Since the time knives were made from stone, a lot has changed...

...But still a knife must be sharpened now and then.


Remember to always use caution when handling a knife and when following these sharpening techniques.

The most important thing to consider when sharpening a knife is to match the angle of the bevel to the sharpener. If the angle is too flat, the sharpening device will only contact the shoulder of the bevel and not sharpen the edge.

Fig. 1

On the other hand, if the angle is too steep, a secondary bevel will be ground.

Fig. 2

Matching the angle is critical and yet it is almost impossible to achieve without a guide. The natural tendency (if you don't have a guide) is to grind at a steeper angle, which in turn, creates a secondary, less sharper angle on the bevel. Each time the blade's bevel is reshaped, the blade becomes duller and duller, as the width of the cutting edge grows wider. (1, 2, 3)

Fig. 3

During the sharpening process, metal is removed from the bevel (or bevels in the case of a double beveled blade). As shown (A-B, C-D), both bevels are ground deeper until they meet each other and form a sharp edge.

Fig. 4

In the case of a blade with a single bevel, such as the HollowFlat™ Blade, only this one bevel is ground (A-B).

Fig. 5

A good indicator that enough material has been removed from the bevel (or bevels), is the appearance of a small burr on the side opposite of the bevel you are sharpening.

Fig. 6

Feel for the burr by carefully sliding your fingertips off the edge. Your hand moves away from the blade as indicted by the arrow.

Fig. 7

If for whatever reason you cannot continue further, don't worry, the sharpening is done and the burr will break off during use of the knife. However, with a couple more minutes and very little effort, you can easily put a razor-like edge on your HollowFlat™ Blade. To do this, just follow the simple steps illustrated in the next section to break off the burr.

Breaking Off The Burr

The sharpening/steeling element for the Integral Folding Knife Sharpener can be easily removed and adjusted for sharpening or steeling, or used externally to knock off the burr.

  1. To remove the sharpening/steeling element from the handle of the MA-1 Tactical Folder, open the knife to the point where the notch in the blade tongue matches the sharpening/steeling element.
  2. Fig. 8

    Next, push the sharpening/steeling element towards the center of the handle interior and pull the sharpening/steeling element out.

    Fig. 9

    The sharpening/steeling element may now be adjusted to the desired surface for sharpening or steeling and locked back in the handle, or it can be used externally to break off the burr, as shown in the next step.

    Fig. 12

  3. Using the plain steel side of the sharpening/steeling element (non-diamond coated) apply light pressure, making a couple of strokes on both sides of the edge.
  4. Fig. 10 Fig. 11

  5. Carefully check the edge, as shown in the preceding section. When the edge feels smooth, the burr has been knocked off and you're done. It's that simple!


The process of sharpening removes metal, whereas steeling is a burnishing process that is done while the edge is still sharp, in order to maintain that sharpness longer. You cannot over do the steeling. When properly done, steeling will dramatically extend the period in-between sharpening. Everyday the knife is used, do a few strokes to flatten the tiny chips and nicks that develop in the edge. However, once the edge has become dull from wear, steeling will no longer help. At this point, you will need to restore the bevel by sharpening.

The MA-1 Tactical Folder is easy and convenient to sharpen or steel. Featuring the patent pending Integral Folding Knife Sharpener and HollowFlat™ Blade, the MA-1 is Always Sharp, Always Ready™. See how it works.


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