ceramic rod that sharpens while it hones.
Cons: May look a little bit too much like a screwdriver for some.