Whether you’re an amateur or a professional chef, having sharp knives is extremely important. There are a lot of tools out there to help get your knives in tiptop shape but in my experience, I would have to say that having the best sharpening steel is an essential.
However, you shouldn’t mistake a sharpening steel for a sharpening stone. Sharpening steels keep the edges of the knives blade so they cannot sharpen dull knives. Most knife sets include a sharpening steel because it is a preventive tool to ensure that your knives would never go dull.
However, if you were like me when I started living alone you probably didn’t buy knife sets because they’re quite pricey and you won’t really see the need for all those knives (but you’ll soon find out that having more than one knife is essential!). No knife set usually means that you’ll need to get a sharpening steel on your own.
Below I have listed what I think are the best sharpening steels in the market as well as some tips that will help you have the sharpest and most efficient knives.
Reviews of Best Sharpening Steel
**Below, you will find more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer reviews on Amazon.
Best sharpening steel – top 5 reviews and a complete guide! #kitchentips
What to Look For
1. Material of the Rod
The material of the rod would dictate how sharp your knife will be after using it. Of course, the type of material your rod should be would also depend on the type of knife that you have. There are three typical materials used for the rod: 1.) steel; 2.) diamond; and 3.) ceramic.
The steel rods would be best for those who will be sharpening their knives regularly. As for those who have butcher’s knives, the diamond material would be best for you. Lastly, the ceramic rod would also be great for regular sharpening but it’s not as durable as the other two so it’s prone to breakage.
2. Safety and Ergonomics
With every tool that you will use, you should put a high premium on how safe it will be for you to use. Safety now goes hand in hand with whether or not it was designed ergonomically. This means that your rod should have anti-slip handles and rubber grip.
The non-slip handles would ensure that your steel sharpener won’t suddenly fly out of your hands while you’re using it. The rubber grips would make it more comfortable for you to use. These would help you avoid having those red marks on your hands which is such a pain especially if you have sensitive hands.
3. Ease of Cleaning
I know the thing that most people dread the most with cooking is the cleaning part. So why get a steel sharpener which will just add to your burden? The best steel sharpeners can be thoroughly cleaned with just wiping it with a cloth.
This means that the steel doesn’t allow for any food particles to get stuck on it. This feature also shows that your steel would not be a food hazard since it would not have any old food particles stuck on it.
Unlike with other things, size does matter with steel sharpeners. The length of your steel sharpener would dictate how well you’ll be sharpening your knives. It will also limit the length of the knife that you’ll be able to sharpen.
Think of your steel sharpener as a runway in an airport, the longer the runway is the better the results. Getting a steel sharpener which is heavy-duty and not lightweight will also be ideal. The more heavy-duty your steel sharpener is, the less vulnerable it is to breakage.
However, heavy-duty doesn’t mean that it should be heavyweight. You should also consider that having a heavy sharpener in terms of weight will cause you to have less control over your sharpener.
How to Use your Sharpening Steel
Knowing how to use your steel sharpener is the key to having perfectly sharpened knives. First, you should place your steel vertically on top of your chopping board. Afterwards, you have to angle your steel in a comfortable position for you to maneuver with your knife. Once this is done, you may now get your knife to start sharpening.
When you are sharpening your knife, you should never run it along the steel too roughly. Just do a slicing motion. Roughly running your knife on the steel would lead to further damage such as uneven chipping. You should also remember to only move your knife and never the steel. Most importantly, you shouldn’t move these two at the same time.
Among all the steel sharpeners I have used, I would have to say that I highly recommend the one from Winware. Not only is it the most affordable, it also ticks off all the boxes when it comes to what a good steel sharpener should have.
Of course, everyone has their own preferences but make sure that whatever you decide to get, you should not be looking at only one aspect of the sharpener. Make sure that the characteristics fit your needs and are compatible with your knife set. Ensuring this would save you both time and money and would make sure that your purchase is a smart purchase.