Everyone knows that feeling you get when you pick up a knife and use it, and it’s dull. A knife is only as good as the sharpener and the person sharpening it. Whether you are an outdoor adventurer or a guru in the kitchen, having sharp knives is a must. I know it’s frustrating when I have a pile of geese to clean or a deer to gut, and I have to fight with the knife to cut. A sharp knife makes every use easier – from processing animals in the field to preparing a family dinner in the kitchen. Many options are available when purchasing a knife sharpener, including manual sharpeners, electric sharpeners, stones, and rods. Your knife, the purpose of use, and portability will determine which sharpener is best for you.
There are different grit sizes, and choosing the correct grit size for your specific sharpening needs will help you get the desired results you want. Grit levels range from extremely coarse to extremely fine. The lower the grit, the rougher the surface will be; the higher the grit, the finer the surface will be. Sharpeners will have both coarse and fine sharpening surfaces most of the time. If you have a dull or damaged knife, use the coarse side first and then finish with the fine surface. Use just the fine surface if your knife is in good condition but needs a quick touch-up. Using a stone will be your go-to if you want to hone in and perfect your blade sharpness. When sharpening, always pull; never push the knife through the sharpener. Don’t oversharpen your knives, as this can ruin them. Here is a selection of excellent sharpeners for various targeted uses.
A small and packable sharpener is great for use out in the field, while a larger sharpener is perfect for home while processing animals. Smith’s Fillet Knife and Hook Sharpener is excellent for packing to the deer stand or into the duck marsh. You can purchase this sharpener as a gut hook and sharpener combo or just the sharpener. It’s small, easy to use, and always produces a sharp blade. It has preset sharpening angles that take the thinking out of sharpening your knives. It also has a non-slip grip and finger guards, which are especially important if you sharpen a knife with wet or bloody hands. At home, select Smith’s JIFFY-Pro Handheld Sharpener. This sharpener has many options for sharpening surfaces and can be used with knives, scissors, and game shears. The JIFFY-Pro comes with both fine and coarse surfaces. Sharpen damaged or dull blades with five pulls through the coarse surface followed by 6-8 pulls through the fine surface. When touching up a blade, do 6-8 pulls through the fine surface.
When it comes to fishing, selecting sharpeners with more than one function on the water makes good sense. That is where Smith’s Mr. Crappie Fish Pick comes in handy. This tool has a diamond hook and knife sharpener that works with virtually any hook size or knife. The retractable fish pick helps to remove hooks buried deep in the fish’s mouth or throat, increasing the probability of a healthy release. If a lot of hook sharpening or filleting is in your future, consider using the Smith’s RegalRiver Hook and Knife Sharpener. It is easy to grip and has a large surface for any size hook. Don’t let a dull hook cost you a trophy fish – take the time to sharpen them. It also has easy-to-use sharpening surfaces in the handle for fillet knives, featuring both coarse and fine surfaces.
Smith’s Pocket Pal X2 Sharpener and Outdoor Tool is an excellent item for campers, hikers, or any adventurer that wants to pack light. It’s small but packed with multiple tools. It has coarse and fine sharpening surfaces, a diamond sharpening rod, a compass, a fire starter, an LED light, and a signal whistle. The diamond sharpening rod allows you to sharpen serrated blades, which is a handy feature that not all sharpeners offer.
If you take pride in keeping your knives in tip-top shape, then using diamond stone to sharpen them will leave you with the best results. Smith’s 6-inch Diamond Tri-Hone is an excellent choice. They are right at home in the kitchen, shop, or garage. This sharpening system has three different grit levels. The extremely coarse surface has a grit level of 325. This is only needed for blades that are nicked or need the edge reset. The coarse surface is 750 grit and is perfect for dull or general knife sharpening. The Arkansas stone is 1,000-1,200 grit to perfect and hone the blade’s edge. Precision sharpening takes time and practice, but the results are worth the effort!
Whether heading into the woods or around the house, ensure you keep a reliable sharpener easy to access. The knife you are using is only as good as the blade. A dull knife is never enjoyable to use, so prevent a headache and go prepared.
Smith’s Consumer Products is an Arkansas-based company that traces its history to 1886. Smith’s produces the broadest line of knife and scissors sharpeners available, ranging from simple, fixed angle pull-through sharpeners for consumers that want quick and easy sharpening to sophisticated Precision Kits designed for the knife sharpening enthusiast. Our offering includes both manual and electrical sharpeners that incorporate many different abrasive materials, including diamond, carbide, ceramic, bonded synthetic abrasives, and, of course, natural Arkansas stones. Smith’s Consumer Products designs products that are appropriate for the field or gourmet kitchen.