Labor day is one of those holidays where your pocket knife is bound to come in handy.  Whether you’re fishing, camping, or just cooking out, you’ll undoubtedly use your blade for something.

Lifehacker, which is a blog you should definitely check out, had a pretty swell post today on how to make a four-prong campfire toasting fork using your pocket knife.  Of course, if you’re going to be using your pocket knife, it’s best to make sure it’s sharp.  Here’s a brief tutorial on how to get your knife up to snuff. First, what you’ll need.

A sharpening stone

There are a ton of sharpening stone options out there, but if you’re just starting out, then ceramic stones are a a pretty good bet, as they don’t need any lubricant.  An Arkansas Stone or a Diamond Bench Stone are also two good basic models to go with.

A lubricant

Depending on what sort of stone you’ve chosen, a lubricant might be necessary.  Many stones are designed to be used with a certain sort of lubricant, so it’s important to do some research and see what sort of lubricant your sharpening stone may need.

What to Do

Place your stone in one hand and put your knife on the flat side of the stone.  Then, push the knife forward at an angle, approximately fifteen to twenty degrees off the stone. You should hear a smooth, grating sound as you push it forward.  Work the knife back and forth between 3 and 5 times. Flip the knife over and sharpen the other side as well.

It’s a pretty easy process, but best explained via a visual aid, which is why I’ve included this totally strange video of a 13-year old knife wizard showing how it’s done.  Enjoy and have a great Labor Day!