Honing rod goes by many names:
Honing steel, Chefs steel, Honing rod , Sharpening stick, Butchers steel, Sharpening rod, Sharpening steel.
They all mean the same thing - a rod with a handle you use to sharpen knives. Typically the rod is made of steel or ceramic or a diamond composite.
A honing steel is not for bringing a severely damaged knife blade back to life, you need professional sharpening service for it, a honing steel is used to keep the blade fresh and sharp during regular use.
Compared to a sharpening stone, a honing rod does not remove any significant amounts of metal from your knife blade, instead it just removing small flat spots, nicks and minor indentations.
So How to use a honing rod (steel)?
GRAB THE HONING ROD IN YOUR NON DOMINATE HAND
Hold the base of the handle firmly. Hold the base of the honing steel at a comfortable angle from your body. Elevate the tip of the honing steel above the handle then:
POSITION YOUR HAND APPROXIMATELY 20 DEGREES IN RELATION TO THE HONING STEEL
It’s ok if your angle isn’t exact the important part is to maintain a consistent angle throughout to ensure you smooth out the entire blade. An inconsistent angle won’t damage your knife, but there will be dull spots.
PULL THE KNIFE DOWN ACROSS THE TOP OF THE HONING STEEL
Start the motion from beginning of the knife edge to the very tip. Keep the knife in contact with the honing steel the entire move. This motion involves your wrist, hand and arm. Without moving your wrist you won’t be able to bring your knife the entire length of the honing steel. Use only as much pressure as the weight of the honing steel, do not press the honing steel and knife together and repeat.
Honing is for sharp knives to keep them alive, but eventually you need to sharpen them professionally.