Techniques for Sharpening a Blade

Techniques for Sharpening a Blade
Sharpening a blade can seem like a daunting task if you have never done it before. Actually, doing it properly is a bit tricky and may take some practice to get it done right. The more you use the blade, the quicker it will become dull and need to be sharpened. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, carrying a sharp knife as part of your gear is essential. Pack a quality blade sharpener in your gear bag so you will be prepared. Blade sharpening is a technique where practice will make you perfect.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Sharpening steel
Step 1
Place the sharpening steel in your left hand and the knife in your right, if you are right-handed. Otherwise, reverse these steps if you are left-handed. This will allow you to have more control over the knife.
Step 2
Place your blade against the sharpening steel at an angle of approximately 20 degrees.
Step 3
Pull one side of the blade downward across the sharpening steel at a slight arc. Make sure the whole blade from tip to bottom glides across the sharpening steel.
Step 4
Repeat the above step with the opposite side of the knife, pulling the entire blade across the steel.
Step 5
Continue pulling the blade against the sharpening steel, alternating sides after each stroke. Be sure to maintain the 20 degrees angle each time you pull the blade against the steel.
Step 6
Repeat stroking each side of the blade against the steel for 10 times or until the blade has become sharp. Test the blade's sharpness by running the edge across a piece of paper. If it does not cut well, continue sharpening the blade for several more strokes and test again.

Tips & Warnings

Sharpening your blade on a regular basis will make the sharpening process easier. It is harder to sharpen a dull blade than one that is only slightly dull.
How fast you pull the blade across the sharpening steel will play no part in making it sharper. Sharpen the blade at a comfortable pace.

Article Written By Joyce Starr

Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.

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