Today’s Tip: Knife Sharpening
A dull knife blade is a sign of an amateur outdoorsman, so learn how to sharpen your knife. While there are about as many different gadgets out there for sharpening as there are trophy bucks in Kansas, I prefer a good sharpening stone at least 2” x 8”, with a medium coarse grit on one side, and a medium fine grit on the other side. A small amount of honing oil or a light mist of water works well for lubrication.
Most blade edges have a 20 degree bevel, and you want to sharpen your knife with that same angle. Place the edge on the medium coarse side of the stone and while maintaining a constant angle of about 20 degrees, move the blade forward as if you are slicing a thin layer off of the stone. Repeat this on the same side of the blade, counting your strokes, until you feel a burr or a thin ridge of steel on the other side of the blade.Turn the blade over and repeat the same number of strokes on the other side of the blade. Then flip the stone over to the medium fine side and repeat these steps.
Finish off the process with a leather strop. If you don’t have a strop, you can easily make one from an old leather belt, using the rough side of the leather with some rubbing compound applied to it. Lay the knife with the edge facing up and draw the knife downward flat against the surface. Then flip the blade and draw it up the strop. Repeat this about a dozen times, and you will have a nice, sharp edge on your knife.