A honing rod (also known as a honing steel, knife steel, or sharpening steel) is also highly recommended. These are not sharpeners, although they are often thought of that way. Rather, a honing rod helps keep a blade’s edge keen between sharpenings by straightening out the tiny dings and dents caused by everyday slicing and chopping. Honing is a simple and fast process—it takes just a few seconds—and it can extend the life of a sharp edge for weeks or even months. Eventually, however, the edge gets rounded over and dull; then it’s time for a complete resharpening.
An important issue. One of the biggest issues with gadgets and electric sharpeners is their inability to make adjustments to the secondary bevels of a knife, the area directly behind the primary edge, the shoulders of the edge so to speak. It is easy to see that if we sharpen the primary edge only and repeat this process over and over to keep the knife sharp, eventually the cutting performances of that knife dwindles, the knife becomes thick as the angle increases, the primary edge starts to move up into the thicker part of the knife. Even though it can be sharp, it is functioning at a far inferior level, in fact it is useless and unable to even slice a carrot without cracking it. This is perhaps the biggest downfall of gadgets.
Honing the Knife – Of course, these sharpening systems are very versatile and can be used for sharpening and honing. In terms of honing, you will need to look at the system’s grit. This is capable of helping you determine how fine of an edge you can achieve with the system. This is a very similar situation, as you would be presented with, while trying to buy sand paper. A higher grit ensures a finer edge. Be sure to find a system that offers a suitable range here to ensure that you’ll be able to achieve the precise edge that you desire!
Wicked Edge is unique as it has a vise in the center to clamp the knife and on either side there are two arms with sharpening guides attached. These arms and guides allow you to precisely control the exact angle you want your knife to be sharpened at. The cool thing about this is once you have set the angles and sharpened the knife it’s 100% repeatable when it comes time to touch up again and very, very accurate.