Author Topic: Field sharpening your cutting tools.  (Read 536 times)

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Offline Moe M.

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Field sharpening your cutting tools.
« on: April 04, 2017, 11:23:17 AM »


 I learned how to sharpen my knives and axes in my late teens and have added a few new methods since to my little bag of sharpening tricks,  I've also accumulated a bunch of sharpening stones, pucks, diamond stones, steels files, and ceramic rods both bench top and compact kits for field use.
 In my quest for lightening my load out and pack weight I've tried several types and brands of sharpening tools including those offered by Normark, Smith's, and lanskey ,  and I've assembled small kits using various stones, hones, sandpaper, and strops,  while all have worked fairly well, all were left lacking in certain areas,  the smaller lighter sharpening tools were able to keep edges "touched up",  they aren't up to taking out chips or fixing a rolled edge,  especially on a hatchet or axe.
 Those kits that I could count on for most sharpening chores were pretty extensive,  they included a Lanskey steel, a GB or Lanskey puck, fine file,  a small Arkansas stone, a steel hone, some wet&dry sandpaper, and a small bottle of honeing oil.
 What I've been looking for is a sharpening tool that's fairly light weight, doesn't take up much room in a pack, and can handle most edge repair and sharpening tasks.
 I think I may have found it in a one tool option that offers a multitude of sharpening options,  it has two steel diamond hones, one coarse and one fine, a three sided ceramic hone, a coarse side, fine side, and a third side is a fish hook sharpener,  both sides have 20 degree bevel guides for sharpening, and the ceramic hone has 25 degree guides for honing the blade, it also has a smaller ceramic rod for sharpening serrated edges, and also has a compound impregnated leather strop built in.
 The overall size of the tool is about 6-1/2" long x 1-1/2" wide x 1.0 " thick, I haven't weighed the tool but I'm guessing it weighs about 6~8 ounces,  besides the options I've already mentioned there are a few I haven't mentioned,  the first is that the steel honing plates are held in place by a couple of rare earth magnets,  the plates can be removed and used separately, there is an open space beneath one plate big enough to store a small ferro rod, a couple of fire starter tabs, or what ever.
 The tool is also suited to field dressing broad head arrow blades as well and a set of wrenches have been built into the frame of the tool for holding the blades while being taken apart or being assembled,  which I thought was a pretty neat idea.
 OK, so who makes this wonder tool and how much does it cost,  as chance would have it it's another Work Sharp Tools offering,  the suggested retail is about $30.00,  but street price at Amazon and a few bigger sports stores is more in the $25.00 range,  which in my opinion makes it a real steal,  my Smiths folding diamond sharpener cost me $30.00 at Lowe's and is nowhere as good or offer as much as the Work Sharp guided field sharpener.

 I've only had mine a couple of days and used it on a couple of my neglected pocket knives with great success,   I'll be playing with it more in the next couple of weeks on my hatchets and hawks to see whether it holds up or not in the field and let you know if it will replace my pack sharpening kit.
 
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Field sharpening your cutting tools.
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2017, 11:42:38 AM »
I looked these up.  Lots of them on Ebay for less than $25 plus shipping and the cheapest was $17.85 and $5.85 shipping. 

I use a DMT two sided folding diamond sharpener in my field kit.  It sharpens blades quickly and easily but doesn't do serrated which isn't a problem for me.  I have no memory of the DMT price.  It is about fifteen years old and still works well. 

Here is a link to the WorkShop model that Moe is referring to.

https://www.amazon.com/Sharp-WSGFS221-Guided-Field-Sharpener/dp/B009YKHZ96
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Offline lgm

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Re: Field sharpening your cutting tools.
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2017, 03:48:25 PM »
I knew what sharpener you were going to say before I read the whole post. I have one and yes it is a good piece of gear. Good for a extensive feild trip.
I like something a little smaller . This would be good I think
https://www.dmtonlinestore.com/Double-Sided-Diafold-Diamond-Sharpener-P29C10.aspx

Just to keep things touched up I use this.
https://www.dmtonlinestore.com/3-Dia-Sharp-Credit-Card-Sized-Sharpeners-Kit-of-3-P50.aspx
What a great day to be outside.

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Field sharpening your cutting tools.
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2017, 06:14:33 PM »
The one I have is that DMT diafold lgm.  I did not know they were that expensive these days.  It has lasted quite a long time and shows no sign of wearing out yet. 
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Online Unknown

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Re: Field sharpening your cutting tools.
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2017, 07:02:20 PM »
My fine grit credit card did not last long. It still has some grit where it's not smoothed off though. I've got a number of choices, stones that I've cut down to travel size, or pieces of broken bench stones, naturals for going organic, on and on. The only ones I worry about using up are the coticules.

That gizmo is like a Swiss army of hones; looks like a good thing for a hunting cabin, RV, etc.
to me it lacks a certain woodsy appeal but I imagine one would have to give it a try

Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: Field sharpening your cutting tools.
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2017, 07:25:25 PM »
That does look pretty good as far as one tool system would go Moe.  My sharpener I carry is one of the Smith's two sided diamond stone things that is a two piece makeup with the stones' piece storing inside the handle when not in use.  I really like it.  But it wouldn't bring an axe back from an awful chip.  That one looks like it may work.  You'll have try it and share with use how it compares to a file on repairing an axe edge.
Proverbs 27:17    "As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend"
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Field sharpening your cutting tools.
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2017, 09:56:56 AM »
 Maybe a bit more explanation is needed on my end.

 I carry a sharpening kit for emergencies only,  I rarely ever have to sharpen a knife or axe in the field,  my trips aren't all that long anymore,  most of my outings are day hikes or weekend trips out of my conversion van,  usually if I have to resort to "the kit" it's because I dinged my knife or hatchet edge by accident and need to fix it before it gets worse.
 Most quickie sharpeners are ok for quick touch ups,  but they won't straighten a rolled edge or remove a chip on a blade,  I have a Double sided diamond sharpener also, it folds by storing in the handle,  it will give a cutting edge,  mine has a coarse side and a fine side,  the coarse side is too coarse and the fine side still leaves a less than fine or honed edge on my blades.
 My usual kit is at least one fine file, a combo wet stone, several pieces of sand paper of varying grits,  an axe puck, a ceramic rod, and a silicone cloth,  all held in a small zippered tote,  this kits allows me to pretty much sharpen or fix an edge on most of my cutting tools,  what I like most about the Work Sharp guided field sharpener is that it's all in one tool that's compact and fairly light weight,  I also like that the sharpening plates are removable and can be used separately for easier sharpening of my axe and hatchet blades.
 
 But, I've only had the tool for a couple of days,  how well it will perform in practice is yet to be tested, so far I've only used it to restore a few dull pocket knives,  it did a great job on them,  but that's not a true test of the tools potential,  I've got a pack hatchet that's got a few good dings in it from being used by the back yard fire pit that's in serious need of some TLC,  so as soon as the woods dry up a little I'll take myself, the hatchet and a few other test subjects, and the tool out for a test drive and let you guys know how it performed in the real world.   
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.