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The Best Sharpening Steel Every Hunter Should Own


When it’s time to put the edge back on your hunting knives, a little honing is in order. Here’s why you need sharpening steel…

Here’s the deal:

Back when I was younger I could never understand why seasoned hunters would spend hours running their knives up and down honing steel. I mean, why they didn’t just opt for modern knife sharpeners was something I couldn’t get.

Luckily time is the master of all learning processes, and so I too learned that a sharpening tool doesn’t get rid of dings and nicks in the blade and won’t recondition a damaged blade. This is where the trusty old sharpening steel comes in.

Today, I’m a solid believer and stick to honing my hunting knives on a steel rod at least twice a year just to make sure they’re in tip-top shape. And, since I want to get the best results every time, I needed the best sharpening steel.

A hop skip and a field day later, I can safely say that I’m pretty clued up when it comes to what sharpening steels perform the best.

Let me get the mumbo-jumbo out of the way and get straight to the real reason you’re reading this today.

The Best Sharpening Steel To Use

Messermeister Flat 10 Inch Sharpening Steel

I haven’t come across many flat hones in my life and this one is really something else altogether! The grit is super fine, ensuring you get razor sharp results every time!

The Pros:

  • It’s made from high quality alloy steel and comes with a lifetime warranty
  • The flat shape is perfect for those of you who like a little extra width while you’re sharpening your hunting knives. 

The Cons:

  • Using a flat edge hone might take some time getting used to if you’re a regular hone user
Messermeister 800 Grit Diamond Steel, 10-Inch

Messermeister 800 Grit Diamond Steel, 10-Inch

 

DMT 14 Inch Diamond Sharpening Steel

With 14 inches of monocrystalline diamonds in your hands, your knives don’t stand a chance at staying dull or maintaining damaged edges. The DMT 14 Inch Diamond Sharpening Steel is super durable and very reliable.

The Pros:

  • Just 6 to 10 strokes provides your knife with the perfect edge
  • I liked the safety feature of the sanitary plastic handle that kept my hands safe and also gave me a solid and secure grip on the hone
  • This hone isn’t kitchen or hunting knife specific and will work amazingly well for all your blade sharpening requirements

The Cons:

  • It doesn’t get my edges as fine as I need them to be and it’s also not as easy on my blades as I had originally pictured it would be
  • This isn’t going to be the right tool for your Japanese steel knives
DMT DS4F 14-Inch Diamond Steel Sharpening Rod, Fine Grit

DMT DS4F 14-Inch Diamond Steel Sharpening Rod, Fine Grit

 

Messermeister 12 Inch Ceramic Sharpener

This extra-fine sharpening hone comes with a 1500 grit that ensures your knives turn out surgically sharp every time. This hone is great because it actually sharpens as it realigns the edge of your blade.

The Pros:

  • Unlike steel, the ceramic material of this rod will never wear out
  • The soft, ergonomic grip ensures a secure grip throughout the process and I had never compromised on comfort either
  • For the price, this is an excellent product 

The Cons:

  • While it might not wear out, if you do happen to drop this hone it will shatter in a thousand pieces
  • The 12 inch length might be too massive for some of you
Messermeister Ceramic Rod Knife Sharpener, 12-Inch

Messermeister Ceramic Rod Knife Sharpener, 12-Inch

 

Kershaw Ultra-Tech Blade Sharpener

If you were wondering if there’s a field solution to sharpening steels, this is it! The 6060-T6 anodized aircraft aluminum handle holds inside it a 600-grit diamond shaft

The Pros:

  • The overall size measures in at 9 inches, which is perfect for quick sharpening sessions
  • This tool is lightweight and easy to use
  • It stores compactly, so it’s great for when you’re out and about

The Cons:

  • This sharpener is only good for restoring slightly dull edges and won’t do a proper hone’s job
  • You’ll have to learn how to get the angle right before using it or else risk the idea that you might ruin your blade
Kershaw Ultra-Tek Blade Sharpener with 600-Grit Diamond Coated Oval Shaft

Kershaw Ultra-Tek Blade Sharpener with 600-Grit Diamond Coated Oval Shaft

 

F. Dick 11-inch Multicut Steel Flat Fine Cut

In my opinion, this is the best sharpening steel out there. Yes it’s pricey, but you get outstanding value for your investment. A few strokes on this steel and your blade will be straightened in a flash.

The Pros:

  • You don’t have to stick to precise angles while sharpening your blade
  • You don’t have to use nearly as much pressure with this one as you would use on other steels
  • It’s the only steel that I tested and deemed safe for use on Japanese knives 

The Cons:

  • It’s by far the most expensive sharpening steel I tested
F. Dick 11-inch Multicut Steel Flat Fine Cut 7650428

F. Dick 11-inch Multicut Steel Flat Fine Cut 7650428

 

And that my friends, is a final wrap for now. I won’t be back tomorrow because I’ve got some hunting to catch up on. In the meantime, make sure you stay on top of your game and never stop exploring the curious and fascinating world of knives! I’ll let you know when I’m back for some more insightful trial and error tales to help you make the most informed decision!

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