Knives are essential for survival: when in the desert, having a sharp knife means you have a tool ready to use when you need it to hunt, cut food, ropes and a variety of other uses. You will want the knife to be as sharp as possible, therefore, the need for the best knife sharpener becomes evident. No matter what you do, your knife will become dull and will require sharpening.
For your survival knife, only the best tool to sharpen it will suffice. The quality of the knife and the sharpener you buy is something that is closely related; If you do not have a quality knife, it can become useless no matter how sharp you do it, and if you have a high quality knife and a poor quality sharpener, you will find that a dull knife cuts very little.
Why knives grow boring?
When cutting, the material will blunt the blade. This dullness is in small increments over time. Cutting vegetables and fruits that contain acidic ingredients, such as tomatoes or lemons, can cause corrosion on the blade of a knife. There is also a superficial type of dullness that occurs with the regular use of the blade: this type of dullness is caused by folding. The last process is not visible to the naked eye, but can be observed microscopically. The thin blade folds slightly during use and makes the blade thicker.
Regular use of a knife will attenuate the blade, especially when you are using your knife to cut animal flesh, skin, gut and cut bone. In addition to cutting through hard materials, other uses of the blade are responsible for dulling the blade, including:
- Batoning This is a method to cut wood into smaller pieces. If you take a small trunk and place the edge of the knife at the end of the trunk, and hit the back or knife thorn, this is called a baton. Dividing the wood is another quick method to cut the knife.
- Curious: If you use the knife to try to separate things or open something, you can damage the tip and the near edge of the knife.
- Whittling: While it is a great hobby for someone who is skilled enough for the task, the controlled blade strokes used to drill and sculpt a piece of wood will quickly dull a blade.
- Wire cutting If for some reason you have to cut the wire with your survival knife, it can end up making your blade dull.
Evaluation of the condition of the blade.
Once you recognize how sharp your knife can be after sharpening it, as well as how easily it allows you to cut materials, you will always want to secure the sharpest edge of your survival blade. But, you certainly do not want to sharpen the knife too much. While some survivors suggest that you only need to sharpen the blade once or twice a year, your personal sharpening needs can vary considerably.
Testing the blade can reveal an opaque edge. You can perform the three-finger edge test to find out: this method requires you to place your thumb on the spine of the knife blade to serve as a safety measure. Once you have placed your thumb, you can wrap your hand so that it is out of the sheet. Allow your first three fingers to gently touch the sheet to assess the sharpness of it. You can use this test to evaluate the heel, the belly and the tip of the knife blade. Here are some more methods to determine when the blade needs sharpening.
- The sheet is opaque to visual examination.
- The knife is not showing the cutting power and the softness it once had.
- With the use of an excellent light source, you can see if there is light reflected on the edge of the blade; If so, it’s time to sharpen the blade.
More methods to test sharpness.
One of the best known methods to determine if your survival knife requires cutting is to take your thumb and move it gently from left to right with a scraping motion along the edge, and the tip should be checked. It goes without saying that you have to be very careful, not only with this method of evaluating the blade, but also when you touch the edge of your weapon.
To check the condition of the edge of the blade, you can try to cut materials. Some typical materials to perform a test of this type include newspaper and forearm hair. If you are considering the safest methods, it is perfectly acceptable to continue with the newspaper test.
Consider two things when evaluating the sharpness of the sheet:
- If the blade is extremely dull, you will not feel any threat to your fingers and the edge will feel soft. If it is a razor blade that is polished, you can still use the three-finger test to assess the sharpness of the blade, but keep the back of your mind in mind so as not to apply too much force while performing the test.
- Even if the knife is blunt, its rounded edge may eventually cut you off, especially when a large amount of force is applied. Your brain will indicate danger when it comes close to cutting and breaking the skin. For more information on the evaluation of your knife blade, see the YouTube video “Testing the sharpness of the edges of three fingers” of Murray Carter and CarterCutlery.
Types of sharpeners
When it comes to knife sharpeners, you can choose between two types: electric and manual. Electric sharpeners are better for an indoor environment, and manual sharpeners are perfect for outdoor and adventure uses. Some different types of sharpeners available in the market today include:
- Electric: This is the best type of sharpener for convenience and is ideal for indoor environments.
- Pull through / manual: These sharpeners are diverse in terms of style and can be used both vertically and horizontally. The unit can prove to be a good resource for sharpening knives in the pocket knife, but is often also preferred in a kitchen setting.
