Wusthof Ikon Honing and Sharpening

Joined Jan 8, 2010
I recently purchased a small set of Wusthof Ikon knives and have been slowing adding to it over the past few months.  I knew that if I bought a large set, I'd just end up with redundant knives we'd never use, so I'm glad I went this route.  I researched fairly well before choosing German over Japanese, but in the end my wife was just more comfortable with the Ikons. 

This is the first time we've had a decent set of knives, so I didn't know much about honing and sharpening up front.  I've read quite a bit on these forums which has been a big help, but I'm still left with a few questions.

Much discussion focuses around honing and sharpening chef knives, but we also have both a 5" and 7" santoku.  Should these be honed using the same technique with a honing rod that is used on a standard 8" chef knife?  I know their blade angle is different, but other than that, is there anything to look out for?

We also have a 8" carving knife, a 6" sandwich knife, and two small paring knives.  Do those type of knives require honing as well, or just periodic sharpening?


Joined Feb 13, 2008
Ikons, like almost all German stainless knives, are made from an alloy (X50CrMoV15) which deforms easily.  The edges can (and should) be straightened on a fine rod hone, such as an Idahone fine. 

Also, because the alloy wears slowly it can go a long time between sharpenings with regular steeling on a fine hone.  However, a long time is not forever.  It's also more than once a year. 

More, because of the nature of the alloy and the edges' geometry there's a limit to how sharp you can get your Wusthofs -- so they start from a relatively low baseline. 

To keep your knives truly sharp, you'll still need to sharpen your most frequently used knives three or four times a year. 

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