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First of all, let's make it clear that "Sharpening Steels" are not for 'sharpening' so much as they are for "re-aligning" the straightness of the knife blade. The purpose of 'knife sharpening steels is much different than 'knife sharpeners'. Perhaps a more proper term for your 'sharpening steel' would be 'honing steel' instead.
Knife sharpeners actually remove metal from the blade, honing steels do not. A honing steel aligns a microscopically bent knife edge.
"There is a misconception that there are sharpening steels that remove metal where in actuality they realign the cutting edge."Knife Sharpeners
"All you are doing is aligning the knife edge after daily wear and tear."Sharp knife is essential
"What is the difference between honing and sharpening? When a typical knife is sharpened, it has tiny microscopic teeth all along the cutting edge. When the knife is used, the teeth and edge gradually flatten out. A honing steel, which looks like a short sword with a round blade, is used to draw those teeth and the metal of the cutting edge back into shape so the edge is keen. The honing steel is not designed to remove metal."Honing and Sharpening Knives
If I were you, I'd keep your gift so you can actually sharpen your knives instead of just realigning them.
Honing steels can and should be used quite often to keep your knife sharp before each use. The above links will provide information as to technique which is as, if not more, important than the material of which each has it's own features. Perhaps other ChefTalk members will be able to elaborate...