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Honing Rods

It's supposed to keep your knife sharp, but does it work?

What We Learned

We've all sat at holiday tables watching our host put on a show before carving the roast, slashing a knife in the air, back and forth, against a honing rod—swish, swish, swish. It sure looks impressive, but I've always secretly wondered: Does that really sharpen a knife?

To find out, I bought nine honing rods. All had the same basic design, a sticklike rod with a handle on one end. T...