Honing vs. Sharpening
Honing your blade is one of the main aspects of good knife care. But it often gets confused with sharpening, even though they’re not the same thing.
To break it down to first principles, sharpening is taking away material, and honing isn’t. Instead, honing is straightening out the edge of an already sharp blade.
That’s it. That’s the difference.
Honing: A honing steel basically pushes the edge of the knife back to the center and straightens it. It corrects the edge without shaving off much, if any, of the blade's material. Honing doesn't actually sharpen the knife, but if done properly, the knife will seem sharper because the blade is now in the proper position. Honing should be done often — some even hone before each use.
Sharpening: Sharpening, on the other hand, is a process where bits of the blade is ground and shaved off to produce a new, sharp edge. It can be done using a water stone, whetstone, or electric knife sharpener. Sharpening can be done less frequently than honing — just a few times a month depending on how much use the knife gets.
Honing Rod x1