Sharpening steel comparison 2018

Purchase advice on sharpening steel comparison or test 2018

  • Siding steels are usually long steel bars that are used to deburr sharp knives. In doing so, small bumps that occur when working with knives on the cutting edge are compensated and straightened by the knurling.
  • The regular use of sharpening bars means that many used knives stay sharp for a long time. For this reason, they are very popular especially in the gastronomy and professional chefs.
  • Not every knife blade can be processed with sharpening steel: ceramic knives and knives made in Japan are not suitable for this purpose. Because of the high steel hardness, which can be higher with Japanese knives than with steels, deburring would only damage the delicate blades.

Sharpening steel comparison 2018: comparison

1. Scope and operation of a sharpening steel

Multifunctional application

In addition to kitchen knives and chef's knives, sharpening steels u. a. also for hunting knives, pocket knives or scissors. However, it should be noted that sharpening steels are less suitable for sharpening completely blunt blades, but rather for permanent sharpening of the blades. For actual sharpening blunt knives should rather be resorted to special grindstones.

A sharpening steel, also called Abziehstahl or Wetzstab, is used primarily in the kitchen used for sharpening kitchen knives. It consists of hardened steel and is usually built up in a bar shape and provided with a handle at the lower end. Depending on the model, oval, flat, round and square profiles are used as the cross-section of the steel

Peel-off steels operate on a simple principle: Strictly speaking, they do not sharpen the knives, but when pulled off (the ideal angle is 15 to 20 degrees) ensure that the blades are deburred. When cutting food, the fine structure of sharp knives inevitably causes them to bend slightly without losing their cut. Deburring means that the sharpening steels compensate for the resulting bumps and straighten the affected blade again.

Sharpening steel comparison 2018: knives

By regularly using a sharpening steel you prevent the gradual decrease of the sharpness of your knives.

To get the grind and sharpness of the kitchen knife from your knife block as long as possible, is a regular use of whetsticks necessary. Professional chefs and kitchen professionals use these practical kitchen appliances to care for their knives before and after each cooking, of which the Stiftung Warentest has examined a few items as part of its knife sharpener test (issue 01/2010) and with the WMF honing steel even named a sharpening steel the test winner.

  • For the whetstone comparison
  • For the pocket knife comparison

So you too looking for the best sharpening steel are successful, it is worth taking a look at our sharpening steel comparison 2018, in which we introduce you to the different types of peel-off steels and tell you why you are not allowed to work every blade with sharpening steels.

2. Which types of Wetzstab are there?

In principle, steels can be divided into two different categories in the test or comparison, which we would like to introduce in the following table:

Whetstone typeparticularities
Cornering whetstone

Sharpening steel comparison 2018: 2018

  • A directional whetstone has a fine and smooth surface texture.
  • It is used for very sharp knives, but blunt blades can not be sharpened.
  • The blade of the knife is straightened without removing material.
  • The field of application is mainly in the field of gastronomy and in the domain of professional chefs.

does not wear any material, so it will not wear
only suitable for very sharp knives

Cutting whetstone

Sharpening steel comparison 2018: comparison

  • A chipping whetstone has much coarser surface features.
  • It is used for moderately sharp and slightly blunted knives.
  • The blade of the knife is straightened and additional material is removed.
  • In addition to steels with coarse features, there are also sharpening steels with diamond, ceramic or sapphire coating, which remove even more material during grinding or wetting.
  • The area of ​​application is primarily average households.

can also sharpen medium-sharp and slightly blunted knives
wears off material, which leads to wear when used frequently

Anyone who works a lot with knives and is prepared to whet them regularly before or after each use should rather resort to straightening scrapers. However, since the household is rarely re-sharpened, it is worthwhile for the "normal use" rather chipping variants with fine or coarse Oberflächenzug.

3. Purchasing advice for peel-off steels: You must pay attention to this

If you want to buy a good sharpening steel for your kitchen from a sharpening steel test or comparison, always bear in mind that not all types of knives may be treated with sharpening steels. What you should pay attention to when buying, we tell you in the following chapter.

