Features sharpening hunting knives
A hunting knife is not just a tool for solving everyday problems and sanding. It is an eternal companion and a subject of pride for every hunter. The knife should always be clean and sharp. The sharpening angle of the new knife is optimal, the tool can last quite a while, but it deteriorates over time: microcracks appear, sometimes even notches, in addition, it can simply cease to be sharp. Only sharpening can cope with this problem.
About steel and properties
An experienced owner of such a knife will never use it for other purposes, in order to avoid damage and complete failure. The knife must always be clean. The contact of the blade with the hostile environment is unacceptable: this contributes to oxidation. All these simple precautions will help to preserve the knife and keep sharpening for a long time.
It is important to consider the type of steel the knife is made of. As a rule, soft and hard brands are used. Mild varieties of steel are easy to process, but do not hold sharpening for a long time. Hard grades have exactly the opposite properties: they are not so easy to sharpen, but they remain sharp for quite a long time.
Mostly hunting knives are made from solid types of steel with a high carbon content. The higher the percentage of the latter in the composition, the harder the steel.
To give the properties necessary for a hunting knife to become steel, alloying varieties with chromium, molybdenum and other inclusions are used. Such metals give the blade corrosion resistance, wear resistance and the required margin of safety.
Damask steel is a cast high-strength steel with durability, high strength and heterogeneous composition, reminiscent of high-carbon steels. Damask variety differs from ordinary variety in outstanding characteristics: patterns appear on the surface. The darker the background and the brighter the lines of the picture, the more expensive the blade.
Damascus steel is high carbon and stainless. It depends on whether dopants are present in it or not and in what quantity. If there is a large amount of chromium in the alloy, damask steel is called stainless. Good for sharpening. Damask steel is sharpened with an abrasive exclusively moistened with water, changing grain size from large to smaller. Steel is very hard, so the process will take a long time.
Damascus steel deserves special attention. The blade of this type of material is a multilayer alloy of mild and hard steel. Damascus is forged from thin plates of different metal characteristics. This is what gives Damascus steel its properties and contributes to the manifestation of patterns.
It is not recommended to wash the knife with chemical detergents to avoid a chemical reaction. Damascus poorly resists corrosion, therefore it is important to wipe dry with a rag after use. For long-term storage, it is advisable to lubricate the blade with oil.
Such a blade is sharpened exclusively by hand and, most importantly, smooth movements along the abrasive, and not across. Only in this way can bending of the steel layers against each other be avoided. Damask steel sharpening angle is 45 degrees.
How to sharpen a knife?
Before starting the process, study a sharp tool: what material it is made of and how sharpened it is. The method of processing the blade depends on this. Usually hunting knives have a sharpening angle of 15 to 30 degrees. Consider methods of sharpening on a universal knife of double-sided sharpening with a cutting edge angle of 20 degrees.
At home, this process usually does not imply the presence of special tools, fixtures and devices. Most often sharpening is done abrasive stone with a fine-grained or medium-grained surface. The abrasive bar should be long and wide. This, with a high probability, can be found in every kitchen, but if it is not there, then you can buy one in the household or in the tool store.
With this sharpening method, you need:
- place the abrasive with a medium-grained surface on a table or other flat surface, rest it or fix it, if possible;
- moisten the bar with vegetable oil;
- holding the blade with both hands, draw it along the bar at the required angle several times in one direction, and after the same number of times in the opposite direction (to avoid uneven processing);
- repeat movements and monitor the condition of the cutting edge: in its place should be formed a flat strip, equal on both sides;
- replace the block with an abrasive with a fine-grained surface (lubrication is not required);
- move without pressure several times along the bar;
- final fine-tuning can be performed on the back of a tightly stretched leather belt, having made up to a dozen movements on each side (to achieve maximum sharpness);
- check the knife for sharpness.
Mechanical sharpeners are sold in many hardware stores and well-known retail chains. Such a sharpener does not take up much space and does not require special skills. It is a case with grinding abrasives located inside at the right angle. In the case there are slots through which the blade will contact the grindstone.
The sharpening process is nothing complicated: the blade is inserted into the slot, several translational movements are made. Then the knife is checked for sharpness. This method will help to quickly maintain the condition of the knife in an acceptable state, but in efficiency it can not be compared with manual sharpening.
Such tools are presented in a wide range and have different prices. A sharpener with a high-quality abrasive, a convenient device and a compact size will not take up much space and save time. You can also find on sale pocket sharpeners for use on hikes or electric options, but they will cost a little more.
The device is a steel or ceramic rod with a convenient handle that resembles a file. Musat is used not for sharpening, but for dressing and fine-tuning of blades (translational movements). Musat will fit in the kitchen drawer, but storing it with knives is not recommended.
Mode of application:
- musat vertically rests on a table or board, the required angle of inclination is selected;
- the blade is mounted perpendicular to the musatu;
- movements are made exclusively from top to bottom in such a way: the bases of the garbage and the knife are touching at the top, and the end of the garbage and the tip of the cutting edge of the blade should be touching at the bottom;
- then the sharpening side changes.
It is important to prevent the blade from slipping and hitting the abutment surface so as not to dull the knife even further. Without certain experience, achieving perfect blade sharpness will be difficult. If such editing did not bring the desired result, you should sharpen the blade manually.
Tools at hand
There are other ways to sharpen blades. Some of them can be useful not only at home, but also in extreme conditions (camping, hunting / fishing or banal outing):
- a leather belt is clamped in feet, a blade is held on the reverse side;
- sharpening on a stone that may pass for an abrasive;
- you can sharpen by sharpening one blade on another;
- You can sharpen the knife on the rough surface of glass or ceramics.
There are many ways to sharpen a hunting knife at home: a sharpener, a machine tool, and musat. But the most effective is manual abrasive treatment. In the process of manual sharpening, you can control the sharpness of each section of the blade and achieve sharpening comparable to shaving. This will bring the quality of sharpening to professional.
And also the knife requires some care. Prevention is the key to long service life and serviceability of an expensive product.
See how to properly sharpen a hunting knife in the next video.