- How to sharpen a pocket knife
- Alternative Method: Sharpening Your Blade With a Honing Rod
- Tips to Consider
If you are looking for a new hobby, or just want to learn how to take care of your knives better, sharpening a pocket knife is an easy and satisfying project. It will give your blade back the edge it needs, and keep it from getting dull again in the future. The best part is that you can sharpen any type of knife with this technique: from expensive chef’s knives to simple Swiss Army Knives.
How to sharpen a pocket knife
Select your tools
The first thing you will need is a sharpening stone. This can be either a whetstone or diamond sharpener. If you are just starting out, it might be easier to use a whetstone since they are more common.
Whetstones usually come in two types: oil or water. The oil stones need to be soaked in oil before use, while the water stones can be used wet or dry. If you are using a diamond sharpener, it will come with its own lubricant.
Clean your pocket knife
Before you start sharpening your knife, you will need to clean it off. Dirt and gunk can interfere with the sharpening process and damage your blade.
There are a few ways to clean your knife: you can use a soft cloth, some soapy water, or a toothbrush. Just make sure that all the dirt and debris is gone before you start sharpening.
Find your edge angle
The next step is to find the edge angle. This is the angle at which you will be sharpening your blade.
There are a few ways to do this: you can eyeball it, use a ruler or a protractor, or use a Sharpie marker trick.
If you are just starting out, it is probably best to eyeball it. Hold your knife at the angle you want to sharpen it at and look at the blade. You should be able to see a tiny ridge or burr on the edge. This is the part of the blade that needs to be sharpened.
Begin sharpening your pocket knife
Now it is time to start sharpening. The easiest way to do this is to hold the knife against the stone at a slight angle and apply gentle pressure while moving the knife back and forth.
You should keep your strokes even and consistent, making sure to sharpen both sides of the blade equally. Don’t worry if you can’t get the knife all the way to the stone – just go as far as you can.
Hone your blade
Once you have sharpened the blade, you will need to hone it. This step is optional, but it will help keep your blade sharp in the future.
To hone your blade, hold the knife at a slight angle and run it along the stone. Again, make sure to keep your strokes even and consistent.
Strop your blade
The last step is to strop your blade. This will help remove any burrs or nicks that might have formed during the sharpening process.
To strope your blade, hold the knife at a 90-degree angle and run it along the stone. Make sure to apply gentle pressure and keep your strokes even and consistent.
If you are having trouble getting the knife to stay against the stone, you can use a piece of leather, cloth, or wood as a strop.
Alternative Method: Sharpening Your Blade With a Honing Rod
If you don’t have a sharpening stone, you can also use a honing rod to sharpen your blade.
To use a honing rod, hold the knife at a 20-degree angle and run it along the honing rod. Use gentle pressure and keep your strokes even and consistent.
Make sure to hone both sides of the blade equally.
Tips to Consider
- It is important to keep your knives sharp, not just for safety reasons, but also because a sharp knife is more efficient and precise.
- There are a few ways to sharpen a pocket knife: with a whetstone, diamond sharpener, or Sharpie marker trick.
- To find the edge angle, hold your knife at the angle you want to sharpen it at and look at the blade. You should be able to see a tiny ridge or burr on the edge.
- When sharpening your knife, make sure to keep your strokes even and consistent. Don’t worry if you can’t get the knife all the way to the stone – just go as far as you can.
How do I know when to sharpen my pocket knife?
If your knife starts to feel dull, or if it can’t seem to cut through materials very easily, it’s time to sharpen it.
What is a burr?
A burr is a small piece of metal that forms on the blade after sharpening. It should be brushed or scraped off before continuing to sharpen the knife.
How do I sharpen my serrated pocket knife?
Serrated knives can be sharpened by following the same steps, but you will need to use a finer-grit stone. Be sure to keep the angle consistent when sharpening.
Can I sharpen my kitchen knives with a pocket knife sharpener?
Yes, you can use a pocket knife sharpener to sharpen kitchen knives. However, it’s important to use the right type of sharpener for the job. A honing stone is better suited for kitchen knives, while a grinding stone is better for pocket knives.
In summary, it’s important to keep your knives sharp for safety reasons and because a sharper knife is more efficient. To find the edge angle of your blade, hold it at the angle you want to sharpen it at and look at the blade.
You should be able to see a tiny ridge or burr on the edge that needs to be sharpened. Make sure not only to maintain an even stroke but also apply gentle pressure while moving back-and-forth across both sides of the blade in order to get as close as possible without touching either side with each pass.
Once you have finished honing one side, turn over and hone other side until done (this may take up two stones if using a whetstone).
Finally strop off any burrs or remaining metal with the leather, cloth or wood. If don’t have a sharpening stone, you can also use a honing rod which is more forgiving and doesn’t require the finesse of getting close to the blade.