You need to regularly inspect, care for and maintain your pocket knives to ensure that these provide the best cutting power when you need it and were you need it. Knife sharpening takes time, skill and patience. You need to have all these to be able to make the most out of your pocket knife or folding knife. Here are the materials you need as well as the steps you have to follow to sharpen your pocket knife:
- Prepare all the materials you need. You need a sharpening stone, mineral oil, water and you pocket knife. Clean your knife to remove any dirt and debris. Prepare the kind of sharpening stone that will work for your kind of blade. There are several kinds of stones: whetstone which is a fine to coarse. Soak this in cold water for 10 minutes to prepare your stone. Ceramic stones are harder and will efficiently sharpen your blades quicker. Diamond stones are hard but porous and are usually attached to a plastic body. These will easily sharpen any kind of knife but is known to be the most expensive sharpeners there is.
- After soaking your desired stone (whetstone and ceramic) and lubricate the surface with mineral oil. You need to do this to avoid the blade’s stones from clogging with sharpening filings. Diamond stones, on the other hand, may do well with dish washing soap.
- Locate the bevel angle of your blade or the rough grind angle. Pocket knives have a beveled edge of 25 to 30 degrees. If you do not know the bevel edge of your knife, check this out online by looking for the specs of your knife.
- Position your knife with the blade away from you at a specific bevel angle against the sharpening stone. Maintain this position and make a gliding move. Repeat this movement while keeping your hold on the knife. Sweep the blade down on the sharpening stone till the end of the stone.
- Repeat this movement over the sharpening stone for at least 12 to 15 times. As a beginner, you will usually take time doing this to be able to perfect the technique but as time goes by and you regularly sharpen your knife, you will find that a smooth circular motion could prove to be the best stroke.
There are different strokes and different amounts of time spent sharpening blades of different sizes and shapes. A blade with a longer and curvier end will definitely take time to sharpen and will need a steady hand to completely sharpen the entire edge of the knife.
- After several passes, flip the knife over and then sharpen the other side with the same steps. As you flip your knife, flip the sharpening stone over as well. The finer side of the stone will reduce any bumps that may have been created as you sharpened the blade with the rough part of the stone.
- When you are done and satisfied with the way you have sharpened your pocket knife blade then it is time to test it out. Get a piece of paper and slice it with your knife. A sharp blade will easily tear the paper and slide through. You may have sharpened the body of the blade but left the tip dull; you can correct this by using the sharpening stone again but this time, pay attention to the blade tip. Do not forget to visually inspect your knife under a bright light so you can look for brittle edges and bumps. Take time doing this so you can have a sharp and handy knife to take anywhere.