▷ Ceramic VS Steel Honing Rod Knife Sharpener [Choose Wisely]

By Gias

You might often face trouble while cutting or slicing food in one stroke. It is when you will hone your knife with a honing rod. But, the question arises, which honing rod is to use? What if compared ceramic vs steel honing rod Side by side?

Every kitchen knife requires re-sharpening. No matter if your knife belongs to an expensive brand or a cheap brand. At a certain point in its use, the knife needs to be sharpened again. However, many do not have the time for true sharpening of their knives as it is a matter of a long time. Hence, for the time being, they want to go for the honing steel.

Well, this question “Ceramic VS Steel Honing Rod” is asked many times by most knife enthusiasts. However, the question is legit when you are truly passionate about your kitchen culinary and cooking process. Hence, in this article, we will get you covered with a clear conception of both the steel and ceramic honing rod. Stick around us and you will know which one to grab for your precious knife.

Let’s starts from Basic about Ceramic Honing Rod and Steel Honing Rod

Ceramic Honing Rod

You must have heard about the diamond honing rod as well. Well, a ceramic honing rod works like a diamond honing rod. However, ceramic honing rods are gentle yet quite rough when you rub your knife on them. It can rub off a small amount of metal gray streaks from the knife when you back and forth your knife on the rod.

This feature also indicates that the ceramic honing rod has a bit of a sharpening effect. Still, ceramic rods won’t bring any drastic change to your knife while honing it. Comparing to other basic tools for honing purpose ceramic rods do it well. Using the ceramic rod will keep your knife between sharpened and honed. 

Again, a ceramic rod is compared to a diamond-coated honing rod. But, the truth is that a diamond honing rod is way rougher than a ceramic honing rod. Hence, it is likely to change the knife-edge drastically while rubbing the knife on the diamond-coated honing rod.

Steel Honing Rod

Most probably, the most used honing rod is a steel honing rod. This material honing rod is commonly used. Unlike the ceramic or diamond-coated honing rods, this rod comes with different features. Steel honing rods are generally, long and thin in the feature. Like many knives are made of stainless steel because of its hypoallergenic properties, steel honing is also made and used for the same purpose.

See also  What is the Name of the Object Used to Sharpen Knives in the Kitchen?

Maximum professional chefs out there choose the steel honing rod as it is resistant to rust and has the hypoallergenic feature. It also serves you for an extended period. However, many high-end steel honing rods come with a unique and extraordinary magnetized feature. This feature helps to remove the small microscopic small particles of steel to be removed from the knives while honing.

In this way, your food is free from these tiny small steel pieces while cutting or chopping. Moreover, a stainless steel honing rod is always considered a classic version for honing knives. Some versions come with running ridges on the slender steel. Again, some come with smooth slender steel as well. Ceramic VS Steel Honing Rod for kitchen

What are the solid Features and Uses of Ceramic Honing Rod?

  • Ceramic honing rods are lightweight even though they are constructed giving a sturdy feature.
  • The honing rods are easy to use and they also require low-maintenance.
  • The ceramic honing rods are versatile as well.
  • They sharpen the knife precisely along with aligning the blade edge.
  • The rods provide remarkable honing results with very little effort.
  • Ceramic rods create a sleek, smooth, and sharp edge as new in all kitchen knives.

What are the main Features and Uses of Stainless Steel Honing Rod?

  • Comes with a thin and slender metal feature with a handle.
  • Steel honing rods made of high-quality and high-carbon steel are corrosion and rust-resistant.
  • Most of the upgraded stainless steel honing rods are magnetized and equipped with the hypoallergenic feature.
  • The steel honing rods come with a longer lifespan and excellent service.
  • The rods realign the knife’s edge smoothly and carefully.
  • Create a sharp and straight cutting edge of the knife.
  • These rods smoothen and fix any kind of dents or kinks out of the knives.

Ceramic vs Steel Honing Rod, What are the Main Differences?


The first thing that includes in the differences between a ceramic and steel honing rod is their features. However, as we said before, the best steel honing rods are designed with the magnetized feature. This feature is a great help especially when you are up to hone your knife.

Most of the time while honing, some microscopic steel material pieces get detached from the knife and get stuck on the knife edge. Hence, when you use the knife later for cutting foods the small steel particles get stuck with the food which is dangerous. Thanks to the magnetized feature of the steel honing rod as it collects all the metal pieces and smoothens the edge of the knife.

On the contrary, even the best ceramic honing rods do not come with this special feature. Hence, the tiny little pieces can go in your food if you do not wash the knife properly after its honing with a ceramic rod.

