Pocket Knife Sharpness: How Long Do They Last?

Pocket Knife Sharpness: How Long Do They Last?, Shieldon

How long should the sharpness of a pocket knife last?

That’s the question that every new knife owner asks themselves. The durability of the knife depends on several factors, and one of those is tied to the regularity with which you sharpen your pocket knife. In general, pocket knives are used for small tasks that are not as intensive as you’d expect when using a large fixed blade. However, the need to keep it sharp at all times is critical.

We are going to look at pocket knife sharpness and how long they should last with every use. If you are new to the knife game and would like to get all the information about your newly acquired pocket knife, then stick around to the end.

How Long Should a Sharpened Knife Last?

Pocket Knife Sharpness: How Long Do They Last?, Shieldon

The frequency with which you sharpen a knife depends on the frequency with which you use it. If you are a heavy user, then sharpening the knife once every three to five runs should be standard. Sharpening a knife goes beyond the mere act of making it ready for work; it is part of knife maintenance. Whether you plan to use the knife tomorrow or a month from now, it is advised to always keep the blade sharp at all times.

Therefore, the question of how long sharpened knives should last is as long as they are usable. Every time you are done with a knife, you have to sharpen it before storage. You should carry a whetstone with you every time you go out camping or hunting to sharpen your knife as you use it. This is both for maintenance purposes and for your safety. Handling a blunt knife is the last thing you want to deal with when you are that far in the woods.

How to Sharpen a Pocket Knife

Pocket Knife Sharpness: How Long Do They Last?, Shieldon

Considering how important carrying a sharpened knife is, every knife owner should know how to sharpen a pocket knife they carry around. There are a number of blade structural factors that one has to pay attention to when sharpening their knives to avoid messing around with the bevel, among other things. The following are some of the steps you can follow in sharpening your pocket knife.

1.   Lubricate the Sharpening Stone

A sharpening stone is the most common medium for sharpening stones. Some use sharpening machines, but those are limited to people who have the budget for that. A simple whetstone will do the trick.

You begin the process by lubricating the sharpening stone with a layer of water or oil. The reason for this lubrication is to reduce the friction that may occur due to dryness. This is the kind of friction that may lead to an uneven sharpening that may destroy the blade.

2.   Sharpen One Side at a Time

It is advised that you deal with one side of the blade first before switching to the other side. When sharpening the knife, you have to tilt the blade at an angle of about 15 degrees in order to nail the cutting edge well. If you keep switching from one side to the next with every stroke, that may cause the sharpening to be uneven. The sharpening strokes have to be slow and sure, starting from one end to the other to ensure the entire cutting edge is covered.

3.   Alternate the Sides

Once you have touched both sides of the blade, it would be time to start alternating the sides with each stroke. This doesn’t have to take too long; about ten strokes are enough, and it is nothing more but a finishing touch that ensures the edge is even.

4.   Repeat Using Fine Grit

For maximum effect, repeat the entire process from the top using a fine grit side of the sharpening stone. This time do it gentler and slower as the knife is practically sharp now. The main aim of this process is to eliminate a defect called the burr that is created due to using a rough grit sharpening stone. This is characterized by a slightly chipped edge that requires it to be smoothed out.

Once you have completed the 4th step, your knife will be ready for use or for storage, awaiting the next time you plan to go out on a camping or a hunting trip.

Why Sharpening a Pocket Knife is Important

There are a number of reasons why you should sharpen your knife every time you need to use or store it. Some of the notable ones include the following.

  • Safety Purposes: A sharpened knife is easier to use and handle than a blunt knife. When a knife is well sharpened, it cuts through materials faster, with less energy needing to be exerted. You are more likely to accidentally harm yourself with a blunt knife than a well-sharpened knife. However, you still need to exercise caution when handling a sharp knife.
  • Maintenance: As we mentioned earlier, sharpening your pocket knife is a form of maintenance for the blade. It gets rid of any rust build-up that usually starts from the cutting edge since that’s the part that’s exposed to the elements the most. This is why sharpening the knife after using it for heavy tasks like skinning an animal is highly recommended.
  • Aesthetics: A well-sharpened knife has a very appealing look, especially when the cutting edge catches the glint from the sun. If you want a pocket knife that can turn people’s heads every time you open it, then ensure the edge is well sharpened.


Pocket knives are among the niftiest knives around that can fit in small spaces, handy when you need them at a moment’s notice. This is why keeping them sharp at all times is very important. To learn more about knife maintenance and how to ensure your knife serves you for a very long time, check out our website (Shieldon – pocket knife manufacturer) and have any questions you may have taken care of by our team of knife experts.


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