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How to Sharpen a Pocket Knife

Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva demonstrates how to sharpen a knife


  1. Apply a small amount of water or oil to the sharpening stone. The packaging the stone came in should indicate whether it requires water or oil.
  2. Drag the knife across the stone in a diagonal direction. Repeat this 3 or 4 times on the stone and keep an eye on the angle the knife is being held at so that it stays consistent.
  3. Flip the knife over and repeat the process on the other side of the blade.

Tom explained that knives need to be sharpened on a sharpening stone. These stones can be naturally quarried or they can be manufactured. They all require some form of lubrication, which can be water or oil, depending on the stone.

The sharpening stones Tom demonstrated in the segment can all be found at home centers or woodworking supply stores.