- Steel sharpening: A steel sharpening bar is not always made of steel, since it can also be made with ceramic components. This type of sharpener really consists in sharpening the blade and not in sharpening the tool because the unwanted material is not shaved. Careful use of the steel sharpener is required, as it has the potential to easily destroy the blade of a knife. If a person masters how to use it, steel sharpening is a perfect investment for survivors.
- Whetstone: This type of sharpener is rectangular and often has the shape of a thick block. The block is about an inch in terms of thickness. The stone itself is not necessarily made of stone, but it can also be made of diamond or ceramic. This type of sharpener is one of the oldest of its kind and was used in a time to sharpen razors, scissors and alternative tools.
The stone is able to remove anything that has aged the blade with ease, and some of the most important names in the stone sharpener manufacturing industry include Norton, DMT and Smith.
Materials for sharpening knives
Today’s pencil sharpeners leave a lot of room to choose. There are five different abrasive materials used in modern sharpening tools. All sharpeners are beneficial in specific sharpening situations. The various materials used in sharpeners and the most ideal use of each material are listed in the table below:
|Sharpening material||Characteristics and use.|
|Synthetics||Instead of using normal stone from the ground, many knife sharpeners are made with synthetic material that is completely made by man but that serves to sharpen the blade of a knife with the same ease. This type of sharpener is exceptional for a final finish on a sharp blade or for a quick adjustment of the edge. Synthetic sharpeners on the market are visually appealing with a variety of colors available. They also come in easy ways to grab and with different grain levels.|
|Diamonds||Of course, diamonds are an ideal substance for sharpening knives, since they are the hardest substance known on Earth. Diamond blade sharpeners are aggressive and make it very easy to remove the metal from the edge of the blade. It is definitely a good option if you are looking for a quick and affordable means to sharpen your survival knife.
This type of sharpener, which is offered in different grains, is exceptional for dealing with stainless steel or other hard tools. With the diamond stone sharpener, you can expect the stone to stay flat: this is something that synthetic stones and Arkansas stones do not do.
|Ceramics||You will appreciate the affordability of ceramic sharpeners, as well as the unique shapes, colors and grains you can get; This sharpener is better to maintain the edge or for the finish, since it requires very little of the sheet metal.|
|Carbides||Carbide sharpeners are prized for their aggressive sharpening characteristics. If you want to sharpen a blade in just three or four quick movements, this is the sharpener for you. Like the alternative options in the market, you will find these sharpeners with unique and portable designs and styles.|
|Made from novaculite, a genuine form of silica native to the state of Arkansas, these stones are good for polishing and finishing a blade. This type of sharpener is literally called the best finishing stone in the industry.|
Choose the upper knife sharpener
If you are a survivor, there is little doubt that it depends a lot on your knife and you expect it to be sharpened every time you use it. Think about it: you are hunting, you capture some prey, and you intend to prepare and disembowel the animal, only to discover that your knife is too boring to do the job.
You can definitely forget about skinning your prey. The situation will make it quite difficult to get you caught back at home to kill.
That’s why a quality knife sharpener is not only a sought-after tool, but also a necessity; One that is compact, has an excellent performance rating and one that is not only easy to use but also durable. These are some of the key features that should be required of any knife sharpener who is thinking of buying:
- Portability: Sharpening the knife you choose should ultimately be compact. Whether you are camping, hiking or in a survival situation, you just want the knife sharpener to be easy to carry. However, you do not want its size to compromise its quality.
- Non-electric operation option: If you are investing in a knife sharpener for outdoor use, know that you may not always have access to any source of electricity. That being the case, your best bet for the sharpener you buy is that it does not depend on electricity to operate.
- Sharpening versus sharpening: You want a tool that can sharpen the soft edge and saw blades and you do not want to sharpen the blades, but you must sharpen them. It is important that you give your blade a serious cutting power.
Frequently asked questions about sharpening knives
Those who are new to knife sharpening methods often have many questions. After all, sharpening knives implies mastering specific skills and is not something you simply jump on: there is a lot to consider when it comes to sharpening any weapon. These are some of the typical questions that neophytes have when they approach the idea of sharpening knives.
What is the best knife sharpener for sale?
The truth of the matter is that for a sharpener to be considered “the best”, he will have to provide what he is looking for, a way to sharpen his particular weapon. This means that it must match your level of experience, and you must have the best material to ensure that you end up with a perfectly sharpened blade edge. In general, knife sharpeners will work on any knife, but they may not produce identical results.
What is the ideal frequency of knife sharpening?
That depends on how you use your weapon, how often you use it and your preference in terms of the sharpness of the blade. Some people sharpen a knife a couple of times a year, some every few months and sometimes with every use. However, you should bear in mind that, if you wait until the blade has reached a state of total dullness, it may take a considerable time to return the knife to sharp conditions once you decide to sharpen it.
