The Different Ways to Sharpen a Hunting Knife

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Having a hunting knife ready to go is essential and that means implementing a proper maintenance routine.

When a hunting knife isn’t properly taken care of, it can become dull to the point of inefficiency. This is why it’s important to take a step back and focus on the different ways to sharpen a hunting knife.

Grit Sharpener

grit stone for hunting knife

Now, there are different types of knives for hunting, but this is a tool that can go a long way. You are going to take the hunting knife and hold it at a slight angle while pressing it against the grit sharpener.

By doing this, you are going to easily tweak the material to make sure it is sharp where it needs to be. In most cases, you are only going to have to do 4-5 strokes on each side for it to work properly. However, this is more about taking a look at the hunting knife and making a judgment call based on what you see in front of you.

Regardless of what you do, it’s important to make sure both sides have been correctly and evenly sharpened. Otherwise, the hunting knife isn’t going to work the way you want it to.

With a grit sharpener, you are going to have to take the time to understand how far you are grinding the knife. There are unfortunate examples of some going too far on one side and not far enough on others. This leads to an inefficient and at times useless knife that doesn’t work the way you want it to when put to use in the outdoors.

Stone or Belt Grinding

grinder for hunting knife

This is another option available for sharpening a hunting knife. In this case, you are going to take a simple whetstone and use this as a solution for sharpening the knife. This sharpening article has a good overview.

To do this the right way, you will want to begin by applying a bit of castor oil to the whetstone. This is going to make sure it doesn’t clog. Once you do this, you will begin the process of rubbing against the prepared whetstone. This is going to be done over the course of 10-12 passes (slowly) and you are going to want to pay attention to how well the knife is sharpened.

The goal is to do this on both sides, so the hunting knife looks the way it is supposed to and works efficiently. It can take a bit of time to get it right but the results will work out in your favor.

To take it to the next level, you can also bring in a leather strop and rub the knife against it at least 30-40 times. This is going to ensure the knife is incredibly sharp from all angles.

Final Thoughts

By implementing these strategies, you are going to be well on your way to a better, longer-lasting hunting knife that is going to do its part perfectly. It’s all about taking the time to see what is available to you and how you are going to make it work.

See also our Tactical knife buying guide for an up-to-date selection of must-have tactical knives.