Wüsthof Sharpening steels
Sharpening steel or sharpening rod?A sharpening steel removes any burrs off the cutting edge. Burrs are the first indication of a blunt knife. They are difficult to see at first. When burrs become larger you can see a glittering on the edge. A sharpening steel removes the rougher burrs and lifts the small burrs. That improves your knife edge.
A sharpening steel only removes burrs, and no material from the knife. The knife thus still becomes round and blunt on the edge. A sharpening rod, diamond or ceramic, does sharpen the edge. They remove a layer of steel from your knife which shapes the cutting edge of the knife back into a V-shape. A diamond or ceramic sharpening rod is also quite a lot harder, which means you can actually sharpen any knife on it.