Nice knife - how are you going to sharpen it?
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Thread: Nice knife - how are you going to sharpen it?



  1. #1
    Gun Wizard
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    Nice knife - how are you going to sharpen it?

    I am often amused how many times super hard super steel knives are "Highly recommended" for honest to goodness true "Survival" situations...

    How are you going to sharpen it?

    It's one thing to be talking about camping, hunting, bushcraft, or tactical - as there's an implicit assumption that you won't *Really* be that far from your diamond plates and Japanese water stones... I mean that CPM3V or M4 HSS blade is awesome in the field and it's not that bad to deal with on your diamond plates at the house....

    But actual Survival is different... And one interesting thing I noticed about "Frontier" knives from pre-1900 is how soft they often are... Rc 30-45 range.. That's not really considered "Hardened" so much as normalized.. "Well - they didn't have good control of the steel or whatnot...." Oh - then why were Quality razors, wood chisels, and plane irons ALWAYS run fairly hard (Rc 50+) even from the 1600's?

    Sharpening in the field!

    Sure - you probably won't want to lug a bunch or plates and stones around with you on the move.. Rocks are heavy!... That's no problem if you are going back to the truck at the end of the day or circle back home in a couple days... You can make do with an EZ Lap or whatever....

    But "Away"... On the move... What then? What if diamond plates are nowhere to be found and the best you can do is to borrow a miscellaneous sharpening stone from somebody when you can get the chance?

    It's interesting thar most places have natural sandstone, slate, or "novaculites" which were suitable for sharpening carbon steels. Many smooth river stones are at least useful for straightening and touching up an edge.. (Hint - look for place names that say "Whetstone" or "Hone") Some glass, ceramic, or a brick would work in a pinch... Maybe slop some river silt onto a piece of wood and strop it... Use your leather belt as a strop. It will work on a softer high carbon steel blade... BUT it's not nearly as effective on super hard steels and especially not with super steels which are full of carbides that are harder than the local abrasive..

    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Marlin Marksman
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    Convex blade made out of carbon steel or tool steel like a2. You can strop it with a small strop, pants leg, sandpaper etc.
    truckjohn and gunscrewguy like this.

  3. #3
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    I have a lot of Case pocket knives but the ones I choose to carry are carbon steel blades because they are easy to put a edge on. Never been a fan of super hard blades or ss.
    jim716, Vooch, rx7dryver and 8 others like this.

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  5. #4
    Deadeye
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    Carry a small sharpening stone.
    I think one of the main problems people have with keeping a knife sharp is that they wait too long to sharpen it.
    Every time I use one of my knives I run it over a stone a few times when I am done.
    If you do this every time you use it, it only takes a few strokes on a stone to keep them sharp.
    Don't wait until it is dull before you try to sharpen it.
    If you have a dull knife you waited too long to sharpen it.

  6. #5
    Gun Wizard
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    Another point with this is:
    Not all stones work. Many stones are a LOT more fine cutting/slow than you think.
    Most of these stones cut considerably slower than a proper sharpening stone.. There's a reason Arkansas, Belgian Coticule, and Turkey stones are world renowned and miscellaneous local stones are not.

    It takes some experience to figure out what works and what doesn't.

    Back in Ye Olde Days - the skilled carpentry, logging, green wood furniture making/woodworking trades taught their apprentices how to identify, prep, and use suitable stones to keep their tools sharp in the field. Carpenters would find a suitable paver or a good brick, flatten/prep it, and then use it to keep their tools in good shape...

    Now - major work like reprofiling an edge was probably done at home or at a blacksmith's shop.. But maintaining the edge was done on the jobsite.
    Vooch and Gareth Holland like this.

  7. #6
    Site Contributor Contributing Member
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    what kind of river rock do you use to sharpen one of those serrated blades?
    ..
    truckjohn likes this.

  8. #7
    Marlin Marksman
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodot View Post
    what kind of river rock do you use to sharpen one of those serrated blades?
    ..
    I avoid serrated blades like the plague.

  9. #8
    Gun Wizard
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    I like carbon steel knives and a carboranian stone to keep there edge.A large stone at home and a smaller one in my pocket.

    https://www.amazon.com/Carborundum-S.../dp/B00D6N55CG
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rx7dryver View Post
    I avoid serrated blades like the plague.
    But if you must then you only sharpen the flat side - never the side with serrations.
    "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it."
    George Orwell

  11. #10
    Marlin Marksman
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    In a pinch the glazed portion(top) of a vehicle window will sharpen up a knife that is not too dull.
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