10 Best Honing Steels of 2021 Compared & Reviewed

Best Honing Steel
Photo: Smith’s

Once in a while, your knife will need honing when it loses its edge. An un-honed knife can totally ruin your experience of using a knife. Well, you will need the best honing steel which is appropriately-sized, has great strength of material, and sufficient width to do the trick.

Now, some people will confuse honing with sharpening the knife. However, the difference between the two is quite evident. Honing steel pushes the edge of the knife to its original shape. It rectifies the edge without shaving too much. 

This review is curated to help buyers with the best purchase. Let’s take a look at the top recommendations:

​What to Check Before Buying Best Honing Steel?

​How to Buy Best Honing Steel
Photo: Wusthof

So, just like every other thing, there are some key notes that every individual should know in order to buy the best honing steel. Here we discuss the significant tips you should keep in account: 

1. Material

The honing steel is available in a variety of materials. Let’s see a comprehensive view on all the different materials:

Stainless Steel: So, this is among the classic versions that one can buy. It has a long length with ridges running along the length. These are also available in smooth versions.

One of the major tips that we would like to share here is that one should never hone a hard metal knife with a less-hard metal honing steel.

The logic here is that the harder metal knife will be brittle and could damage the honing steel itself.

Well, as far as the pros related to the stainless steel are concerned, this is relatively cheaper in price, and rejects rusting and corrosion.   

Ceramic: You will be surprised to know that this is also a category of steel. For many people, ceramic is a different kind of material but factually, its cornerstone is steel.

The best part is that this material has great tendency to rub off the smallest amount of metal from the knife as you hone them. When you see grey streaks on the white rod then this mean that they have slight sharpening effect.

Ceramic steel is however gentle enough to hamper the blade in any way. This material is great for the people who like to hone their knives on routine basis and postpone the sharpening to a large extent.

The downside here is that the material is a little fragile and demand care. It may also break if handled harshly.

Diamond Steel: By far, this is the most controversial ones as their abrasive diamond coating can remove a large amount of metal while honing. This somehow makes these steels a poor choice for routine honing.

This can be considered by the users who occasionally like honing the knives. The effects are generous that you can skip sharpening for the longest time.

Our best recommendation of a ceramic honing steel is Messermeister CR-12F honing steel. 

Buying Advice

Well, if we have to recommend then it will be stainless steel. This is among the most durable steels and also comes with lesser drawbacks.

2. Handle Design

The honing tools are usually made of brittle material that can easily let loose if not handled cautiously. This is where the role of handle comes to the surface.

The design of the handle should be ergonomic, slip resistant, comfortable, and perfectly fitting in the hand. On the top of that if it has safety guard then that will be a plus.

While buying the best honing rod, be very sure of the handle as it can cause a lot of strain on the wrist and largely ruin your honing experience if you purchase a product with a bad handle.

The Zwilling J.A Henckels 32555-310 honing steel has the most comfortable handle. 

3. Sharpening Rod Length

While you can find the sharpening rods in various sizes, the ideal ones are 10 to 12-inches. Such a size will allow you to hone the cutlery without facing any specific challenges.

If you are handling larger knives like butcher knife then you should purchase a 14-inches honing steel. 

We recommend Diamond Machining Technology DMTDS4F-BRK honing steel as one of the finest products in this size to achieve satisfactory results.  

4. Ease of Use

Well, the whole point of spending your money on a honing rod is to purchase something that is least complex in usage. You need to invest your money in a honing steel that comes with a guide so that you can easily learn the process.

10 Best Honing Steels of 2021 Reviewed




Utopia Kitchen UK0354

1. Utpoia Kitchen UK0354 (Best Overall)

  • 12 in carbon steel durable honing steel
  • Nickle-chrome plated
  • Ergonomic, non-slip handle
  • Easy to use
Winware K-12S

2. Winware K-12S (Most-Affordable)

  • Available on a very economical price
  • 12 in rod
  • Stainless-steel construction
  • Lightweight
Victorinox 6.8002.US1

3. Victorinox 6.8002.US1 (Lifetime Guarantee)

  • Comes with lifetime guarantee
  • 10 in length
  • Made of stainless steel
  • Chrome plated
Messermeister CR-12F

4. Messermeister CR-12F (Ceramic Material)

  • Made of ceramic material
  • Soft-grip handle
  • 12 in length
  • Lightweight with 9.6 oz total weight
Wusthof B000SSMF4S

5. Wusthof B000SSMF4S (High Brand Value)

  • Comes with high brand value
  • Partial bolster
  • High carbon stainless steel material
  • Grooved rod
Kota Japan Diamond Honing Steel

6. Kota Japan Diamond Honing Steel (Most Durable)

  • Diamond carbon steel construction
  • 12 in size
  • Versatile
  • Ergonomic handle
Green Elephant Honing Steel

