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Knife sharpeners and whetstones

A guide to knife sharpeners and whetstones

A dull knife can stop you in your place and is potentially dangerous, so it’s important to keep up with knife and axe maintenance.

With options for on the go sharpening while backpacking or catching up on routine maintenance while camping, some of the different knife sharpeners and whetstones to keep your blade looking fresh and working smoothly include:

  • Sharpening steel/knife hone – these knife sharpeners have a handle that you hold on to while you sharpen your knife against a long piece of steel with diamond grit on it
  • Whetstones – to whet something means to sharpen it, so whetstones aren’t necessarily wet, however you can use oil or water with your sharpening stone to prevent clogging with small metal fragments

Sharpening steels can have multiple grit levels to touch up your blade or re-edge it and they’re compact for backcountry trips where you’re trying to save up on space.

Whetstones can be as small as the size of a credit card for a quick touch up at the campsite but have enough room to keep the blade away from your fingers.

Keeping on top of your knife care is a breeze with knife care products like handle waxes, blade oil and sheath cream from brands like Buck.