How to Sharpen Serrated Edge Knives-Serrated Knife Sharpening

Today I thought I would talk about a little problem that many folks that carry and/or use knives in their homes seem to have all over the country. That little problem is serrated knives. We all own them in one form or another like a serrated survival pocket knife or serrated bread knife or even a serrated carving knife. There is an issue that arises for many people that own serrated knives. That issue is how to properly sharpen a serrated knife? The question of the ages for the modern knife owner. In this post, I am going to address this issue and when I am done with it you will know how to sharpen your serrated knives.

How to Sharpen Serrated Edge Knives

For the most part, your serrated kitchen or pocket knife will stay sharp longer than your straight edge pocket or kitchen knives will and they will even cut when the serrations are getting dull. As the scallops and teeth of a serrated knife get dull the quality of the cuts that you once got will slowly degrade into tearing, pulling and shredding of the item that you are cutting. When this tearing/shredding effect starts to happen then it is time to sharpen your knives.

For many people the chore of sharpening knives is time-consuming and for many, it is a daunting chore. The fact of the matter is that sharpening serrated knives for many is more problematic than sharpening standard straight edges. Proper care and maintenance of serrated knives will keep those scallops cutting cleanly for a long time. Have no doubt though; these serrated knives do need a greater level of experience to sharpen properly. Another thing to consider is that serrated knife blades take longer to sharpen than their plain edged counterparts.

As I said earlier serrated knives can and do stay sharper longer than plain edged knives and because of this it will take longer for a serrated blade to become dull, and this is even true for combination bladed pocket and kitchen knives. The “teeth” of a serrated blade “bite” or start the cutting process first and then the scallops of the blade follow through to complete the cut. The “teeth” take most of the cutting pressure and the scallops take the least amount of cutting pressure. Because the scallops take the least amount of cutting pressure they stay sharper longer.

Now let’s talk about how to sharpen your serrated knives. In order to do this, you will need to obtain the correct type of sharpener designed for sharpening these types of blades. There are many on the market made by many manufacturers that are specific to the chore. Some are good, and in my humble opinion, some are just plain old bad. Some of the types of serrated knife sharpeners are the “draw through” type. (I personally do not care for “draw” or “pull” through sharpeners)Then there are the sharpening rods that come both in standard and tapered versions and made of different materials from carbide to diamond coated. There are specialized serrated sharpening stones that are textured to accept the scallops of serrated knives. Many of the sharpening rods or sticks come in a triangular shape to work on the scallops between the teeth of the knife. The “rat tail” type of file or sharpener is tapered in order to naturally fit the diameter of the scallops of the blade. The one thing to keep in mind when wanting to sharpen serrated knives is that as with sharpening plain edges you will have to take the same considerations with serrated knife edges and that means that you will need to choose the correct sharpener and what materials you want that sharpener to be made of.

Many of the sharpeners that you would use to sharpen a serrated knife can be used to sharpen plain edged knives as well and you can get pocket-sized sharpeners for serrated knives and combo edged knives to carry with you for daily honing and sharpening of your daily carry knife.

When it is time to sharpen your knife whether it is a plain edge or a serrated edge one of the things to keep in mind is the angle that you will use to sharpen your knife. It does not make any difference what type of sharpener you use, keep the angle in mind. Most of the time when sharpening combo edged blades the serrated portion of the blade in the majority of cases will be of the same angle as the plain edged section of the blade. This means that when sharpening the serrated section of a combo edge it should be kept at the same angle as the plain edge section of the blade as well. Now there are many sharpeners out there that are referred to as “guided” sharpeners like the Lansky Sharpening Systems. This type of system will maintain the proper edge angle as you sharpen your knives and you can get stones or diamonds that are triangular in shape to sharpen your serrations at the correct angle with the Lansky System too!

Many people that I have met and many people that call themselves “professional knife sharpeners” for a living have sharpened serrated knives by either drawing the back/flat side of the knife across a bench stone, and in many cases I have seen them sharpened by drawing the back/flat side of the serrated knife across a sanding belt. This is not the correct way to sharpen this kind of knife. I order to sharpen the scalloped part of a serrated knife you can use the serrated sharpening stone or diamond from something like the Lansky System and work it into the scallops in a perpendicular movement to the cutting edge one scallop at a time. You can also do the same thing using one of the many diamond or ceramic files or tapered “rat tail” files and move them in the same perpendicular fashion to the cutting edge of the scallops.

Remember, you have to take your time and sharpen one scallop and one tooth at a time before moving to the next one. When you are done you should be able to feel a “burr” on the flat side of the knife. Many will tell you to lightly grind that burr off. I do not do this and I tell others not to do this. I have a small piece of 2X4 wood and I then lightly draw the serrated blade across a corner of the 2X4 to remove the burr this is also the way many people who sharpen Japanese kitchen knives do it as well. You can also take a hand held ceramic rod and start at the top of the rod and work your way down to remove the burr and polish the flat of the blade. When you “grind” you are removing metal and when you use a ceramic rod you are taking much, much less metal from the blade. I do it this way for the longevity of the blade.

