How to sharpen a pocket knife
Any craftsman knows that working with a blunt knife is nothing but pain. So sharpening a knife is important, do not spare the time to sharpen the blade – it will not go to waste. Much more time will be wasted working with a blunt instrument. Professional sharpening requires patience, quality blade steel, bars of appropriate grit.
To get your knife sharp, you need only 2 things: a sharpening stone and some grease.
- The sharpening stone. Along with dozens of ways to sharpen knives, there are dozens of types of sharpening stones. There is Japanese water sharpening stones, diamond-coated stones, and other stones with different degrees of grit. Again, the choice of the stone depends on your preference. Try several types of stones and choose the one you like best. If you need to sharpen an expensive, high-quality knife, you don’t want to use cheap sharpening stones. And at the same time, if you are just starting to sharpen knives, you should not choose very expensive stones. Most of the time, the stones are reversible, with one side coarse and the other fine-grained. Usually, you start sharpening on the coarse side and finish on the fine one.
- Lubrication. Most knife sharpening experts recommend the use of grease. Lubricant can be anything: either water or oil. Most sharpening guides recommend mineral oil. Lubrication reduces the friction heat that occurs during sharpening. Too much heat can deform your blade. Lubrication also allows you to get rid of the bits of iron that show up during sharpening. It should be noted that many sharpening stones will do their job well without grease. Therefore, if you are in the middle of the field or the woods and you need to sharpen your knife, do not put it off just because you do not have grease on hand.
How to sharpen a pocket knife with a stone
- Start on the rougher side. If your knife is completely dull, start sharpening it on the rougher side. How can you tell? Sometimes you can even see it by eye. If you can’t visually tell which side is smoother and which is less, you can do the test with your thumbnail. Slide it across the surface of the sharpening stone on both sides and start sharpening with the side that looks less even to you. And the rougher side is usually more porous. If you’ve poured water on the stone and it soaks into it, then you should start on that side.
- Getting the stone ready. If you’ve decided to use grease, it’s time to just turn to it. Pour a sufficient amount of technical oil on the surface of the stone. You don’t have to pour it in, but you don’t have to spare it either. The golden mean to everything!
- Lean the blade against the sharpening stone at an angle of 10-15 degrees. This is key: the right angle plays a huge role in sharpening the knife. Different knives require different angles – for pocket knives, it’s just those 10-15 degrees. This way, the knife will be sharp enough for your daily activities, but not so sharp that it can be used for surgery. It’s not easy to keep the same angle between the knife and the sharpening stone all the time, skill comes with practice.
- Start sharpening. When you find the optimal angle for sharpening, you can start the process. I, for example, rub the knife on the stone. Someone rubs the stone against the knife – it’s more convenient for everyone. Both works, so try what works best for you. If the knife blade is curved or longer than the sharpening stone, you have to move the blade horizontally while sharpening to get the knife evenly sharp along its entire length. Yes, don’t overdo it with too much pressure: you have to press the knife, but not with all your strength. How does sharpening work? You pass the knife from top to bottom along with the sharpening stone with one stroke – and return the blade to its initial position. You need to perform the manipulation 6-12 times.
- Sharpen the other side of the blade. Do the same thing, but on the other side.
- We sharpen the sides one at a time. Swipe on one side, swipe on the other; a very fun process!
- Now sharpen both sides, using a less grainy stone surface. All the same, in the same sequence.
There we have sharpened the pocket knife! Not such a difficult task.