Learn how to sharpen a knife because your life or your survival needs may depend on it!
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In this article:
- Importance of Sharpening Your Knives
- What to Invest On
- Why a Sharp Knife Is Necessary for a Survivalist
How to Sharpen a Knife with a Stone by Ray Mears
- PRECISION ENGINEERED FOR PRACTICALLY ANY KNIFE - Specifically designed to hone your knife to an exact 22.5 degrees, to give your blade a constantly...
- TUNGSTEN CARBIDE RODS - Use these rods to literally shave the metal from your blade. Just a few strokes will almost instantly restore even the dullest...
- CERAMIC FINISHING RODS - These super-tough ceramic rods will then polish almost any sharpened blade to a finished edge in just a few strokes
Importance of Sharpening Your Knives
Keeping a knife sharp is the best way to ensure that it can cut, slice, or carve anytime you need it to. After all, this tool is one a prepper or survivalist should always bring along, ready for use.
You have to see to it that your trusty knife is in good working condition. Its sharp edge also makes the knife easier and safer to use. Building a shelter, hunting, and preparing food won’t take too much effort and time.
As you can see, sharpening a knife requires a bit of finesse. You don’t need to be a master swordsmith to actually give your knife a mirror’s edge.
Ray Mears’ method may seem like a lot of work but out in the woods, it’s actually pretty calming. Obviously, you will have to invest in some good knife sharpeners – whetstones – you can bring to your camp.
What Is Whetstone? It is a sharpening tool for cutting tools.
It’s not necessary to do it there but as a survivalist, you spend most of your time in the woods anyway. A knife sharpening stone kit is a necessary investment for you, especially when you’ll be using your knives a lot in survival situations.
What to Invest On
The key takeaway in Ray Mears’ video on how to sharpen a knife is this: You will need to invest in different grits for your types of sharpening stones. Learning the different grits for your whetstones will help you in keeping your knives sharp.
As we learned in the video, different grits serve different purposes. Some grits work as sharpeners, others as polish. Larger knives will also require different grits from the ones you use for your smaller knives. Learn the difference and ensure that your gear is always in tip-top shape.
RELATED: All You Need to Know About Pocket Knives For Everyday Survival
Why a Sharp Knife Is Necessary for a Survivalist
In these uncertain times, survival is a growing concern. Every good survivalist knows they will depend heavily on their gear if they are to make it out of situations alive.
One of the most basic tools in your arsenal is your knife. The sheer amount of utility allowed by your knife can feed, clothe, and house you.
That is why it is important to keep your blades sharp and true. While you can definitely know how to sharpen a knife with a rock, it’s best to use the modern tools at your disposal.
This is a lesson many people who want to adopt this lifestyle should learn. Your knife is going to be your most basic and most reliable tool, so treat it with the care and respect it deserves.
Watch popular survival instructor Ray Mears demonstrate how to sharpen a knife with a whetstone in this video by Ray Mears & Woodlore Ltd.:
You don’t have to always depend on nature for all your needs, especially when there are better modern alternatives. The importance of sharpening survival knives is an oft-overlooked fact by many beginners (or even veterans) to survivalism.
This is actually a true survival skill that we all need to learn and practice at home, camp, your survival shelter or bug out location.
How do you sharpen your knives? Let us know in the comments.
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Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 14, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
While the rough edges a stone leaves on a blade can be handy (they act like saw teeth), I prefer a razor edge & there’s an easy & inexpensive way to get it. I have a two-sided (coarse/medium) sharpening stone & 3 fine diamond hones. I bought all of ’em in the sporting goods dept. @ a Walmart over 20 years ago & while the diamond hones look worn out they are not.
The stone shows wear too, but it’ll easily last another 20 years. I use it for things like a lawnmower blade or the blade of an axe or hatchet, but it works well for a knife that has become really dull. The diamond hones are the “finishing touch” when you already have a decent edge.
One diamond hone is a small steel bar with thousands of tiny industrial diamonds embedded on one side & the other two are plastic, 3/4″ wide, 5 /12″ long, 3/8″ thick, with fine industrial diamonds embedded on the last two inches of one side. You can use those like a file, but with smaller blades, just slide the blade away from you down the diamonds @ a 22.5 degree angle, alternating back & forth from one side of the blade to the other.
I use the steel bar diamond hone the same way & in minutes I can get a hunting knife sharp enough to shave with. The sharpening stone removes a fair amount of metal from a blade, but the diamond hones do not.
I haven’t priced the sharpening stone or diamond hones in ages, but they were very inexpensive when I bought ’em & all will easily fit in a shirt or pants pocket, in a “go bag”, etc. At least one is always handy no matter where I am. In my book there’s no excuse to not have small & inexpensive sharpening tools like mine wherever you happen to be.
I’ve carried a little diamond hone in my wallet for years. 400 grit on one side, 600 on the other. Rides in my wallet and I never even notice it till I need it. I’ve found that keeping a blade sharp is much easier than letting it get really dull, then bring it back from oblivion. This litle hone is an inch wide, about 4″ long, and maybe 3/32 thick. It just slips in my wallet, and I’m ready to touch up a blade to razor sharp in a minute. A little practice on holding that angle and they come back in a jiffy.
One thing I have figured out is most stainless edges need a little steeper angle than a carbon blade. Stainless has a tendency to develop what is called a “wire edge” if you sharpen then at the 17 degree angle usually prescribed for a carbon blade. A “wire edge” is very fine, and incredibly sharp, but it will “roll over” on you. Carbon, not so much. But this becomes easy to work around with practice.