Sharpening steel


Sharpening steel

Sharpening steel or a honing steel is a rod of steel, up to one foot long, rounded in cross section, with longitudinal ridges, used for removing metal from the microscopic edge of blades. Sharpening steel is highly useful in sharpening knives, and scissors, difficulties may arise in sharpening a completely blunt edge; as not sufficient material can be removed.

These tools generally have a handle into which the tang is conventionally screwed into, casted over with a plastic handle, and/or glued onto. Often, a hilt is used to safeguard the user's hand. The rod is of hardened, stainless steel (in some instances alloyed with vanadium), the small ridges along the length of the rod provide continual pressure to which the blade is applied to. These ridges form a mildly abrasive surface ideal for removing metal from a blade which has lost its edge, and become rounded. Sharpening steel may be of limited use on a blades which are totally blunt and require the use of a grinding wheel to assume a new edge. It should be noted, that the ridges on sharpening steel rods will wear thin over time.

Trivia

In the UK trawler fleet, this tool is known as a whiffling stick. The verb to whiffle means to avoid work, hence whilst sharpening a knife you weren't working, and the tool was the whiffling stick.

See also

* Sharpening

External links

* [http://www.hub-uk.com/cooking/tipsknives.htm Tips on Knife Maintenance] by Steve Lelievre


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