The blade—the heart of every knife
The blade is the heart of every knife. To ensure that your knife cuts perfectly every time you use it (and can even save lives in outdoor use), the blade must always be sharp, stainless and in working order. This requires regular grinding and care. Our knife sharpeners from OTTER knives will explain to you how to sharpen and care for your pocket knife properly at home.
Grinding pocket knives properly: That's the way to do it!
Caring for pocket knives
Folding knives are reliable companions and all-round tools for on the road and at home. But to ensure that your tool really works reliably in every situation and with every use, it needs regular care. Grinding is only one part of it. Just as you wash your car, change the oil and have it checked by the TÜV, you should also check and maintain your jackknife regularly:
- Check blade, knife edge and handle
- Clean the blade, knife sheath and handle
- Protect blades with high iron content from rust with Ballistol oil or other weapon oil
- Check the sharpness of the blade
- Grind your pocket knife
Grinding pocket knives
With the right technique and a little practice, you will ensure that your knife cuts razor-sharp again. Before you start sharpening, have the following materials ready:
- Grinding stone
- Lubricating oil (e.g. Ballistol or other gun oil)
- Sharpening rod
Step 1: Preparing the whetstone
Various whetstones are available on the market. It doesn't matter whether you choose a diamond stone, a water stone or any other whetstone: Make sure that the stone has a minimum size of 5 x 12 cm. This saves you a lot of work. To prevent the pores of the stone from being blocked with metal shavings during grinding, prepare the stone as follows
- Diamond stone: Coat the stone with diluted hand soap
- Waterstone: Moisten the whetstone with water
- Other whetstones: Apply a layer of sharpening or machine oil
Step 2: Aligning the blade
Before you sharpen your knife, take a good look at the blade: The blade is sharpened to a certain angle (on pocket knives usually 10—15°). Now align the blade at this angle with the flat top of the stone. The cutting edge is turned away from you. Caution: If you place the knife at the wrong angle, scratches will occur during grinding!
Step 3: Sharpen the first side of the pocket knife
Now pull the knife with the blade evenly up and down on the whetstone. As a rule, about 12 repetitions should be enough until one side of the blade is optimally sharpened. The more often you sharpen your pocket knife, the easier this work will be for you. Practice also makes perfect when honing and grinding!
Step 4: Sharpen the second side of the pocket knife
Turn your pocket knife and carry out the previous steps with the other side of the blade as well. Let the blade slide up and down on the whetstone several times while maintaining the pre-sharpened angle. Repeat this movement 6 to 8 times. Then check whether the blade is really sharp: hold a piece of paper in front of you and try to cut it cleanly with your pocket knife.
Step 5: The finish grind
In the last step, you give your knife the necessary fine sanding with the sharpening rod. To do this, pull the pocket knife with the blade downward at a greater angle from top to bottom along your sharpening rod. In this step, the burrs—small jagged corners that have been created during the grinding process—are smoothed out. Now your pocket knife is sharp again!
Tip: Quick grinding for in between
If you only have little time to sharpen your pocket knife properly in between, grinding with the sharpening rod alone is a good alternative to combined use with the whetstone.
Tip: No grinding stone at hand?
When travelling, outdoor activities, camping or hunting, it can happen that you have neither grinding stone nor sharpening rod in your luggage. But especially on the road you depend on your pocket knife cutting and functioning optimally. What next? First, look for a stair tread or a brick. Then pull the edge of the blade at a flat angle over the edge of the step or brick. This way you can sharpen your pocket knife on the road without the need for professional tools.
Manual knife sharpener
If you want to do without some of the work steps, such as preparing the whetstone, you can sharpen your pocket knife with a knife sharpener. There are numerous models available on the market that are adapted to the characteristics and requirements of the different blades. The handling of manual knife sharpeners is usually very easy and can be learned quickly even by beginners without any previous knowledge. However, make sure that the device is suitable for your knife when buying it!
Electric grinding machines and hybrid knife sharpeners
Electric grinding machines take a lot of work off your hands and sharpen your knife in seconds in several grinding phases: With a coarse-grained grinding wheel, your knife first receives the coarse grinding. The fine grinding of the blade is then usually done by diamond or ceramic grinding wheels. Hybrid knife sharpeners are also available: These can be operated electrically or manually. Make sure to buy a model that takes the characteristics of your knife into account!
Individual laser engraving
On request, we engrave your pocket knife with your name.
Our sharpeners bring your knife back into shape in professional handicraft. Of course, this also applies to knives of other manufacturers and brands.
Pocket knife workshop
Would you like a completely individual pocket knife? In our pocket knife workshop you can build your own pocket knife. Sign up right away!
Buy pocket knives
In our online shop you will find numerous different handmade pocket knives.