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Monday, December 8, 2014
Easiest DIY Knife Sharpening Technique
Easiest DIY Knife Sharpening Technique:
As part of the Bushcraft USA Basic Certification Course we were tasked with knife sharpening and are require to get a knife that you can shave with and that is "Scary Sharp." This technique is the one taught in the class and I have to admit it seems to work with every bushcraft knife and EDC pocket folder I have tried it with (only tried with knives made from 1099 and O1 Tool Steel i.e. high carbon steels). First off this is one of the cheapest sharpening methods you will find, all you need is some wet/dry sand paper (400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500 grit) and a leather belt. So without further conversation here is a video of me sharpening a well used Jeff White Bush One!
Quick Overview of the Video In Pictures (Be sure to Watch The Above Video):
1) The first step is to obtain all of the sand paper you will need for the sharpening. Remember you need to grab 400, 600, 800, 1000 and 1500 you can add finer grits if you desire and can actually replace the leather stropping if you get to a fine enough grit.
2) Start with 400 and work your way up with roughly 10-20 swipes on each level of sand paper.
3) Meat & Potatoes of sharpening: If you are new to sharpening you can mark your edge with a sharpie to ensure you are getting the right angle (only the edge should have the marker gone). To sharpen simply pull the blade away from you (backwards on the sand paper) starting close to flat and slowly lifting up as you pull the knife back on the paper. Once you feel the blade edge grab into the sandpaper (it will feel much different and will make a different sound), once you get to this angle stop elevating and continue to pull the blade across the sandpaper at that angle. Do this roughly 5-10 times ensuring the entire edge is done (I do the main part of the blade and then the tip portion).
4) Flip the blade over and continue to do the same process on this side! You will need to continue this process until you have roughly 20 swipes on each side of the blade (keep it even by alternating after each five or so). REMEMBER VERY LIGHT PRESSURE IS ALL THAT IS NEEDED!
5) Stropping: Go visit any old school barber and you will find them doing this to their straight razor after each use. Do the same process of finding your edge on the strop by pulling back and slowly elevating unit the edge bites. You can infuse your belt with compound (the one pictured is infused); however, I usually just use my belt in the field after a use and it maintains my edge quite well!
This is one of the easiest, cheapest and effective knife sharpening methods I have ever come across. I used to be a strong believer in sharpening stones and my Lansky Tactical Road but once I found this technique I have yet to find a knife that would not get dangerously sharp with this method. If you are new to sharpening I highly recommend that you give this method a shot and I guarantee you will fall in love with the method!
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