A steel is good for reviving the edge that we created during sharpening after you've been cutting, slicing or chopping for a while.
You've probably seen people on TV whipping their knife back and forth on a knife steel at high-speed. And as you might have suspected, yes, they're just showing off.
There's no reason to do it that fast, and you might cut yourself if you try.
In fact, the safest way to use a knife steel does not involve having the knife edge facing you at all.
The correct angle
The video that follows mentions 10 degrees. However, for general purpose use, we put a 15 degree angle on each side of you knife.
The easy way to achieve this
Hold the steel straight out in your left hand and with the knife in your right hand (the other way round for lefties). Place the knife edge on to the steel at a 90 degree angle, then halve that angle, that's 45 degrees. Now, 15 is one 3rd of 45. So, if we divide what's left by 3 it will give you an idea where to position the blade to get a 15 degree angle.
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Now, maintaining this 15 degree angle, start at the heel (back nearest the handle) gently pull the blade toward you while simultaneously gliding it downward along the shaft of the steel. In one direction only, you want to cover the entire length of the blade, keeping the blade at that 15 degree angle the whole time. Imagine you're sharpening a pencil. Do this step 10 times.
Switch to the other side of the blade by moving it underneath, give it ten more strokes on the steel and you're done!
Make sure your sharpening steel is at least as long as the blade you are honing. For instance, if you are using a 10-inch chef's knife, your knife steel should be no shorter than 10 inches as well.
After using the sharpening steel, rinse and carefully wipe the blade dry with a towel so that any tiny metal filings on the knife's edge don't end up in the food you're about to work with.
A sharp knife is a safer knife. A steel will help to keep your knife sharp longer. But, depending on use, they will need that edge reprofiling, That's the time to call Sharpening Express.
Watch Now: How To Use A Knife Steel