Know your options from this selection of knife sharpening tools so you maintain your knife's effectiveness and safety at home or outdoors.
Knife Sharpening Tools You Need to Know About
Knife Sharpening Tools for Sharp, Safe, and Effective Knives
Knives are an essential survival gear you can bring outdoors. It has been used since the dawn of time to help preppers survive the wilderness.
But, what is a knife without sharpening tools? A knife sharpening tool can easily bring a dull knife back to its tip-top shape.
You probably heard of the saying “A dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp knife” and you're probably wondering why. Handling a knife needs control and precision.
If you're using a dull knife, there's a chance of slipping on the material you're cutting, thus leaving you at risk of cutting yourself. However, if you work with a sharp knife, it is easier and faster to cut through things, making it safer to use.
This National Knife Day, appreciate your handy tool and give it some knife sharpening with the help of these different types of knife sharpeners.
1. Sharpening Stone or Whetstone
The whetstone is probably the most popular knife sharpening tool used. Normally, whetstones come in a rectangular block made of ceramic or natural sharpening stones.
Whetstones work effectively with an extremely dull knife, removing unnecessary materials from the blade. One great thing about this knife sharpener is it also works well with other steel products such as razors and scissors.
Using sandpaper is a cheap yet effective way to sharpen your dull knife. Try attaching the sandpaper to an old mouse pad to make the method more convenient.
If you're sharpening your dull knife with this method, use medium-grit sandpaper, probably around 800, until you work it up to fine-grit sandpaper. You can also use this method for putting the final touches to your blade after you've sharpened it with a whetstone.
3. Sharpening Steel
While the name says “sharpening” steel, this is actually a misnomer, since this tool only hones the blade of your knife.
With that said, sharpening steels must be used only for maintaining the knife but not to sharpen an already dull one. A sharpening steel is long and narrow.
4. Knife Hone
A knife hone works similarly to sharpening steel. As the name suggests, this knife sharpening tool hones the blade of your knife, but it cannot sharpen a dull knife.
Knife hones are made out of steel or stone. It works by removing small amounts of material from the blade to sharpen it.
5. Electric Knife Sharpeners
Normally, electric knife sharpeners come in a rectangular box shape, with three slots to place the knife's blade in. Using an electric sharpener is convenient due to its speedy process.
However, the downside of using this knife sharpening tool is you have less control over the knife, and it's a bit bulky compared to the other tools. Additionally, electric sharpeners work more effectively with kitchen knives than survival, tactical, or hunting knives.
6. Handheld Sharpener
Just like an electric sharpener, a handheld sharpener effectively and easily sharpens a dull knife back to its original, perfect cutting form.
However, handheld sharpeners have a limited slot to place a knife's blade in. The good thing about this knife sharpening tool is its small size, making it easy to carry anywhere you go.
7. Serrated Knife Sharpener
This knife sharpening tool is specifically designed to sharpen knives with serrated blades. It would be difficult to sharpen serrated knives with the most common sharpeners, as they can damage the serrated blades.
Sharpening a straight blade is very much different with sharpening a serrated knife. Each serration needs to be sharpened individually for maximum effectiveness, and this is what your serrated knife sharpener would do.
Watch this video from Dutch Bushcraft Knives for a six-step knife sharpening method:
Keeping your knife sharp is vital. Thus, it is of high importance to have a knife sharpening tool to help you maintain the original sharpness of your knives.
You must determine what kind of blade your knife has and find the best knife sharpening tool to use with it. Otherwise, you might end up with a broken blade. So this National Knife Day, may you have a knife day ahead!
What knife sharpening tool have you tried using? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 23, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.