A Bakersfield, California man was at his home one afternoon, working in his garage.
He was going in and out of his house and left the garage door open.
Unfortunately, a man living in a nearby sober house left his residential treatment center and entered the house with the open garage.
The escapee grabbed a hatchet from the garage and made his way through the house a little before 4 p.m.
Once inside the house, the guy violently attacked the homeowner with the hatchet injuring him.
But the homeowner fought back and was able to quickly deploy a knife and stab the intruder multiple times.
Bakersfield police responded to the house for an unknown disturbance and found the intruder dead from stab wounds.
According to police, the homeowner suffered moderate injuries, but was not arrested or charged with a crime.
Now, as the story above demonstrates, a knife is a vital piece of everyday carry gear, for many reasons, but especially self-defense.
And I love knives…
But one thing some people dislike is sharpening them. However, it’s definitely necessary.
And because it’s so important to have a sharp blade on your knife, here are a few things to consider when sharpening a knife.
Knife sharpener or stone:
The first thing you need to do is find a quality knife sharpener.
I have used Lansky knife sharpeners and am happy with the results. Another brand I would consider is Work Sharp.
These brands offer options that will fit most needs.
They do a good job of holding the blade at a consistent angle to achieve an even edge when sharpening.
Another option is to sharpen freehand with a stone.
The drawback to freehand is that you have to be careful and know what you’re doing.
When sharpening freehand you need the skill level to hold the knife at a consistent angle while continuously applying even pressure.
You should definitely practice before attempting to freehand sharpen a knife you care about.
The right angle:
The sharper the edge, the easier the knife is to control and use and make detailed cuts.
So, if you are looking for a specific purpose such as cutting meat you will want a sharper edge.
For a tactical knife, I would recommend an angle of around 17 to 20 degrees.
If you are sharpening an ax or machete you might want to consider an angle of 35 degrees.
To make it easier to see the knife edge when sharpening, use a sharpie to mark the blade.
Use the marker and simply mark the area of the blade you plan to sharpen along its length.
Then, once the line from the marker is gone, and you just see sharpened metal, you will know you have sharpened the angle you wanted.
Use both methods:
A knife sharpener is going to make the process fast and easy. However, even the best knife sharpener product won’t make your blade as precise as a stone.
So, I would start with using a knife sharpener to prevent any major errors.
Then, once you have done the hard part, it’s a good idea to do a few passes on a sharpening stone.
If you only use a knife sharpener it may leave you with a rougher blade finish than you want, and a stone will smooth this out.
The key to properly sharpening a knife is practice. The first time might be a little tough, but over time, you will get the hang of it.
One thing that will make it easier is to keep the factory angle. Find out what that is from the manufacturer and follow their sharpening recommendations.
No matter how you sharpen your knife, use even pressure, but not too much pressure that you grind the blade down to nothing.
The process will take longer or shorter depending on how familiar you are with sharpening.
In addition, when sharpening, always check your progress so you can prevent errors.
Lastly, if you have spent thousands of dollars on a knife, it might be worth paying to have a professional sharpen it, to ensure nothing goes wrong.