When you’re on the , whether it’s camping, hiking, military exercises or any other walk that takes you away from the comforts of civilization, sharpening knives is a daily necessity. With repeated use, they fade quickly and need care. Chances are that you will not have access to the warehouse with tools and all kinds of grinding wheels, fixed angle grinders, paper discs, etc. Fortunately, there are many useful field detection systems that you can take with you or even find when you’re on the move. In this article I will list and compare some options for you.
Types of pocket knife sharpeners
Today’s adventurers have different hand / pocket sharpeners as standard. We don’t have a choice. Common types are Smiths pocket sticks, Medic Lansky blade, fire steel/SOG accessories, small cutting discs, diamonds and ceramic pocket sticks and diamond pocket plates. There are also field versions, such as the bottom of a coffee cup or a hard flat stone. There are even devices to hit the field, such as a leather belt or a piece of cardboard. Let’s take a closer look at all these ways of keeping knives sharp in the field.
Best Pocketknife sharpener : What are the possibilities?
1. Smith’s Pocket Boyfriend vs. Lansky Blade Medic
The first commercially available pocket sharpeners we will discuss are the Smith pocket finger and the Medic Lansky knife. Both are very similar in structure and function. They are equipped with a set of opposing tungsten carbide teeth, a set of opposing ceramic teeth and a conical, malleable diamond shaft. They are sturdy and the teeth can be removed and rotated to extend the life of the sharpener. The diamond rod is also unscrewed. One would think that these parts can be replaced if the grinders themselves are not cheap enough. They’re usually between $10 and $15.
One of Smith’s pocket friends.
The opposite tungsten carbide and ceramic teeth are pulled by the type of grinder, which has a fixed angle. You can’t change the angle in which they’re placed. They are excellent for installing a new edge on a very blunt knife, but I would avoid them if you want to keep the already bevelled edge. Here comes the cone-shaped diamond rod. Ideal for use in the field. It can also be used for nicks.
The Lansky Blade EMT.
The Lanski Medik Blade is equipped with an additional ceramic tooth sharpener, useful when you need to sharpen the serrated blade completely. If you need to use it, make sure that it matches the style of the knife or that you can use it in combination with the diamond stick to achieve the same goal.
Blacksmiths also have an alternative version called Pocket Pal II. This iteration includes a flashlight, a compass, steel and a whistle. In my personal experience the lantern is not very bright and the whistling is not very loud. However, refractory steel works well, especially when pulled by tungsten carbide teeth. It is a small, standard size refractory steel that can be replaced. The compass is a standard push-button compass.
Smith II’s pocketbook buddy.
Although these are great opportunities to sharpen the field, they take up space in your pocket. They are all slightly larger than a normal Zippo lighter. If the space in your bag is first class and you can’t put anything else on your person in the bag, you may want to consider other options.
2. SOG ceramic grinding and firelighters
The following accesories/stacks in fire resistant steel SOG follow. It has a small black plastic handle with a ceramic rod, a diamond plate and a small iron rod.
The iron rod generates quite a few sparks, but it wears out quickly. The ceramic rod and the diamond plate are ideal for small touches. The ceramic rod is also well suited for notches.
The glue that holds the parts on the plastic handle is not that strong. I accidentally dropped mine on a cold 17-degree morning. As soon as he hit the asphalt, the diamond plate and the scrap loader fell off. I called Goop’s plumbers to pick them up, and they’ve been strong ever since. It takes up relatively little space in your pocket when you slide it on your keychain. It can also be cut and drilled into a new hole for the lacing. However, this reduces the purchasing space during use.
3. Small grinding discs and rings
GATCO Soft Arkansas pocketstone.
Historically, one of the most common field grinders is actually a small grinding stone. Many hunting knives come with a hunting knife. They can also be purchased separately. They can easily be attached to the knife holder or put in the bag. The most common are small carborundum stones and small Arkansas stones. They are available in different granulometries and sizes. Most bags are less than 3 centimeters long. They are comfortable, have no moving parts and can be used with hands free to support the edge.
The Lansky puck is also a popular choice. Although it’s a little heavier than most people want to wear.
4. Pocket diamond / ceramic rods
Another commercial option would be a pocket diamond or a pocket ceramic rod. They are very practical, portable and excellent for holding an edge, even a space.
Pocket diamond stick.
I know a lot of people who just take a bag of sharpening stick out on the field as an edge maintenance tool. Your knives remain sharp. However, these are only retouching tools.
It would be difficult to push back a very boring edge with one of them, because it would take forever.
5. Diamond pocket plates
We’re finally at the pocket diamond plates. They are produced by various manufacturers, of which DMT is probably the most popular. It’s just a reduced version of their diamond cutting discs with an extra key ring.
DMT pocket diamond plates.
It offers you convenience and portability. However, many are one-way streets and you need to choose the one that suits you best.
Field installation: Do it yourself, sharpen the knives
You can sharpen knives with the bottom of a coffee cup.
Many tools found in nature or in waste can be used to sharpen and maintain the knife. The unglazed lower part of a coffee cup (empty, preferably) can be used to sharpen the sheet or to tingle it like a ceramic stick. In fact, it works quite well as long as the bottom unglazed ring is smooth and has no stains or sharp, protruding parts.
You can also use a good, flat, hard stone. Any quartz, sandstone or other solid, flat rock can be used. Look the next time you go out. You can even look at the rocks for landscaping. I found a large flat piece of red sandstone the size of an altoid can. I just scraped it on the sidewalk a couple of times until it was slippery. It weighs about six ounces. It’s a great sharpener for backwards.
Polishing in place: You can use your leather belt.
You can polish the edges on a leather strap.
You can also polish the knives in the field. Are you wearing a leather belt? I know, I know, I know, I know. A small coin the size of the dirt, preferably with a small amount of clay, can be applied to the tape and used to trim the blade. Then you have to clean your belt, otherwise you’ll get dirt on your clothes, probably on your back. The cardboard can also be used as a liner because of the small inclusions in the dirt and waste it contains. They work well as a fine abrasive. Be prepared for it to take some time.
Conclusion: Discover your options
As you can see, there are many options for on-site maintenance of the blades. The few I’ve listed are just plain ordinary. There are others you can be sure of. Check your options. Try different things. Let’s see what works for you.
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