4 Proven Ways to Sharpen a Pocket Knife – CRATEX Abrasives

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How to Sharpen A Pocket Knife

 4 Ways to Sharpen a Pocket Knife

A pocket knife is a knife that has one or more blades that fold into the handle, and that can be carried in the pocket. It is also known as a jackknife or penknife. Pocket knives are multilateral tools and may be used for everything, from opening a package, to cutting off clothing tags or even as a means of self-defense.

You can find all types of pocket knives online or in a hardware store. Prices are different, depends on what you want. So, if you're planning to buy one, you need to know something about different pocket knife types, blades and most importantly – sharpening process.

Pocket Knife Types

There are 3 main variations of types:

• The peasant knife or farmer knife is an original design of a folding pocket knife with a fixed blade.

• Slip joint knife has a handle with one or more folding blades. There are so many popular patterns of slip joint knives like barlow, camper, congress.

• Multi-tool knives are variations of American camper style or the Swiss army styles. Multitool knives have more than one blade with other tools such as scissors, bottle openers, and corkscrews.

Top 10 Best Pocket Knives

Here are the some of the best-selling pocket knives that you can find in the market.

  1. SOG Aegis – made from AUS8steel, with glass-reinforced nylon Diggi grip handle, price $67.11;
  2. Benchmade 275BKSN – built from D2 steel, with G10 stable, durable handle, price $195.44;
  3. Spyderco Delica 4 – developed from VG steel, with glass-reinforced nylon handle, price $67.11;
  4. Ontario XM-2TS – created from N690Co steel, with aircraft aluminum handle, price $112.95;
  5. Case Cutlery Black Trapper – produced from surgical steel, with synthetic handle price $78.43;
  6. Kershaw Blur – invented from 440A steel, with Liner Lock reinforced handle, price $69.99;
  7. Cold Steel Recon 1 – made of AUS8A steel, with the G10 aluminum handle, price $103.86;
  8. Benchmade 581 – M390 steel quality, with the G10 wear resistance handle, price $203.98;
  9. CRKT M16 – designed from AUS4 steel, with glass-reinforced nylon handle, price $22.47;
  10. Buck/Tops CSAR-T – fabricated from ATS-34steel, with proof textured G10 handle, $130.50;


Main Tools to Sharpen Pocket Knife

To sharpen a pocket knife, you need two things: a sharpening stone and a lubricant.

As there are so many ways to sharpen the pocket knife, there are so many different types of grinding stone. These 3 are essential:

  • Whetstone,
  • Ceramic stones,
  • Diamond stones.      

Take a different kind of rocks and choose one that gives you the best result. Most importantly, you don't need so much money to sharpen the knife. You can find a sharpening stone at any hardware stores for about $5. Sharpening stone has two sides: fine grit and a rough grit. Typically, you should start with sharpening using the coarse gravel and finished with honing using the finer grit.


Every knife sharpening expert recommends using some lubricant when sharpening your knife. The lubricant can come in many forms, from oil to water. Experience says that best result for sharpening the blade has honing oil. Because it has the right consistency for sharpening. The best product that you can find in the market is Nathan's Honing oil. You can buy this item at a local hardware store or online.

The lubricant is so effective. Why?

Because, he reduces the amount of heat, and could save your blade edge. Also, stops overheating from the abrasion.

How to Sharpen a Pocket Knife with a Stone

1.Wet Your Stone

You should wet sanding stone because it is the best way of preparation for sharpening. If you are using a stone with a rough side and a fine side, start with the rougher side.

2.Set the Angle

You should hold blade angle while sharpening. The angle depends on the knife you're grinding, and it can be from about 15° to 30°.To find a bevel angle, you need some practice. You should be able to get it by the feel.

3.Sharpen Rough Side of a Blade

Set the blade at the perfect angle. Try to hold your knife at the same position. Then, start with the knife position at the end of the stone, so the blade's edge facing away from you. Pull the knife toward yourself. Now, you reach the end, glide the razor down, so you hit any curved side of your blade. Repeat 15 times. Flip edge over and repeat 15 times.

4.Sharpen Fine Side of a Blade

Do the sharpening of the fine side, as you do with a rough side. Repeat the process.

5.Clean your Wipe Blade

Use wiper or towel to wipe the blade gently.

6. Test your pocket knife for sharpness

  • Slicing the paper,
  • Shaving sharp,
  • Slice an onion,
  • Slicing the magazines and phone book paper.

