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How to Sharpen a Hunting Knife: Sharpening Techniques

A hunting knife (or any knife for this matter) is at its best when is sharp. Not only it will cut better, but also will be safer. Consider how a dull lawn mower blade can mangle the grass on your yard. With a sharp knife, everything’s much neater, including any accidental cuts.
So let’s examine three of the most popular ways to sharpen a hunting knife:

Whetstone or Diamond Stone

Here, you will first have to determine the angle at which you will sharpen the knife. You can always go online and check the recommended angle for your particular brand. Presumably, the manufacturer’s website should have this info or perhaps you can investigate online.
Usually, the angle should be between 10 and 30 degrees. You will maintain the sharpness of the edge for a longer period of time if you use a steeper angle. A 20 degrees angle is a good compromise.
Your problem will be maintaining the correct angle, and the best solution for that is to use a sharpening guide. This is something you place under the knife when you scrape it on the stone.
Using a stone may require you to lubricate it. In this case, you need to check the stone manufacturer’s guide on what lubricant to use. Stones usually have two sides: the rough grit and the fine grit. You may use the rough grit to grind the blade, and the fine grit to sharpen it.

Honing Rod

80228_1_nThis is a tool you can use to turn a dull edge into a sharp one. This is what you need to use in order to keep a knife sharp. You can use the whetstone from time to time but keep in mind that it can shorten the lifespan of the blade. The whetstone shaves metal from the edge, while the honing rod does not. It just massages the nicks and indentations.
You just hold the honing rod in your non-dominant hand (your left hand, for example) and then you use your right hand to hold the knife. Then you just sweep the knife over the honing rod. Don’t forget to do both sides. You can check on Youtube for more info about this sharpening technique.

Grinding Wheels and Electric Stones

This is a very quick way to turn a dull edge into a sharp one, but you need to be careful. The stone or wheel may generate a bit of heat, and this can soften the steel enough so that it loses its edge very quickly.
Actually, you can use any of these techniques to sharpen any knife. They’re not just for hunting knives. As long as you give your knife a normal use, you can just do this process twice a year or so.

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