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How to Sharpen a Jackknife

Jackknives are actually more dangerous when they are dull, so check out these knife-sharpening tips.


  • : Children under 10 should not use a jackknife, and an adult should help older children.
  • Step 1: Use a whetstone Use a whetstone, usually made of granite, to sharpen your jackknife. Find them at many outdoor, camping, or kitchen stores.
  • Step 2: Position the blade Position the blade against the stone at a 30-degree angle on the stone, with the back of the blade tilted off the stone a third of the way to vertical.
  • Step 3: Sharpen one side Push the blade across the stone as if you were slicing a thin layer off the top of the stone.
  • Step 4: Sharpen other side Pull the blade across the surface of the stone the same as before, but towards you to sharpen the other side of the stone.
  • TIP: Brush the knife back and forth as described to evenly sharpen both sides more efficiently.
  • Step 5: Check the sharpness Check the sharpness by holding the blade under a bright light or sun light.
  • Step 6: Clean the stone Clean the small bits of metal off the stone by slapping it on your hand.
  • Step 7: Repeat to sharpen Repeat these steps until your jackknife is sufficiently sharpened. Use it with care.
  • FACT: One of the earliest pocketknives -- or jackknives -- found was a bone-handled knife at Hallstatt dating to around 600 to 500 BCE.

You Will Need

  • Whetstone
  • Jackknife

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