A knife is an essential tool for bushcraft, but to perform well all the tasks, needs to be sharpened after use and… Abuse in the wild.
So also a sharpening kit is a necessary item in a wilderness survival kit. Unlike certain web views and opinions, I completely agree this article ‘Sharpening is a Simple Act‘
from this great blog http://paleotool.com/, i also think that sharpening is not a ‘supernatural’ skill, but a process that you can learn day by day and step by step with experience.
Watching internet tutorial you can understand that everyone has their own method, so I suggest to follow… yourself!
Now the main question is …What are the best field sharpeners?
I can suggest you to buy one of these:
- a versatile Fallkniven DC4 (there is a smaller version DC3) – two different grit: ceramic side and diamond side.
- OR a Lansky Blademedic – different tools for different blades.
- OR a whetstone.
- OR a waterstone for a more ‘spiritual approach’ ( there are some not too expensive like Suehiro).
I intend to review all these in other articles.
However if don’t want to buy one of these kits or if you like Do It Yourself …
I’ve two different example.
The ‘Classic way’
inspired by Mors Kochansky tutorials and book.
What you need?
- Sandpaper in different grits;
- double sided tape.
Cut a rectangular piece of plywood, obviously in a useful size for your backpack, (I can suggest 15-18 cm long and 5 cm large) and cover both side with double sided tape.
Cut the sandpaper with the same size of plywood and stick onto the tape.
Write on the small side of the piece the grit size.
What are the best grinding size? For the knives i’ve learned 600-1200.
This combination works well, so you have a perfect kit: one grit for rough sharpening, the other for fine sharpening.
My Sharpening Kit.
- Sandpaper in various grit,
- 2 x Ø 6mm – 30mm height bolts ,
- 2 x Ø 6mm wingnuts,
- a small piece of metal sheet.
My way needs more work at home but the result is a full sharpening kit, you could even add a piece of leather to complete the sharpening process with stropping.
Cut a piece of plywood (15-18 cm x 5 cm) smooth the angles with a file and sandpaper.
This will be the cut model for custom sandpaper sheets.
Cut in the same size a piece of metal sheet.
This piece is a cover to protect and store other sandpaper sheets (you’ll insert these between plywood and steel)
Drill two holes Ø 6 mm at the ends of these items.
In my model, i’ve tried to avoid the use of double sided tape to easily replace used sheets on the field, in fact this tool require a bolt and a wingnut and a small piece of plywood on each short side, to hold firmly sandpaper.
As you can see in the picture small pieces of plywood have an angled cut. This angle could be a guide to mantain the right edge.
I hope these short tutorials have been useful for you.
Have a nice bush walk!