Here is another way to sharpen a serrated knife really quick that I use all the time. Take corrugated sharpening steel and then take your serrated knife and start at the bottom of the steel at the handguard and take the very tip of the serrated knife and stroke the blade across and up the steel holding the blade at your chosen angle. Don’t just put the flat of the blade flat on the steel. Put the flat to the steel flat and then raise it up to your desired angle. If you know what 20 degrees looks like when sharpening on a flat stone then you should know what 20 degrees look like against the sharpening steel. Then after 10, 20, 30 reverse strokes up the steel the burr will be raised on the flat of the blade and I lop it off on the 2X4 and then a few strokes on the ceramic rod to polish the flat and I am good to go!

 

Survival Quote Series

Throughout the year we will be posting some of our favorite Survival Quotes, we hope you enjoy and share them.

Survival Quote Series - Year Zero Survival
 

Secret Uses For Common Household Items

Secret Uses For Common Household Items

[source]

 

What To Pack In Your Car Emergency Kit

CAR EMERGENCY KIT

It’s not possible to foresee or prevent every eventuality when it comes to driving. However, you can be prepared for the majority of outcomes with a little advance work. By prepping a car emergency kit for you and your family, you’ll make sure that when an accident happens, or you break down, that you are safe, comfortable, and able to proceed on your way without too much undue hassle.

Use this informative infographic below as a basic guideline:

What To Pack In Your Car Emergency Kit

[source]

 

5 Essential Items to Take Hunting

The first item that comes to mind for a hunting expedition is a riffle and a hunting vest, but what about all of the other needed essentials? It’s key to remember that you might be trekking out into the wilderness, and you might find yourself being there longer than expected. So, use this guide to remember the 5 important items that many hunters seem to forget.

Essential Hunting Items

1. Hunting Binoculars

One of the most often forgotten items is your hunting binoculars.

The most obvious reason is that without a pair of good quality binoculars, you might miss some animal at a distance. Forgetting your binoculars means that you may come back with less to show for, making for a less enjoyable hunting trip.

But, more importantly, you can use binoculars for navigation, to discern your path and spot sources of water, roads, and civilization at a distance.

Other Benefits to Bringing Binoculars

• Be able to decipher an animal from a rock or foliage (Also, so you know you aren’t shooting at a human!).

• See your terrain more clearly to prevent injuries or see signs of animals that the naked eye would not be able to see.

• Allows you to spot predators or wildlife you’d rather avoid.

Important Features on My Binoculars?

You don’t want binoculars that magnify too far or too near. It’s important to get the right set that matches the terrain you will be hunting in. Generally, in wooded terrain you’ll want something with less magnification, such as 8x and in open terrain you can go as high as 12x. You can go higher, but you’ll end up needing a stand or tripod.

2. Cold Weather Gear?

Staying warm while you are out hunting is crucial for any tracking expedition. Even if you have double checked the weather forecast. It is always safe to stay prepared for unexpected cold fronts. You should keep some cold weather gear in your daypack and take it with you, just in case.

If you get disoriented or injured, you might find yourself spending the night in the woods. It doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of the summer or not, it will feel cold when compared to the daytime highs. Also, you can get hypothermia even if it’s as warm as 70 degrees if you are wet and not clothed properly.

Which Cold Weather Gear Should I Bring?

You’ll want properly fitted boots so as not to reduce blood flow to your toes along with spare socks. You’ll also want:

• Clothing articles that are not made out of cotton as this material absorbs moisture and doesn’t insulate when wet.

• Keep your head warm with a hat or beanie while protecting your face with a face mask.

• Bring gloves that are not made out of cotton.

• Have spare, loosely fitting layers available to add or take away as temperatures change.

• Hand warmers that you can keep in your pockets.

3. Water Purifier

The fact is you can only carry so much water. If you are unexpectedly stuck in the wilderness for more than a day, you’ll need to find a water source. Since unpurified water can leave you sick, weak, and unable to walk your way out, you need to clean all contaminants from water.

The most obvious way to do this is by boiling your water. But, starting a fire is not always practical and in many places there may be a high danger of fire. So, the best option is to bring a water purifier.

What Can I Use a Water Purifier On?

With a water purifier at your disposal, you can obtain water from the environment around you. This includes water from a creek or any other wild body of water.

Various Types?

There are different types of water purifiers that you can purchase for your next trip. Each type will have pros and cons and you should weigh what you need vs their price and other features.

Here are a few types:

• Water filtration pump

• Squeeze or gravity flow system filters

• Tablets or drops

• Lifestraw

• Lightweight backcountry stove

4. A Compass

Although we tend to use GPS to get around these days, it still is important to carry another location device such as a compass. Hunters are frequently out in the middle of nowhere to find the best prey, putting themselves in risk of either their phone losing service, getting destroyed, or running out of battery.

