10 Ways To Sharpen Your Knife Without A Knife Sharpener

10 Ways To Sharpen Your Knife Without A Knife Sharpener

Our knives are a valuable piece of our kit and as such, should be looked after carefully. Whenever possible, it is always a better choice to sharpen knives properly but if needed quickly, how can you sharpen knives without a knife sharpener?

A dull knife is not only difficult to use but can also be dangerous.

Luckily for you, there are a few ways in which you can sharpen yiur knives using common items that you may not have thought of.

1. Using a Car Window

What You Need
  • Your knife
  • Car window

If you roll down the car window, it is the rough edge along the top that you are going to be using. Make sure to keep your knife’s blade on the ever-so-slightly rounded top of the window itself, rather than rub metal against the side of the window. Also, your knife will already need to have a good edge on it, since all this trick does is hone the blade by bending the rolled, or dulled, edges of the blade back where they were.

  • Roll the window down about halfway
  • Place your knife with the blade facing away from you, at a 10° angle to the edge
  • Stroke away from you, ‘into’ the window, in one smooth movement.
  • Move the stroke so that you cover the full length of the blade.
  • Turn the knife over and repeat the process, this time bringing the knife towards you.
  • Make sure that you keep the same angle at all times

2. Using a Coffee Mug

What You Need
  • Your knife
  • Bottom side of your coffee mug

If you flip your coffee mug upside down (drink the contents first), you will see that it has a rough edge. Just follow the simple steps below.

  • Place the mug on a solid surface upside down.
  • Grab your knife and place it at a 10° angle to the rough surface of the mug.
  • Stroke the full length of the blade, keeping the same angle between the mug and the knife at all times.
  • Turn the knife over and repeat for the other side of the blade.

3. Using an Emery Board

What You Need
  • Your knife
  • Emery board

As I am sure that you are aware, emery boards are quite rough making them an easy choice for sharpening a knife. Just pull the blade a few times in the same direction across your emery board.

  • Place you nail file down on a solid surface with the rough side facing upwards.
  • Place your knife at a 10° angle to the surface of the file, the blade directed away from you.
  • Stroke away from you, while using your other hand to hold the file in place.
  • Make sure to cover the full length of the blade, keeping the same angle throughout the whole process.
  • Turn the knife over and repeat the process, this time bringing the blade back towards you.
  • Repeat until you feel that your knife is sharp enough.

4. Using Slates

What You Need
  • Your knife
  • A slate (naturally rough)

Slates are naturally rough and work brilliantly for sharpening our knives.

  • Start off by lubricating the slate with water.
  • Place the knife on the slate, at a 10° angle with the blade facing away from you.
  • Smoothly drag the edge of the knife away from you, along the slate being sure to keep the same angle.
  • Turn the knife over so that the blade faces you, and repeat the same movement, to sharpen the other side of the blade.
  • Repeat until the edge feels sharp.

5. Using Another Knife

It turns out that you can use another knife as a sharpener for a dull knife. Just follow the steps below.

What You Need
  • Two knives
Make sure that you use the BACK of the sharper blade and not the edge or you will damage your blade.
  • Hold the blunt knife in your left hand, and the sharper knife in your right hand with both blades facing the right.
  • Take the second knife (in your right hand), and place it at a 10° angle to the blade of the first knife (in your left hand).
  • Stroke the blade of the first knife, directing the movement away from you, keeping the same angle throughout the movement.
  • Turn the knife over and repeat for the other side of the blade.
  • Repeat until you are happy that your blade is sharp.

6. Using a Rock

Oftentimes, a flat rock can be just as good as using a proper sharpening stone. The good thing about this method is that no matter where you are, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a suitable rock to use.

What You Need
  • Your knife
  • Flat, smooth rock

Follow the steps outlined below.

  • Clean and lubricate your rock with water.
  • Place the knife with the blade at a 10° angle to the surface of the rock, facing away from you.
  • In one smooth movement, stroke the knife away from you, being sure to cover the full length of the blade.
  • Flip the knife over and drag it back towards you to sharpen the other side.

7. Using a Broken Glass Bottle

This method is similar to the car window method in that we will be using the rough, unpolished edge, in this case, of the broken part of the bottle. Any broken glass will work.

What You Need
  • Your knife
  • Broken glass such as a broken bottle

If you don’t have any broken glass, you could use the rough edge of a glass jar.

  • Grab your broken bottle and place your knife at a 10° angle to the edge of the bottle.
  • Stroke ‘into’ the edge, in a smooth movement, keeping the same sharpening angle and moving your stroke to cover the full length of the blade.
  • Turn your knife over and repeat the process for the other side of the blade.

8. Using Sandpaper

Sandpaper is fairly similar to sharpening stones in terms if roughness so it makes for a great alternative.

What You Need
  • Your knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Fold your piece of sandpaper to form a rectangular surface and place down on a solid surface.
  • Place your knife at a 10° angle to the surface of the sandpaper, the blade directed away from you.
  • Stroke away from you, ‘into’ the sandpaper, while using your other hand to hold the folded sandpaper in place.
  • Move your stroke to cover the full length of the blade, depending on how much sandpaper you have, being sure to keep the same angle throughout.
  • Turn the knife over, and bring it back towards you, using the same technique to sharpen the other side of the blade.

9. Using a Brick

A brick is another item that is fairly close to a sharpening stone. You use the brick exactly as you would an ordinary sharpening stone.

What You Need
  • Your knife
  • A common brick
  • Lubricate the brick with some water.
  • Place the knife on the brick at a 10° angle to the surface of the brick, with the blade facing away from you.
  • In a nice smooth movement, drag the edge of the knife away from you, keeping the same angle throughout.
  • Turn the knife over so that the blade faces you, and repeat the same movement, to sharpen the other side of the blade.

10. Using Your Belt

If you have a leather belt you can put it to good use (other than holding your pants up).

What You Need
  • Your knife
  • A leather belt or other leather strap
The rougher the belt, the better, and I wouldn’t suggest using your most expensive belt either.
  • Lay the belt on a hard surface or attach the end of the belt to a high point and hold the other end, whichever you find easier.
  • Place the knife at a 10° angle to the leather belt, with the blade facing you.
  • Drag the knife on the belt, away from you, keeping the same angle during the whole movement.
  • Turn the knife over and drag it back towards you, the blade facing away from you, using the same technique to sharpen/strop the other side of the blade.
  • Repeat for about 10-15 minutes, remembering to work both sides equally.

Well, there you have 10 different ways of sharpening your knives without a proper knife sharpener. None of the methods will work as good as the real thing but if you have no other option, these are great short-term solutions.

If you have any more tips for sharpening your knives, let us hear about them in the comments below so we can get them added.

Survivalist

Craig Burr is the founder and editor of UK Survival Guides.He has a passion for emergency preparedness and survival that he wants to share with others through the use of articles and gear reviews.Stay safe!

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