How to Sharpen Knives With an Old Belt. Once you have learned the value of a good knife, keeping it sharp is essential to maintaining the quality. Although there are several gadgets on the market that claim to sharpen knives better than ever, many stick to the tried and true method of using stone and leather. Here's how to sharpen knives with a belt.
Find old leather belts to use. If none can be found in your closet, a thrift store normally has a rack of inexpensive ones. Choose belts that are wide and strong, with a rough side and a smooth side.
Rub a thick layer of rouge compound (red oxide powder) into the rough side of the belt.
Lay the knife flat against the belt and pull it away from the cutting edge with long strokes. Repeat on other side. This step cannot be overdone, but for a new knife with little damage, 15 strokes per side should be sufficient.
Flip the belt over and using the same strokes, work the knife across the smooth side of the leather. This will polish the blade and give it a nice shine.
Look at the blade of the knife at a 90 degree angle, trying to see only the tip of the blade. If sharpened properly the edge of the blade should be nearly invisible. If you see shiny metal those are dents and damage on a dull blade and the process of sharpening and stropping should be repeated.