How to Sharpen a Hunting Knife – Video

For a knife or razor to perform its function properly, it must be well sharpened. Sharpening a knife is a matter of practice. They say that some types of steel are easier to sharpen than others, there are different types of sharpeners more or less simple, but once you find your ideal elements, sharpening your knife or razor will be a simple task. Learn all about how to sharpen a hunting knife step by step.

Why Do I Need to Sharpen a Hunting Knife?

The first reason is very simple, you need to have the right tool for the right job. A dull knife is like having a hammer without a mallet. It doesn’t do its job properly and is useless.

The second reason is for safety. A dull knife is much more dangerous than using a sharp, properly maintained one. It involves the use of more force than necessary and is the cause of a possible accident.

This is why having an unsharpened hunting knife would be a useless tool. Let’s continue with how to sharpen a hunting knife.

Types Of Sharpeners

Sharpening Stones

They are generally used by the most experienced people and theoretically provide a higher sharpening quality. They have different degrees of abrasion according to the grain that makes up the stone. The coarser grain will be used to form the cutting edge and the finer grain will be used to form the most delicate adjustments of our cutting edge.

Sharpening stones are my favorite for sharpening hunting knives. These are the stones I use at home to sharpen my hunting knife (Order it here).

Sharpening Stone Whetstone Set 4 Side Grit 400/1000 3000/8000, Professional Whetstone Knife Sharpener, Knife Sharpening Stone Kit with Bamboo Base
  • 【Superior Bundle】 Come with two 7x2.3x1.1inch sharping stone, 2 rubber bases, a bamboo stone holder, one knife sharpening angle guide, flattening stone, Leather Strop, Angle Guider holds the knife on the correct angle, Leather Strop to polish knife and removing burr
  • 【Dual Sided Whetstone】after 1250 degrees high temperature and 17 procedures forge, Hand-made from high-grade white corundum. The 400/1000-grit knife stone is used for returning edges to their original shape, make the notch and glitch flatten. 3000/8000-grit whetstone for finishing and polishing the blade to make the edges sharper.
  • 【Multipurpose Use】 Professional-grade knife sharpener stone is highly durable & long-lasting. It can sharp any blade out there, including kitchen cutlery, scissors, Hunting Knife, pocket knives, blades, and razors.

How to Sharpen Your Knife with a Sharpening Stone

The first thing we have to do is to wet the surface of the stone with a little water or oil, moisten the sharpening stone.

Then, choosing the angle that best suits us, we slide the blade along the entire length of the stone with constant pressure.

Do the same with the other side of the blade, making the same passes, and constantly maintaining the same angle and the same pressure. In this way, the edge will be uniform on both sides.

sharpening stone

Honing Steel

Honing steel is the best option for sharpening and perfecting the edge of a kitchen knife, but you must follow certain steps to use them correctly. Quality honing steel (Order it here).

How to Sharpen a Knife with a Honing Steel

Place the honing steel slightly tilted upwards, never downwards.

The blade you are going to sharpen must have an inclination of about 20º and with the edge always facing outwards, never facing you.

Join the handles of the knife and the honing steel and slide the knife over the sharpening steel until the tips can be joined. We will do it from above and from below. Remember to respect the 20º angle on both sides of the blade.

honing steel hunting knife

Pocket Sharpeners

Designed to take up as little space as possible without losing sharpening quality. They are very useful for quickly sharpening mountain knives. They usually have two slots, one for sharpening and another ceramic part for touching up the edge. Many of them also include a tool for sharpening serrated knives.

I tried many brands of pocket sharpeners, but the truth is that I choose this one (Order it here).

SHARPAL 101N 6-In-1 Pocket Knife Sharpener & Survival Tool, with Fire Starter, Whistle & Diamond Sharpening Rod, Quickly Repair, Restore and Hone Straight and Serrated Blade
  • 6 FUNCTION: 1. No. 1 V-Notch slot (Coarse CARBIDE)-Quickly set a new edge; 2. No. 2 (Fine CERAMIC)-Hone for a smooth finished edge; 3. Tapered diamond rod (Medium 400 Grit) for serrations & gut hooks; 4. Diamond rod with groove for fishhooks; 5. Ferro rod; 6. High-pitched emergency whistle
  • A portable EDC field survival knife sharpener with built-in lanyard hole, ideal for hunting, camping, outdoor survival use. It also works well for your kitchen chef knife.
  • DURABLE ABRASIVES & SUPERIOR SHARPENING PERFORMANCE: The CARBIDE and CERAMIC abrasives pass 10,000 times field use test. NEVER WEARS OUT. Preset optimal sharpening angle.
pocket knife sharpener hunting

Electric Knife Sharpeners

This type of sharpener works automatically, with electricity or batteries. They are ideal for sharpening knives that get a lot of use.

Electric knife sharpeners are generally easy to use. But they do not offer the same level of control as manual sharpeners. They have several slots for inserting the knife into the most convenient one. Inside the sharpener is a motorized wheel that rotates to shape our edge.

There are many brands and models of electric sharpeners all over the internet but the only one that really worked for me and gave excellent results in sharpening my knives was this one (Order it here).

Work Sharp MK2 Professional Electric Knife and Tool Sharpener, Adjustable tool and knife sharpening system
  • NEW & IMPROVED - Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpener Mk.2 sharpens every knife you own. It builds upon the Original Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpener, with new features to make sharpening faster, easier, and more repeatable than ever before.
  • FLEXIBLE BELTS - put a razor sharp edge on their blades, now you can have the same technology in your home or shop like the professionals. The belts conform to the edge of any blade to sharpen outdoor, pocket and kitchen knives, even serrated knives, scissors*, and many other common edge tools.
  • SHARPENING GUIDE - increases precision and repeatability to get the proper edge angle every time and provides a new scratch resistant leather lining. Quickly change from 25° outdoor knives to 20° Kitchen knives in one guide.
electric knife sharpener

What Angle Should I Use to Sharpen a Hunting Knife?

The angle used is critical when sharpening your hunting knife or razor. It is important to always maintain the same angle during the sharpening process. The greater the angle, the stronger the edge. The smaller the angle, the better the cutting power. Lansky’s angle-controlled sharpening system allows you to automatically choose the angle that suits you best:

17º angle: to be used when a very sharp but delicate edge is needed. This angle is perfect for razor blades, scalpels, and similar tools.

20º angle: This is the angle most often used, offering a great advantage especially for kitchen knives and fillet knives.

25º angle: It is the recommended angle for those blades that need a strong edge. It is the ideal edge for hunting knives and bush knives.

30º angle: This is the perfect angle for knives and blades that cut heavy materials, such as cardboard, wood, or carpets. It is the most appropriate edge for rescue and salvage knives.

We hope this article on how to sharpen a hunting knife will be useful. We leave you a video on how to sharpen a hunting knife correctly. Learn more about Best Survival First Aid Kit Step by Step.