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Old 02-03-2006, 07:45 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Question Bewildered by honing steels and boards out there


I recently bought a set of new Japanese kitchen knives, and I need to get a honing steel and cutting board. (This is for home-use only, but I want to keep my knives in good shape)

I've looked at a few of the more famous companies and I was struck by the fact that it seemed as though they sold the same steels but with different prices. For example, there might be three 10-inch steels by the same people for different prices. I can't see or read any difference in them.

Here are my knives---this is not my sale, but it is the same set and company

Is bamboo better or maple for a cutting board?

Which honing steel would you recommend, or which do you like? I can't decide and my budget is very modest.

I haven't used my knives yet; I'm afraid I'll ruin them.

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Old 02-03-2006, 10:03 AM   #2
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There can be a few differences between steels ranging from the hardness of the steel to the actual material used. Some are steel, sore are ceramic, some have diamond dust on them. For your knives you just want a regular steel (not ceramic or diamond). It does not have to be expensive either. You should be able to pick one up for somewhere in the neighborhood of $10-$15. You just want to make sure that the steel is not softer than the knife blade itself. The only way I know of to know this is to use it. It the knife slides over the steel without catching on it then you are good to go.

As for bamboo over maple, they will both work well. I have a bamboo board and love it. What you really want to look for when getting a wood board is an end grain board. They are much more expensive then side grain, but are worth the $ in my opinion. They are much more gentle on your blades.
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