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#302100 - 11/30/23 02:48 AM Sharpening knives in the field
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3821
Loc: USA
I have yet to find an entirely satisfactory solution for sharpening knives in the outdoors.

When sharpening knives at home, I use my (now very old) Spyderco Sharpmaker, and Iíve been pleased with it. But itís too big and bulky to bring on a hike or a camping trip, or to put in a kit for an emergency. The ďvĒ shaped sharpeners Iíve seen (such as https://www.amazon.com/Smiths-CCKS-2-Step-Knife-Sharpener/dp/B00032S02K/) have bad reputations and Iíd be pretty desperate to try one.

The Fallkniven DC4 is not crazy expensive for a pocket sharpening stone, and Iíve put mine to good use. Something smaller and lighter would be better for what I envision ó I think the last time I used mine was for a neighborís axe, and it was but a minute to walk home, get it, and bring it back.

My use case is that Iím carrying everything Iíve got, and Iíve done Something Regrettable to my knife that I feel compelled to fix, with what I have with me.

Iím eyeballing a Victornox pen-shaped sharpener (https://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-4-3323-X1-Sharpener-Portable-Sharpening/dp/B000AR7AKG/) and it looks like it wouldnít be had. Iíd love something better at around this approximate size, if such a thing exists.

Any ideas?

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#302101 - 11/30/23 03:20 AM Re: Sharpening knives in the field [Re: chaosmagnet]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 3152
Loc: Big Sky Country
I suppose this isn't helpful but I don't think the outdoors is the place to sharpen. If you simply have to have something along for the task you could get a small DMT diamond plate but like replacing a head gasket on a vehicle or performing surgery, the field is not an ideal location for sharpening. The best equipment for the task is not all that portable or convenient, IMOHO.
_________________________
ďI'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.Ē óRichard Feynman

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#302102 - 11/30/23 06:21 AM Re: Sharpening knives in the field [Re: chaosmagnet]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 3219
Loc: Alberta, Canada
In an emergency, it's entirely likely that a blade will be grossly abused and need first aid on the spot. It's best to have a plan for that.

I have been using industrial diamond paddles/plates for the last decade or more, and for practically all repair work. They are lightweight and they cut fast. My old style stones, while awesome, gather dust.

EZLap and DMT are the best in terms of longevity. I have been also using PRC diamond paddles/plates which work very well but wear out quickly. In an emergency kit, any of these would be highly useful. This is what I carry when I travel; you just have to assure airport security that "it's an abrasive, like sandpaper."

One other tool that makes it into my travel/car kits is a specialty submicron 100 carbide scraper. Sounds barbaric, and it is, but a tiny slab shapes a lot of steel. It has proven its worth though the ultimate edge is crude. There are brands like Speedy Sharp, also Corona sells them for sharpening pruners/loppers, and I have seen generic versions also.

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#302103 - 11/30/23 07:02 AM Re: Sharpening knives in the field [Re: chaosmagnet]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 3152
Loc: Big Sky Country
I suppose lots of things are possible. IMO any sharpening rig robust enough to carry with you in a PSK or as EDC will probably be heavier than simply carrying a second blade. Anyone that carries both a knife and a multitool probably need not worry about maintaining their blades. And in a pinch many of them have a file that will work for rough sharpening.

That said, DMT makes some little diamond cards the size of a credit card. That might be worth the weight and expense if it fits in your wallet.
_________________________
ďI'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.Ē óRichard Feynman

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#302104 - 11/30/23 01:02 PM Re: Sharpening knives in the field [Re: chaosmagnet]
Ren Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 526
Loc: Wales, UK
Generally just have a Fallkniven DC3, also like doug carry a carbide scraper, though because they make a great ferro rod striker and easy to hold and brightly coloured.


Ezlap make pen diamond rods.

Sharpal another company that makes something similar.

https://sharpal.com/product/transforman-diamond-round-tapered-rod-sharpener/

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#302105 - 11/30/23 06:30 PM Re: Sharpening knives in the field [Re: chaosmagnet]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3821
Loc: USA
Thanks! I found a pair of reversible (cylindrical on one side, tapered on the other) diamond coated steel rods the size of a pen, for about $11 on Amazon. I'll try them out (on a knife I don't care about!) and see if they can make the kit list.

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#302126 - 12/06/23 07:34 PM Re: Sharpening knives in the field [Re: chaosmagnet]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2995

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#302142 - 12/12/23 10:09 PM Re: Sharpening knives in the field [Re: chaosmagnet]
DaveL Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 10/03/18
Posts: 90
Loc: Colorado Springs,CO
Use the stone on the blade instead of the blade on the stone
Like sharpening a axe


Edited by DaveL (12/12/23 10:10 PM)

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#302143 - 12/12/23 10:17 PM Re: Sharpening knives in the field [Re: DaveL]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3821
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: DaveL
Use the stone on the blade instead of the blade on the stone
Like sharpening a axe


100%.

I did buy the gizmo I was looking for but to be honest I havenít had a chance to dig up a knife I donít care so much about and trying one. Life has been intervening :-).

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#302144 - 12/13/23 02:31 PM Re: Sharpening knives in the field [Re: chaosmagnet]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2208
Loc: NE Wisconsin
I've leaned toward the small molded ceramic stick sharpeners like the GATCO Super Micro-X Sharpener. Lansky makes one too.

https://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/GATCO-Super-Micro-X-Sharpener-P486.aspx

I've always thought that the carbide sharpeners would remove too much steel, although I've never used one.

The problem with these is that they have a fixed angle. Actually, I've spent some time online trying to determine what that angle is, and I've not been able to find it. I'll guess 20į.

Many of Doug's knives came with a 15į angle. I've been able to keep that using my Spyderco Sharpmaker. It would be almost painful to take those blades to a 20į angle sharpener. If I was in a real bind I guess I'd have no other choice. So far I've never had the need to field sharpen.


Edited by KenK (12/13/23 02:32 PM)

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