Cooking Tips + Kitchen Tips

Published on January 27th, 2014 | by Becky Striepe


Knife Skills: Sharpening vs. Honing

Knife Skills: Honing vs Sharpening

There’s more to knife skills than choosing the right blade for the job. Maintaining your knife properly keeps it slicing and dicing like new.

Just like scissors, knives get dull and misaligned with regular use. Honing and sharpening are the two methods that you use to maintain your blades. Keeping your knife sharp is only part of the equation, if you want to really hone your knife skills. Honing is different from sharpening:

  • sharpening – shaving down your knife blade to remove imperfections
  • honing – straightening your blade to counteract wear and tear from slamming into your cutting board over and over

When you sharpen, you’re actually removing part of the blade, but honing is basically just straightening it out both horizontally and vertically.

Need some help with those knife skills? Check out this handy video that explains the difference between sharpening and honing in a little more detail:

Pretty fascinating, right? It turns out that I occasionally hone my knives but have never once sharpened them, and I’ve had them for way more than a year. Maybe it’s time to invest in one of the sharpening tools he suggests and beef up my knife skills a bit!

Image Credit: Cutting Board photo via Shutterstock

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

2 Responses to Knife Skills: Sharpening vs. Honing

  1. Ann says:

    This is great information! I, too, have been honing and not sharpening, never knowing there was a difference. Has anyone found good sharpening/honing tools?

  2. Pingback: How to Hone a Knife to Make it Last |

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