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You are watching: How to sharpen a knife with a rock

Knife sharpening deserve to be daunting enough with commercially produced or cut stones and also other sharpening devices. But, friend may uncover yourself in a instance where girlfriend don’t have actually these contemporary options obtainable to you.

In this case, you have the right to revert come humanity’s root and try your hand at sharpening your knife through a rock. Therefore what is the ideal rock to use to sharpen a knife, and also what space the procedures to obtain it done?

To sharpen a knife with a rock, pick a smooth rock with a good grain. Wet the rock with water or spit and also use the rock as you would use a whetstone. If the absent is small, you deserve to move the stone over the blade fairly than moving the blade end the stone. Make sure you keep your angles consistent.

Sharpening a knife v a absent is the classical way that you check out movie personalities sharpening their knives and also swords, and also it is true that this method of sharpening a knife works.

There are, however, some points to look out for as soon as trying this an approach to make sure you have actually success and end up with a sharp knife fairly than a ruined blade!

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How come Sharpen A Knife with A Rock

Sharpening her knife through a rock demands to be approached through some caution, and also it is not a technique that is encourage if girlfriend have modern sharpening methods at her disposal.

There room some instances whereby you might need to employ this technique over a more modern-day method, but it should normally be a last will option.

You may uncover yourself out in the field, and you must use your knife to carry out a task, and also you take it out only to uncover that your blade is no as sharp together you thought it was and you don’t have a sharpener with you.

A survival-type situation would be an additional scenario where you may not have accessibility to a advertisement sharpener and need come recondition the sheet of your knife due to the fact that of the rough use the the blade.

You could likewise have unable to do camping and forgotten to carry a knife sharpener along, and your only other alternative to utilizing a rock to sharpen the knife would certainly be to make carry out with a dull knife.

If you space contemplating making use of a rock to sharpen your knife, then it would be way to recognize what the best means to carry out this would be and if there are some nuances to this an approach that you have to be conscious of.

How to Sharpen A Knife v A Rock

Sharpening a knife through a rock is not as an easy as grabbing the very first stone that you see and start rubbing that on the edge of her knife.

There room some techniques come the task and also some correct options that have to be made if you room to have actually success utilizing this method to gain back the edge on the knife.

What kind Of absent To usage To Sharpen A Knife

Sharpening a knife v a absent or a rock is naught new, and also the modern whetstone is the development of this an approach from the old beginnings of this practice.

While some modern whetstones room commercially made abrasives, the Japanese Waterstones are organic rock that is quarried straight from the ground and also cut right into the traditional square shape that we purchase.

So what is the right kind of absent to use to sharpen her knife? Most stones room not made from one sort of material, which means they room not uniform in abrasive qualities or hardness.

Thus, using any rock could damage the blade further and make the spicy edge that the knife jagged, which is the no use to you.

The finest rocks to choose as a potential sharpening rock would encompass the following.

A smooth river stone. A rock that has been in the river would have been eroded to end up being smooth, so the softer material would have been eliminated from the stone, and it will be of also hardness. The serial on these stones is also usually reasonably fine, i beg your pardon is an excellent for sharpening the knife.Sandstone. Sandstone is do of good sand corpuscle that have actually the exact same abrasive attributes as sandpaper. The finer the grain of the sandstone that you have the right to find, the far better it will certainly be as a sharpening stone.

Whichever stone kind you choose, you should make sure that the grain structure of the absent is as fine together possible; the surface need to feel choose fine-grit sandpaper come the touch. The shape of the rock that you pick should likewise be as level as possible.

TIP: No matter what you usage to sharpen her knives it often happens the it loses its sharpness relatively quickly. Execute you recognize why this is happening? discover out the key reasons in the article below:

Why do Knives shed Sharpness (So Fast)? 5 common Reasons

Method because that Sharpening a Knife v A Rock

Now that you have actually the rock that you are going to use to sharpen the knife, it is time to gain down to the actual an approach that friend will use to placed the edge back on the knife.

There room a few techniques that you have the right to use to sharpen the knife through a rock.

Rub the rock on the blade.

If the rock is small, around the dimension of the palm of her hand, place your knife level on its next and, with slow also strokes, obstacle the stone along the size of the sharp edge, making certain to preserve the very same angle throughout each stroke.

Keep the rock wet through water to make the sharpening more efficient. The stroke should be native the spine in the direction of the edge and also never the other method around, as this have the right to dull the edge or an outcome in you getting cut.

Rub the tongue on the rock.

Lay the rock flat on one more rock, or the ground, or your leg. Wet the stone and move the blade across the size of the stone, across the complete surface of the sharp edge, making certain that you maintain the same angle the entirety time.

This technique is the same way that you would usage a common commercial whetstone.

Create a V-shape with two stones.

If friend can discover two stones that are the very same coarseness, you have the right to position castle so the they create a v-shape angle and pull the blade smoothly v the v-shape come sharpen the edge.

You will require to match the edge of the v-shape to the an additional bevel of the knife to store the angle regular on the blade. Store the stones wet as you execute this to boost the performance of stones. This method mimics sharpening the knife ~ above a v-shaped carbide pull-through knife sharpener.

It is important to save the stones wet as you happen the knife across the surface. This helps to kind a slurry, which will help to carry the swarf far from the leaf of the knife and additionally make the rock a an ext efficient sharpening tool.

If you nothing have wealth of water, you have the right to spit top top the stone to sell a liquid lubricant to the sharpening operation.

If you have some leather available, such together in the form of a shoes or a belt, it would certainly be worthwhile passing the blade end the leather and using it together a strop to perform the last honing or sprucing up of the edge.

What Else can You use To Sharpen A Knife?

A rock is no the just alternative way that you deserve to use to sharpen a knife in a pinch. Some of these choices may even offer much better alternatives to using a rock due to the fact that they would certainly be that a continual hardness and same serial structure.


Glass, especially hardened glass, renders a very great knife sharpening alternate since it has a really even and consistent service. 


An unglazed piece of ceramic can be offered to placed a serviceable leaf on a knife in a pinch. It is no the best way to sharpen a knife, yet in one emergency situation, it deserve to work. You deserve to use the bottom the a coffee cup, i beg your pardon usually has an unglazed edge about the bottom.


If you have a piece of leather available to you, either a belt or animal leather shoes, try to strop the knife ~ above the animal leather to hone the edge before using an ext drastic procedures to sharpen the knife.

TIP: among the best knives you deserve to own is Japanese knives. The best tool for sharpening Japanese knives is the whetstone. However can you also sharpen Japanese knives v steel? find out an ext in the post below:

Can girlfriend Sharpen A Japanese Knife v Steel?


While sharpening a knife top top a rock may not be the most ideal method of putting the edge ago on her blade, that does work. It deserve to do a serviceable task if you space in a pinch and also need to resolve the sheet on your knife.

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With a bit of treatment in the an option of the stone, part patience, and paying close fist to the angles that you space using to sharpen the blade, you can achieve a very useable edge on the knife that will be perfect for many bushcraft format tasks.

TIP: Are friend looking to buy a brand-new whetstone? inspect out our references (we personally usage the first three ones):