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Knife Maintenance for Survivalists: How to Sharpen Your Blade


Preppers are always looking for ways to improve their readiness and self-sufficiency. One important aspect of being prepared is having a reliable and sharp knife. In this post, we will discuss the steps and techniques for sharpening a knife for preppers.

Why Sharpening is Important

A dull knife can be dangerous because it requires more force to cut through materials. This increases the risk of slipping and cutting yourself. A sharp knife, on the other hand, is safer to use and can make tasks such as food preparation and survival situations easier.

Materials Needed

Before you begin sharpening your knife, you will need a few supplies. These include a sharpening stone, honing oil (or water), and a rag or towel. The type of sharpening stone you use will depend on the type of knife you have and your personal preference. For example, a coarse stone is good for repairing damaged edges, while a fine stone is better for maintaining a sharp edge.

Step 1: Preparing the Knife

Start by cleaning your knife. This will remove any debris or buildup that may interfere with the sharpening process. Use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe down the blade, paying extra attention to the edge.

Step 2: Coarse Sharpening 

Begin by using the coarse side of your sharpening stone. Hold the knife at a 20-degree angle to the stone. Use a back-and-forth motion to sharpen the edge of the knife, making sure to keep the angle consistent. As you sharpen, periodically check the edge for burrs (small bumps on the edge) and remove them with a honing oil or water.

Step 3: Fine Sharpening 

Once you have repaired any damage to the edge, it is time to do the fine sharpening. Flip the stone over to the fine side and repeat the process of holding the knife at a 20-degree angle and using a back-and-forth motion. This step will refine the edge and create a sharper blade.

Step 4: Honing

The final step is to hone the blade. This helps to realign the edge and remove any remaining burrs. Hold the knife at a 20-degree angle to the honing rod and swipe the blade down the rod, starting at the base of the blade and moving towards the tip. Repeat this process on both sides of the blade.

Step 5: Clean and Dry

Clean and dry the knife before storing it. You can use a rag or towel to remove any remaining oil or water.

Additional Tips

  • To maintain the sharpness of your knife, it is important to sharpen it regularly. A good rule of thumb is to sharpen it every time you notice it is dull.
  • To test the sharpness of your knife, you can use the "tomato test." Cut a tomato in half and observe how cleanly the knife slices through the skin.
  • Always be careful when handling knives and sharpen them in a safe and controlled environment.


Sharpening a knife is an important skill for preppers to have. By following these steps and tips, you can ensure that your knife is ready for any situation that may arise. Remember to clean and maintain your knife regularly for best results.



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