Wed. Oct 20th, 2021

If you intend to spend any time in the woods, whether for camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, or any other activity, you must be prepared for anything.

This means that some goods, such as a survival knife, should always be carried with you. However, owning a knife is insufficient. You must ensure that it is always ready to use when you need it, which necessitates frequent sharpening.

When you’re out in the field and you don’t have a nice, sharp survival knife, you can find yourself empty-handed.

In the woods, these knives are used to hack through a variety of obstacles, and having or not having one with you can be a matter of life and death in some circumstances.

Today, we’ll go over the different tools you may use to sharpen your survival knife, as well as how to sharpen it properly with a sharpening stone to obtain the sharpest edge possible.

How to Sharpen a Survival Knife – Tools You Will Need

You’ll need the correct equipment for the job and, of course, know how to use them before you can learn how to sharpen your survival knife. Sharpening a knife is simple when you have the correct tools, and it only takes a few minutes to acquire that razor-sharp edge you’ll need.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the tools you’ll need to sharpen your survival knife.

Ceramic Sharpener

Ceramic sharpeners are one of the most popular and widely used instruments for sharpening knives. It’s made of a super-hard ceramic that’s almost as hard as a diamond yet isn’t as abrasive, giving you a razor-sharp edge.

What is the mechanism behind it? When you slide the blade against the ceramic, it tears away very small layers of metal from the blade, sharpening it with each pass.

You’ll never need to buy another ceramic sharpener unless you misplace yours because they never wear out.

Electric Sharpener

Electric sharpeners are most commonly used on kitchen knives, although they can also be used on any other sort of knife.

Small rotating plates of abrasive material that are mounted at the correct grinding angles are powered by electricity. This sort of sharpener has slots through which you can run your knives to sharpen them, and it can sharpen both straight edge and serrated blade knives.

This is the greatest option if you need to sharpen your knife quickly; you can sharpen almost any knife in a matter of minutes. Some suggest that if you need to sharpen your knife quickly, this is the best way to accomplish it.


A whetstone is one of the most frequent techniques of sharpening a knife, yet it isn’t quite as complicated as you may imagine. There are two sides to every whetstone: coarse and fine.

The knife blade will sharpen if it is scraped against the surface at the right angle.

If you’re out in the woods and need to sharpen your survival knife but don’t have access to a whetstone, you may construct one out of natural materials.

You’ll need some riverbed course stones and wood from a real tree. Remove the tree’s bark, crush the stones into a fine pulp, dampen the wood, and massage the rock pulp into it.

You now have a whetstone to sharpen your survival knife with.

Sharpening Your Survival Knife

It’s time to talk about how to sharpen your survival knife now that you know the best instruments to utilize. Whatever you intend to use it for, it should always be razor-sharp to ensure that it completes the task at hand.

Before you begin, double-check that you have all of the necessary tools and that you understand what you’re doing. If you’ve never sharpened a knife before, you should watch a few instructional videos to learn how to do it.

Use a Stable Surface

Make sure you’re working on a solid foundation. You’ll need to hold the knife at a precise angle, which will be considerably easier if you have a sturdy surface.

Grasp the Knife and Move It Across the Surface

It’s time to go to work once everything is set up and stable. Moving the knife up and down while pressing the blade on the rough side of the whetstone, slide the blade surface.

Make sure you’re traveling in the right direction by doing it in a circular motion. Small metal shavings should be seen along the blade’s edge. Wipe them away and carry on. Continue in this manner until the blade begins to sharpen.

Sharpen the Back

You’ll need to sharpen the reverse side of the blade once you’ve sharpened the front to ensure you have enough cutting power. Use the same approach for the back of the knife as you did for the front.

Use the Smooth Side of the Stone

Turn the stone over so that the fine side is facing up. When you use this site, your knife will be razor-sharp. The coarse side is for knives that are exceedingly dull. Make sure you’re aware of your blade’s angle.

Every knife is unique, and the bevel of the blade dictates the knife’s effectiveness.

Test the Knife

You’ll need to test the knife once you think it’s sharp enough. You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with a dull blade that can’t cut much of anything.

Hold a piece of paper lengthwise and perpendicularly slide the blade through it. The blade is sharp enough if it cuts the paper without breaking it and leaves a clean edge. You’ll need to sharpen it again if it tears or leaves a jagged edge.

Making Use of a Sharpening Guide

Another alternative is to use a sharpening guide, which is a tool that can be attached to the knife to provide more stability and ensure that you are working at the appropriate angle, both of which can be challenging unless you have some experience honing different types of knives.

You can harm the blade if you don’t sharpen it at the proper angle. If you’re new to sharpening knives, you might want to consider investing in a sharpening guide.

The firm surface of the sharpening guide makes it an excellent base for holding the knife and keeping everything stable while you work. The more you use the guide, the better you will become at sharpening your knives, and you will eventually be able to sharpen them without it.

Then, if you’re out in the woods and need to sharpen your knife, you’ll have the skills to do so without the assistance of a guide.

By Beth

I'm Beth Nunes, the proprietor of preparing in the city. My family is the most important thing in the world to me. I couldn't bear the thought of my three small children going hungry, so I became obsessed with finding simple and practical ways to be prepared for the future by building food storage and gathering other emergency preparedness items.

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