With a survival knife, a trusty new tool in your hand, you probably felt like you could take on the world. Until you dulled down that new pocket knife blade, that is. But you just needed good sharpening equipment and a solid sharpening technique (of the two, the technique seems harder to come by). Whether you are sharpening with rods, a whetstone, or an actual stone from the creek, these five tricks can help you turn your dull tool into a sharp blade again, at home or in the field.
Sharpen Your Pocket Knife Better With These Tricks!
1. Stabilize Your Stone
If you are using a slab-shaped whetstone, it will serve you best if it is locked down and unable to wiggle. A wobbling sharpening stone grinds metal from your knife edge in an uneven pattern. Rather than holding the stone by hand, secure it to a log or some other stationary object. Then, you can better maintain the same edge angle as you sharpen.
2. Count Your Strokes as You Sharpen
It’s very important for the number of strokes to match on each side of the edge. Over-sharpening on one side can lead to an odd edge bevel, which is not as sharp.
3. Pick the Right Angle
Select the right angle for the particular knife you would like to sharpen and stay at that angle while sharpening. It doesn’t have to be exact but it should be close. Most knives have a bevel angle of roughly 20 to 23 degrees.
4. Sharpen Often, Before the Edge Gets Too Dull
This keeps your knife effective and can save you from a major sharpening job down the road. I learned this trick on my first blade. It was a nice little Wenger Swiss Army knife with black handle scales. And like most Swiss Army blades, it was almost impossible to create a very sharp edge on it but frequent sharpening kept it serviceable, until the fateful day when I lost my first.
5. Mark the Edge With a Black Sharpie Pen Before You Start Sharpening
With the ink in place, it’s easy to see where you’ve sharpened and where you missed a spot. This trick can be repeated during the sharpening process until your knife edge is extremely sharp.
Is this your first time to sharpen a knife? Watch this video by OUTDOORS55 for 3 more tips beginners must know:
Your knife is a useful tool which you should always take care of and sharpen to experience its best performance. It’s an essential tool you can rely on during an emergency, while camping outdoors, or when SHTF. Keep in mind that knives are useful but they are also dangerous. Make sure not to hurt yourself when sharpening your pocket knife. Maintain your focus on the task at hand — eyes, hands, and mind — to avoid accidents.
Do you have your own trick in sharpening your knife? Share it with us in the comments section below!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 7, 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.