7. Green Elephant Honing Steel (Shock Absorbing)

  • Comes with shock absorbing feature
  • Ceramic construction
  • Lightweight with 7.2 oz net weight
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Diamond Machining Technology DMTDS4F-BRK

8. Diamond Machining Technology DMTDS4F-BRK (Largest Rod)

  • Comes with large rod of 14 in
  • Monocrystalline diamond surface
  • Plastic handle
  • Easy hang-up loop
Zwilling J.A. Henckels 32555-310

9. Zwilling J.A Henckels 32555-310 (Synthetic Handle)

  • Comes with soft grip synthetic handle
  • 12 in size
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Stainless-steel construction
Smith’s 3001

10. Smith’s 3001 (Oval Design)

  • Comes in oval design
  • Soft grip handle
  • Hang-up ring
  • Comes with plastic tip

1. Utopia Kitchen UK0354 – Best Overall

Utopia Kitchen Honing Steel
Photo: Utopia Kitchen

  • Handle Material: Rubber
  • Rod Material: Carbon Steel
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 12-inches

Well, this model from Utopia is the best overall product made with carbon steel material which is one of a kind in durability. To ensure the durability and performance of the steel, it is further coated with nickle-chrome.

The 12-inches size is most suitable to handle variable length of steels to hone whether they are kitchen, household, pocket, sporting, or serrated edge knives. Plus, the price of this product is pretty suitable. 

The fine surface of the steel prevents the damage on cutting edge as you hone.

As far as handle is concerned, this one has ergonomically fitting, slip-resistant rubber handle that is easy to maintain and hold. 

The usage and cleaning are easy. You can simply clean it with the damp cloth and nothing will go wrong with the rod for the longest period. Even if you are washing it with water, make sure to dry it instantly. This will encourage the life of the honing steel.

While you will not need it, this product does not come with any warranty. 


  • Durable carbon steel honing steel on a decent price
  • Nickle-chrome coating
  • Comfortable handle
  • Fine surface to prevent damage


  • No warranty

2. Winware K-12SMost-Affordable

Winware Stainless Steel Honing Steel
Photo: Winware by Winco

  • Handle Material: Plastic
  • Rod Material: Stainless Steel
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 12-inches

As we talk about the Winware honing steel, the first thing that fascinate the buyer is its super affordable price. But if you think that because of the low-price, there is any drawback in the quality then you are absolutely wrong.

Well, the material used in the making is stainless steel. Rest assured that your honing steel will stay with you for the longest time while bearing all kind of abuse. It is a 12 inches long rod with a plastic handle and a hanging loop at the end.

This is a very straightforward product; the looks are basic and the performance is commendable. Also, there is a hanging loop which helps in convenient storage.

It might not be able to provide razor-sharp edge. But for routine maintenance, Bingo, this is your product. On the bright side, this one is lightweight weighing merely 6.7-ounces which means you can easily handle it.

The plastic handle might cause a bump on the durability road as the plastic handle won’t be able to bear extra strength. 


  • Most affordable honing steel
  • Extremely lightweight 
  • Comes with a hanging loop
  • Sufficiently large


  • Handle is not as durable

3. Victorinox 6.8002.US1 – Best with Lifetime Guarantee

Victorinox Swiss Classic Honing Steel
Photo: Victorinox

  • Handle Material: Fibroz
  • Rod Material: Steel
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 10-inches

The striking point of this product is that it comes with lifetime guarantee. This means that no matter how long you use it, whenever you face any problem with the honing steel, you can get it replaced. The product is NSF approved and has lifetime warranty.

Unlike the previously discussed models, this one has a length of 10-inches. While some people will find it unfit for all kind of knives in the kitchen, others will think of it as a handier tool.

The rod is made of stainless-steel material, and it comes with chrome plating on the top to ensure durability. 

The fibrox handle is slip-resistant, comfortable, and ergonomically designed for convenient usage of the rod. You will not feel any kind of strain on your wrist or arm as this is easy to hold and work with. Also, this model gives you better control over the rod and honing.

This not only sharpens the knives but also set the cutting edge straight. However, something that concerned us was that this product is a bit aggressive, and you will have to be a bit careful in applying force and overall usage. In short, this is not for the beginners. 


  • Comes with lifetime guarantee
  • Slip-resistant handle
  • Chrome plating for added durability
  • Suitably priced


  • Bit aggressive with honing process

4. Messermeister CR-12F – Best Ceramic

Messermeister Ceramic Honing Steel
Photo: Messermeister

  • Rod Material: Ceramic
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 12-inches

The powerful feature of this product is that it is made of 1200-grit industrial ceramic and does not request a lot of maintenance. It comes in a length of 12-inches which can pretty much cover all kind of knives that you could use in your kitchen.

