The Easiest Way to Sharpen a Knife, by Dan Wowak


The Easiest Way to Sharpen a Knife, by Dan Wowak

(Image: Screenshot from ‘easiest way to sharpen a knife’ video)

Here’s a cool knife sharpening video from Dan Wowak of Coalcracker Bushcraft. Early on, he talks about knife safety — including the fact that a sharp knife is a safe knife.

Yeah, that’s right.

Dad taught me many things, and chief among them was to always carry a knife with me, and to always keep my knife sharp because in his words, a dull knife will hurt you.

My father spoke of hard-learned experience, as he had one ring finger shorter than the other due to a dull knife slipping and scooping out a plug of finger meat. A sharp knife would have simply cut the sugar cane without slipping.

Anyhow, back to the video; Dan has the same advice Dad did: Don’t let your knife get really dull. If you hone it regularly to keep that edge in shape, you will have to do much less work than recovering the edge of a dull, abused blade. I guess one could say the easiest way to sharpen a knife is to start with a blade that’s still somewhat sharp.

Dan uses a standard sharpening stone, just a simple one you can get just about anywhere. What’s odd is that he holds the knife with the cutting edge up, and rubs the stone against the blade using “medium pressure.”

His method is unusual, and I’ve never sharpened a knife this way… but it does provide a good way to visually confirm that you have the correct angle between the stone and the cutting edge. And getting the angle right is really the hardest part of sharpening a knife.

One common mistake is putting too much angle between the stone and the blade, and he gives some tips on preventing that.

It really is simple, and I daresay it’s the easiest way to sharpen a knife I’ve seen, aside from using some expensive machinery. Check it out and see what you think.

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