knife sharpening rods for recurve blade knives

All images by David M. Standfield, DMS Captures

Knife Sharpening Tips for Recurve Knives

Recurve blades throw some folks off when it comes to edge maintenance because the lines of the curving edges do not fit those of more common blade patterns. Truth is, with the proper sharpener, re-sharpening recurve blades is just as easy as any more common blade pattern—and here are some sharpening rods well suited for the job.

Lansky LCD02 Diamond Carbide Sharpening Rod

Lanskey knife sharpening rod
The diamond rod of the Lansky LDC02 easily handles recurve blades.
  • At a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $19.99, the sharpener represents a good value in the genre.

The LCD02 Diamond Carbide Sharpening Rod from Lansky marries the effectiveness of a diamond abrasive with the convenience of a retractable sharpening rod and the expediency of a pull-through carbide sharpener all in one package.

“The Lansky tactical sharpening rod is a must-have tool for any trip into the field,” says Barbara Worden, Lansky national sales manager. “It makes short work of dressing and honing knives, machetes, hatchets and axes.”

The LCD02 is designed to quickly and easily handle any type of knife—large or small, fixed blade or folder—and most common steels found on today’s production knives. The coarse-grit diamond rod also can be used with recurve blades, as the rounded profile—and this is a key to handling any sort of recurve edge—allows you to effectively sharpen the recurve’s flowing curves. When not in use, simply retract the rod into the handle to protect it from damage during transport. The whole package is compact and stows easily in a tacklebox, toolbox, glove box, or any sort of backpack or storage container.

Knife Sharpening Rod

With recurve blades the carbide portion of the sharpener is pretty much impossible to use, so you will need to use the retractable diamond rod only. Employ light pressure as you work the blade down the rod. A nice feature is the carbide draw-through sharpener’s flat base. It stabilizes the unit, preventing it from rolling during use. Handle knurling adds a nice, non-slip grip.

According to Worden, the pull-through/diamond rod combo unit can serve as a kubaton/striking instrument, too. The LCD02 is the longest of the three sharpeners tested, which translates well as an impromptu kubaton, but the added length makes it less compact. If the carbide portion would be omitted, that would shorten the length to where the LCD02 would be more compact and travel friendly.

AccuSharp Diamond Sharpening Rod

Diamond knife sharpening rod
The AccuSharp Diamond Sharpening Rod can easily sharpen plain edge recurve blades as well as serrations, the latter by using the tapered end. The anodized aluminum handle has a pocket clip for ease of carry.

  • The sharpener’s compact size makes it easy to carry.

The AccuSharp Diamond Sharpening Rod has an anodized aluminum body and a diamond-coated steel sharpening rod.

“The retractable rod is engineered with a cone-shaped end for use on serrations and tight spaces,” says Kelly Clark, sales manager of Fortune Products, Accusharp’s parent company.
In the fully retracted position, the rod extends by unscrewing the knurled nut and pulling the rod out of the handle some, then re-tightening the nut to secure the rod in the extended position.

Knife Sharpening Rod Reviews

The rounded profile allows it to follow the edge of a recurve blade. The overall diameter is similar to that of a pen, and it includes a steel pocket clip. The rod also has sharpening grooves for hooks, darts and other pointed objects.

It is a pretty simple model construction wise but works well. The only thing I saw that could be improved is the overall diameter of the handle/body. Adding a bit of thickness would make it much easier to hold but also would increase weight and bulk. As is, it carries very well in multiple ways.

EZE-Lap Retractable Diamond Sharpening Rod

EZE knife sharpening rod
The EZE-Lap Diamond Sharpener has a knurled brass handle and screws onto the rod to form a non-slip handle design.
  • The EZE-Lap exhibits very good quality manufacturing.

Similar in nature to the AccuSharp, the EZE-Lap Retractable Diamond Sharpening Rod is another compact, rod-based sharpener that stores easily. Unlike the AccuSharp, the EZE-Lap has a brass handle, which looks nice compared to the anodized aluminum of the other review models.

Measuring 3.25 inches long, the sharpening rod does not retract into the handle.

Instead, it unscrews from and inserts into the handle, and then screws back down. In other words, it stows similarly to a capped fountain pen. A nice touch not found on many sharpeners of this type is the full knurled handle. The knurling aids in achieving a non-slip grip and works well wet or dry. The knurling adds confidence by not allowing the handle to rotate inadvertently in your hand.

how to sharpen a knife with a rod

Unlike other knife sharpeners of the type, the diamond coated steel rod does not have a tapered end for serrations. However, the EZE-Lap will handle any size of plain edge blade, including recurves, and does so quite well. The quarter-inch-diameter rod is coated with a diamond substrate that allows the sharpener to easily remove metal and restore dull edges quickly. It comes with a belt sheath for an alternative carry option. It is the only sharpener herein that comes with a belt sheath—a nice touch and added value.

The EZE-Lap exhibits very good quality manufacturing. Part of this is from the brass handle, so its appearance alone makes it stand out. The only thing I would change, like with the AccuSharp, is the handle diameter. I would make it slightly bigger for ease of holding onto in use.


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