What is a Hunting Knife
One of the most essential pieces of equipment that a hunter should have is a good hunting knife. Hunting knives are generally used for skinning and dressing game, and a good hunting knife is designed for cutting through things like tough meat. Hunting knife blades usually have a slight curve, and some have a combination of curved blades for skinning, and straight blades for slicing. The tip on a hunting knife is commonly round, so that no damage is done to the skin when you are removing it.
Sharpening tools for hunting knives include diamond, steel, Arkansas stone, flat stone and ceramic. Pocket knife sharpeners and steel bars are also effective for sharpening hunting knives. You should first test your knife for sharpness. This is done by taking a piece of paper and slicing through it. If the knife does not slide through the paper easily, then it is time for it to be sharpened.
Sharpening a Hunting Knife
As with any knife sharpener, the key to effective sharpening is the angle that you use. There are many sharpeners on the market that have built in angle guides or angle guides included in the standard package which will take the guesswork out of finding the right angle. Be sure that the angle is set the same way it was for the previous sharpening.
Usually one side of your blade has more of an angle than the other side. If you are using a whetstone, you should rub the side of your blade that has more of an angle against the stone. First apply sharpening oil to the stone, then hold the knife with the blade facing away from you. Swipe the side of the blade that is angled against the stone at approximately a 60 degree angle. Do this about four or five times, or more if needed. If your blade has an angle on both sides, turn it over and repeat the process on the other side. You will know when the blade is sharpened because you will feel a prick when you barely touch it.
If you are using a ceramic bar or brick, you will not need a lubricant. Using the same swiping motion as with the whetstone. Steel bars have a slightly different technique. The blade should be swiped at a 20 degree angle, pulling the blade towards you. Usually ten good swipes should be good. When you turn your blade over, be sure to do the same amount of swipes on the opposite side for an even consistency. A flat stone can be used if you are out in the woods and do not have any other sharpening tools available. The problem with this stone is that it is natural and has many imperfections. This technique also takes more time.
Best Hunting Knife Sharpener: Smith’s TRI-6 Arkansas TRI-HONE Sharpening Stones System Review
Bestsmallkitchenappliances.com recommends TRI-6 Knife Sharpening System as the best sharpener for a hunting knife. Smith’s is a company that was started in Arkansas, in 1886, and today they are the market leader in the knife and scissor sharpening industry. Their TRI-6 3 Stone Knife Sharpener is one of the sharpeners that can be used best for hunting knives. The sharpener is made up of three six inch stones – a medium synthetic stone, a fine Arkansas stone, and a coarse synthetic stone. These are mounted on a molded plastic triangle that has handles on the end so that the stones can be rotated on the rotating block, and easily identified. A honing solution is included for cleaning and protection of sharpening surfaces. The base features non-skid rubber feet to keep the sharpener sturdy. Also in the base is a “V” trough to catch oil drips, which makes cleaning easier. A sharpening angle guide is also included.
Overall, Amazon customers liked this product and rated it 4.4 out of 5 stars. Several customers noted that it is a little small for full size knives, which makes you work harder, but they were pleased with the sharpness of their knives. One customer was able to shave hair from the forearm after using this sharpener! Overall, a great system suitable not only for hunting knives, but for all other types that you can have at home.