View Full Version : what do you use to sharpen Knives in the field?

08-07-2008, 10:03 PM
my knifes have been getting dull on trips, and my only wetstone which i inherited from my father but its a bit heavy to carry in my pack. i was thinking about getting something like this
what would you guys recommend?

08-07-2008, 10:40 PM
AAAaaaaa carry two knives, or carry three knives, or carry two knives that each have three blades; like having six knives.

08-07-2008, 11:56 PM
Find a nice, lightweight arkansas stone. The ones I have come with a belt pouch. They are the easiest to use (to me), and they are so light you'll forget you have it.

08-08-2008, 05:21 AM
Welcome to the forum. You can use the search feature above to find a lot of threads on knife sharpeners. I carry a DMT diamond mini sharpener in the field.

By the way, you link failed.

08-09-2008, 07:02 AM
Personaly I use a Arkansas and a diamond it keeps my knives in tip top shape is not real heavy either

08-09-2008, 07:04 PM
ordinarily, i would recommend both a file and a whetstone, in the event you need to recover the blade from any serious nicks or dings, in addition to sharpening. if sharpening is your only concern then you can sharpen a blade of most knife steel with many natural materials, such quartz, granite and flint.

my favorite all purpose is a speedy sharp, but good luck finding one. they are cheap, but i don't think they guy who makes them makes many.

it's essentially just a tungsten carbide face on a steel shank [with a rubber handle over the end] which is used to draw across the blade, shaving steel from it to quickly retouch an edge, even add an edge to a cheap factory one. i used mine for my fighting knife, my fillet knife, my hatchet, machete and my swords. i'm sure you could improvise one by modifying a spade type tungsten carbide tipped drill bit, or a tungsten carbide electric planer blade. what matters is that it is significantly harder than the steel you're edging, beveling, sharpening, etc. and resists chipping.

i've sharpened steel blades with flint, but the edge of the stone you use tends to chip with any significant pressure, it only seems good for light resharpening work. i've never even dinged the tungsten carbide.

08-09-2008, 10:16 PM
I usually use a fine file that I have strapped to my quiver and my leather belt. Have used river rocks once or twice if needed.

You need to be carefull with files and rocks, you can get a super sharp edge or ya can ruin a good knife.

But then, it's only a knife, a tool, designed to be used, up.

Ole WV Coot
08-10-2008, 12:05 AM
Guess I am one of those nuts that aren't happy unless it will slice a fly in two if it lands on the edge. I have a minimum of 3 on me, right now like I need to cut the computer. I carry a Buck steel, hard Arkansas and medium. I never really let one get dull and I strop every so often on my boot or even the palm of my hand. I guess I use the steel to touch up a skinner and a stone for a convex edge. I like my own with funny looking blades that work better for me.

08-10-2008, 12:55 AM
now don't get me wrong, the carbide sharpener is [or rather was] just about all i use on my kitchen knives, and my chef's knife will slice tomatoes thin to the point of transparency. it's all about finesse

08-10-2008, 12:56 PM
I usually carry a sharpener similar to this one http://www.pacwestoutdoors.com/coast-large-diamond-sharpener-204.html
it is very lightweight and works very well. Takes a little practice to put a good edge on your knife though.

08-11-2008, 08:19 AM
I use this..


I hear lots of people complain they cut up your blade but Ive never had a problem with them. I think its a matter of how much pressure you use with this tool. I prefer this tool for its wieght and easy use in the field. Plus it stows easier than anything else Ive used..

08-11-2008, 10:19 AM
I usually have an Ark stone with me but if I don't I use nice smooth river rock, works great but ya gotta be careful or it'll tear up a blade. I did a blog on knife sharpening check it out.

08-11-2008, 10:20 AM
Welcome to the forum. You can use the search feature above to find a lot of threads on knife sharpeners. I carry a DMT diamond mini sharpener in the field.

By the way, you link failed.

I carry the same Rick.

The trick is to sharpen your knife regularly so not to let it get to dull. If this happens it takes a heavier stone to put back a basic edge so that the diamond stone can hone it sharp again.

08-18-2008, 01:59 PM
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08-19-2008, 02:01 AM
I use a "Redi edge" carbide sharpener in the bush. When I get home I use "Lanski" or "DMT" diamond and jig. It works for me!

08-19-2008, 06:25 AM
That's the real test isn't it? Whether or not it works for you and provides the edge you want?

08-24-2008, 02:01 AM
my knifes have been getting dull on trips, and my only wetstone which i inherited from my father but its a bit heavy to carry in my pack. i was thinking about getting something like this
what would you guys recommend?
Hello I think your tip is oke these items come even smaler than the one on the picture. I use the smaller version and a litle stone with two grades to sharpen my knife. After sharpening with the stone use about 40 strokes on a leather belt to finnish it complete. After that you can use you knife as a raizorblade.

08-24-2008, 07:56 AM
Welcome merlijn. Why not cut your way over to the Introductions section and tell us a bit about yourself?

