Sharpening a knife is one of the toughest care one can give to his tactical knife. Most tactical knives are made of stainless steel, and stainless steel is tough material to sharpen but when sharpened, rest assured that it will hold the sharp edge for quite a long time.
When it is time to sharpen a knife, it is good to look for a sharpener that has a rough surface, diamond surface is preferable. The end of the sharpener should be of hard stone or ceramic abrasive. Why diamond and ceramic? These materials are harder than steel and will sharpen the steel on the blade easily. But if you decide to use a stone, it might perform the task, but you will require to use more effort as the stone is just slightly harder than steel.
Here is a brief comparison table of the top tactical knife sharpeners (article continues below):
Top 5 Tactical Knife Sharpeners Comparison
Some of the sharpeners available in the market include:
The Presto 08810 makes knife sharpening automatic; fast and easy. Although it consumes shelf space and electricity, apart from being heavy, it can make knife sharpening fun. It is ideal for those who have no time or experience in knife sharpening.
Why Go For It
This knife sharpener is affordable yet high quality; it appears sturdy and well built; it is easy to use and makes knives sharp.
Features of The Sharpener
This is a sharpener which has a sharpening system of three stages and it is ideal for kitchen knives, sports knives and tactical knives. It is an automatic sharpener.
It is advisable that after every stage of sharpening, wipe the knife to get rid of metal strips and maintain integrity of the machine. It comes in 120 volts.
This is a preset crossed carbides and ceramic stones that provide a sharp edge each time you use it. The tapered, round diamond coated rod can sharpen both serrated and standard edged blades. It is the solution for sharpening any knife, especially because the carbides and ceramic stones are reversible and replaceable. It is one of those sharpeners that you can walk around with no matter the occasion. It comes with a lanyard which you can wear around your neck. It has preset sharpening angles to provide guaranteed results. The design is sleek and simple. It is a great assurance when your blade dulls up and you have it in your pocket.
Why Go for It
It contains a tapered round diamond coated and rod for sharpening serrated and standard edges. The carbides blades quickly set your edge and the ceramic stone gives you a razor sharp edge. It is reversible and replaceable carbide and ceramic stones to allow for extended sharpening. Smith PP sharpener has a lanyard hole for carrying thus making it easily portable. It comes with preset sharpening angles that provide guaranteed results.
This is a sharpening stone that is safe, easy and convenient to use. It is designed to give the blade a professional razor sharp edge every time. It includes a color coated , finger grooved safety holder mounted to stones; has extra long knife clamp screws for thicker blades; it comes with a custom molded storage or carrying case to hold all system components. Insert you will also get complete easy to follow multi-lingual instructions.
Preset Angles of The Lansky 5 Stone System
It has a 17 degree angle which is a severe angle recommended for razor sharp, scalpels or similar tools. It provides an extremely sharp, but delicate edge.
The 20 degree angle is commonly used for most high quality blades and provides an excellent edge for kitchen cutlery and filet knives.
The 25 degree angle is recommended for most knives that need durable, sharp edge. Ideal for hunting and outdoor knives.
30 degree angle is an outstanding angle for knives that see the heavy use of cutting cardboard, wire or carpets. Recommended for heavy duty edge.
This is a wonderful sharpener for hard steel like D2, 154CM, VG-10 and 530V. The system is made up of two sets of ceramic stones, one brown colored set of heavy work and one white colored fine set for the finishing. Its triangular shape allows you to sharpen both plain and serrated edges by using the flat sides and the corners.
This is a no oil free system. It comes with brass rods which act as a safety barrier to ensure your delicate hands are well protected. It comes with a carrying case for use to carry it in when not in use. This sharpener is great as it can sharpen most serrated blades. It is easy to use and it sharpens really well.
An added bonus to this sharpener is it comes with a furrow running length of its stones which allows you to sharpen pointed items such as fishhooks, darts and awls. And with its DVD of instructions, you will never go wrong using it.
Specification of the Spyderco Sharpmaker
It comes with two sets of ceramic stones and medium grit stones for aggressive sharpening. The stones are fine for professional grade finishing and furrow for sharpening pointed items. It includes a set of brass safety rods. All components snap into a plastic base and lid. For care of the sharpener, scrub stones with a plastic scouring pad and powdered abrasive cleaner and then air it to dry.
With a whetstone, you are sure to maintain and sharpen your knife. It will be more fun to do the sharpening yourself than take it for a sharpening service. By doing it yourself, you will be able to keep your knife always sharp and ready for use always. A whetstone has a combination of sharpening grains and binding agent. It as 100% Ardenes Coticules. The sharpening grains have cutting edges which will enable them to sharpen. Anytime you use a sharpening stone, little particles of the sharpening grains are released which generate a new cutting edge.
