Best Honing Steel for Japanese Knives

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We all want to have fun when making food. That is why a Japanese chef knife must be one of the utensils in your kitchen. However, even after you purchase a Japanese chef knife, you have to care for it and maintain it so that it is always in the best shape. The reason? When you care for your knife, it will give you quality service. Cutting will be easy with the knife.

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That is why you need honing steel for Japanese knives. It will help you re-align the edges as you continue to use the steel. Your knife will go through much, which includes smashing against ceramic, food, metal, or even being left in a pile of dirty dishes.

You might find people who will try to convince you that you do not need honing steel but that is not true and we will explain why honing Japanese knives is important. We will also help you choose to hone steel that will give you the best results. Stay tuned!

How does Honing Steel Work?

The main idea behind honing steel is to align the edges of the blade. If you want to sharpen your blade, you would require a sharpening stone.

First, let us understand how a sharpening stone works. A sharpening stone will remove some material from the blade, which then sharpens the knife. When honing Japanese knives, you will be aligning the edges after the knife is sharpened.

We all know that Japanese knives are made using steel that has great ratings of hardness. You might think that honing steel will not work. However, if you have honing steel made with tough material, then you will end up with a useful rod that will not mess up your knife.

Since the Japanese knives are very hard on the Rockwell hardness scale, honing steel would not be a good choice for aligning a Japanese steel knife. The perfect material would be ceramic.

Note: Most of the materials we have selected can remove some microscopic particles from the blade. Therefore, they will re-align the edge and sharpen a bit at the same time.

The Top Picks

So, which is the best honing steel for Japanese knives? Let us look at the rods we chose after close examination.

  • Dalstrong 10-inch Black Honing Rod

Dalstrong 10" Honing Rod review
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ir?t=reviewho 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B081S4GTM2Dalstrong is popular for making some high-quality knives and other kitchen essentials. This rod is simply up to the standards. The professional-grade rod is made to alight the Japanese hard steel knives perfectly without damaging the knife at all. It has a slight abrasiveness that will not only do quality work but also do it gently.

The rod is not made with pure ceramic. It has a stainless steel core, which gives it more strength and heft. Apart from that, it features some safe and convenient improvements which include the silicon tip that does not slip. Additionally, it features a large bolster so that you know you are safe when aligning your blade.

It might be a bit more expensive but it gives you high-quality service. Think about it this way, since you have a high-quality blade, it would make more sense to treat it with a high-quality tool.


The ceramic material added to the material is owned by Dalstrong and is resistant to scratches. It ensures that the integrity of your blade will not be compromised at all.


  • + Safety is increased with the silicon tip and extra bolster
  • + Stainless steel gives it a hefty and strong core
  • + It maintains your blade’s integrity
  • + It has slight abrasions.


  • It is more expensive
  • It is a bit shorter.

  • Noble Home and Chef Professional Honing Rod

Professional 11.5 Inch Ceramic Honing Rod review
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ir?t=reviewho 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B07MXN546RThis is the best honing steel for Japanese knives. It is made with Japanese ceramics, which means it is specifically made for hard steel such as Japanese knives.

It features two 1000-grit sides and the other two 2000-grit sides, each opposite from the other. In most cases, it is recommended that you use the finer option, which is the 2000 grit, for the Japanese knives. If you realize that the knife is duller than normal and would like more grit, you can use the 1000-grit, after which you can use the 2000-grit sides.

Not only is this rod durable, but it is also non-toxic. You will not deal with any rust when using this rod regardless of how long you use it. However, there is one problem. Ceramic is tough, no doubt, but if dropped, it is not as forgiving.

Regardless, you will appreciate the performance that this rod provides, coupled with the beautiful design. You need to be very careful when using it.


  • + The ceramic is of high quality, which means top service
  • + The length is perfect for a knife of any size
  • + It has a great design
  • + It has two-sided options.


  • If dropped, the ceramic will break easily.

  • Kota Japan Diamond Carbon Steel Rod

Kota Japan 12 in. Diamond Carbon Steel Professional Knife Sharpener Rod Review
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ir?t=reviewho 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B06W9J9RTNThis rod is not only affordable but also made to provide high-quality service. It features a robust solid handle, a silicone top, as well as tough steel. It features everything you need, but at an affordable cost.

If the Japanese knives you are using are mid-range, then this tool will do the right job. The difference between ceramic rods is that the grits on this rod are coarser. As a result, you will realize that it might shave off some steel pieces after prolonged use.

It is a strong, durable, and tough rod that does the job. If you need a honing rod but have a budget restriction, then this is the right pick.


  • + It has a strong handle for adequate aligning
  • + It has all the adequate features
  • + It is a strong rod
  • + It is an affordable pick.


  • The grits are not completely fine so the quality will not be maintained as a ceramic rod would.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can you use honing steel for Japanese knives?

You can use the steel rods if you are working on mid-range Japanese steel knives. It will not do a good job if the knives are harder.

  1. What is the difference between Ceramic vs. Steel honing rods?

A ceramic honing rod is tougher, which means that it will give you quality service even when you are working on the hard Japanese steel knives. The steel rods, made with steel, might not work on the hard steel.


When working on your Japanese knives, you should be careful to avoid cutting yourself. Make sure to follow adequate safety procedures when honing Japanese knives. Choose a rod that will give you high quality and you can enjoy cooking. Get one today!

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