It's a pet peeve of mine when people say sharpening steels don't actually sharpen a knife.
While it's true that a plain knife steel is designed to just realign an edge, sharpening steels have moved on quite a bit since then.
Nowadays you can get steels in a variety of abrasives that will actually sharpen your kitchen knife. The pictured ceramic rod has a dark line running down it. That's swarf (metal removed from the knife), a clear sign that more than realignment is happening.
This makes sharpening steels a great way to maintain the edge of your kitchen knives.
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