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Do you have a blunt, dull, and old knife but can’t find the ways to sharpen it? Go no further, as here for your ease, techniques of how to sharpen a knife with a file are stated.
Apart from cutting and chopping in the kitchen, the knives are also termed as an important survival tool. Popularly known as survival knife, no one knows when it will be needed. Therefore, keeping them sharp for defense and everyday purposes is the wisest thing to do.
So, now let’s go ahead!
In order to avoid sliding of the file made of steel, make sure to hold it tightly against the surface. In fact, keep it in the vertical direction while placing its tip on the surface.
Tip: For better and safe sharpening of the knife, hold the file in a non-dominant hand at an arm’s length. By this, one can prevent any sort of injury, even if the sharpening file slips during the knife honing action.
Now, the next step in how to sharpen a knife with a file is adjusting their (knife and file) angle with respect to each other. This is pivotal for the ideal honing of the tool.
So, just place the bottom (heel) of the knife against the paralleled file at an angle of 15 to 20 degrees. In simple words, the survival life knife must be positioned as if it would cut the whetting tool. However, if you want a more durable knife then, adjust it at a higher angle or else, for a sharper edge, keep it at a lower angle on the file equipment.
Firstly, maintains the knife’s angle as you move your hand. Then, gently move the knife downwards in such a way that the tip of the knife meets the other end of the steel file.
Tip: Apply less force as you move your hand.
Likewise, for sharpening the other side of the knife’s blade keeps it below the paralleled file. Now, apply the force and technique in the same way, as did earlier.
Repeat the process for both the sides from five to ten times.
Finally, rinse the knife with water and dry it with a soft cloth. Afterwards, take a paper and test the knife’s blade on it. If the paper is cut using the knife this means, the tool is no more nicked, dull, or pitted.
Once learning and following the guide of how to sharpen a knife with a file, it’s equally important to adhere to its maintenance tips. To know about those tricks and tips, look at the guidelines below.
>> Read more: How to Make a Knife Sheath – DIY Guide <<
Once the knife’s blades are repaired, it is important to maintain them for more durability. And in this regard, make it a point to often check the sharpness of the knife. What you can do is, hold a paper, and slice down the knife through it. If the paper is not cut easily this means, the knife is dull and need to be sharpened.
Otherwise, also make it a point to sharpen the survival life knife frequently and store it in a rack or block to protect against other tools damaging it.
Word of Caution: While you practice the guide of how to sharpen a knife with a file, be careful with the knife’s blade, especially when you are testing its edges.
How about a weird knife sharping method?
To purchase the best file, you must be aware of the type of your knife first. This means, depending upon its shape, size, cuts, edges, and material, the type of file is decided.
Some of the common types of files and their uses are,
|1||Warding Files||Tapered and thin width|
Parallel in Thickness
|Used for slotting and Flatwork|
|2||Slitting Files||Diamond shaped cross section|
|Fill the slots|
|3||Crochet Files||Tapered thickness and width|
Have two Flats and Radiuses
|Fill Slots with Rounded Edges
and junction between flat and
|4||Barrette Files||Tapered thickness and width|
Round points at end
|Do all Flatwork|
|5||Crossing Files||Each side half-rounded|
With one side having
larger radius than another
|Fill curved-interior surfaces|
|6||Equaling Files||Parallel Thickness and Width||Filling Corners and Slots|
|7||Nut Files||Graduated Thickness||Dress slots, which support
strings of musical instruments
|8||Dreadnought Files||Curved Teeth||Remove material from thick metals|
|9||Farrier Rasp Files||Double Cut on one side|
Flat with a rasp on reverse
|Used by Blacksmiths|
|10||Pippin Files||Teardrop cross-section|
Edge of knife file
|Make V-shaped slots and fill
junction curved surfaces
|11||Plane maker’s Float||Single Cut files|
|Cut, smoothen, and flatten
Wood Hand Planes
|12||Knife Files||Tapered thickness and width||For operations like wedging
|13||Half-round Ring File||Tapered thickness and width|
Narrower than standard half-round
|Fill insides of rings|
|14||Round Parallel File||Same as Round files|
|Fill insides rings|
|15||Checkering Files||Tapered Thickness|
Grid Pattern Teeth
|Checkering work on gunstocks
and make Serrations
|16||Joint Round Edge Files||Parallel Width and Thickness|
|Make Hinges and Joints|
|17||Pillar Files||Tapered Thickness|
Shape- Long & Narrow
|Used for Flat Filling|
|18||Millenicut Files||Straight Teeth (Sharp but coarse)||Remove Plastic Filler|
Other Knife’s File
To add on, there is no standard nomenclature for the file but to differentiate, the general names are being given to the varied types of it.Besides this, there are some other files too, which are widely used these days. Some of them are riffler files, machine files, escapement files, dental files, needle files, and diamond files.
Now, you can select the one, according to your needs and next, apply the alove step-by-step guide on how to sharpen a knife with a file. This technique will be useful for you when you need a sharp knife for a survival trip in the wilderness.
Hope you find these tips and tricks useful!
Without a sharpener, here are 5 interesting way to sharp your knife!
Dennis Taylor - Owner of Outdoor Fact - is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.