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How do you sharpen your knife in the field?

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How do you sharpen your knife in the field?

Old 10-07-2019, 04:58 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: west central wi USA
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At home I have a series of stones from coarse to fine, used with oil. In the field, I carry a small, fairly fine stone and use whatever moisture is handy, (usually spit) to float it. The trick I've found is to sharpen the blade before it gets dull. If you have to hog a lot of metal off the edge with a coarse stone, you've waited too long. A couple of licks occasionally during use will keep the edge. Also I've found that a cardboard box makes a great ersatz strop. The grit that dulls your knife when you cut the cardboard, will sharpen your edge when used as a strop. You don't need a whole box, just a strip of cardboard out of it.
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:17 PM
Boone & Crockett
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Location: south eastern PA
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I have a three sided oil bath stone over a foot long I bought from a butcher supply outfit. I use the stone, then finish it on a leather barber strop, first the cloth side, then the leather side. I never had to sharpen my Case folder Sharks tooth in the field but I sharpen it when I get home after each field dressing so it is ready to go, next hunt..
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:41 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Germany/Calif.
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I have a pocket-sized sharpening steel I use mostly, One of the many things I carry with me constantly. I dress the blade on the sharpening steel every other day, sometimes multiple times when I'm dressing game. A sharp knife makes the work so much easier.
I occasionally use a Lansky, the sharpening steel tends to round off the edge a little over time. The Lansky allows me to start over. A couple of passes over the stiff leather heel portion of my boot for the finish.
If the blade shaves the hair off of my forearm it is sharp enough.
Funny story about that; my mentor who taught me to hunt or greatly improved my knowledge and skills couldn't keep a knife sharp. He was and still is a much more knowledgable and better hunter than I am, but constantly borrows my knife.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:32 AM
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Location: Trumbull County, Ohio
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I can't either mudder. It's certainly the one glaring weakness in my outdoors skills. I can put an acceptable edge on a machete, axe, hatchet, mower blades, etc.

But a regular knife, I can't. And it's not for lack of trying. I've been taught, I've watched videos, I even had a friend who makes and sells knifes give me some instructions. I've spent hours and hours with various types of stones.

I've resorted to a handheld jig that does it automatically. It does an acceptable, useable edge. But nowhere near what my grandpa, dad and uncle's have been able to do.

Definitely a failure in my abilities.

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Old 11-05-2019, 04:30 PM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 866

Originally Posted by mcw3734
Or at home for that matter?

So for now I carry two trapper knives while backpacking for deer/elk. Gives me 4 blades to work with. But I’m curious if anybody out there has found a quality lightweight sharpener to pack in the field. To be honest, the only method I’m familiar with is with stones. Which are too bulky & time consuming to carry in the pack, IMO. And while they work, there has got to be something quicker and more convenient? I see the cheap cross-stick thingies, the stuff you see on infomercials, do they work? Are there more expensive modes that do?

If there was a lightweight tool to use in the field that did even a decent job of sharpening a knife, I could leave other blades at home. Every ounce counts.

Anyway, all feedback appreciated. Thank you.
A knife steel, stone, and lansky crock sticks. Sometimes with just one of those and other times I've used 'em all.

I start with a good knife and sharpen it at home. Then it don't need sharpened every time you cut something. It isn't the tool that does a good job, it is the operator and they have skill or they don't.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:47 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Germany/Calif.
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A little trick you can try, wipe off the edge with a solvent to clean off the oil then mark along the edge with a permanent marker. Take a few swipes on a stone or steel and see how much and where the marker is removed. Once you get the right angle and repeat a few times you get a feel for what is right. I sharpen more by feel than I do by vision.
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Old 11-09-2019, 05:17 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Eastern wv
Posts: 3,567

EZ Lap diamond stone, 2x6" 1/4" thick, weighs 4 oz, puts a razor edge on a knife in minutes.
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