In the edge of the sword lies its true allure. For some people, swords are only a costume accessory or a wall decoration. But for many, swords can be more than just a decorative item. Sword owners believe that the keen and sharp edge of the blade is what makes it a sword. However, the edge can become blunt over time, so similar to your kitchen knife needs regular maintenance.
So, can you sharpen a sword with a knife sharpener? Swords are typically sharpened using whetstones— a common tool for knife sharpening. In this blog, I will mention other knife-sharpening tools to keep your blade well-maintained. You will also explore whether these tools work for swords or are just good for nothing.
So let us delve right into the details.
Can You Sharpen A Sword With A Knife Sharpener?
You can sharpen a sword with a knife sharpener, but it may not be the most effective method. To sharpen a sword with a knife sharpener, hold the blade securely and use the sharpener to grind it at the appropriate angle. Work in sections along the edge until it is sharp.
How To Sharpen A Sword With A Stone?
Honestly, sharpening a sword is not as easy as sharpening kitchen knives. It is a bit of a task, but with some practice, you can develop the sharpening skills and do it at home without professional help. Here are some basics of blade sharpening with stone.
- Choose the Stone: You will need a sharpening stone appropriate for the type of steel of your longsword. Look for a high-quality sharpening stone, such as a diamond or ceramic sharpening stone that is best for sharpening swords and other large blades. Choose a medium grit sharpening stone, from 100- to 1500, which would be enough to tackle the task.
- Secure the Blade: Hold the sword securely to sharpen it properly. A vice or clamp can be helpful for this, but you can also use a sturdy table or workbench to keep the blade in place.
- Lubricate the Stone: Apply a thin layer of honing oil to your whetstone, this will help in the sharpening process, and you will be able to do the task effortlessly.
- Begin Sharpening: Start with the rough side of the stone and hold the blade at a 15 to 20-degree angle against the stone. Now use a consistent and steady motion to move it back and forth along the whetstone, maintaining the slant. You need to start at the base of the blade and work your way up to the tip, sharpening the entire length of the blade.
- Flip the Stone: Once you’ve sharpened the entire blade on the rough side of the stone, flip the stone over to the finer side. Repeat the same process, starting at the base of the blade and working your way up to the tip. This time, use lighter pressure and focus on polishing the blade to a fine edge.
- Test the Blade: Once you’ve finished sharpening, it’s crucial to test the sharpness. Carefully run your thumb along the edge (without pressing too hard!) to feel for any rough or dull spots. If you find any, go back and touch them up with the stone.
- Clean and Oil the Blade: Once you’re satisfied with the sharpness of the blade, clean off any metal shavings and apply a light coating of oil to protect the blade and prevent rust.
How to Sharpen a Stone with a Handheld Knife Sharpener
I wouldn’t lie to you. You will struggle using this method as the shape and size of swords are completely ill-fit for the pull-through sharpeners. Still, if you want to be experimental, go ahead. Here is a step-by-step guideline on how to sharpen a sword at home using a handheld knife sharpener.
- Choose the Appropriate handheld sharpener: The most appropriate handheld knife sharpener would be a diamond or ceramic knife sharpener that will help you effectively tackle larger blades.
- Secure the Sword: Hold and place the handheld sharpener on a flat surface. Then grasp the blade securely in your dominant hand by firmly gripping the handle of the sword.
- Sharpen the Blade: Start at the base of the blade and use the sharpener to grind the edge at the appropriate angle. Start at the base and slowly work your way up to the tip. Use a consistent and steady motion, maintaining the same angle throughout.
- Repeat on the Other Side: Once you are satisfied with the sharpness of one side, flip the blade over and continue the process on the other side.
- Test the Blade: It’s essential to test the sharpness of the blade after finishing the process. If you find the thumb method daunting, you can check the results using a paper test. Take a paper hold in one hand and make a cut. If you get a clean cut— you have achieved the desired sharpness.
- Lubricate the Sword: Once you have sharpened the blade, clean it thoroughly to wipe off any nicks and metal residue. Apply a light coating of oil to prevent corrosion.
Make sure you work in sections and be patient, taking your time to ensure you sharpen the entire length of the blade. Rushing the process can result in an unevenly sharpened blade or even damage to the sword.
Safety Precautions for Sharpening a Sword with a Knife Sharpener
As I have mentioned above, sword sharpening is a challenging task. Especially when you are not using a dedicated tool such as a knife sharpener. However, it is doable when you use the necessary precautions. Here are some safety precautions you must take while sharpening your blade.
- Wear Protective Gear: First and foremost, wear protective gear. Be mindful that if not handled carefully, the sword can be dangerous. They may slip and cause injury during the process. Therefore, you wear thick gloves, safety glasses and a long-sleeved shirt to protect yourself.
- Read the Instruction Manual: Before sharpening your sword, read the instruction manual that came with your sharpener. It will help you understand how to use the sharpener properly and the safety measures. Make sure you are familiar with the instructions and safety precautions before starting.
- Wipe the Blade: Before sharpening your sword, clean it well to remove any dirt or debris. Before starting the process, make sure to use soft cotton to get rid of all the nicks or cracks or any other residue. Thorough cleaning will help you get better results and prevent accidents.
- Position Yourself Properly: When sharpening your sword, it is significant to position yourself properly. I suggest you stand in a comfortable position with your feet shoulder-width apart and make sure your hands and feet are steady. Keep your body positioned straight and stable so you won’t accidentally hit yourself or anyone else with the blade.
- Use the Right Sharpening Technique: There are various sharpening techniques that you can use, depending on the type of blade and sharpener you have. It is vital to use the suitable method to prevent damage to the blade or injury to yourself. You can follow the techniques I have explained above. However, if you are unconfident, it would be better to seek expert help.
- Keep the Blade Cool: As you sharpen, the blade can heat up, which can be dangerous. Therefore, it is imperative to keep the sword cool by dipping it in a water container or spraying it with water. It will help prevent potential damage to the sword and reduce the risk of injury.
- Don’t Sharpen with Kids or Pets Around: Unlike the knives, swords are heavier and sharper. Hence be extra cautious while sharpening these, especially when you have kids or pets around you.
FAQ – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
A sword is an elegant piece of decor. But it appears tenfold magnificent when it gleams. If you treasure your sword, you would be particular about its maintenance so that it always glints and never gets rusted. However, getting professional help frequently can be a bit expensive. So these methods and techniques can come in handy when you want to sharpen your sword at home.
Although you can sharpen a sword with a knife sharpener, you must consider all the safety measures, as mishandling may cause accidents and injuries.