Gear Review Field knife sharpening skills + gear reviews

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by The_Prepared, Dec 9, 2018.


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  1. Strop

  2. Stone

  3. Doesn't matter

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  1. The_Prepared

    The_Prepared Derpy Monkey

    A little shamed to admit that I was one of those preppers who bought a decent knife (an ESEE), kept it in the factory sheath without a second thought, threw it in my BOB, used it when needed, but didn't know how to properly care for it, when to buy an aftermarket sheath, or how to sharpen it before and after SHTF.

    As a follow up to the recent review of the best field knives (link to the monkey thread), our new knife-nerd writers put together five posts ranging from a beginner's guide to knife sharpening in prepping (link to a good jump-off for the five posts) through aftermarket sheaths and reviews of the best sharpening gear (pocket stones, bench stones, portable strops, etc.) to buy.

    The writers are around if anyone has questions?

    Some of the high-level points:
    • Knives are one of those communities with extremely passionate outliers. 99% of people should ignore the noise — there are simple answers in this topic that are good enough for the vast majority of preppers.
    • It's possible to spend $10-30 and an hour of practice to get "good enough".
    • While pull-through sharpeners are quick, easy, and cheap, they come with downsides. But they're the right choice if you'd skip this topic otherwise.
    • Survival experts prefer using a strop instead of a stone because it's easier to use correctly and creates a convex edge.
    • One exception is if you have a Scandi grind blade, which are designed for stones.
    • Once you understand the basics of sharpening, it's surprisingly easy to find ways to sharpen a blade with random stuff after an emergency. One guy even uses the palm of his hand!
    • e.g. You can use a scrap of cardboard and toothpaste, a leather belt, or a car window.
    • Don't store knives in leather sheaths — they hold moisture and may have bad chemicals.
    • Keep sheaths simple. Don't buy the uber-survival-pack ones just so you can get prepper forum tacticool points.
     
    Zimmy, Motomom34, Mountainman and 2 others like this.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

  3. The_Prepared

    The_Prepared Derpy Monkey

    Thanks. FWIW, we felt some of that advice is outdated or not applicable to average people. But it's certainly one of those topics where there are no black-and-white answers that apply to everyone.
     
    Bandit99 likes this.
  4. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    I use a carborundum stone (silicon carbide) to get an edge on really dull things, I follow with a two sided 1000/6000 Japanese whet stone then polish the edge with a hard Arkansas stone and honing oil.
     
    DuxDawg and The_Prepared like this.
  5. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    I use India Stones, fine and extra fine, with an Arkansas medium for breaking an edge before dressing with the India stones. Clean with Lemon juice and dry on a fine towel!
     
    The_Prepared likes this.
  6. BenP

    BenP Monkey+ Site Supporter+

    I sharpen mine with my Dewalt hand grinder. Takes about 10 seconds. :)
     
    oldawg and The_Prepared like this.
  7. The_Prepared

    The_Prepared Derpy Monkey

    100 grit sandpaper? :cool:
     
  8. BenP

    BenP Monkey+ Site Supporter+

    No, usually a cut-off wheel. :)

    I even resharpen my razor blades with it.
     
    DuxDawg and The_Prepared like this.
  9. snake6264

    snake6264 Combat flip flop douchebag

    Generally a ceramic coffee mug I don't need anything else
     
  10. The_Prepared

    The_Prepared Derpy Monkey

    I haven't personally used this method, but the author of the guides has and referenced it — how different is it than a 'proper' method in terms of effectiveness, difficulty, and time?
     
    oldman11 likes this.
  11. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready! Site Supporter++

    This is what I try:

    If the edge is damaged by chipping or hacking, use a stone to gently take metal to unmake the sawtooth edge until uniform.

    If a clean unchipped edge is dull, use a hone, strop, or steel. Who are you to remake a craftsman formed edge angle?

    Edit: I took out the bourbon part.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
    DuxDawg, oldman11 and The_Prepared like this.
  12. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    A ceramic cup works about the same as a fine steel...or it did for me ;)
     
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  13. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Generally, a ceramic mug has unglazed bottom edges. Rub off the excess metal on the knife edge and use the glazed surface in place of a steel. This is an expedient field trick, not a substitute for doing it right and probably will not do to shave with.
     
    DuxDawg, oldman11, snake6264 and 2 others like this.
  14. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I use a worksharp Ken Onion edition for most tasks. Final and field touch ups on double sided strops. I keep a ceramic rod and small stone in my field gear if there is more damage to undo.
     
    The_Prepared, oldman11 and snake6264 like this.
  15. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    I keep the ceramic rods out of industrial lights, Excellent for touching up the blade!
     
  16. snake6264

    snake6264 Combat flip flop douchebag

    The ceramic coffee cup if fast and easy generally ten to twelve strokes per side and you are golden
     
  17. Ceramics out of LPS lamps work but are quite short. Cat fac 20 was just converting over to them in 87 when they closed the plant. Fac 12 had two buildings with them. Man does that light SUCK!!! We changed to a metal halide after '05. Bluer white light instead of that crappy yellow. Higher U.V. actually helps correct depressive feelings.
     
    DuxDawg, Gator 45/70 and The_Prepared like this.
  18. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Monkey+++ Founding Member

    DuxDawg, Zimmy and The_Prepared like this.
  19. The_Prepared

    The_Prepared Derpy Monkey

    Just saw that at REI a few days ago. Have you used it in the field?
     
    Hanzo likes this.
  20. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Have some 4'' long some 8'' long,Also have a ceramic plunger 3'' out of a tri-plex pump, All work fine.
     
    snake6264 and Zimmy like this.
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