How to sharpen a bushcraft knife

In today’s modern world, you can find almost every survival tool but think back to the old times when people would invent tools to survive. Such survival tools are necessary to survive, and one of those tools is a bushcraft knife.

If you ask someone who enjoys and explores nature what a bushcraft knife is, they will immediately tell you where you have lived in this century, but let me educate you a bit on what it is. Their first tool is the survival knife, also known as a bushcraft knife for those who understand wilderness.

In this post, we will talk about how to sharpen a bushcraft knife.

Preparing to sharpen your knife

Nowadays, survival pros use bushcraft knives for almost everything, and keeping your bushcraft knife sharp can save a lot of time in the wilderness, and as the saying goes, “you are as sharp as your bushcraft knife.”

For someone who lives his life in the wilderness all the time, bushcraft is essential, and learning to sharpen your bushcraft knife in nature can be tricky, but let’s go through the process slowly and see what we need to sharpen our bushcraft knives.

What you need to sharpen your bushcraft knife

Firstly, the essential thing you need to do to sharpen your survival knives is a water sharpening stone, a strop for polishing the knife, and a non-toxic oil to apply after washing the blade. In most cases, water sharpening stoned need to be soaked in clean water for 5 minutes.

After soaking your sharpening, you have to place it on a dry surface so the water stone won’t slip during the sharpening, and you may hurt yourself in the process.

Finding the angle

Hold the survival knife at a comfortable angle; we recommend holding it at 25 degrees to give the knife a good sharpening shape and durability. Place the end of the blade against the sharping water stone and start moving the blade against the stone.

Flip it often from side to side to give the desired edge to the blade; while moving the knife, make sure not to apply a lot of pressure. Using a lot of force will take a lot of material away from the blade, and in most cases, the edge can even break or be rendered dull and not efficient for cutting.

Applying Waterstone

Depending on the Waterstone, you need to apply water also while moving the blade against the stone, making the materials combine with water and giving the knife a better shape and agility.

Water can also reduce the heat that the blade produces during the sharpening. The strokes need to be the same for each side of the edge to keep a consistent grind.

Finishing up the sharpening process

To finish up, you can take the back of the stone and grind the blade against it, always keeping in mind that the number of strokes needs to be the same for both sides.

In the end, you can use a strop to give the final polish before placing the knife in clean water to take the remaining materials away. After drying it up, you can apply a non-toxic oil to finish.

The final test

After finishing applying the non-toxic oil, your bushcraft knife it’s ready for the final test to see if all your work was worth it, and your blade is razor-sharp. The final examination will be cutting the edge of a paper, and if applied in the correct method, the result will be a razor-sharp edge, and that’s what you are looking for in a bushcraft knife. 

Martin Smith
Outdoor Expert at Bushcraft Explorer | Website | + posts

Martin Smith is not just your average outdoorsman; he is a dedicated explorer with a deep passion for survival and bushcraft. The natural world has always been his favorite playground, which led him to develop a profound understanding and love for bushcraft skills. His curiosity is insatiable, constantly driving him to uncover the secrets of the great outdoors and unravel the mystery behind survival in nature.

Martin is the creator and host of the popular YouTube channel, 'Bushcraft Explorer,' where he shares his experiences and teaches essential survival techniques. But he isn't just a content creator; Martin is a survival expert who has spent countless hours under the open sky, perfecting his bushcraft skills.

From constructing shelters and crafting tools to identifying edible plants and purifying water, Martin has honed his survival skills in the most challenging environments. His dedication to mastering bushcraft has shaped him into an authority in this field, making him more than qualified to share his knowledge with others.

But Martin doesn't just talk the talk; he walks the walk. He spends a considerable portion of his life outdoors, continuously expanding his knowledge base and skill set, all to feed his love for the wild and provide his followers with up-to-date, reliable, and practical survival tips. He is also an avid hiker and explorer, often traveling to remote locations to test his skills against nature’s challenges.

Martin's writing, much like his videos, is brimming with practical advice and insightful tips. Through 'Bushcraft Explorer,' he not only shares his profound expertise but also inspires his readers and viewers to embrace the beauty of the outdoors and the thrill of survival. His commitment to making bushcraft accessible to all is evident in his easily digestible content, making his work valuable for both beginners and experienced outdoorspeople alike.

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