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Does your honing steel have to match your knife?

masterli Jun 10, 2010 11:12 AM

I just bought my first set of serious knives (3 piece Shun classics). Sales guy suggested getting the matching steel. Didn't say it was necessary but said he matches his knives w/ the manufacturer's steels. I felt like he was just trying to sell me another item. Is there any truth to matching your steel? My current steel is from a Calphalon set. My old calphalon's aren't forged or anything. My primary concern is if my calphalon steel will harm the Shuns. Thanks!

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  1. Chemicalkinetics RE: masterli Jun 10, 2010 11:15 AM

    Are you talking about the Shun steel, if so, an absolutely and positively no for that Shun steel. However, your Calphalon steel indeed may hurt your Shuns. There, indeed, a knife-steel matching theory by their steel hardness. However, for Shun knives, I won't even use a steel at all because they are so strong and hard.

    Here is an old post which may be helpful. There are several knife experts on that post:


    1. Master RE: masterli Jun 11, 2010 07:24 AM

      Not unless you want it to, a steel is a steel. A steel is to a knife, what a strop is to a razor, it does not sharpen the edge, it only straightens it so it will work effectively until must be sharpened again, period.

      1. g
        grant.cook RE: masterli Jun 11, 2010 07:43 AM

        Yes, it must match exactly.. and you must repaint your kitchen to match the handle color on your Shuns. And you also need to buy a custom-made Shun-a-torium made of teak and stainlesss steel to store you knives.

        Just kidding.. master has it right, all you are doing is honing the blade, bending it back into alignment. No need for matching steels..

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