Pocket knives come in handy when you need to cut a rope or a piece of string or open a can, gift or taped box. However, unless these are day-to-day tasks, your pocket knife probably goes unused most of the time. Without regular use, your pocket knife will become dull. So it's important to sharpen your pocket knife regularly. The best sharpening method requires only two tools and five to ten minutes of your time.
The Best Way to Sharpen Pocket Knives
Choose a whetstone, or sharpening stone. A variety of sharpening stones are out there, so play around with different stones to find one that works best for you and your pocket knife. A basic whetstone, which has a rough grit side and a fine grit side, costs about $10 and will sufficiently sharpen a small blade.
Pour a small amount of mineral oil over the rough grit side of the whetstone. To figure out which side of the stone is the rough grit side, scratch the surface of each side with your thumbnail. The side that feels rougher is the rough grit side.
Place one side of the pocket knife blade flat on the rough grit side of the stone and raise the blade to a 10 to 15 degree angle. Maintain this small angle while sharpening your pocket knife to avoid shaving too much metal off of the blade.
Press the edge of the blade into the stone with moderate pressure. Maintaining a 10 to 15 degree angle and imagining that you're carving off a small piece of the stone's surface, stroke the blade into or away from the stone, whichever technique your prefer. After you make the first stroke, go back to the starting stroking position and repeat the stroking process six to 12 times.
Repeat the sharpening process on the other side of blade. Remember to maintain that 10 to 15 degree angle!
Flip the stone over to the fine grit side and pour a small but generous amount of mineral oil over the fine grit side of the stone. Sharpen again on the fine grit side of the stone to give your pocket knife blade a sharp edge. When you're finished, wipe the blade clean, and your pocket knife is ready to go.