A few weeks ago I bought an awesome Global knife. I ordered this tool from Amazon:

My question: Does this tool hone the knife, or does it sharpen it?

  • 1
    Can you explain what difference you see between "hone" and "sharpen"? I thought, and so do Google and the WWW, that those terms are virtually synonymous, and not only interchangeable but very-much defined in terms each of the other. Are you suggesting that "sharpening" is the basic operation and "honing" some kind of refinement thereof, or what? May 26, 2022 at 19:29
  • @RobbieGoodwin sharpening is removing material from the blade. Honing is shaping it into a straight edge. Both are essential parts of making a sharp edge.
    – Preston
    May 27, 2022 at 18:00
  • @Preston Don't you think "shaping it into a straight edge" is achieved by "removing material from the blade"? Who doubts there are books of smithcraft explaining all that's worth knowing, and more… which you easily quote instead Posting unsupported and contentious assertion? If you know better sources, cite them! Else why not recognise that if not most, still many sources see "hone" and "sharpen" as synonymous; interchangeable and so much defined each in terms of the other that prolly any barber with a straight razor will show you the lack of difference every day? May 28, 2022 at 21:57
  • 9
    @RobbieGoodwin - those really are the definitions of each. Honing does not remove metal, it 'bends' it back into alignment. See masterclass.com/articles/… [& many others] Honing & sharpening are absolutely not synonymous. That people confuse the two does not change the actual definition of each term.
    – Tetsujin
    May 29, 2022 at 9:38
  • @Unlisted Thanks and are there clues in the name? That tool is called a "Kitchen IQ Edge Grip 2 Stage Knife Sharpener"? Sometimes a "Kitchen IQ Edge Grip 2 Stage 'Pull Through' Knife Sharpener", as seen in search engines such as your own… Where is your view written? With a doctorate in metallurgy, I might take your word and why would you, Preston or anyone Post what might be wholly true, as unsupported assertion? Linking in Gordon Ramsay helps a bit and don't you think "Honing" and "Sharpening" belong to metallurgy and smithcraft in general and Gordon's work is more specialised? May 29, 2022 at 16:36

2 Answers 2


This is a sharpener. Everything that pinches the blade is. It's good for returning a dull knife to reasonable sharpness, to a point where it can be honed. If you put a sharp knife in it, it will make it less sharp.

This is the type for honing.

enter image description here

  • 4
    Those come in two flavours, though - honing & sharpening. Watch out you get the right one.
    – Tetsujin
    May 24, 2022 at 16:17
  • @unlisted I have yet to see the sharpening type alone though; what I see is either a set of 2, one for sharpening one for honing, or honing only.
    – SF.
    May 26, 2022 at 22:01

As already pointed out, it's a sharpener - worse, it's probably a 20° sharpener & a Global will be a 15° blade.

When you get into good knives, be aware that you will also be paying proper money for a sharpening system, unless you want to spend 10 years of your life learning to do it manually. Don't put good knives anywhere near drag-through sharpeners of that type. See How to maintain my knife? What am I missing, and what am I doing wrong?

Füri used to make a 'TechEdge' system [very hard to find now] & whilst you can throw away the drag through sharpener, I've ever seen as good a honer as that. I've had mine 25 years & it's still in use, even though I now have a foolproof electric sharpener, the Füri is my daily honer. The bendy finger structure makes sure you just can't get the wrong angle or pressure.
[I actually went back to it a few months after my answer on the linked question above. It's more gentle than the honer in my electric system & doesn't need setting up & putting away every time.]
I have a steel, either it's rubbish or I am [I would bet on the latter].

If you do decide to go with a traditional steel, make sure you get a honing steel - they also make sharpening steels.

  • 4
    disagree about the 10 years. I think most people can do a decent job with an hour or two of practice and a youtube tutorial.
    – Aequitas
    May 25, 2022 at 6:34
  • 9
    Everybody says that. I disagree. If you get it, you get it, if you don't you won't.
    – Tetsujin
    May 25, 2022 at 6:37
  • 1
    I found this article interesting. kitchenknifeguru.com/honesandsteels/whats-a-honing-steel/#tab-2 -- still looking for an EM comparison of sharpened vs honed
    – jcollum
    May 26, 2022 at 17:12
  • 1
    @jcollum - seems a bit extreme when you can just cut a tomato to see if it's sharp. By the time you've made dinner you've cut enough things to know if it worked or not.
    – Tetsujin
    May 26, 2022 at 17:36
  • 2
    @jcollum does it really matter which is "more well" when "it cuts a tomato" is most definitely good enough for most people?
    – Esther
    May 31, 2022 at 22:02

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