What’s up with the angles? Which is better when sharpening a blade?
It is important to keep in mind that the degree of the angle is less important than the consistency of the angle. You want the same angle on both sides of the sheet to ensure the sharpest state you can achieve for your sheet. The ideal angle for a blade is 23 degrees, since it makes the blade good for outdoor and sports use.
The PP1 pocket sharpener
Smith’s PP1 PocketPal sharpener is an exceptional tool for sharpening knives for survivors. The unit has a price between $ 6.98 and $ 9.99. It has a black exterior that measures 0.01 inches x 3.5 inches x 1 inch and weighs all 0.02 pounds. The design is elegant, thin and ultra light. This excellent sharpener has carbide blades so you can sharpen your weapon quickly and with considerable ease. The sharpening angles are predefined, so you will always get the same sharpening results guaranteed.
Additional features include:
- A tapered diamond rod so you can sharpen your gut and groove hooks
- The exterior has a ceramic finish.
- Replaceable / reversible ceramic stones and carbide blades.
- Cord hole
The PP1 carbide blades are thick, the ceramic stones are fine, and the abrasive that is obtained is the diamond stone 400 of the conical rod and the 800 drag. The conical diamond rod is perfect for sharpening the serrated edges and the flat edges.
The V-shaped slots in this sharpener require you to insert the blades at a 90 degree angle: This is followed by the simplest forward / reverse movement to begin the sharpening process.
Gerber Diamond knife sharpener
The Diamond knife sharpener with model number 09841 manufactured by Gerber is an exceptional knife sharpening option for those looking for a discreet-looking sharpener, since this model looks more like a pen capped at a glance. The price of the sharpener is more than available, since it ranges between $ 8.52 and $ 10.80.
This knife sharpener has a reliable and durable design made of stainless steel. It is perfected for use outdoors, while hunting, during military tactics and for industrial purposes alike. A unit tested in the field, additional features include:
- Triple structure plated in diamond.
- It will sharpen both the fine edge and the serrated blades.
- It has a sharpener for your hook.
- Measures 9.7 inches by 5.5 inches x 0.2 inches
- Weighs 4.2 ounces
- The item comes complete with a lifetime guarantee
Bear Grylls field sharpener
The Bear Grylls field sharpener is the model number 31-001270 and is manufactured by Gerber. The knife sharpener is a must in the list of the best knife sharpeners you can buy. The price of the unit is between $ 13.95 and $ 22.00, depending on where you buy it. This sharpener is equipped with a hard plastic pocket-sized cover and a thick carbide insert. The handle is made of a rubber material to ensure a solid grip when the sharpener is in use.
The unit is equipped with two diamond sharpeners coated in the shape of a rod. Additional features include:
- Proper size in the pocket for easy transportation
- Measurements of 5.5 inches x 3.5 inches x 1.5 inches
- Weighs 2.1 ounces
- Designed with robustness in mind
- Suitable for sharpening knives for outdoor, industrial, tactical, hunting, military and survival use
- The unit has been fully tested in the field.
- Sharpen serrated edges and fine knives.
Victorinox pocket sharpener
The Victorinox pocket knife sharpener is a promising investment for survivors in search of a front-line sharpener. The Victorinox brand is a trusted name in the manufacture of accessories for knives and knives, since it is the same manufacturer of the famous brand Swiss Army Knife.
The pocket knife sharpener of the same company is made with the same sense of detail, but at an easily accessible price. The cost of the sharpener varies from $ 14.59 to $ 21.54, depending on where you buy the product. The Victorinox knife sharpener is manufactured in Switzerland. Additional features include:
- Measurements of 5 inches x 2 inches x 2 inches
- A shipping weight equal to 0.9 ounces
- Robust and compact design.
- A sharpener file on one end
- A pencil sharpener at the opposite end.
- Outline of red and black
The knife is an amazing innovation, one that serves as a tool with innumerable purposes. When used safely, a sharp knife can be the best survival tool a person can possess. The key to the usefulness of a survival sheet is the sharpness of the sheet. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the owner of the blade to sharpen the blade regularly to ensure rectification of the edge of the blunt blade.
Since a survival knife can be incredibly important to the survivor, it is imperative that one invest in the best knife that money can buy. A decent sharpener not only prolongs the longevity of knife use, it also guarantees the knife’s total utility, and while affordability is a factor in your purchase, you’ll find that most sharpeners on sale today are quite affordable.