Idaho – -(AmmoLand.com)- As I’ve stated before, Smith’s Consumer products is always on the move in coming out with new products for us Outdoorsmen. Today I want to cover a new knife sharpening item called the Smith’s PP1-Mini Tactical Knife Sharpener. For years I’ve known about and used their Pocket Pal Knife Sharpener. I’ve always considered it a good option for sharpening your serrated edged knives or even to touch up your hunting knife in the backcountry.
But at the SHOT last month I discovered that they had come out with six models that are similar to the Pocket Pal. As stated above though, the one that we will discuss today is called the Smith’s PP1-Mini Tactical Knife Sharpener.
Smith's PP1-Mini Tactical Knife Sharpener
If you lay it beside the original Pocket Pal Knife Sharpener you will notice that it is very similar, but there are a few differences:
- The handle is made of G10 surface which helps to enhance your grip.
- The Pocket Pal has fine & coarse carbide slots. On the SMITH’S PP1-MINI TACTICAL KNIFE SHARPENER (OD GREEN) it comes with fine ceramic and coarse carbide slots.
- The PP has a hole for a lanyard to be attached, but the Smith’s PP1-Mini Tactical Knife Sharpener comes with a metal slot with a hole in it on the hilt to attach a lanyard.
- The tapered diamond rod appears to have a very slightly smaller diameter on the PP1.
So why did I think the Smith’s PP1-Mini Tactical Knife Sharpener was worth covering? Here’s why, it is a very compact, lightweight sharpening device. You can throw one in your backpack to touch up your knife if you shoot an elk on top of a mountain if your knife gets dull. It is so lightweight and compact that you’ll forget that it is even in your pack until you need it.
So how do you use this fantastic little tool? Set it on a flat surface with the sharpening edge up. Hold it slightly to your right if you’re right-handed (and vice versa if left handed). If you hold it right in front of you, your knife will not line up straight. It will be canted to the right. You want it straight up and down. Run your knife down the carbide slot if your knife is exceptionally dull or down the ceramic rods if only slightly dull.
But one word of caution. I don’t use carbide on my expensive knives. The carbide is super aggressive, and if you don’t know what you’re doing you can encounter two problems:
- Eat up the blade of the knife, so it has a chipped edge.
- If you overdo it, you will significantly decrease the life of your knife.
To prove what I’m saying, get a cheapo knife and try to sharpen it semi-aggressively on the carbide stones. Now look under the PP1. You’ll notice a pile of metal shavings. So be careful.
Years ago, ceramic steels were super popular but fell out of grace due to their tendency to break if they hit a hard surface. The major packing plants were nervous that shards of ceramic would find their way into the meat and be passed on the customer so many companies banned them from use. But still, ceramics work great on bringing back your edge.
So the carbide and ceramic options work as designed. But the primary option that I like on the PP1 is the tapered diamond rod. In a pinch on top of a mountain, you can use it to touch up your skinning knife or in survival situations.
But I like to use the tapered diamond rod to sharpen serrated edges. To sharpen your serrated knife is easy. Lay your knife with the edge slightly protruding over the edge of a table. Lay the diamond rod in the serrations and rub it back and forth. After rubbing a few times look and see if the new metal is showing all the way up the divot, if not, drop the angle to the proper level and continue in all divots. After just sharpening on one side there will be a wire edge or burr on the backside. Rub your thumb backward on the backside, and you will feel it.
To remove this burr lay the knife flat on a smooth Smith's Arkansas Stone and push it backward. This action will remove the burr. Your serrated edge is now sharp.
The PP1 has a slot so you can install a lanyard and hang it in your boat or on your backpack for easy access. You can get the Smith’s PP1-Mini Tactical Sharpener for an MSRP of $15.99.
And as is the norm, we will close with the specs:
Smith's PP1-Mini Tactical Knife Sharpener Features:
- Ceramic (fine) sharpening slot
- Carbide (coarse) sharpening slot
- Lanyard hole
- G10 handle
- Diamond coated sharpening rod
About Tom Claycomb
Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoors writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops, Bowhunter.net and freelances for numerous magazines and newspapers. “To properly skin your animal you will need a sharp knife. I have an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening for $.99 if you're having trouble.”
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