How to Sharpen a Pocket Knife

How to Sharpen a Pocket Knife | Kaufmann Mercantile

Photo via Outside

Pocket knives are good to keep on hand — well, in pocket. You can use them to crack into those difficult-to-open boxes, to slice fruit, to sharpen pencils (though, we've never had much luck with that), to cut rope, and even to whittle — if that’s a skill you have. One thing all these diverse uses have in common: your blade needs to be properly sharpened.

When your pocket knife blade is dull, you have to apply greater force whenever you use it, and that can be quite dangerous. Plus, sharpening the blade is actually pretty easy. So, save yourself some time and effort in the future and get your blade in shape before you continue to use it on a daily basis.

While there are several different answers on how to sharpen a pocket knife (some of them rather odd), this is one of the more common methods.

What you’ll need:

The process:

Apply the lubricant to your sharpening stone. Wet down whatever side of the sharpening stone you’ll be starting with.

If you have a two-sided stone (which we'd recommend), start with the rougher side. Figure out the angle for sharpening. Typically, you’ll want to hold the knife at an angle of about 15 degrees. Though, the exact angle depends on the type of knife.

Start by focusing on one side at a time. Maintaining your angle, pull the knife’s blade across the stone. It doesn’t really matter if you decide to pull the blade toward or away from you. Consistency of pressure and angle is key here.

Do this about six to 10 times. Then, repeat the exact same process on the other side of the knife, depending on how dull your blade is.

Using the same type of strokes, now repeat the process again — just alternating the side of the blade you’re sharpening. So, a stroke on the first stride and one on the second. Do this a few times.

Assuming you have a two-sided stone, flip it over and wet the finer side. Repeat the same process. Sharpening each side of the blade on the finer side of the stone six to 10 times, and then alternating sides for a few strokes.

Wipe the blade on a clean cloth.

Now, your pocket knife is sharp and ready for safe and effective use. 

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Written by Dani Howell