Knife Sharpening Kit for the Backpack

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by Brokor, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Monkey

    One of the reasons I like convex grind knives for bushcraft tasks, is that a strop is pretty much all you need to keep the edge razor sharp.
    Brokor and madmax like this.
  2. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    The thought occurred to me that one might be able to take a piece of wood, and create as flat a surface as possible, and then imbed sand or dirt in the flat wood face, and use that to sharpen one's knife, in a pinch .
    Probably a hard wood for finish work and soft wood for a corse grind.
    I have knives that i can afford to experiment with , it's worth a try , yes ?
  3. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd

    +1 on the DC4

    it fits nicely in the pouch on my Spec-Ops sheaths too.
    Brokor likes this.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I have a strong suspicion that the sand grain size will provide a better outcome than the matrix you'll bed it in. Methinks hard vs. soft wood matrix won't matter much. Does sound like an interesting experiment.
  5. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    Rocks with a smooth surface, like from a river, especially granite, and sandstone will work to keep a steel blade sharp enough for outdoor tasks if you forgot your whetstone, or opt not to carry one as I do. For a car kit just roll down your window and use the top edge where the glass is ground, works like ceramic.

    It's not pretty out there and pretty things don't stay pretty long.
  6. MountainMariner

    MountainMariner Clearly Ambiguous

    Two knives for my pack. One fixed blade (always sharp, initially...) and if I need a razor sharp knife I grab the little Havalon Bolt with replaceable scalpel blades. And I carry half a dozen replacement blades with me.

    My preferred sharpener is a Spyderco Sharpmaker.
  7. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I've carried the same leather strop for over 15 years (and it was a belt). Had it since I was a kid. I finally wore it out, and that is what prompted the reason for this thread. If you have quality items, take care of them and use them.

    We have read multiple times now about using a rock or fashioning something in the outdoors. I was hoping I could inspire people to actually make their own kit and post pictures or find a permanent solution to light weight, sturdy knife care. Anybody can rub a piece of steel on another object and declare it to be sharp. How many are willing to admit they possess the knowledge of using proper whetstones and strops? The two just do not compare. Yes, in a pinch, many things will suffice. I am not after "making due", I want exceptionalism, I want greatness, I want perfection --from you, from everyone.

    I have a small knife sharpening kit which weighs very little and it can create a perfect edge which will allow me to use that blade for a very long time without the need to resharpen frequently. In this kit, I have a quality strop to refine that edge as needed, making the process take less time than it does to convey this very simple point. In a survival situation, time is critical. Would you rather spend that time searching for a flat, smooth rock (which will only grant you adequate results at best) and resharpening frequently, or would you rather prepare and develop a small, light kit? This is the choice, this is the challenge I originally posted.
    chimo and Ganado like this.
  8. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    Yeah, I have a small light kit and it doesn't include a whetstone which represents several more rounds of ammo I can carry. Plenty of rocks laying around in my neck of the woods that keep a coarse edge on my knife which is what I prefer in woods work.

    Everybody has different requirements, what works for one might not work for everybody, just saying...

    Perfection is tempered with experience and my reality and becomes true perfection.
  9. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Well, if it's an argument you want, I can play. My experience has taught me that a rock plucked off the ground simply will not suffice, and can't compare with a quality whetstone, period. A rock is also not efficient, nor sufficient for a wide range of needs suitable for sharpening a variety of blades. Finally, finding a suitable rock takes more time, as I have found, then it does to pluck out the whetstone and strop and truly be ready to get back to work. That's just my honesty, no macho, no bravado.
    Ganado likes this.
  10. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I keep a small Fallkniven stone, ceramic rod, small smooth steel and strop in my pack when hunting etc for restoring an edge in the field. Not much I can't accomplish with these besides a mirror polish edge and the usefulness of those (even though I love them) is limited. Most of my blades are INFI so I tend to roll the edge as opposed to chip them out, this can best straightened out on the smooth steel and then I normally only have to strop to get back to a very nice sharp edge.
    Georgia_Boy and Brokor like this.
  11. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd

    I still use my belts as strops...if it isn't usable as strop it's not a suitable belt. ;)
    Georgia_Boy, Brokor and Ganado like this.
  12. Bushcrafter

    Bushcrafter Monkey

    Lansky Diamond Rod for me.

    I try to keep my pack weight down, and use minimal gear. The diamond rod lets me keep my knives and hawk/axe razor sharp in the field, and the rod itself takes up the space of a pen.
    Brokor likes this.
  13. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I don't shave, so having a more industrial grade edge works for me.
    Razor edges don't last long if your using the life for aggressive work , and if I need a razor edge i use a razor/exacto knife that isn't used for processing wood or other abrasive operations.
  14. Bushcrafter

    Bushcrafter Monkey

    Fair point... was using it as more of a colloquialism than adjective.

    A razor sharp ax would be pretty silly.
  15. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd

    A lumberjack shaving with some tiny razor would be silly. Shaving with an ax distracts from the high heels and bra.
  16. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I was just at the auto parts store and glanced at the cylinder hone stones about 3-4" long and 1/2" wide glued to a small aluminum frame would make a great field sharpening stone.
    Brokor likes this.
  17. Navyair

    Navyair Monkey

    I used to watch my grandmother sharpen knives on the bottom of an old crock, or sharpening steel. She ran a restaurant and could hone a blade in a hurry.
    My dad used a whetstone and stropped the knife on the side of his Browning work boot. I still have one of his last pocket knifes and it still has a very sharp edge. Needless to say, I don't use it, just keep it for the memories.
    I've tried a lot of different sharpeners. Some work better than others. I keep coming back to various sized diamond hones and stones. I carried one in my flight survival vest along with a sharper knife than that imitation K-bar they gave us (low bidder) with soft steel. I now have diamond hones at the house, cabin, tackle box, tool bench and BOB. I always have either a piece of an old belt or a whole belt nearby as a strop to set the edge.
    BTPost likes this.
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