There are three primary methods for sharpening a sword throughout the years: rock, whetstone, and power tools.
- Rock is the old way
- Whetstone is better way
- Power tools are the fastest way
How to sharpen a sword using a rock
The crudest and most ancient method of sharpening a sword is through the use of rock. Back in the early days of swords, they would pick up a rock and use that to sharpen the edge of their blade. While this method is crude and outdated, it proves effective if no other alternatives are available.
To sharpen a sword this way, the first thing you want to look for in a proper and suitable rock to use. Not just any rock will suffice as the shape plays a large part in it.
Next, you want to find a rock that is somewhat flat and dense enough to apply pressure. Sharpening the blade in this method is simple enough as you have to slide the rock across the edge of the blade while applying pressure.
Go back and forth on edge, and, if done correctly, you should start to see some metal shavings coming off of the blade, making it sharper.
How to sharpen a sword using a whetstone
Sharpening a sword using a whetstone is a simplified and more efficient way of the rock method. Whetstones are instruments created to sharpen the edge of blades through grinding. This method is best used when you want to sharpen by hand and keep it simple.
To sharpen your sword using this method is probably the most simple one.
Simply place your whetstone onto the table and apply honing oil. Make sure you prepare your blade for the sharpening and make sure it is as clean as possible, so nothing interferes.
Next, you have to run your blade’s edge repeatedly across the whetstone at an angle until sharpened. Re-apply oil as you see fit, and your blade should eventually end up sharp.
How to sharpen a sword using power tools
Modern technology now allows for modern techniques and new ways to sharpen a sword. In many ways, modern technology is the most effective way to make a blade as sharp as possible with the least amount of effort. The one drawback of this would be the technique and skill required in these methods are more than the previous ones.
The belt sander is the premier power tool in sharpening swords – the problem is that it can be too effective in the wrong hands.
To sharpen your sword using a belt sander, just turn it on and press your blade against it. You then need to keep moving your blade back and forth at a steady rate.
Too much time on one area can damage your blade due to the intense power and friction of the belt sander that will, in turn, heat and weaken the steel in that area.
You also want to avoid the tip of your sword as that area is the most fragile. It is best to sharpen the tip by hand. While there are many requirements and caution needed in this method, the results are undeniably sharper than the rest.
This method is best when you want the sharpest blade possible.