08-30-2008, 03:47 PM
I carry a small folding diamond lap and a fine arkansas stone with a small bottle of mineral oil to ease the task. I sweeten the edge as I go along before it get "dull"

08-30-2008, 07:04 PM
For sharpening when out, I use a DMT diafold diamond file sharpener. It has a
medium grit on one side and a fine grit. When I get home, I use an Arkansas
stone, wet/dry sandpaper on a mouse pad, and a leather strop with green


Runs With Beer
10-06-2008, 02:02 PM
If you keep your knife sharp, you can touch up the edge with a piece of waterproof sand paper about the size of a Dollar bill, If you cant find a flat surface, Lay it on the top of your leg, A few strokes and your good to go . and you cant get much lighter.

10-06-2008, 02:39 PM
Using sandpaper is also an easy way to get a convex edge. Using the sandpaper on your leg will give it that edge, but may be too much of an angle.

10-06-2008, 02:43 PM
****note to self - check contents of first aid kit, making sure there is an abundance of bandages before stropping a razor sharp knife on a piece of paper on my leg*****

chiye tanka
10-06-2008, 03:13 PM
I carry the Sentry Solutions kit when I'm out and about. It works great as long as the edge isn't already FUBAR'd.

Runs With Beer
10-06-2008, 07:48 PM
Have you ever tried to cut a piece of emery cloth with a knife! Also you dont push the edge across the paper, you pull it.

10-06-2008, 08:31 PM
Ummm.....it was a joke RWB.....or at least an attempt.

Runs With Beer
10-07-2008, 07:27 AM
Ha Ha You got me. Just trying to get my point across. Still feeling my way around here. Great site yall have here. Lots of info.

08-30-2013, 08:28 PM
If I'm in the field and I need to sharpen my knife, and for some reason I have forgotten my sharpening stone, then I use a nice smooth creek or river stone, one that has been smoothed by the years of river water flowing over it. Works great in a pinch. Of course that's only after my other two knives have dulled.

10-05-2013, 09:15 AM
wet dry sand paper stored in a altoids tin. cut to fit on lid when top is closed. i have a piece of rubber on top of lid for smooth surface. ( leather works to) I store a thin leather strip for stropping inside along with multiple grits of paper and finger bandages :clown: . have added a small bag of vaseline coated cotton balls for fire starter and rust treatment on knives. here in mid coast ME. 90% humidity and higher is common in the summer time :(

10-05-2013, 11:31 AM
90%? Quit bragging about your dry weather.:whistling:

10-05-2013, 11:52 AM
I mostly use a ceramic sharpener in the field....small and key chainy...along with a small Arkansas stone


Works well to dress the edge after cutting thru deer or game hair.
I have several different versions check out these.


Reel water
10-14-2013, 02:31 PM
I carry a course stone, for " Oh $h!+ " I ruined my knife ( that's never HAPPEND ;). ) but as for normal ware and tare of the days use. I stroop with my belt ( last of the Filson bridle leather ) and all is good. I've preached this to a few friends over the years, and they all know it's true. Cause I'm the guy they ask about sharpening blade :)

10-14-2013, 04:59 PM
90%? Quit bragging about your dry weather.:whistling:

If you think that is dry,.....I probably shouldn't tell you what Utah's summer time average humidity is.

10-15-2013, 03:40 AM
I almost never take anything along to sharpen in the field for several reasons. First, I rarely am afield long enough to dull a quality knife. In my experience a decent quality knife will hold a usable edge plenty long to get through any trip I've had time for. Second, I'm never out with only one knife (part of being a knife nerd!). If I'm planning to be out overnight I almost always have my RAT7 in D2, and it holds a great edge for a long time. Generally I'll have at least one Spyderco folder on my or in my pocket, with a SAK and at least one or two more knives in my pack. Plus I always have at least one Silky folding saw (usually two of them) and sometimes my axe.

Third I don't think the field is an appropriate venue for sharpening. I use Japanese water stones (natural and synthetic) and a belt grinder, and neither of those setups is super portable.

01-13-2014, 01:40 AM
I carry a Smith's Diamond SHARPENER. It has two sides: coarse (325 grit) and fine (600 grit). But I've yet to use them in the scrub as I rarely stay out long enough to dull my knives (I agree with Phaedrus). I use a homemade strop to maintain the edge though...

DomC :) ;)

01-13-2014, 12:59 PM
I use a small stone that has 2 differen grits on each side, and a piece of ceramic to do the fine edge polish.

03-23-2014, 03:58 PM
I use the fallkniven dc3 (combination of a 25 micron diamond stone and a ceramic plate, only 25 x 75mm and 38g) and my belt to strop

Great Dane
05-27-2014, 11:25 AM

I added one of these to my kit some time ago. Works fine, doesn't cost much and weighs less than an ounce. I've seen similar products from other brands.

05-27-2014, 02:57 PM
When i'm near the sea, i try to find some flat sea rock. I think a good way to sharpen is to use flat rock everywhere.
And if i am carry a backpack, probably i will use a DMT diamond sharpener that i have (red).

Hi everybody i'm new!

05-27-2014, 04:26 PM
I use the Lansy Tactical diamond sharpening rod in the field - quick and easy !

Adventure Wolf
05-28-2014, 12:54 AM
I will take a flat rock from a creek bed and use that, but only in a pinch. I usually have multiple knives on me. One of my hunting buddies packs a Craftsman whetstone that he keeps in the bottom of his sack.