When that time comes that you need to touch up the sharp edge of your Wusthof knife the 12" steel is a good option. This is the deluxe Wusthof 12" inch steel it has a slightly larger shaft and more substantial handle.it can realign your knife edge quickly and easily. Honing steels are often confused as sharpeners. Your honing steel will realaign your knife edge but will not put a new edge on it. In trying to explain what a honing steel does try to imaging your sharpening steel and your toothbrush. It is a maintaince tool that you use everyday. In the case of your knife this would be maintaining the knifes edge. Now eventually you would need to see your dentist. That would be a sharpener. This would be a more detailed and agressive action and they would actually remove metal from the edge of the knife. Much like a dentist would do to your teeth. Now to maintain healthy teeth you brush everyday. To maintain a sharp knife you should steel your knife everyday. And remember only go to the Dentist(sharpener) once or twice a year.