|There are many opinions on the subject of Knife Sharpening and Maintenance. I would like to make a couple of recommendations for you to consider.
For those who spend most of their time trying to find a sharp kitchen knife, here is a good resource for information about the proper care and maintenance of cooking/kitchen knives. It offers some comprehensive and practical instructions, complete with easy to understand illustrations. Here is the link for:
Knife Maintenance and Sharpening
by Chad Ward
A lot of information in Mr Ward's book would certainly apply to other types of knives. However, those who use knives primarily in outdoor settings may have need for additional information. A good source is a video by Jerry Fisk called "Knife Care" and it can be found here:
As I mentioned earlier, there are many opinions about sharpening equipment, and here is one:
The nature of Custom Knives is such that there are a multitude of blade shapes and overall design configurations. This means that some of the "clamp on" sharpening systems that are offered on the market are going to be limited in it's effective use. It may work well for a range of blade sizes and shapes, but can't be relied on for all situations.
So I would recommend that anyone who is likely to dull a knife of any kind, become familiar with the general principles of edge geometry. Armed with this understanding, you can sharpen a knife without the aid of angle devices. As your familiarity with this method increases you will rely on the mechanical sharpeners less and less. For those who actually use a knife, this could make a big difference in deciding what to pack for a hunting trip as well as add to your confidence level.
I was raised with a sharp knife in my pocket. My father spent (still does) a lot of time sharpening knives. He believed in it and always had the "whet rock" handy. I guess this is why I prefer stones over some of the other sharpening mediums. Arkansas stones are renowned for their quality and I would recommend a couple of sources, if I may.
This is a link to Dan's Whetstone Company Inc.:
Another is Hall's Pro-Edge:
I have stones from both and find them to be top quality. Good Arkansas stones are not cheap. But when you reach for your knife, you are fully intending on using it. Make sure it's sharp.
For those of you who are learning to sharpen, but still want to try a good mechanically assisted sharpening sytem, I would like to suggest one. One of the best that I have seen is the KME. It's very easy to use and will take the guess work out of sharpening most knives. It's also a quality piece of equipment which will last you a lifetime. They are produced by a nice fella by the name of Ron Swartz. The link is
In some of the above information sources you will find that a good oil is important to the proper care of a knife. Please don't store your knife for long periods of time in its leather sheath. If you make a practice of this, expect to see signs of corrosion. Some oils, such as Ballistol, will neutralize acid to a degree. Kenny Rowe actually soaks his sheaths in a mixture containing Ballistol to offset the effect of the acids found in leather.
My reflections on knife maintenance or sharpening are not the final word on the subject. But with the resources that are available in books and on the internet, you can be equipped to take good care of your knives.