3 Must-Have Manuals

Smith’s Pocket Pal sharpener is practical and effective enough to…

Smith’s Pocket Pal sharpener is practical and effective enough to be called a must-have item for any hunter or angler.

Many attempts have been made to create a sharpening tool that enables anyone to put a shaving edge on a knife, but the best one I’ve seen yet is Smith’s new Edge Pro Pull-Thru hand sharpener. This drawer-size manual sharpener is similar to other pull-through designs, with two V-shaped notches comprised of two intersecting blades that form each notch; the carbide side mills nice, even bevels onto the dullest straight-edge knives, while the ceramic side does a bang-up job of polishing straight- or serrated-blade knives.

Ready To Pull Thru?
Using the Edge Pro Pull-Thru is endearingly simple. Simply place the blade being sharpened in the appropriate notch, starting at the choil, and draw the knife backward smoothly toward its tip. Light downward pressure is best, especially in the aggressive carbide notch; if the blade chatters and catches as you pull it through, ease up on the pressure being applied. Try to keep the blade at right angles to the sharpener to ensure even cutting on either side, and raise the handle upward as you round the blade’s belly, toward the point. Notch blades are reversible to extend their lives and can also be replaced. Cost of the Edge Pro Pull-Thru is an affordable $14.99. Replacement carbide or ceramic blades are $3.75 per set, but ceramic blades are three-sided, and can be rotated almost indefinitely.

Improved Diamond Tri-Hone
If you prefer the control and versatility of traditional honing stones, Smith’s latest Diamond Tri-Hone Sharpening System is a prime example of how sharpening tools have improved. I had one of the first Tri-Hones in 1986, when the tool consisted of an aluminum-oxide stone and two oilstones mounted on a wooden frame. It was innovative then, and the new model with its 2.5-inch x 8-inch Coarse (325-grit) and Medium (750-grit) diamond stones, and a Fine (800-1,000-grit) Arkansas oilstone mounted onto a rotating triangular spindle, make it simple to take a knife from completely dull to razor-sharp with one convenient tool.
The Tri-Hone’s Fine oilstone is there because this time-honored honing tool remains the best method of bringing a cutting edge to high surgical keenness. The two diamond stones at either side of it are products of advanced technology. Abrasive surfaces are created by bonding monocrystalline diamond particles to a metal backing plate. Coarseness is determined by the size of the diamond particles used. Oval holes in the “stone” surface act as reservoirs, catching metal filings shaved from a blade as it is honed, helping to prevent them from collecting onto abrasive surfaces and degrading their effectiveness. The end result is a highly efficient, unbreakable sharpening surface that never wears out.

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