If your pocket knife, can slice paper effortlessly and doesn’t catch and tear paper, then your knife is sharped and ready for work.

If you can shave your arm hair, your knife is sharped.

The skin on onion is very slippery and thin. If your knife can quickly go through into the surface of an onion, your pocket knife is sharped.

A pocket knife that can slice without strength through magazine paper or phone book, especially if it is rolled up, is very sharp.

7. Pocket Knife is Ready for Using

Just remember to sharpen a blade after every 10 days.


How to Sharpen a Pocket Knife Without a Stone

There are many powerful ways how to sharpen a pocketknife without a stone. We are going to show you 5 tips on how to improve your pocket knife without a stone.

Tip #1 Rock Sharpening

If you are camping near a lake or a river, and you need to sharpen your knife here is how to do it? 

A water rock can be a great sharpening tool. Just find the flattest rock that fits in your hand, and that has the smoothest surface. Then, move the blade over the flat edge of the rock, precisely the same way you would use your sharpening stone at home.

Fine slow strokes will improve your blade. Do it until you get a fine sharp blade.

Tip #2 Car Window Sharpening

Use the top of the rolled down the car window, because it has a rough surface. By sharpening a blade on this rough surface, you'll cut out the rough edges on the blade, which is stopping your knife cutting efficiently.

Tip #3 Sand Paper Sharpening

Just, put the paper on a fine surface and slowly move the blade over the rough board. What is more effective? Wetting the send paper with water will make work much efficient allowing a scarf to be removed immediately.

Tip #4 Another Knife for Sharpening

Don't sharpen blade against blade. Hold the duller of the two knives and move the edge over another knife in a circular movement.

Tip #5 Concrete Sharpening

Concrete is everywhere, that is the good thing. The bad thing is that he can damage your pocket knife. So, find concrete with an extremely flat surface. Then move the pocket knife precisely in the same way you would do with a sharpening stone.

How to Sharpen a Pocket Knife with a Household Items

You don't have a stone for sharpening anywhere near, but you need to sharpen a pocket knife? These are 5 tips that can help you.

Tip #1    Sharpening with a Coffee Mug

Every house has ceramic coffee cups. Spin the mug upside-down, find the raw side of the cup, and move the blade across mug until you get the sharpened edge. If it's working properly, you will see some small defect on the mug, which means the ceramic is removing steel and sharpening the blade.

Tip #2   Scissors Sharpening

Look for good scissors. Set the angle of the pocket knife.  Close the scissors till you get the edge you want. Move it back and run a few times, pressing it steady against the scissors. Avoid angle of 90°. The best angle is usually 70°. Lay your knife on the nail of your thumb. If it sticks, you got a sharpened edge.

Tip #3 Sharpening with a Leather Belt

Of course, you have a leather belt in your closet. The best belt for sharpening is the one without stitching. Move the knife away from the cutting edge, over the blade. Many professional bladesmiths use leather straps for sharpening the knives.

Tip #4 Nail File Sharpening (Emery Board)

This tip is suitable for women. Find the nail file. Put the nail file on the smooth surface, and move a couple of times blade across the rough board. That's all.

Tip #5 Sharpening with a Nylon Strap

If you don’t have a leather belt, a nylon strap will help you. Move the blade against the nylon strap away from the cutting edge. You just got yourself a sharper edge.

Sharpening a Pocket Knife with a File

You should use a single cut file of one of the following 3 types: mill, hand or flat. We will show you complete process of grinding a pocket knife with a file in 5 steps.

Step #1 Secured the Knife in a Vice

Put the handle of the pocket knife in a vice, so that the blade is parallel with the ground, showing away from you. Because of the shape of the knife handle, you should use a thick part of a textile before then wooden file block, to secure the handle from a breakdown. Your knife shouldn’t be able to move backward or upwards.

Step #2 Use a Lower Angle.

Holding your file angle lower as possible you can, almost horizontal. Run the file over a full length of a blade. This requires more than one stroke.

Step #3 Turn over the Blade in a File

Twist your knife over, and do it again on the other side of the blade. Make sure that you are away from the blade in the vice, so that you can find a lower angle.

Step #4 Take off the Foil

Filling like this causes a special type of burr called a foil, to form the whole edge of the blade. This can seem like a thin part of the metal string. Now pull the knife away from a vice safely.

Step #5 Testing a Pocket Knife

Simply test it, by checking how blade cuts through paper.