A pocket knife must stay sharp, or when you use them they can harm you. Depending on how often you use the pocket knife, sharpen it to keep it in pristine condition. You can prevent having to sharpen the knife if you keep it stored in a leather pouch when not in use. Cheap pocket knives may be more difficult to sharpen, as the blade may not be thick enough. Different ways to sharpen a pocket knife are given below.
Diamond Stone Sharpeners:
Made of metal or a composite base, diamond stone sharpeners have an outer layer of micron-sized diamonds bonded to a metal surface. Many have special surface holes to prevent “filling build-up.”
Diamond stones are fast, effective and come in different grits. You can use a diamond stone wet or dry, but it is recommend using wet. Use water or water-based honing oil, not petroleum-based oil.
Natural Sharpening Stones:
Arkansas Washita natural stones are genuine silica "Novaculite" from Arkansas. The different grits and abrasive qualities make excellent sharpening stones.
Natural sharpening stones can be used wet or dry. It is recommended using them wet. Water, water-based honing oil or petroleum-based honing oil always works best. Keep in mind using oil on a natural stone is a commitment. It's difficult if not impossible to switch back to water.
Don't be stingy with the honing fluid during sharpening. Use enough to keep a pool visible on the stone. Once murky, pat or lightly wipe away the fluid, then add more.
Tapered and Pocket Sharpeners:
Serrated blades, gut hooks and fishhooks require a different type of sharpener. Select the best tapered and pocket sharpeners for them. They are fully up to the job.
Tips How to Sharpen a Pocket Knife
1. Choose the kind of sharpening stone: No matter which type of stone you select, keeping to one that is at least 2x6 inches will make your sharpening job easier. Water stones, diamond stones, or a combination whetstone are some of your available options.
2. Lubricate the sharpening stone: A thin coat should cover the stone. The purpose of lubricant is to prevent the stone's pores from clogging up with filings and grit. Sharpening or machine oil can be used with a whetstone, thinned dish washing soap is handy for use with a diamond stone and water is the lubricant for a water stone.
3. Identify the bevel angle of the blade: The blade of every knife is honed at a particular angle to suit the purpose of the knife. Most pocket knives have a bevel edge of 10-15%. Look at your particular knife and match the angle against the flat surface of the sharpening stone.
4. Position the knife at determined angle: Position and maintain the knife's position with the blade facing away from you at the determined bevel angle against the whetstone when sharpening. You will know if your angel is off if your knife gets scratches on it once you begin sharpening.
5. Glide the knife down and off the end of the whetstone: Repeat as many times as necessary to produce a sharp edge, usually about 12 times. As you perfect your sharpening skills, this will become a more circular motion of the blade over the stone. Blades that are curved or longer than your whetstone will need to be swept down and across the stone to evenly sharpen the entire blade.
6. Sharpen the other side of the blade: Flip the knife over and draw the blade across and off the whetstone, guaranteeing the angle. Do this between 6-8 times or until a sharp edge is accomplished.
7. Test sharpness: Hold up a piece of paper, and try to slice down through the paper with your knife. A sharp blade will easily slide through the paper.
8. Complete the finishing touch: Sharpening the blade of a pocket knife leaves small jagged edges on the blade. Run each side of the blade down a honing rod at an angle more open than the one you held the blade at to sharpen it. This removes the burrs and fine tunes the blade's sharpness. Honing is also a quick way to refresh an edge in between sharpening.