See also  Discover the Ultimate Balance: Kitchen Knives with the Best Blade & Handle Harmony

Process of Honing

There are also differences in the process of honing with these two different honing tools. Nonetheless, ceramic rods are rough like steel ones. They are more delicate and remove only a small amount of metal pieces from the knife while improving its sharpness. Because of their fine-grits feature, ceramic honing rods work better on all the high-end knives. 

To speak about the steel honing rods, they work quite roughly than the ceramic ones. Though they can remove the micro-serrations or metal particles from the knife surface efficiently yet, their stiff feature always doesn’t bring a good result.

Moreover, applying a steel honing rod on a hard knife can make the result worse. However, knives that are made of high-quality German and French carbon steel are prone to be honed well with a steel honing rod. 

MaintenanceSteel VS ceramic honing rod

You always need to be careful when you are dealing with ceramic materials. Thus, nothing exceptional with a ceramic honing rod. Because of its delicate nature, you may end up breaking it for forcing unnecessarily while honing your knife.

On the other hand, if your steel honing rod is way harder and then it will be more brittle. Then again, if the knife is made of harder steel than the steel honing rod itself then it will also damage the knife. Hence, know about your knife and honing materials first.


You can easily predict which one is more durable between these two rods when you know about their properties. As we said before, steel honing rod is more corroded-resistant and rust-resistant hence it is more durable. Steel honing rods are also waterproof and they are not damaged easily even after a sudden fall.

Unfortunately, ceramic honing rods are easily breakable and they surely break down if falls accidentally. It is said that a ceramic honing rod comes with a survival rate of a total of 80%. Still, it can break if dropped from even 3ft. 

See also  Does Safeway Sharpen Knives?


A ceramic honing rod is a bit pricy while a steel honing rod comes at a low rate. It is because the material ceramic costs more than steel material. However, the price range between these two tools doesn’t differ much. Both of the honing tools are quite affordable.


Even though honing rods doesn’t require washing every time after its use yet, steel honing rod requires more maintenance than the ceramic one. The magnetized feature of the steel honing rods needs to clean frequently as the metal particles are tick to it. However, most steel honing rods are dishwasher safe. Hence, you can clean or rinse the steel rod easily.

In contrast, most of the ceramic honing rods are not dishwasher safe. They do not need to wash as much as the steel rod. You can also clean them properly with a wet cloth. 

Now, Which one to choose, Ceramic Honing Rod OR Steel Honing Rod?

The answer totally depends on you, your requirements, and your knife types. 

  • If you want your honing steel to be durable and serve you for years then you can choose the steel honing rod instead of the ceramic rod.
  • If your knife has high-end features and belongs to an expensive knife brand then a ceramic honing rod will be better. It is the best for all types of knives.
  • If your knife material is softer than the steel honing rod then you can choose it for the honing purpose.
  • Again, if you want a honing rod within a limited budget, you can go for the steel honing rod.

Final Words

Now that you know everything about a Ceramic vs Steel Honing Rod hopefully, you will make a good decision to buy one. Pick up the one that will meet both of you and your knife’s satisfaction. Like an efficient kitchen knife, a honing knife is not a tool you buy every day. 

Hence, make a wise decision and choose the best honing rod to give your favorite knife a perfectly aligned and sharp edge. Also, let us know which honing rod attracts you the most and why did you choose it?

About the author

Introducing Gias, an Engineer and Kitchen Knife connoisseur with a specialization in Japanese Knives. With over five years of dedicated testing, reviewing, and research experience, Gias brings a wealth of knowledge to the world of kitchen knives. Passionate and deeply committed, Gias has created this site as personal documentation of their unwavering love for kitchen knives.

1 thought on “▷ Ceramic VS Steel Honing Rod Knife Sharpener [Choose Wisely]”

  1. I used to have a Chicago Cutlery ceramic knife sharpening rod ca. 1992. It was different from all ceramic sharpening rods available today. Instead of being smooth and white it was rough and dark gray. Unlike the usual ceramic rods which are only good for touch ups, the Chicago rod was capable of sharpening the dullest blade quickly. It sharpened like a sharpening steel but never got dull and never had to be replaced. I used it constantly for 30 years until one day I dropped it and the rod broke in two. I bought 3 different white ceramic rods to replace it but none of them could do what the Chicago one could. I finally bought a diamond studded rod which did work, but like the steel rods, it only lasted about 6 months before it lost it’s sharpening ability. I believe the Chicago one was ceramic embedded with corundum somehow. I researched and found out that Chicago Cutlery was acquired by Corelle Brands Asia in Singapore at some point. They only make regular sharpening steels under the Chicago Cutlery brand now. Anyway, it was absolutely the best sharpener ever. It was like using a whet stone but no honing oil was needed and the grit was perfect. It’s too bad that this technology was lost somehow.


Leave a Comment