Not maintaining your EDC blade is about as crazy as not maintaining your handgun. A dull blade is going to be frustrating to work with and will likely slip off of whatever you are trying to cut, risking injury. Sharpening a blade is no simple skill. To this day I still cannot consistently eyeball a 22-degree angle against a whetstone to get that perfect edge. Even with a paper guide or some of the other clever ways to help, I have probably ruined more blades than I could ever hope to recover. Bear & Sons cutlery make some terrific products, and they want you to enjoy their use for generations. For this reason, they formed the Gatco division with their simple to use sharpeners. Being the tinkerer that I am, I ordered up two different products that are geared to helping guys like me and the results were pretty impressive.
The first Gatco tool that I used was the Double Duty. This tool has both a medium carbide sharpening “V” as well as dual ceramic rods to polish and finish what you just did (hopefully sharpen). Now Carbide is not the best way to sharpen, but it is likely the fasted. Just three passes through got my blade back to just about as sharp as is was when I got it. I will warn you though; I used far too much pressure on my first attempt and found myself frantically trying to recover the edge. Just three passes are all that you need and at only about five pounds of pressure…..three passes….not ten…..and five pounds of pressure…..not fifteen. To aid in deburring the ceramic rods have plastic angle guides that ensure a proper, consistent angle as you polish your work. After sharpening in this manner my incognito was able to pass both the fingernail and paper test, however, it didn’t get me to shaving sharpness. That’s perfectly fine by me; I wouldn’t expect that in just two steps with a total time investment of ten minutes, with the majority of that time being spent fixing my screw-up.
The second tool was Scepter 2.0. This tool is nearly an EDC item on its own, as it has a multitude of functions. This device also has a carbide V-type sharpener, however, the main portion of the Scepter 2.0 is its diamond rod which will aggressively remove whatever metal needs to go and is perfect for sharpening serrated blades. This portion of the tool also has a groove machined in that is built for fishhooks and other similarly shaped barbs giving you everything you need to completely sharpen complex blades. Underneath the rod is a magnesium firestarter that can get you out of an altogether different jam out in the woods. If we twist off this combo and slip it inside of the body, a glass breaker is exposed should you need to get in (or out) of a vehicle in an emergency. I tested the unit on a very poorly made knock-off KA-BAR that would likely make a Marine puke but none the less I was able to get it to pass the fingernail test and even slice paper, but it took a bit more effort. I liked the tool enough to find a home for it in my go-bag and removed two other pieces of gear in its place. I liked that it got me sharpened up in a hurry; after all, if it hits the fan it’s going to be about building a quick effective edge, not slaying zombies or UN soldiers with a silky smooth face.
A good routine that I have put together is to sharpen my EDC blade whenever I clean my EDC pistol. At the end of the day, it’s all about being confident in your gear and I truly subscribe to the “weakest link” theory. No, I don’t think that a dull knife is going to be the difference between surviving a violent altercation or not but having the right mindset certainly will. Hey, if nothing else its fun to do!
For more information visit bearandsoncutlery.com