Nearly every good cook knows the benefits of a honing steel, but strangely enough, not that many realize that the best honing steel is polished smooth. This 10-inch Butcher’s Steel Hone from Mundial of Brazil was made for professionals, who like to keep this good tool their little secret.
The type of hone retailers like to sell is the one that people know the best. The micro-ribbed hone of hardened steel is the most common and the one many cooks choose, but those serrations can actually remove small amounts of steel through a filing action that isn’t necessary. Professional meatcutters know that a polished hone is best, since that perfectly smooth surface only resets the steel edge and doesn’t degrade the blade.
On a microscopic scale, a blade tempered to the usual European standard turns when it dulls. The sharp edge is still there but no longer in line with the knife. Ordinary ribbed hones may remove that thinnest and sharpest portion of the edge, pushing the knife closer to the day when real grinding is needed. A polished hone extends the life of the blade by setting the edge properly without wearing away the metal. This hone is intended for knives with edges still in good condition; if you work by more ordinary standards, you may find a serrated hone more to your liking.
The Mundial 10-inch Polished Cut Sharpening Steel is permanently fitted to a red polyacetal handle with a convenient metal ring. Hang it in easy reach, because you’ll use this butcher’s steel frequently.
For a good honing steel in the serrated pattern, see the Mundial 10-inch Sharpening Steel with white handle.
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