Probably, every survivalist in his life found himself in a situation where a knife became dull after a long work during a hike in the mountains or in the forest. In this situation, how to maintain sharpness of knives for the wild?
What NOT to do with your Knife
- First of all, you need to use the knife for its intended purpose. Try not to open cans with a knife because, although they are made of thin and mild steel, this process is damaging to your knife. Opening cans does not work well on the cutting edge of the knife. You can use the regular tin wrenches found on any multitool.
- Do not use a knife to cut trees. Use an ax to chop wood.
- Do not stick your knife into the ground. Soil can contain hard, abrasive sand particles. Protect the blade of your knife from any contact with such materials.
- Do not throw a knife at a tree or other target. Even after a successful throw, when the knife hits a tree, the process can cause the thin tip to break as a result of the torque caused by the inertia of the heavy handle.
Restoring and Maintaining the Sharpness of your Knife
Even if you follow the tips mentioned above, the knife will still lose its sharpness over time. How can we restore its sharpness?
Of course, the best solution is to carry a couple of abrasive stones to sharpen your knives. Two, 300, and 600 grids are enough. If you have the skill of sharpening a knife, these stones can fix almost any damage to the cutting edge of a knife.
If you do not have abrasive stones, or you do not have the skill of sharpening a knife, then you can take a small musat with you on a hike. This is usually a small ceramic stick. You can straighten out any wrinkles on the cutting edge by lightly cutting the knife along it.
If you did not take all this with you on a hike, you can easily use the following materials.
Use a stone
Although you can use any stone for sharpening, it is easier to work with a flat surface. Choose a flat rock or a suitable rock ledge, take a knife and gently slide the blade over the surface of the rock. Make sure you cut both sides of the blade evenly. For sharpening, it is best to choose sedimentary rocks such as sandstone with very small abrasive grains. The blade of the knife should be placed on the stone as close as possible to the handle and sharpened alternately, one or the other side, until the knife is sharp enough.
Turn any ceramic utensils upside down, and you will see a part of the bottom that is not covered with glaze. You can sharpen a knife using it.
Use your belt
If you do not have access to the stones, but you have a leather belt, then it can also be used to smooth out overly deformed edges and remove small notches on the blade. To do this, you need to drive the knife along the rough surface of the belt only in one direction – from the edge of the blade, then one side or the other.
These are some of the simplest tips for keeping your knife sharp. A sharp knife will keep you alive both in the wild and in street conflict. If you like good bushcraft knives, visit our friends from Blade Brothers Knives, Ukraine. They know how to use knives and know what a good knife should be! We hope for the best on your adventures!