How to Sharpen a Pocket Knife with [HOUSEHOLD ITEMS]?

How to Sharpen a Pocket Knife in a Pinch ?

Many people are under the impression that the only way to sharpen a pocket knife properly is to pay a professional to do it or to use a high-end sharpening device on its edge like a Japanese water stone. The truth is that in a pinch you don’t need to use a fancy sharpening device to help the blade on your pocket knife recover from being dull.

As a matter of fact, many common household items that you probably would not think of can be very useful when it comes to recovering the sharpness of the blade on any knife that you own. In this article, we will alert you to some useful ways on how to sharpen a pocket knife with household items.

Knowing these sharpening tricks could come in very handy if you are a prepper who gets forced away from your home in an SHTF scenario.

More readings: Best all around hunting knives

There Are Two Ways to Help Your Pocket Knife Recover Its Sharp Edge

Before we get started it must be noted there are two ways to enhance the edge of your pocket knife. One is by honing it and the other is by sharpening it.

Many people think when you hone a knife you are sharpening the edge of it but that’s not true. You are actually taking the irregularities out of the blade that causes it to become dulled. Honing gets all the burrs off the edge of a knife and smooths and polishes the cutting edge.

Sharpening the blade actually reshapes the cutting edge of the knife. This is done by aggressively rubbing or grinding a rough surface against a knife edge. When you sharpen a knife you shape the knife edge at an angle that is conducive to making it easy to cut things with that knife.

Here is a video that explains the differences between ‘honing’ and ‘sharpening’ a knife a little better:

How to Sharpen a Pocket Knife with Household Items?

Here are a few ways to sharpen your pocket knife using things that are commonly found in your home or elsewhere:

1 – Use A Leather Belt

This is a great way to hone a pocket knife to make it sharp again. Over the centuries leather has been successfully used to do what is known as ‘stropping a knife edge’. As we mentioned before, this helps to erase imperfections from the edge of your pocket knife. It also helps to increase your pocket knife’s cutting power by restoring its smooth cutting edge.

In a pinch, your leather belt will work fine for this purpose. The only catch here is that it must be a leather belt that is perfectly smooth and does not have any pronounced areas of stitching throughout it.

Doing leather belt ‘stropping’ as a means to hone your knife edge is not very complicated. You simply rub the knife edge across your belts smooth outer surface. The stroke you use should start with the sharp edge of the cutting knife and run away from it to the unsharpened edge.

Here is a video that describes this process in a little more detail:

2 – Use The Edge Of A Ceramic Coffee Cup Or Other Cylindrical Ceramic Piece

If you turn over the edge of any ceramic style coffee cup you own you will notice a rough ring that goes around the bottom of it in a circle. This circle is left rough intentionally so your coffee mug or other ceramic piece does not slide all over the place. If you run your hand across it, you may just be surprised how rough it is.

When you rub your pocket knife blade over this rough ceramic circle on the bottom of a coffee cup, you will actually sharpen the blade if you do it right.

How is this done? Start by turning your coffee mug with the open end facing down. Place your non-dominant hand around the coffee mug to hold it and then you use your other hand to hold onto your pocket knife.

Next turn your pocket knife at an angle that is slightly less than 45 degrees. Move the pocket knife blade across the bottom of the coffee cup in a direction that moves the knife across it going away from you. You do not want to go in multiple directions. The only strokes you use should just be going away from you.

Sharpen the pocket knife blade on both sides too. You can tell if it’s working because you will see some residue starting to build up on the bottom of the coffee mug.

Here is a video that describes how to sharpen a knife with a coffee cup:

3 – Nylon Back Pack Strap

Chances are if you have to abandon your home in a disaster scenario one of the things you will have with you is some sort of backpack. It can be a specially prepared survival backpack or even a regular backpack that you acquire in a pinch to carry supplies. There is also a good chance that backpack will have a nylon strap on it that you can use as a honing tool to sharpen your pocket knife.

This may sound strange but it actually works very well. It is important to note that you don’t have to cut the nylon strap off the back pack to do this. After all, you will most likely need to be able to use your backpack over and over again and the straps on it were designed to help you carry weight in it easier.

The procedure for honing your pocket knife’s edge with a nylon strap is almost identical to that used for stropping your pocket knife with a leather strap.

You will once again simply rub the knife edge across the nylon straps smooth outer surface. The stroke you use should start with the sharp edge of the cutting knife and run away from you to the unsharpened edge. Make sure you repeat this motion on both sides of your pocket knife.

The following tutorial will show you the procedure for sharpening your pocket knife with a nylon strap and show you some other ways to sharpen your pocket knife too:

The Bottom Line on Pocket Knife Sharpening In a Pinch

We have shown you some great ways here to sharpen your pocket knife when you do not have more conventional knife sharpening tools lying around to do it with. You do not have to limit yourself to these solutions either. Just about any material that you can think of that will reshape the blade or slightly remove some metal from it can be used to successfully hone or sharpen your pocket knife.

So when your pocket knife gets dull take a good look around you. That old piece of sandpaper, smooth flat stone in the garden or smooth metal side of another tool may be just what you need to get the blade on your pocket knife nice and sharp again.

A sharp pocket knife is truly one of the most important things you will possess in a true SHTF scenario.

