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How To Sharpen Your Survival Knife

Their is an old saying that a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp knife.  Unlike some pithy sayings, this is mostly true as a dull knife as a dull knife requires more pressure to cut.  And with more pressure applied means you are more likely to slip when you are cutting.   That is why it is essential to diligently keep your knife sharp.  Knife sharpening can be tricky and tedious.  So, this Survival Life Article a  great find.

Sharpening Is Not That Hard

If you know what you are doing, sharpening your knife is actually not that hard. It just takes knowledge and a little bit of practice and your bushcraft knife will be sharp as can be.  Also, as should be expected, the ability to keep a knife sharp also depends upon your knifes quality.  Essentially, though you only need to do the following to keep your knife sharp.

To sharpen any knife you need to go through the same basic steps which are: getting the proper sharpener, knowing the angle you need to sharpen on (this is really important), preparing your stone, and actually using proper knife sharpening techniques. Knife Sharpening |The Best & Simplest Technique | Survival Life

Proper Knife Sharpener

Their are many types of knife sharpeners. So, don’t be intimidated.  The type of sharpener that you would purchase depends upon your skill and experience.  Here is a summary of the type of sharpeners you should consider:

You can get one as simple as a handheld sharpener, diamond sharpener, or stones. The handhelds are for those of us who do not feel confident in our skill and want something that gets the angle correct each time and is safe to use. The diamond sharpeners and stones come in various grades of coarseness. If you have an incredibly dull knife you are going to need to utilize a coarse stone. A very coarse stone will take off much more material than a fine stone will.
Knife Sharpening |The Best & Simplest Technique | Survival Life

Blade Angle

The angle is which you sharpen your knife is very important and also tends to be the most troublesome to many.  The following is a rough guide for what angle you should use to sharpen a blade.

A general consideration is that most of your thin knives, like a mora brand or filet style knife, will not have a much actual angle. Whereas, thicker blades will have a much steeper angle. Keep in mind that a good rule of thumb for sharpening is 20 degrees.  I have always laid two dimes down on the stone and then rested the knife on them to get a good idea of this angle. Knife Sharpening |The Best & Simplest Technique | Survival Life

Preparing The Stone

You should not over think this as the following is all you generally need to know.

A good rule of thumb, if you determine you need to lubricate your stone, is to use a water-based lubricant (spit or water) on the diamond stones and then use oil on Arkansas, and similar stones. Knife Sharpening |The Best & Simplest Technique | Survival Life


The only way you can truly learn how to sharpen your knife is watching it be done correctly. Survival Life does not disappoint as they provide a video demonstrating the best way to keep your knife as sharp as a razor.  Click here, to see this video and read the rest of this article and practice!