Seems like hunters always need to sharpen something. I have found inexpensive, easily packable items that really do the trick, even in the field.
There are several types of files embedded with diamond dust or diamond grit that will put an edge on your gear.
The flat kind women use to file their nails are very inexpensive, and you can find them at The Dollar Tree or just about any general merchandise store. These are two-sided, pointed and can fit into tight areas. They are good for sharpening your knife blades in the field.
An even more versatile type is the pen-shaped retractable stylus file. Those are more durable and can reach into places the nail files cannot.
Here’s a good example: Buck Knives makes a great retractable pen-style file for about $14 that will probably last you a lifetime.
A pen-style file puts a quick hone on my knives in the field, but that’s not all. The roundness of the file is perfect for getting into those serrated edges on survival knives and limb saws, and it’s perfect for sharpening gut hooks. Often, that’s not possible with flat sharpeners or ceramic cross-stick sharpeners.
Other hunting items you can whet are pruning shears and broadheads. Although, for broadheads, it’s better to put a razor-sharp edge on them before you leave the house using flat diamond whetstones — the type you use on kitchen knives.
As a fisherman, I’ve found a pen-shaped sharpener is also great for sharpening the serrated edges of my electric fillet knives, as well as my flat-bladed fillet knives. They also are good for honing a dull hook at the lake.
You’ll also find diamond-dusted files useful for items in your garage, such as chainsaws, spark plugs and hatchets.
Most pen files clip to your pocket for easy carrying. Or, if you don’t want to put it in your pocket, just stash it in your backpack or glove compartment, but keep it handy.
Since diamonds are the hardest material in the world, they can scratch fancier blades, so consider sharpening your showy knives by other methods, and use the diamond grit on your working gear only.
— Editor’s Note by Tim H. Martin
Rick Roesler’s idea for keeping a portable diamond-dusted file is smart. But if you left your file at home and REALLY get into a pinch to sharpen a knife in the field, click here for something you can do. Read Recent Tip of the Week:
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