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How Do You Sharpen a Knife?


If you are planning on doing some wilderness backpacking then one piece of equipment you will come to rely on is a backpacking knife. They can be used for a variety of activities including preparing food, chopping wood or helping erect a camp or shelter for the night.

Follow these steps to sharpen your knife:

Step 1: Lubricate a sharpening stone with water. Stroke the knife on the stone, pushing away from you so that the blade’s edge rubs against the stone.

Step 2: After sharpening the knife on one side, feel the other side for the burr of metal turned up by the abrasion. Take care not to press too hard on the edge and cut yourself.

Step 3: Smooth the other side of the blade, visualizing the curved burr as you sharpen and realign it to the centre of the blade. The stone may need further lubrication.

Step 4: Strop the knife (sweep it up and down) on a leather belt. This will smooth off any loose fragments of metal and help to strengthen the edge.

Need more information on hiking, backpacing and surviving in the wilderness? We recommend Hugh McManners' books, available at Amazon.com.

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