How to Sharpen a Survival Knife

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When it comes to survival knives, one of the most important aspects is having a sharp blade. A dull knife is not only more dangerous to use, but it’s also less effective when it comes time to actually use it for survival purposes. If you wondering how do you sharpen a survival knife, then we will walk you through the process using three different methods: diamond sharpener, Arkansas stone, and steel rod.

Why it’s Important to have a Sharp Survival Knife

In any situation where the ability to survive is paramount, it’s essential to have a quality survival knife. One of the most important features of a survival knife is that it should be sharp – when skinning game, creating snares and traps, or crafting tools from natural materials, having an edge that won’t dull will ensure users can get the job done efficiently and effectively.

Carrying a sharp survival knife not only gives you an effective tool but also allows you to signal for help if necessary by cutting through wood or plastic with ease.

Additionally, a good blade may provide psychological assurance that one is fully equipped for whatever challenge nature exerts.

The importance of having up-to-date survival training cannot be overstated; however, proper preparation includes arming oneself with the best tools possible and a sharp survival knife should never be overlooked.

How to Sharpen your Survival Knife with a Diamond Sharpener

Begin by ensuring that the blade is properly aligned with the sharpener for optimal performance and safety. Secure the diamond sharpener so it does not move during the process, then start running the blade along the grooves of the diamond sharpener, starting at one end of the blade and moving toward the other in long, even strokes.

After ten or fifteen strokes going each direction, check its sharpness by carefully running your finger against the edge of your knife. If you don’t see results from this process, repeat as needed until your knife is sufficiently sharpened.

Be sure to practice proper precautions when handling any sort of sharp tool; doing so will help you sharpen your survival knife safely and effectively.

How to Sharpen your Survival Knife with an Arkansas Stone

Sharpening your survival knife with an Arkansas stone is a skill that can be difficult to master, but can be invaluable in a survival situation. When sharpening with an Arkansas stone, start by dampening the sharpening surface with a few drops of light lubricant oil or water.

Then, using slow and steady strokes, lightly draw the blade across the stone from heel to tip at roughly a 20-degree angle. Avoid pushing too hard on the blade; instead use short, gentle strokes and keep even pressure on both sides of the blade. To get a sharper edge, increase the pressure for each successive stroke.

Once you have achieved your desired edge, finish it off by stroking in one direction only over so you won’t knock off all the work you just did. With consistent practice and patience, you will soon see great results when using an Arkansas stone to sharpen your survival knife.

How to Sharpen your Survival Knife with a Steel Rod

Keeping a sharp knife can be essential, especially in situations where you may require one for survival. To ensure that your blade is maintained correctly, it is recommended to use a steel rod in order to sharpen it. It is fairly straightforward – start by placing the tip of the steel on a flat, secure surface and make sure that the heel of your knife faces away from yourself.

After ensuring its stable position, start to slide your knife lightly along the length of the steel using steady strokes and at an angle of 15-20 degrees against it.

Make sure to move it in gentle motions and in alternate directions for even results; going too fast or with too much force may potentially damage the cutting edge of your knife.

Additionally, if you want geometry precision when sharpening, try including the steps of honing after every few strokes – this will refine your cutting edge even further. Once you’re done honing and sharpening, clean off any remaining particles from both surfaces before storage or use.

How do You Sharpen a Survival Knife

Tips for Keeping your Survival Knife Sharp in the Field

Whether you’re hunting, fishing, camping, or engaged in any of the hundreds of outdoor activities where a blade may come in handy, keeping your knife in top condition is important.

To ensure that your survival knife remains as sharp and functional as possible while out in the field, it’s best to give it periodic maintenance and store it properly when not using it. Before using your knife in the wild, thoroughly sharpen it with an appropriate stone or mechanical device like a tool sharpener.

During use in the wild, keep it clean and lightly oiled for maximum performance and protection from rusting or corrosion. When finished using your knife for the particular job at hand or for the day, use a rag or cloth to wipe off any debris then lightly rub some oil on the steel blades before storage.

How Sharp Should a Survival Knife be?

Knowing exactly how sharp a survival knife needs to be might be the difference between life and death in certain situations. Ideally, a survival knife should have an edge that can cut paper and shave hair, as well as slice vegetables. This balance between sharpness and durability not only provides you with an effective tool but also ensures that it doesn’t get too dull too quickly.

A sharp survival knife can do more than just cutting, though; for example, when making kindling for a fire, the greater the sharpness of your knife, the more effortless the job will be.

Sharpening your survival knife makes it all the more valuable in any situation where it may come in handy.

What are the Notches on the Back of a Survival Knife for?

The notches on the back of survival knives can be used for a variety of practical functions. They are frequently employed as leverage points to allow for more precise control in detail-intensive tasks such as food preparation, shelter building and tool making.

Depending on the design, some of these notches may also be sharp enough to serve as makeshift saws or cutters. Furthermore, they provide a sturdy grip when chopping through wood or fabricating weapons without having to worry about your hand slipping forward onto the blade.

Ultimately, these strategically placed notches are invaluable resources that make implementing a host of wilderness-related activities easier than ever before.


Sharpening your survival knife is an important task that needs to be done regularly if you want it to remain functional and effective. Learning how to sharpen a survival knife correctly can make all the difference when you’re out in the wild, as having a sharp blade will allow you to complete vital tasks with ease.

Additionally, it is important to keep your blade clean and lightly oiled while in the field, as well as employ the notches on its back when necessary. By following these tips, you can ensure that your survival knife is always sharp and ready to use when you need it most.

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