To ensure perfect finishing of the edge, this model is made slight abrasive in nature. However, it does not hamper the quality of your tools. 

The handle is quite smooth and does not tire your hand at all. It provides soft grip and is ergonomic in nature. Moreover, the lightweight of 9.6-ounce helps in handling the steel pretty well. 

Cleaning is not a hassle with this product. As the surface gets clogged, you can use the grey swarf off by using erasure. For regular clean-up, simply damp the rod in hot soapy water to do the trick.

The only downside of this product is that it is a bit expensive than the competitive models. 


  • Made of high-quality ceramic material
  • Length is quite suitable
  • Comfortable and ergonomic handle
  • Easy in clean


  • Bit expensive

5. Wusthof B000SSMF4S – Best with High Brand Value

Wusthof Classic Honing Steel
Photo: Wusthof

  • Handle Material: Plastic
  • Rod Material: High Carbon Stainless Steel
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 10-inches

Some buyers are very selective of the brands that they purchase. Well, if you are one of them then here is a suitable product for you from Wusthof. This honing steel is among the most talked-about models. Clearly, the features are super-influential and noticeable.

We will start with the rod length which is 10-inches. The length is suitable for majority of the kitchen knives. It has grooved design which makes honing quite easy for the user. 

The high carbon stainless steel is super rigid and performs extremely well. You can rest assured that the rod will not leave your kitchen soon and serve for the longest period.

Now, coming to partial bolster in between the blade and the handle. This is convenient and placed thoughtfully to protect the hand from possible accidents.

The handle is made of high-quality plastic material which is rigid in construction and is triple riveted to add more security to the product.

This product is not dishwasher safe, and we recommend hand wash with the earliest drying. Plus, the cost of this model is exceeding although people who keep superior choice won’t mind paying for it. 


  • Comes with high brand value
  • Stainless steel superior construction
  • Comes with a partial bolster
  • Added security with triple rivets on handle


  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Very expensive

6. Kota Japan Diamond Honing Steel – Most Durable

Kota Japan Diamond Honing Steel
Photo: Kota Japan

  • Handle Material: Plastic
  • Rod Material: Diamond Steel
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 12-inches

From the makers – Kota Japan, this is among the most rigid and tough honing steel rods made of diamond carbon steel material with diamond electroplating.

It has got a perfect length of 12-inches that suit the need of every buyer as it can attend the differently sized knives for honing.

The product can be used for versatile purposes such as sharpening kitchen, home, and hunting tools. 

The oval shape of the rod is designed to provide more efficiency to the honing process. Handle is made of slip-resistant material and has ergonomic design for best grip and holding of the rod.

The design is pleasing and the cost is suitable. Also, it comes with lifetime warranty.

The only drawback is that the product is a bit abrasive in nature which doesn’t make it fit for regular usage. You are recommended to use it on overly dull knives. 


  • Most durable product
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Priced suitably
  • Comes with lifetime warranty


  • Bit abrasive in nature

7. Green Elephant Honing Steel – Shock Absorbing

Green Elephant Honing Steel
Photo: Green Elephant

  • Handle Material: Polypropylene
  • Rod Material: Ceramic
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 11-inches

Most people have complaints from the honing steel that they cause a lot of vibration when used. Well, this is the solution as it has shock-absorbing feature due to silicon seal between handle and rod which makes it pretty convenient in usage.

Due to the same feature, even if your rod slips away from hand and falls on the ground, it will not break, unlike various other ceramic rods.  

With the total length of 11-inches, it is suitable for many differently sized knives in the kitchen and used on daily basis. 

The sharpening surface is made of the highest-grade ceramic which keep the knives sharp and is easy to use. 

It is lightweight  with net weight of merely 7.2-ounce. The handle is made of polypropylene material which is rigid but not ergonomically designed. This means that it might tire your hand after continual usage. 

The cleaning is easy and there is no side-effect on the material. It has extraordinary hardness and is suitable for Japanese knives. Also, it comes with 30-day money-back guarantee which will secure your purchase. 


  • Shock-absorbing technology
  • Easy to clean
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Lightweight 


  • Handle is not ergonomic, it might tire your hand

8. Diamond Machining Technology DMTDS4F-BRK – Best with Largest Rod

Diamond Machining Technology Honing Steel
Photo: Diamond Machining Technology

  • Handle Material: Plastic
  • Rod Material: Diamond Steel
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 14-inches

As far as our list is concerned, this is the largest honing steel that we have mentioned. It is available in the length of 14-inches. While the length makes it suitable for all kind of knives, it becomes equally competitive for some people to use.

The highest-grade steel material has monocrystalline diamond surface that ensure effortless honing. It is sleek and sets in the angle pretty well. There is extra fine polish to refine the edge.

