Setting the right angle to sharpen your blade is the main step in the whole procedure. It can get a little tricky, but the following in-depth discussion on how to do it and, and the dos and don’ts will tell you all you need to know. It is one of the easiest steps once you get to know the basics.
An angle between 22⁰ and 30⁰ is recommended for hunting and survival knives. Many people have their preferences and styles, which they use according to their ease.
The Theory Behind Every Sharp Blade
While choosing the best hunting knife, the idea in your mind will be getting the most efficient knife with the sharpest blade. A knife without a sharp blade is of no use. To explain this phenomenon, here are some of the main elements that make a blade sharp.
First of all, the most basic thing to understand is the difference between the hardness and toughness of a blade. The hardness of a blade is easy to understand and can be measured by a Rockwell C Scale, the scale used to measure the hardness of a material. On the other hand, the toughness of a blade can be defined as its ability to resist a fracture.
Both these characteristics are interlinked inversely. The more the hardness of a blade, the more it will be prone to a fracture, and vice versa. This is why creating a balance between the hardness and the toughness of a blade is important to make an efficient blade.
Buying the sharpest knife on the market only to find out it broke after a few weeks can be the worst feeling. A durable knife is something everybody wants, as buying new knives is not something you would want to do every day. This is where the durability of a blade comes into play. No matter what knife you get, if you use it regularly, it will get dull. But the question is, will it last until then?
To ensure long-lasting blade durability, high-level research is being carried out by top brands. The amount of technology that has been involved is mind-blowing. From stainless steel to tungsten, you can see the variety available in the market.
The key point in the sharpness of a blade is the angle at which you sharpen it. The right angle is important as other angles will not be efficient enough and may even damage the blade. Some people cut efficiently without any difficulty, while others find it very hard to even make the most basic cuts. The main concept to grab is the theory of blade sharpening and the right blade angle.
Carrying a Hunting Knife
When it comes to carrying a hunting knife, the sharpness of the blade should always be correct. Any compromise on the sharpness will nullify the whole idea of carrying a hunting knife. It should always be ready to be used at any point of your hunting experience.
To make sure that the knife is always in an optimal condition to be utilized, an efficient but portable sharpening tool, like a manual knife sharpener, should always be in reach.
Moreover, while choosing a hunting knife, the durability factor comes into play as changing knives again and again will not let you get settled with the grip of the knife.
Types of Sharpeners
If you have a knife for personal or professional use, you will also need the best knife sharpeners. There are multiple kinds of available, and each has its advantages. Let’s discuss them one by one and see how they are useful:
1. Manual Knife Sharpeners
Manual knife sharpeners are the most user-friendly and affordable types of knife sharpeners. They are very convenient to handle and can be held in one’s hand according to their preference. Also, the unit consists of a safety grip, which lets you firmly hold the sharpener.
Moreover, a manual sharpener is suited for a busy kitchen where there’s not much time for multiple people to move quickly. It helps you save time as it sharpens the knife in no time and gets it ready for use.
2. Honing Rods
A honing rod is another hand-held device that lets you do the work easily. There is a slight difference in a honing rod and other sharpening tools. A rod lets you straighten the edge, whereas the other tools sharpen the blade and create a new edge.
Chefs primarily use a honing rod after they use a knife to hone the blade and create an edge in between cuts. There are two main factors to consider, cut type and blade shape.
3. Sharpening Stones
A sharpening stone is a tool used to sharpen really dull knives. It wears out the dull outer layer and brings out the fresh inner layer, making it as good as new. The blade’s angle should preferably be perpendicular to your strokes; however, different angles can be used to bring out a new layer of metal.
Moreover, the accessibility of a sharpening stone is a hindrance as it isn’t as portable due to its weight, in comparison to other options. This makes it a unit to place in a designated spot in a kitchen. It is also suited for other units, such as a pair of scissors or a straight-edge razor.
4. Electric Knife Sharpeners
With the advancement in technology, knife sharpeners are also designed with the latest bit of tech. These are easy to use and are used to sharpen and hone the blade in no time. Mostly used in a commercial setting, electric sharpeners are preferred in places with regular use of knives.
However, some people don’t prefer these due to the lack of portability, which makes it difficult to move it from one place to another.
Step-by-step Manual Sharpening Tutorial
People use different knives, as per their style, ranging from pocket-size to full-size hunting knives. But, no matter which knife you own, it will require some sharpening every now and then. So, here is a basic step-by-step procedure to sharpen your knife:
Step 1: Selecting Your Sharpening Tool
Depending on the condition of your knife, select a suitable sharpening tool. A sharpening stone, also known as a whetstone, can be a safe choice for someone who doesn’t have a lot of prior sharpening experience.
Step 2: Lubricate Your Stone
Lubrication of the material is an important step in the whole procedure. It is required because particles coming off the blade might accumulate on the stone. To avoid this, oil or water can be used for a smooth experience.
Step 3: Right Angle
Set the knife at a 20⁰ angle, facing away from you. Then move the knife away from you and then bring it back. Setting the right angle is important to make sure the desired results are achieved.
Step 4: Change the Side
Shift the knife to the other side, so the blade is facing you. Then put it at a 20⁰ angle again and repeat the same motion. It is important to sharpen both sides to maintain consistency.
Step 5: Testing the Blade
Once you’re done with sharpening your knife, test the sharpness of the blade and repeat the process if the desired results are not achieved.
To sum it up, having the most expensive or trendy knife will do your job for the time being, but every knife will require sharpening after some use. Therefore, it is important to have the right information which can be utilized to make maximum use of the knife for a longer period.
Moreover, sharpening a knife is a very easy task once you know the basics. There are a few ground rules you need to follow, and you’ll be an expert at it in no time.