Whether you’re an experienced hunter or just a novice, you probably have a number of different hunting knives. And if you’ve been hunting for long, you’ve probably had to sharpen your blade a few times. You may have even studied the different ways of sharpening hunting knives. But are you sure you’re doing it correctly? Incorrectly sharpening a blade can be dangerous to the knife as well as you. Here are five quick tips to keep in mind when sharpening your hunting knives.
Tip #1 – Inspect the Blade
Not all dull or damaged hunting knives can be sharpened. If the blade has a nick in it that is too large (over 1/8”) you won’t be able to grind it down and it will have to be discarded.
Tip #2 – Test the Blade
Slicing a piece of paper with the hunting knife will tell you how dull the blade is and how much you need to sharpen it. If the cut is clean, the blade is sharp. If there are tears, or if the paper isn’t cut at all, you need to sharpen.
Tip #3 – Alternate Sides
Always alternate edge sides when sharpening. This will ensure an evenly sharpened blade.
Tip #4 – Use Oil
Applying a small amount of honing oil to the stone surface before sharpening will make for a better blade edge and a smoother sharpening process.
Tip #5 – Mimic the Original Angle
While sharpening, make sure you are dragging the blade across the stone at the angle it was originally honed.