It has extra wide bolster that keep your hand safe from accidents. Plus, the hang-up loop on the tail makes it convenient to hand it anywhere for easy storage. 

This model has excellent handle, ergonomic in nature and provide secure grip of the rod. The construction is durable, and you can rely on the product for great honing. However, the cost is definitely something that you will discourage.


  • Comes in a large size of 14-inches
  • Ergonomic design
  • Monocrystalline diamond surface for amazing performance and durability


  • Highly priced

9. Zwilling J.A. Henckels 32555-310 – Best with Synthetic Handle

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional Honing Steel
Photo: Henckels

  • Handle Material: Synthetic
  • Rod Material: Stainless Steel
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 12-inches

If you have never found a satisfying handle that can keep your hands at ease while holding then this is a pretty suitable product with synthetic handle. It is completely ergonomic and gives you the most comfortable and firm grip. 

This is 12-inches long honing rod with excellent features. To begin with, the stainless-steel material is quite promising. It’s not breakable or fragile that you cannot afford to drop it on the ground. For storage, you can hang with through the tail loop. 

The abrasive quality of this model is high, that is why it is a great choice for professional usage. Also, you get lifetime warranty with this model. The cleaning and washing is super convenient.

While there is a finger guard on this model, there is no proper bolster that can give safety of usage. Also, the cost might bother the buyers.


  • Very comfortable synthetic handle
  • Easy to clean
  • Convenient storage
  • Will not break on falling


  • Expensive
  • Does not have a bolster

10. Smith’s 3001 – Best in Oval Design

Smith’s 3001Diamond Honing Steel
Photo: Smith’s

  • Handle Material: Rubber
  • Rod Material: Diamond Steel
  • Sharpening Rod Length: 10-inches

The Smith’s diamond honing steel has an oval design that increases the sharpness area of the rod. This product can be used for routine honing and realigning of the knife edge. The uninterrupted surface also encourages the speed of the rod as well. 

The material used in the making is decent and quite abrasive. However, the quality of diamond coating is questionable. It might come off after few usages.

The handle comes with rubber covering that helps in handling the rod pretty well. It is slip-resistant and keeps the hand comfortable.

There is a plastic tip cover that protects the counter from accidentally damage. Also, there is an easy hang-up ring for quick storage. 

On the downside, there is no warranty with this product. 


  • Oval shaped honing steel with more honing surface
  • Easy to grip handle
  • Hang up ring for easy storage
  • Plastic tip cover


  • No warranty

How to Hone a Kitchen Knife?

How to Hone a Kitchen Knife
Photo: Diamond Machining Technology

There are three preliminary tips that you should learn before honing the knife:

  • Look for the right angle and find it. Keep the knife at the right angle.
  • There is no need to press it too hard. You can simply add little weight, little more than what knife’s original weight is.
  • Normally, 3 to 4 swipes per side are sufficient. So, don’t overdo it.

1. Set the Angle

You must have seen various YouTube videos on honing, but one can only learn from a step to step approach that we will share with you.

You have the knife sharpener steel and the knife itself. Now, the first thing to sort is the right angle. It is important to anchor the honing steel with a dishcloth or towel on the countertop. This will prohibit it from skidding away. Hold the knife vertically.

Now, angle the knife on 90-degrees to the centre of the honing steel. Now, tilt the knife halfway between perpendicular and parallel to the steel which should probably position the blade to 45-degrees. Rest there and tilt the handle halfway again to 45-degrees, parallel to the steel.

This should bring the knife to 22-degrees angle. Setting the right angle is crucial as not all the western knives are molded with the blade that is 20-degrees off of vertical on any side.

You should start by practicing the angle making before anything else. Once you are familiar with the right angles, the honing can begin. The same rule applies with a sharpening stone while the method of sharpening will vary.

2. Honing the Edge

You can start with the honing process as soon as you have the angle down. Move forward towards the heel of the knife to get started.

Make sure that the knife is at 22-degrees angle and start to pull it back towards you. The process has to be done all the way across the blade until you pass the tip.

Identically, process the motion of the knife to the other side of the steel. You need to repeat the step on the other side as well.  

As we have mentioned earlier, you don’t need to overdo the step. It just requires 4 – 5 repetitions to get your blade ready for use. It seems like a fair idea to do this every time before you use any of your knives.

This will help in boosting the safe usage of the blade and also keep it in the aligned form.


As we close our honing steel review, we would like to recommend you the top-notch models that are absolutely safe for the straightforward purchase. 

The Utpoia Kitchen UK0354 honing steel is the best overall product as it is made of the most promising material, has nickle-chrome coating to increase its durability and performance and on top of that, you get this product on a very reasonable price. It’s a win-win situation throughout. 

If you are brand-focused and want to buy something with high brand value then you go-to option is Wusthof B000SSMF4S honing steel. This will give you highly satisfactory results.