There are a variety of compasses based on how you plan to use them and the difficulty of the terrain you will be in.

5. A Topographical Map

A topographical map is a detailed and accurate representation of two-dimensional features on the Earth’s surface that are natural and human-made. It will allow you to know the features of the surround area without being able to actually see them.

Why Bring it?

According to Real Tree, topographical maps are an essential when hunting out in an area that is less familiar. You can even use these maps to locate deer travel corridors.

More importantly, even if you get completely lost or disoriented, you can figure out where you are and navigate back to safety. There are plenty of stories of people who have got lost and died less than a mile from well worn trails, you don’t want to be one of them. So, bring a compass and a map.

How Can I Read One?

Topographical maps can be confusing to read without the proper training. You’ll want to spend some time learning the major and minor terrain features, how to convert from grid to magnetic north, and how to determine your exact location in a variety of ways.

What Else Do I Need?

Hunting expeditions lead one far away from civilization, making it a priority to pack properly. While there are probably 100 different things you might want to take, you have to balance between necessity and your ability to carry it.

Regardless of what you do or do not bring, make sure you have these 5 items.

5 Tips to Purchasing Gun Safe Dehumidifiers

Protect your guns, ammo, and gear.

Every household that owns a series of firearms should have a gun safe installed within the premises. Gun safes help to secure your firearms and eliminate the risk of unauthorized access. However, excessive humidity can gradually percolate into the safe, causing metal components to rust. Too much moisture also leads to warping of wooden parts and development of unsightly molds.

To prevent the accumulation of moisture, it’s important to purchase a gun safe dehumidifier. Such units are frequently used to eliminate dampness, ensuring that your safe remains dry and mold-free.

Here are 5 tips to purchasing gun safe dehumidifiers:

 

  • Choose the right type

 

Dehumidifiers are essentially of two types: electric and desiccant dehumidifiers. The former type works by generating enough heat to evaporate all the moisture that exists within the gun safe. Most people prefer electric dehumidifiers because they’re highly effective in overly humid environments. Desiccant dehumidifiers, on the other hand, use absorbent elements to soak up all the moisture within the safe. They work just like a sponge. These dehumidifiers are perfect for those individuals who want to save up on electricity. Silica gels are often used to absorb humidity.

 

  • Consider your budget

 

It’s important to have a certain price range in mind before purchasing a gun safe dehumidifier. Desiccant dehumidifiers are generally more affordable than their electric counterparts. In addition, they will not spike your monthly electricity bill and you won’t keep worrying about purchasing replacement parts for them. Electric dehumidifiers are more luxurious and effective at eliminating excessive humidity compared to desiccant units, making them widely popular. Your financial situation will determine your ultimate choice.

 

  • Level of humidity

 

Some regions experience extremely humid conditions while other places are only mildly humid. The place you live will certainly influence your decision when buying a gun safe dehumidifier. Electric units use a heating element to vaporize any trace of moisture within your safe, making them perfect for highly humid environments. Desiccant dehumidifiers would best suit you if the level of atmospheric humidity is low where you live. When it gets too humid during the summer, consider getting an electric dehumidifier to offer added protection to your gun safe.keep ammo dry

  • Product warranty

 

In case the gun safe dehumidifier you purchase is defective or gets damaged, the manufacturer should offer a free repair or replacement service as stipulated in the product warranty. Some companies offer full lifetime warranties for their dehumidifying units while others offer limited warranties. It’s wise to consider the terms of warranty of your preferred dehumidifier. This way, you can confidently return it when something unprecedented occurs.

 

  • Ease of installation

 

Some dehumidifiers come with a complicated set of instructions that make it extremely difficult to set up. A good gun safe dehumidifier should offer easy installation guidelines. If you find yourself scratching your scalp in utter confusion, seek help from an experienced professional. You can call customer support to help you out, or request for a technician to come over and install the dehumidifier on your behalf.

These few tips will help you purchase an exquisite gun safe dehumidifier that suits you.

101 Uses for Paracord [infographic]

There’s a good reason why you don’t bring a lot of things with you when you go on an outdoor adventure. You may need a pillow for a more comfortable rest at night inside your tent, or a rope ladder to climb some treacherous terrains. But you don’t bring all of what you think you might need when camping or trekking or whatever you do in an adventure. If you did, you would be carrying your whole house with you.

 

This is where a modest piece of equipment comes in. A paracord looks like it won’t be much, but it can actually do so much. A paracord, which means a parachute cord, is basically a lifesaver. You need a shoelace? Use a paracord. Your leather watch strap ripped? A paracord will hold it together. You suddenly need to rappel? Paracord can be your lifeline. Aside from the obvious uses—such as tying an object to something or using it as a rope—there are a lot more that you can do with a paracord. You don’t have to be trekking in the countryside or camping in the wild to have a use for it. You can find that even in an urban setting, a paracord can be crucial to you.

 

Learn how to use a paracord in so many different ways in the infographic below.

 

infographic 101 Uses for Paracord



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