Allow yourself plenty of workspace and stand with your weight evenly distributed.
Hold the steel and the knife away from your body. Make sure your thumb and fingers are safely behind the steel's guard.
Hold the steel in one hand and the knife in the other. Start with the knife held nearly vertically, with the heel of the blade resting on the inner side of the steel at a 20-degree angle.
Draw the blade along the entire length of the steel, rotating your wrist to bring the blade down in a smooth arc so that the entire length passes along the steel. Pass the blade along the steel lightly and evenly without pressing down or grinding. This is critical in preventing the knife from slipping and causing an injury when too much pressure is applied.
Keep the blade in contact with the steel until the very tip of the blade so it is evenly honed. Avoid striking the steel guard with the knife tip.
Return the blade to a nearly vertical position and repeat the above steps, only this time on the other side of the steel to true the other side of the knife.
- Use no more than five or six strokes on each side of the blade.
- A steel should always be within reach any time you are using a knife.
- Hone your knife regularly with a steel and you'll rarely need to sharpen them on a stone.