How to Sharpen a Pocket Knife Without a Stone?

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Last Updated on October 17, 2022 by admin_hunter

Keeping a pocket knife on you has many benefits. This is not about keeping a concealed weapon on you while at a nightclub or in the middle of town. This for people who live in the country, regularly go camping, fish or hunt.

A sharp pocket knife is a vital tool. But a blunt or dull knife is not worth the space it takes up in your pocket

Just sharpen your pocket knife, I hear you saying. But what if you don’t have a sharpening stone? Fortunately, there are quite a few options available if you end up with a blunt pocket knife. We are going to take a look at some methods to sharpen a pocket knife without a stone.

How to Sharpen a Pocket Knife Without a Stone?

How to Sharpen a Pocket Knife without a Stone?

Ideally, you should use a stone or knife sharpener that has been specially designed to sharpen pocket knives. But if you’re in the middle of nowhere and you suddenly realize that your knife is blunt and you didn’t bring a stone, rest assured – you will still be able to cut rope, slice vegetables, or trip a branch.

There are many ways to sharpen your pocket knife without a stone, so let’s dive right in and see how this can be done with these 6 common items.

Car Window

Sure, we know this sounds crazy, but if you have access to your car, the top part of the window when rolled down makes an excellent knife sharpener. The top part of the window is much rougher than the part that you look through. You can hone the blade on this surface to remove the rough edges of the blade, effectively sharpening it.

Coffee Mug

Most of us have a mug when we are camping or hiking. Just flip the mug upside down and put it on a stable surface or the ground so that it doesn’t move around.

The underside of the mug will have a rough section around the rim. This unglazed section has a super hard, strong, rough ceramic surface. In the same way that you would use a sharpening stone, sharpen your blade by running it over the edge of the mug.

Sandpaper/Emery Board

These two materials make a great knife sharpener. Just lay the emery board or sandpaper on a sturdy, flat surface and run your blade over the rough surface. If you are using sandpaper, it is best to wet the surface of the sandpaper with a bit of water to make the job smoother and more effective.

How to Sharpen a Pocket Knife Without a Stone?

Another Knife

This is a cool method for sharpening a pocket knife. If you are out camping or hiking with some friends who have a knife (or you carry a second knife), you can use it to sharpen your dull one. Simply run the blade of the dull knife along the other knife’s spine, which has a rough texture to it.


If you are around water, finding a rock and using it to sharpen your knife will be very useful. Just look for a very smooth rock which can fit in snugly into the palm of your hand. It should have as flat a surface as possible. Run the blade over the stone’s flat edge, using the rock in the same way the you would use a sharpener or stone. Remember that slow strokes are most effective.

Nylon Strap/Belt

You can improve your pocket knife blade’s sharpness with some stropping. You can improvise a strop by using a leather belt, but you can also use the nylon straps that are found on a backpack or rucksack. Hold the strap as taut as possible and make passes with the blade. This process removes any burrs from your sharpening process and gives you an ultra-sharp knife edge.


Whether you’re on your homestead, hunting in the wild, fishing in a canyon, or hiking through a forest, keeping your pocket knife sharp will make your life a lot simpler when you need to use it. If you forgot your stone at home or do not have one, the above tips will come in handy when the need for sharpening arises.

If you can, practice a couple of these methods before you go out into the wilderness and need to use them for real. And lastly, if you can, try to put a stone on your gear list so that the above techniques only need to be used as a last resort.