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How to Sharpen a Karambit

Sharpen Steel
http://watanabeblade.com/english/sharpen/2.jpg, http://www.cornerhardware.com/howto/ht083.html

A karambit is a small hand-held type of blade or knife. Karambit is a common weapon in Southeast Asia and its origin is in the Malay archipelago, along with another exotic types of knifes such as the shark blade, called a kris. Unlike the kris, karambit is meant to be used in close combat and sometimes even referred to as a woman's weapon due to the fact it can be hidden in the hair. Today, a karambit usually is an interesting and curious addition to any weapon and blade collection. Sharpening the weapon is a fairly simple process.

Prepare the blade of your karambit for the sharpening process. Check the blade for any dirt or dust and clean it carefully by wiping it with a dry cloth. If the karambit is really dirty, use some warm water and liquid soap. Make sure to wipe and dry it with a clean cloth after. The blade has to be absolutely dry and clean before the actual sharpening part.

Grasp the karambit in your hand, firmly but comfortably and flexibly at the same time. As with any kind of blade sharpening, note that the angle between the sharpening tool and the blade needs to be as small as possible. That way, you will not damage or shorten the blade, nor change its shape.

Stroke the blade of your karambit knife along a course to medium sharpening stone. Keep in mind that a karambit is a small and delicate knife, so make sure to use a small but quality stone. Be very careful at this point and stroke the blade gently across the stone, keeping the blade pointed away from you.

Stroke the blade of your karambit against a fine sharpening stone. It is best to use the same brand of stones for both steps. Notice that due to the nature of karambit’s shape, there is a small gap in between the stone and the blade itself. That is why you will need to use another sharpening tool in order to get your karambit weapon as sharp as possible.

Sharpen the karambit blade using a steel, narrow, fine sharpening file of circular or rectangular shape. Make sure to move the blade along the tool in long, continued strokes and to hold it at as small an angle as possible.

Wipe away any powder or residue from your karambit blade with a dry, clean cloth. Blow the dust away from the tools as well.

Run the karambit along a piece of leather to keep it as sharp as possible and prolong the period between sharpening.

Things You'll Need:

  • Cloth
  • Liquid soap
  • Coarse sharpening stone block
  • Fine sharpening stone block
  • Steel, narrow sharpening file
  • Leather


You can make your own custom karambit sharpening tool by gluing sandpaper to a convex surface.


  • Working with sharp blades is an extremely dangerous job, so make sure to follow all safety precautions and wear durable gloves.
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