The difference between honing and sharpening a knife can look confusing at first glance. However, when you sharpen a knife, you're actively removing material from the blade, creating a brand new razor-sharp beveled edge.
The purpose of the honing is to move that fatigued metal back into its original position, to realign the edge. It corrects the edge without shaving off much, if any, of the blade’s material.
Honing should be done often — every 2-4 times for stainless steel knives, and after each use for carbon steel knives. If you have been honing, you should need to sharpen your knives no more than once per every 1-2 years.
If you want to know if your knife is sharp enough or needs additional sharpening, use this simple test to check. Hold a piece of paper up and try to slice down through it using the knife. If the knife is sharp enough, it should easily cut through the paper. If not, you'll need to sharpen it a little more.
As soon as you've finished sharpening, wash and dry your knife. Then clean the stone according to the instruction manual. For example, for a water stone, wash off any of the residue and store it in a dry cloth until you need to use it again. Store your stone in a dry, cool place.