How To Use Whetstones For Tactical Knife Sharpening
First, submerge the whetstone in water for about five to 10 minutes to soak. When there are no more little air bubbles appearing, the stone has absorbed the optimum amount of water. Continue to apply water whilst sharpening.
The water combines with small particles released from the stone to form an abrasive substance, which allows sharpening to take place. Place the stone on a slip resistant base. Start using the coarse grit of the stone. Move the blade back and forth at an angle of 10 degrees to 20 degrees across the stone. Use light pressure. Start at the tip of the blade. Pull the blade over the stone through to the middle and down to the base of the blade. After a short time, a fine edge will have developed. Turn the knife around and work on the other side of the blade.
Repeat this process several times as you deem necessary. To finish, pull the blade twice at an angle to the cutting edge to remove the last burrs. Your knife should be really sharp by now.
How is sharpening with steel different from sharpening with a stone?
Sharpening With Steel
Frequent use of a knife makes it dull thus requiring it to be sharpened. This will make the edge to bend to the left or right depending on how you normally hold your knife while using it. Knives made from carbon or molybdenum or vanadium are high quality knives and have elasticity, thus making it possible for them to be re-aligned by a sharpening steel. Never use diamond coated steel or pull through manual or electric sharpening device for maintaining this type of knives as they will destroy the edge.
When using steel to sharpen, place the knife blade against the tip of the sharpening steel at an angle approximately 20 degrees. Start pulling the knife down and across the steel, describing a slight arc. Do this repeatedly on the back of the steel to sharpen the other side of the blade. Repeat this step 2 to 10 times, alternating left and right sides of the blade. It is important to maintain the angle at 20 degrees and to run the full length of the cutting edge along the steel from the hilt to the tip of the knife. Speed is a non issue here.
Sharpening The Knife Using A stone
A three way oil stone is best for sharpening the knife; one which is a fine medium coarse. You are only t use a stone when your edge is not re-aligning with steel; it should be a last option. Only when your edge has dulled up from frequent use of steel should this option come on board. Use an angle of 30 to 40 strokes before your new edge is formed. Use as many strokes as you can. The angle used is depended on how sharp you want your knife to be – the smaller the angle the sharper the edge. But it is good to note that, the sharper the edge, the faster it will become dull. If you are not sure of the angle, it is best to consult with the manual or get the service of a local knife grinding service.
Sharpening a Straight Razor
If you use the correct sharpening system, you are assured of getting good results. By sharpening the knife, you are sure of getting the gross shape of the knife’s blade according to its grind-type. This is done best using grinding wheels. Grinding is not the same as sharpening. Grinding just creates a good cutting edge angle and the blade part adjacently to it creating a relief. A relief is created by honing with a secondary angle on a stone until a burr appears and consequently creates a primary angle to remove the burr. The relief/secondary/primary angle principle makes the blade more resistant for less than delicate use.
Sharpening Serrated knives
For you to sharpen a serrated blade, it is important that you obtain the correct sharpening tools to perform the task. Next, you should have the proper technique to use while sharpening the serrated knives.
Angle for sharpening serrated knives range between 20 and 25 degrees. Using firm pressure, work the hone in a back and forth motion, perpendicular to the cutting edge. Stop and feel for a raised burr on the backside of the blade. Move to the next tooth only after you see or feel a raised burr. Once you are through with sharpening the ground side of the blade, flip the knife over.
This is a technique used to polish the edge of a blade after it has been sharpened. Unlike the sharpener, a strop doesn’t actually remove any material. A strop realigns any microscopic indentations into the blade. If you want a perfect edge on your knife, a strop is the way to go. This can either be leather or fixed on the hand held paddle. To use, you simply slide your blade gently up and down, alternating sides.
What To Look For In A good Sharpener
For a sharpener to pass as a good one, it needs to remove the material from the blade and maintain a uniform angle for you and not allow your effort from stroke to stroke to change the angle of pressure you are putting on the cutting surface of the blade. In case the angle changes from stroke to stroke, you will end up with a round edge that will feel sharp for a short period of time and dull rapidly.
Keep your knife sharpened as a dull blade can be more dangerous than a well maintained one as it will not live up to its task. There is no one best tactical knife sharpener fits all solution, each sharpener has its own limitation. The best knife sharpener is one which will get the best edge on your knife in the shortest amount of time possible. At the end, it is up to you to decide exactly what works for you.
Depending on how much time, skill and money you have , the best knife sharpener for you will vary upon those factors. An electric knife sharpener is recommended for individuals who want a quick and easy way to sharpen their knives without learning how to sharpen them with hand.