I've said it before and I'll say it again...The best way to keep your knives in good shape between professional sharpenings is to use a honing steel regularly. Using a honing rod, or steel, keeps the edge of your blade in alignment and prevents unneeded wear and tear on the knife.
When a knife comes in contact with a cutting board the edge tends to roll a bit. When you hone, you straighten the edge back out preserving the angle and protecting the knife (which makes the blade work better for you). Although they come in a variety of lengths and materials (steel, ceramic, glass, etc.) we personally recommend a 12" steel rod.
Based on questions from customers, it seems that people are intimidated by the thought of using a steel. However, it's really quite simple and your knives will thank you!
In August of last year, Jet Tila, the renowned chef, did a piece for the Today Show about the makeup of a knife, types of knives and honing. I love the way in which he explained and illustrated it so let's look at what he had to say:
These two drawings make it clear to see the best way to hold your instruments and the instructions below make it simple as can be.
There you have it! Give it shot and try getting in the habit of doing it prior to each use.
Until next time,