Best Sharpening Steels for Any Kitchen!

Best Sharpening Steels for Any Kitchen!

If you’re a kitchen freak, you’ll know how important it is to maintain your knives and take proper care of them to increase their lifespan. Proper maintenance and care of knives include proper cleaning after every use and timely sharpening when needed. Sharpening is something that is super important to restore your dull knife’s sharpness, but it should be sharpened only to an extent. Frequent sharpening could ruin the knife.

When it comes to sharpening tools, there are actually plenty of them. There are whetstones, electric sharpeners, manual sharpeners, and sharpening steels or rods.  For normal everyday kitchen tasks, people usually prefer having sharpening steels to sharpen their knives. This is because they are easy to use and handle and provide instant sharpness without requiring a lot of time to get the job done.

An important thing to know is that people usually confuse honing steels with sharpening steels. But the truth is, there’s a difference between honing and sharpening. Honing doesn’t sharpen a knife! It only adjusts its edge back while sharpening actually sharpens a knife by removing its dull material on top and bringing out a new layer.

In this very article, we’re going to be talking about how to sharpen a knife with a steel rod and the best sharpening steel you can find in the market!

9-inch TUO Sharpening Rod

Our top pick choice for today is for 9-inch TUO Sharpening Rod which is manufactured with High Carbon German Stainless Steel and works for all kitchen knives.

What is the Difference Between Sharpening and Honing a Knife?

What is the Difference Between Sharpening and Honing a Knife

One major difference between sharpening and honing a knife is that sharpening actually sharpens your knife while honing does not. Let us explain how. When you sharpen your knife, that means you’re replacing its dull blade with a new layer of a sharp blade. Sharpening basically removes the exposed dull layer of the blade as it removes some of the blade’s material by rubbing it against a sharpener and then bringing out a new, fresh and sharp layer to the front.

On the other hand, honing does not remove any layer of the blade material. What it does is, align the displaced edge of the blade back to its position, which was somehow misaligned because of frequent use of the knife. This is why honing is often referred to as ‘folding back the burr’.

Also, frequent honing does no harm to your knives. Many people prefer honing their knives after every use. But frequent sharpening isn’t recommended. This is because every time you sharpen your knife, a layer from blade material would be gone, and soon, your knife won’t live anymore. Hence, sharpen your knife only when needed.

What Grit is sharpening steel?

Ceramic grit between 400 and 800 is used to sharpen your knife. While a grit of around 2000 is used to hone your knife. Each honing rod is different in the amount of metal it removes from your knife and how hard it is.

Best Sharpening Steels to Look for In the Market!

You’ll find plenty of sharpening steels in the market, but you’ll have to make a wise decision. To make the hunt easier for our readers, we have shortlisted five sharpening sheets of steel that you must consider while making a purchase.

  1. TUO Sharpening Steel for All Kitchen Knives 3
  2. Noble Home and Chef Professional Knife
  3. HENCKELS Fine Edge Pro Sharpening Steel5
  4. Mercer Culinary Genesis 10-Inch  1
  5. Utopia Kitchen 12 Inch Honing Steel Knife 4
Image Product & Features Ratings Price
Best Overall

TUO Sharpening Steel

TUO Sharpening Steel

  • Keeps your edge perfectly aligned and at its peak
  • Made from German high-carbon stainless steel
  • Best tool to keep your knives in shape
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Best Budget

HENCKELS Fine Edge Pro

HENCKELS Fine Edge Pro

  • Great tool for general-purpose maintenance of knives
  • Provides a nice balance for beginners
  • Full tang provides maximum balance
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Best by Design

Noble Home and Chef Professional Knife

Noble Home and Chef Professional Knife

  • Prevents fine particles from flying over
  • Made of hardened carbon steel of high quality
  • Is chromium-plated after hardening
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Mercer Culinary Genesis 10-Inch Mercer Culinary Genesis 10-Inch

  • Highly carbonized to resist corrosion, rust, and staining
  • Withstand hot and cold temperatures without breaking down
  • Certified for safety, performance, and quality by NSF
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Utopia Kitchen 12 Inch Utopia Kitchen 12 Inch

  • Sharpens both standard and serrated edges
  • Solid enough to be used on large knives and cleavers
  • Works on steel as well as ceramic blades
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1. TUO Honing Steel for All Kitchen Knives – Suitable for All Knives

BEST OVERALL – TUO Honing Steel for All Kitchen Knives


This 9-inch TUO honing steel keeps your edge perfectly aligned and at its peak. It’s easier to use; even easier than a grindstone, and no matter what kind of steel you have, you can sharpen your knife with it. Using high-tech vacuum heat treatment, the steel is precisely processed for superior performance. It is made from German high-carbon stainless steel, so it won’t rust over time.

In addition, Pakkawood composite is used for the full tang handle. Pakkawood composite is far more stable and hygienic than other wood handles.


