A pocket knife is a handy tool that can be used for various purposes. It is commonly used to cut open a clamshell package, whittling, carving, self-defense, removing staples and for honing other knives. If you have ever tried to use a blunt pocket knife, then you already understand why it is important to know how to sharpen a pocket knife razor sharp. Using a blunt knife not only wastes your time but can also be dangerous to you.
It is safer to use a sharp knife than to use a blunt one and here’s why: think of a situation where you are trying to cut a fruit or some wires using a blunt knife, you will have to use more force in order to get the work done and you could easily scratch or slice your palms in the process, a situation which could have been avoided had the knife been sharp.
This article is going to guide you on how to sharpen a knifeand also provide a few tips on maintenance of the knives.
Knife Sharpening Techniques
There are various knife sharpening techniques that you could use to get the job done. Let’s look at some of the commonly used methods.
1. How to sharpen a pocket knife razor sharp using a sharpening stone.
This method is quite simple and is safe to use even for a first-time sharpener. You are going to need a sharpening stone, lubricating oil and your knife of course. There are many kinds of sharpening stones. These include;
- Natural stones; they are the best type of sharpening stones and give the best quality results. They may be a little pricy but definitely worth every coin.
- Synthetic stone; they are becoming more popular and can be found almost everywhere. They are best for sharpening western style knives.
- Ceramic stones; I would not advise a beginner to use these ones, because they require care and experience to get the best results possible with them.
- Diamond stones; they last a lifetime and are not expensive. Some can be bought for around $15 and they get the blade real sharp.
- Oil stones; available in almost every store at affordable prices. Using this stone to sharpen your knife may take time, but eventually get good results.
Let’s get down to sharpening the pocket knife. Follow the following steps to get the best results
- The first thing you need to do is check the condition of the blade. This will help you to know whether you need to start sharpening on the rough side or just use the finer side of the stone.
- Step two is to get the stone ready. Most stones have two sides; a rough side and smoother one. Apply a generous amount of lubricating oil to the surface of the stone before starting the sharpening process.
- Once you have oiled your stone, begin sharpening. Angle the blade well against the stone to get that sharp edge at the end. Place the knife flat on the stone then lift it up to about 15 degrees and maintain this angle throughout the process. Start with the rough side of the stone and ensure you alternate both sides of the blade in the process.
- After a number of strokes on the rough side, switch to the finer grit side and continue with the sharpening strokes. Do not forget to hold the knife at a 15 degrees angle. Take your time in this step as the result obtained at the end largely depends on the finishing bit.
2. Electric Sharpening
If you are not very experienced at sharpening knives then this method is for you. An electric sharpening machine has many slots for various blades. All you need to do is run the blade through the slots. It is however not advisable to use on your knife regularly as it takes off a significant amount of material from your knife in the process therefore reducing the lifespan of your knife.
3. Using Knife Sharpeners.
A knife sharpener also known as a pull through sharpener, is a tool that has several grinding wheels. It is also quite simple to use; just place the knife on it and pull the blade through the wheels several times. It is important to note that it does not produce very good results compared to using a sharpening stone or electric sharpening.
In case you do not have any of the above, do not worry you can also use everyday household items such as sandpaper, nail file, nylon band, a cardboard, concrete and the blade of another knife to sharpen your pocket knife.
Q: What is the best knife sharpening method?
A: It all depends on your preference and experience but generally, using a sharpening stone has proven to be the most preferred method and also gets the best results possible without causing any significant damage to the knife.
Q: How can I take care of my pocket knife?
A: maintaining your pocket knife is very important. Here are a few things you can do to take care of your pocket knife;
- Once you are done using your knife, remove any dirt from the blade and handle of the knife.
- Wash the knife using a mild detergent and water (warm preferably) to get rid of dirt that cannot be removed by hand.
- Always store your knife dry. After washing, dry up the knife with a piece of cloth then let it air dry before putting it back in its pocket.
- Lubricate your knife constantly to avoid rusting.
Carrying around a blunt pocket knife is almost similar to not having one at all. It will not be of much use to you and whenever you need to use it, you will have to use more force in order to get the work done. For this reason, you should always ensure that your pocket knife sharp. This is much easier when you know how to sharpen a pocket knife razor sharp on your own.