Nothing is as important as a sharp knife in the kitchen. And anyone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen knows that knives eventually become dull with frequent use. Of course, a honing rod is essential in the kitchen, so if you don’t have one, I highly recommend it! You can find good options here. Visiting a knife sharpener is often inconvenient because there aren’t many of them around anymore. So, you need a solution at home, and there are many options available, from sharpening stones to sharpening machines. However, there’s still another option on the market that hasn’t received as much attention. That option is the HORL 2. If you read my review, you’ll see that it’s a great example of innovative thinking.
The HORL 2 is made in the Black Forest in Germany and offers a smart solution to a problem many people face when sharpening knives – the sharpening angle. Achieving the correct angle is crucial for effectively sharpening a knife. The HORL 2 uses a magnetic block with two different angled sides: one at 15 degrees and the other at 20 degrees. The angle you need depends on the type of knife you have. The 20-degree angle is intended for more standard Western knives, while the 15-degree angle is suitable for finer and more delicate sharpening, as seen with Japanese or Oriental knives, which often have more brittle metal. The choice of knife depends on your personal preference, but I’m personally a big fan of the Eastern style knives because of their precision.
When comparing the HORL 2 to a wetstone, you have to ensure that you maintain the correct angle while sharpening with the wetstone. This can be challenging if you’re not experienced, and you might end up making your knife even duller.
The HORL 2 roller has an “honing steel” on one side. Some people may not know this, but a honing steel doesn’t actually sharpen the knife significantly. It helps maintain an already sharp edge by realigning the microscopic metal particles. Essentially, it straightens out the burr that forms after regular use.
On the other side of the HORL 2 is the actual sharpening stone. This side does remove material from the knife, albeit at a microscopic level. It effectively “shaves” a fine edge from the knife, including any burrs that may be present.
For those who are particularly protective of their knives (I’m one of them), this is a great method for sharpening. You control the pressure applied to the sharpening stone and the knife, and it’s a very controlled way to sharpen. It’s especially calm and steady when compared to, say, an automatic sharpener that you pass the knife through, which can be quite coarse in its approach.
My First Experience with the HORL 2
The HORL 2 comes in a compact box with a wooden block that has a magnetic edge on both sides at 20 degrees and 15 degrees. The package also includes a manual and some additional information. I chose the walnut wood version, but there are also white and black versions available. The HORL 2 itself feels quite substantial. When you place it on the table, you’ll notice how smoothly it rolls. Instead of moving the knife along the sharpening stone or through a sharpening machine, you attach the knife to the magnetic strip of the wooden block at the appropriate angle and essentially roll the sharpening stone or honing steel along the knife’s edge. Sharpening a knife with the HORL 2 is very straightforward. A good tip is to color the cutting edge of the knife with a black marker. This way, you can sharpen the knife until the black is gone, indicating that you’ve achieved a good level of sharpness.
My First Impression
Is the HORL 2 the ultimate sharpening tool? It depends on your perspective. For those who want to keep their knives in excellent condition but don’t want to deal with sharpening stones, wet stones, or complex setups, this is a fantastic solution. It genuinely sharpens your knives, and you can even get finer types of sharpening stones for the HORL 2 to achieve an even sharper edge. I’m very satisfied with this sharpening method. It’s easy to use, peaceful, and safe. You don’t come close to the cutting edge with your hands, which is a significant safety benefit. The price for the HORL 2 is around 140 euros, which, in my opinion, is well worth it. Being able to sharpen your own knives, saving time during cutting, and achieving consistently excellent results is crucial in the kitchen.