Brand TUO
Model No. TUO-TC0708
Dimensions 9 inches x 1-inch x 1 inch
Weight 1.39 Pounds
Material High Carbon Stainless Steel
Color Fiery


  • Regardless of your kitchen environment, you can be assured there will be no expansion, no cracks, ensuring the safety of the food.
  • It is suitable for knives of most sizes without being too bulky or protruding too far from the knife box or woodblock. To straighten out and bring back the edge of the steel, tiny grooves are drilled into its surface.
  • You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the heft and apparent craftsmanship of this honing steel. Yes! It’s that good.
  • Just a few passes with this TUO sharpening tool bring the edge back to just like it was just sharpened.
  • With the ergonomic design of the handle, Pakkawood ensures a seamless and relaxing cutting experience.
  • Due to its narrow blade, this TUO steel is nimble and easy to maneuver
  • It combines modern elegance with purposeful functionality
  • The best tool to keep your knives in shape
  • High carbon stainless steel enables it to cut efficiently and with ease
  • The rod might be a bit smaller for 10- or 12-inch knives



2. Noble Home and Chef Professional Knife – Chromium Plated to Prevent Corrosion

Noble Home and Chef Professional Knife - Chromium Plated to Prevent Corrosion


Honing steels (also known as sharpening steels) realign the edge of your knife so that it cuts with greater precision; however, they can release tiny metal particles into the air. However, with this very amazing sharpener, the Magnetization of this professional sharpening steel prevents fine particles from flying over on nearby food or being inhaled.

Furthermore, the product is made of hardened carbon steel of high quality. The materials used for its construction have been carefully chosen. There is no soft, inexpensive steel or cheap plastic.


Brand Noble Home and Chef
Model No. HS-3STR102-12
Dimensions 16.75 inches x 1.75 inches x 1.25 inches
Weight 13.1 Ounces
Material Alloy Steel
Color 3 Stripe


  • Weight and design appear classy in any kitchen when you hold it, and you immediately recognize the quality of the construction.
  • The rod is made of alloy steel with a hardness of HRC65 +/- 1.5 and is also hard-chromed with HV940 surface hardness.
  • This sharpening steel is chromium-plated after hardening, which prevents corrosion and rust.
  • Its sturdy, firm handle ensures a safe and secure grip.
  • Resistant to corrosion and rust
  • Built to last for years of use
  • Perfectly balanced and has an excellent weight
  • Safe to be washed in the dishwasher
  • There’s nothing that we disliked about this product



3. HENCKELS Fine Edge Pro Sharpening Steel – Best for General Purpose Maintenance of Knives

BEST BUDGET – HENCKELS Fine Edge Pro Sharpening Steel


High-quality stainless steel is used to manufacture HENCKELS knives, which have a one-piece construction for superior durability. Being an essential tool for sharpening knives, this classic one from HENCKELS adds solid construction to any knife set. As a result of the full tang and ergonomic handles, the blade is ideal for cutting and offers optimal balance.

It is a great tool for general-purpose maintenance of knives. However, it isn’t too good to go with high-quality chef knives.


Model No. 32547-232
Dimensions 15.56 inches x 3.25 inches x 1 inches
Weight 1 Pound
Material Stainless Steel
Color Stainless Steel, Black


  • As its weight is concentrated in the handle, it provides a nice balance for beginners as it is heavier than many other sharpeners.
  • With this sharpening steel, fibers that have bent down on metal blades are expertly straightened out, preserving their sharpness for daily use.
  • In addition to being a good length for handling more regular kitchen knives, it is also an effective but standard design.
  • The slip-resistant handle makes it super convenient to grip the rod in your hand and get the job done without having your knife slip even once.
  • Designed ergonomically to fit comfortably in your hand, allowing you to prep without getting fatigued.
  • Its full tang provides maximum balance
  • It is made from high-quality stainless steel, allowing you to regain sharpness quickly.
  • Suitable only for normal use kitchen knives and not for big chef knives



4. Mercer Culinary Genesis M21010 – 10-Inch – Withstands Hot and Cold Temperatures

Mercer Culinary Genesis M21010 – 10-Inch


With a taper-ground edge, this Mercer knife makes cutting and chopping is easier, easier to hone, and more efficient as well. The German cutlery steel in Mercer Genesis knives is highly carbonized to resist corrosion, rust, and staining. These knives are precision-forged for optimum strength and durability.

Furthermore, its ergonomic handle is particularly comfortable and prevents slipping, even with wet hands. It can also withstand hot and cold temperatures without breaking down.


