The choice of portable small-sized sharpeners and devices for sharpening knives, axes, shovels and saws in the field.

As can be seen from the past material, many qualities, secondary or even not essential for sharpening devices used at home or in the workshop, acquire directly critical importance for sharpening knives and tools in the field. And on this basis, let’s take turns excluding all devices that do not meet the listed requirements. 

The choice of portable small-sized sharpeners and devices for sharpening knives, axes, shovels and saws in the field.

I would advise from the very beginning to confidently discard all and all sharpeners and sharpening devices using natural or artificial carbide abrasives. And, first of all, artificial abrasives based on silicon dioxide. All of them are simply too ineffective in working with their own weight..

But what about aluminum-ceramic? I honestly admit – not too willingly, although in principle I would not rule out their use in the field. It all depends on how exactly the sharpening device is made with their use. But we will return to this. Considering from the point of view of efficiency in relation to weight, as well as convenience and ease of use, I would choose almost exclusively on diamond abrasives. But also not all.

The choice of portable small-sized sharpeners and devices for sharpening knives, axes, shovels and saws in the field.
a cut in the field can be much more troublesome than at home. And turn around hard to predict the consequences. Most often unpleasant. Therefore, we also resolutely reject all sharpening devices that are difficult to reliably hold in hand in weight, without leaning on a stable stand. I do not advise taking with you on a trip also complex devices that maintain a constant angle of sharpening. As a rule, they do not differ in universality, you can’t grind an ax or a blade with them, but the loss of a small part can make the whole device completely unusable.

In the field, the grinding of wavy, serrated, and concave knife blades becomes a particularly serious issue. Of course, if those are in our equipment. Unfortunate coincidence, it turns out that many excellent tools for sharpening in the field just in this sense do not show too much universality. Simply put, if they are still somehow suitable for sharpening not too concave blades, then they are in no way suitable for serrated and wavy. On the other hand, existing portable devices for sharpening serrated blades, as a rule, do not perform well when sharpening conventional, straight or curved cutting edges. 

And to sharpen or at least grind them in the field conditions, with insufficient lighting of the fire, sitting on a log or a rucksack – I thank me obediently. Even with the appropriate device. My advice to you. Even going on a hike in search of adventure, you don’t have to try to create them yourself artificially. What else do we have left of the equipment there that might require undermining? Fishing hooks? They are so small and light that it’s easier to take more hooks with you. And replace them to the extent necessary, than to sharpen directly on fishing. Even if you are going to catch centners of fish.

But if you are going to dive with an underwater gun or beat javelin fish from a boat – then you really may need a sharpening device that could sharpen point points. The tip of a harpoon or harpoon is still not a hook. You can’t get too many of them with you. And one slip and hit in the stone can dull them very sensitively. But they, in the end, after all, on an ordinary flat abrasive can be sharpened or sharpened.

Worst of all, the situation is with saws, since for grinding them, the abrasive must be thin enough to pass between the teeth. These also exist, in the first chapter of this part I gave examples that would successfully cope with this task. But sharpening, or even grinding the saw in the field, without a vise on a workbench, is such a hassle that virtually no one drank while camping on the grind. Well, except that you are going to industrialize the forest with a hand saw. Or get an African iron tree.

Excerpt from the book of Sergei Mitin How to sharpen knives.
Published with the consent of the author.

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