3.1. Type of knife and hardness

Sharpening steel comparison 2018: comparison

For Japan made knives and for ceramic knives, no sharpening steel may be used.

Most Peel-off steels have a hardness of 60 to 70 HRC (Hardness Rockwell: Measure the hardness of engineering materials) so they are well-suited for sharpening European kitchen knives (usually with lower hardness). Cutting-edge steels can also be used safely for "Japanese knives" made in Europe.

On the other hand, you should not use the kitchen utensils if you want to sharpen genuine Japanese knives from Asia, such as santoku or damask knives.Japanese knives usually have a higher hardness than the sharpening steels themselves. In practice, their application would not bring a positive deburring effect, but permanently damage the sensitive blades of the knife.

Important: If you want to sharpen Japanese knives, serrated blades or ceramic knives, you should use other knife sharpeners such as whetstones or Japanese water stones.

3.2. Condition of the knives

Sharpening steel comparison 2018: sharpening

Abrasive steels are not suitable for blunt knives, regardless of the abrasive material. In such cases it would be better to resort to grindstones.

The condition of the knives to be maintained also determines whether a peelable steel or rather a sharpening steel alternative is the right choice. Basically, sharpening steels should only be used for sharp knives or for those who are only slightly dulled. The purpose of whetsticks is primarily the "sharpening" of blades. But if you especially want to sharpen blunt knives, then especially grindstones or electronic sharpening devices come into question.

3.3. Length and handling

Finally, the length and handling of slate steels also play a role in the purchasing decision. It's important, that The rod without handle at least as long as your longest knife should be. In general, the variance is not very high. Most of the peel-off steels range in length by an average of 20 to 30 centimeters.

Tip: Also, make sure that your kitchen helper has an ergonomically shaped or rounded handle: if this is square or angular, the whipstick is not well in the hand, which makes sharpening unnecessarily difficult.

Sharpening steel comparison 2018: sharpening

4. Questions and answers around the topic sharpening steel

4.1. What does a sharpening steel cost?

If you want to buy a cheap sharpening steel, you may already have suitable models for under ten euros purchase. However, most peel-off steels are in a price segment that is between 15 and 80 euros emotional. Basically, but it must be at Wetzstäben not the most expensive models. Brand name companies like WMF or Wüsthof already offer high-quality products that allow you to maintain the sharpness of your knives for less than 35 euros.

4.2. How do I use a sharpening steel correctly?

Sharpening steel comparison 2018: knives

Sharpening steel by Zwilling with a length of 23 centimeters.

When using a sharpening steel, it depends on neither force nor speed, but above all on the correct angle: This should be between 15 and 20 degrees, to get an optimal result when grinding.

While the steel is firmly held in the hand for sharpening, you should measure the knives to be sharpened evenly from the shaft to the tip. Pull over the steel five to ten times per side. Then we recommend cleaning both knives and sharpening steel: this will prevent small pieces of metal that might have been removed from the blade from being whetted from getting into the food being cut.

4.3. Which important brands and manufacturers are there?

Sharpening steel comparison 2018: comparison

Sharpening steel by Dick with a fine surface.

Among the most well-known manufacturers of sharpening steels include u. a. the firms Gemini, Wüsthof, Friedrich Dick and WMF. In particular, the Friedrich Dick GmbH is characterized by a variety of different Abziehstäbe, ranging from very coarse surfaces with diamond or sapphire coatings to fine and even polished specimens in which little or no material is removed. Even small, so-called pocket squares, which with a length of only seven centimeters are ideally suited for mobile use, can be found in the company's assortment.

Further brands and manufacturers can be found in the following overview:

  • Buck
  • Contacto
  • Fackelmann
  • Fissler
  • Friedrich Dick
  • Germany Solingen
  • güde
  • herbertz
  • Linder
  • Rosle
  • Solicut
  • Tokyo Kitchenware
  • Victorinox
  • windmill
  • WMF
  • Wüsthof
  • twin

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Video Board: Which Type of Honing Steel is Right For Me?