How to Use a Hunting Knife (In a Fast and Clean Way)

The choice of a knife type to use for hunting is your prerogative. But the principle behind using a hunting knife to hunt is a skill you must learn. The kind of prey you will be hunting is also a major determinant of the knife you will use. That aside, what is the proper way to use a hunting knife? We will answer this question and much more surrounding the use of hunting knife.

Which Are The Best Types Of Hunting Knives?

You cannot purport to know how to use a hunting knife without knowing the different types you can use. There are up to 8 types of hunting knives to choose from. Here is a brief description of each of those types:


Schempp Rock camp knife

A camp knife is a multi-purpose knife that most consider a classic hunting knife. The design of the knife gives it the versatility to perform the tasks of the specialized knives.


Bowie Knife

A Bowie is a type of large fighting knife featuring a clip point blade. Although it may not be in wide use today, some hunters still prefer it over the more specialized types.


Caping Knife Large
Image credit

It is the knife type you will use if you are making an animal trophy. Its unique design features an upturned point on a rather small blade. Although a caping blade is specialized, you can still use it for many hunting tasks.


S17-035 Damascus Handmade Skinning Knife
Image credit

Skinning needs a lot of attention, keenness, and accuracy. This is because you will need to remove the skin without damaging or tearing the hide. A skinning knife has specialized features. These features will help you achieve such precision without undue pressure. The design includes a razor-sharp blade, and grippy, non-slip handle.


Boning Knife 5 in - Carbon Steel
Image credit

A boning knife will help you remove meat from the carcass. It as narrow blade that is normally flexible. Boning knives are usually somewhat similar to fillet knives used to remove the skin from fish. In fact, you can also use a fillet knife for boning.


Hunting Knife with Sharp Blade

A hunting dagger is the hunting knife proper. It is the knife you will use to kill a pray before using the other specialized knives named above. However, nowadays killing pray does not require knives. A true hunting dagger has a sharp double-edged blade and a non-slip grip. You may not need this knife for hunting.


Polished Kukri Knife

A kukri knife is native to Nepal. It is a multi-functional knife that you can use both as a weapon and as a utility knife. It resembles a machete with an inwardly curved blade. You can use it for chopping wood, clearing small bushes and shrubs. You can also use it for digging, cutting meat and vegetables, slaughtering animals for food and opening cans. Many hunters now choose Kukri knife because of its versatility.

While the categorization above is based on the utility of the hunting knife, there is another way to classify the knives. You have the chance to choose between fixed-blade knives and folding knives. In case the game you are hunting is large then a fixed-blade knife is better in penetrating the body of the game. They are strong and durable. Folding knives, on the other hand, are preferred because they are easy to conceal and carry. The fact is that most hunting knife types are fixed-blade.

What Should You Use A Hunting Knife For?

Let us set something straight before we continue. You should not use a hunting knife to kill your pray. Instead, a hunting knife should help you prepare a meal out of the kill. This means you will need to kill the prey with a weapon such as a hunting rifle. Then you can use your preferred type of hunting knife to get what you want from the kill.

All hunting knives feature designs not strong enough to pierce or cut through solid bones. You will need something like a saw to do that. But, bigger or heavier knives such as Kukri are strong enough to cut through the bones of certain types of game. Common hunting knives help with the field dressing process and skinning by processing the game inwards from the skin.

Using a Hunting Knife

The processes that will need you to use a hunting knife are just three. There include field dressing, skinning, and butchering. By using the knife properly, you will finish the task quite fast and you will get the most out of your kill. Here are the processes:

STEP 1: Field Dressing

The goal of field dressing is to get the inner organs of the animal (such as intestines) out. Use your preferred hunting knife to make a tiny and careful incision along the underside of the game from the anus towards its ribcage. This process will open a cavity through which you can pull the abdominal and thoracic contents out.

You can then use a heavy-duty knife such as kukri knife to break the ribcage open all the way to the neck. The next step in field dressing includes carefully separating the inner contents from the linings of the muscle and body cavity. The process may be messy if you are not keen. Try as much as possible not to contaminate the meat with intestinal contents.

STEP 2: Skinning

Now that you are through with dressing, it is time to move on to skinning. Start skinning from the thighs of the animal just above the knee joint. The process almost always requires a special skinning knife. However, a hunting knife can do provided it is razor-sharp and possess a grippy, non-slip handle.

For a successful skinning process, use your knife to cut underneath the skin. Proceed by pulling the skin from the lower body to the upper body. You have to take extra care if you want to save the hide as a trophy or for other purposes. The razor-sharp blades of skinning knives can quickly tear the hide.

STEP 3: Butchering

Butchering is perhaps the most difficult step using a hunting knife. The process with requires a heavy duty hunting knife or a special boning knife. Personally, I prefer butchering with a kukri knife. It has a perfectly designed blade to help in the butchering process. The knife can help you remove meat from carcass quickly and efficiently.

Final Verdict,

If you are new to hunting for then this information is for you. Knowing how to use a hunting knife is a good skill that everyone should have. Whether you are a hunter, camper or a survivalist, a hunting knife will help you to prepare game meat for food in a quick and clean manner. A hunting set has different types of knives which you can use for different processes post-kill. However, a multi-purpose knife like Kukri knife could be all you need.