Once you have had an edge put on your knives it is now very important to maintain that edge and keep it better than new, so this is where a sharpening steel comes into play.Contrary to popular belief, a sharpening steel does not sharpen a knife. The purpose of a steel is to hone the edge of the knife. Through regular use, the edge of a knife will begin to lose its original sharpness,and shape by creating a fine burr, which is when the knifes edge rolls over and becomes dull. The sharpening steel will straighten or re-align the edge and remove any loose burr. Eventually though, the steel will only do this so many times and your knife will become blunt and need to be sharpened again by A Wicked Edge Sharpening, or you can put it on a stone yourself.

There are however different steels for different knives, this all depends on the Rockwell hardness of your knife (HRC), which is a guage that different makers harden their steels and knives to.For more information on different steel compositions click on the link here.

For example if your knife has a HRC 56-58 ie:Global, a steel with a HRC 54 will not be able to hone your knife’s edge as it will not be hard enough, but you will find that the steels that come with your knife set will be the correct steel for you.For those with some Japanese knives that have a Rockwell hardness of 60+ either a ceramic or diamaond steel may be your preferred choice, just check with the supplier you bought it off.

For more indepth information on Knife steel hardening and tempering click on this link here.

 Step 1: Position –
For beginners, the easiest way to have the steel is to hold it horizontally out in front of you with your hand safely behind the guard.

Step 2: Find The Proper Angle –
For best results you should sharpen your knives on a 20 degree angle. To get this angle hold your knife at 90 degrees to the steel, then half that to make 45 and then finally half that again and you should be close to 20 degrees.

Step 3: Steel the Edge –
Using the 20 degree angle, pass the blade across both sides of the steel with medium pressure from heel of the knife through to the tip. For best results use one gentle slicing motion that moves your blade from the base of the knife all the way to the tip. Do not try to press too hard or use a back and forth cutting motion. Take anywhere between half a dozen to a dozen passes across the full length of your blade. Be sure to give each side the same amount of strokes to ensure an even cutting edge.

Your knife is now honed.