Every time your knife contacts the cutting board, there’s an impact on the blade. That’s not a flaw; it’s just part of using a knife. Over time and many impacts, the thin edge of the blade will naturally curl over. This is called a “rolled edge.” The edge is still sharp, but because the edge is curled, the sharpest part is no longer what is moving directly through the food as you cut.
Enter the honing steel. A honing steel enables you to re-align—or uncurl—the edge so that the razor-sharp edge is once again gliding through the food as you cut. To hone, align the flat side of the blade with the 16° angle guide on the hand guard of your Shun honing steel. Maintaining that angle, gently pull the blade down the steel from heel of blade to tip. Some cooks hone once a week, some hone every day. It just depends on how much you use your knives. Either way, you will be amazed at the difference it makes when you cut.