Brand Mercer Culinary
Model No. M21010
Dimensions 5.08 cm x 2.54 cm x 38.1 cm
Weight 270 Grams
Material Alloy Steel
Color Black


  • This Mercer knife is made with German X50 Cr Mo V15 cutlery steel which is highly carbonated, rust-resistant, and corrosion-resistant
  • With a belter, the knife is stronger, more durable, and better balanced for cutting food.
  • Its full tang guarantees maximum balance and better strength with precision-forged construction.
  • Its non-slip handle made of Santoprene offers comfortable and ergonomic use.
  • Perfectly weighted and perfectly balanced knife
  • Strong build with its high-quality precision forged German steel
  • Full tang runs the entire length of the handle
  • Certified for safety, performance, and quality by NSF
  • Not suitable for professional chefs
  • There is no polishing or rounding on the spine or choil



5. Utopia Kitchen 12 Inch Honing Steel Knife – Best Suitable for Steel as well as Ceramic Blades

Utopia Kitchen 12 Inch Honing Steel Knife


With this 12-inch knife sharpening steel rod you can sharpen any type of knife, including kitchen, household, sporting, and pocketknives; it sharpens both standard and serrated edges. During sharpening, the steel rod features a fine surface that protects the cutting edge from damage due to its carbon steel and nickel-chrome plating.

With a grip that fits all hands, this sharpener is easy to use for right as well as left-handed people. Furthermore, its slip-resistant rubber bottom keeps your sharpener steady and secure while you use it.


Brand Utopia Kitchen
Model No. UK0354
Dimensions 17.9 inches x 2.4 inches x 1.7 inches
Weight 14.7 Ounces
Material Alloy Steel
Color Black


  • Despite its beefy build and long length, this honing steel is solid enough to be used on large knives and cleavers. A pleasure to use.
  • To protect your steel from scratches, the unit comes with a thin plastic cover you can snap together.
  • Most importantly, its 12-inch length makes it one of the best tools for sharpening bigger knives.
  • The sturdy construction and its strong grip handle ensure maximum comfort and control over the rod during use.
  • Suitable for sharpening both the standard and serrated edges
  • Ergonomically designed handle for maximum durability and comfort
  • Works on steel as well as ceramic blades
  • Restores the edge of the knife to razor sharpness in just a few strikes
  • After a lot of use, there’s absolutely nothing that we would have disliked about this product.



How to Sharpen a Knife with a Steel Rod?

How to Sharpen a Knife with a Steel Rod

To sharpen your knife using a steel rod, all you have to do is give your knife a few rubs against the rod. And you’re done! But there has to be a rhythm in doing so. It has to be done properly with an appropriate angle degree, so your knife doesn’t slip, and you easily sharpen it. Here are the steps you need to follow.

  1. First of all, use your dominant hand to hold the knife. Left-handed people should hold the sharpening steel straight down perpendicular to their cutting board with their left hand while right-handed folks should hold it in reverse that is, in their right hand.
  2. In a sweeping motion, cut through the steel with your opposite hand at a 25-degree angle. This is the same as slicing a thin layer of something. In this case, you’ll be slicing a thin layer of blade steel.
  3. Turn the knife back toward you. Slice through the knife starting at the thickest part and working your way to the tip. Make sure not to press too hard. Grasp the steel firmly without too much pressure.
  4. After cutting on one side of the blade, switch sides and cut on the other. Switch sides at least four or five times and you’ll be good to go.

How to Clean a Sharpening Steel

Cleaning of sharpening steel isn’t much of a big deal. All you have to do is take a damp cloth with a bit of vinegar on it and wrap it over the rod on the opposite side from its tip. Now grab it tightly and move towards the tip. You can do it multiple times to ensure maximum cleaning.

We recommend the use of vinegar instead of just a damped cloth because vinegar helps to degrease the steel. As a result, you’ll notice a lot of greys come off on the cloth and that’s all the little filings that have been embedded in the steel.

BUYING GUIDE – Things to Consider Before Buying Sharpening Steels

Even though most of you might think there’s nothing too much to keep in mind while buying sharpening steel, there are a few things any buyer must focus on. Sharpening steels come in different sizes, constructed with different materials. So, you must opt for the most suitable for your use.

Here are a few things we would want our readers to consider before buying sharpening steel.

Length – The very first thing is the length. Both the short and long sharpening tools are easily available in the market. But we recommend having a long one to ensure sharpening with maximum ease. However, if your job is to deal with normal-sized knives for everyday kitchen use, you may opt for an 8-to-9-inch sharpening rod.

But in most cases, a 10 to 12 inches rod would be an ideal choice for almost all the knives.

Material – The best material out there for sharpening steel is Stainless Steel. You’ll also find Ceramic and Diamond rods, but we recommend choosing the steel ones. They are all-purpose rods that work for almost all kitchen knives.

Handle – Handle of the sharpening steel must be comfortable to grip and non-slippery. A handle that fits perfectly in your hand is going to provide you with the best sharpening of your knife. Also, choose a rod that has a protection guard as well. It would protect your hand during sharpening.

What kind of steel sharpens the best?

Stainless Steel is the most durable material against any type of blade. It is also the most common material in sharpening rods and provides the best results every time you sharpen a knife.

Our Verdict

Sharpening steels are one of the most essential kitchen tools. Definitely, when you have knives in your kitchen, you’ll need a sharpening tool as well. Out of all the sharpening tools, sharpening rods are the easiest ones to handle and get the job done in seconds. We would highly recommend you the sharpening rods that we’ve reviews above if you’re looking for a worthy one!