This last weekend in a garage sale, I picked up a few extra sharpening stones. They were cheap and I added them to my collection. Not all of them were the best quality but they all have uses. There are many potential uses for sharpening stones in a long-term disaster. Examples of items that may be sharpened with a stone include scissors, scythes, knives, razors and tools such as chisels, hand scrapers, plane blades and small items like sewing machine needles and fishhooks.
Sharpening stones come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and material compositions. Even old stones that are badly worn can be used for small items like needles and fishhooks. Stones may be composed of natural quarried material, or man-made material.
Stones come in various grades and grits. Generally, the finer the grit, the denser the material. Finer grits cut slower because they remove less material per stroke. Grits are sometimes given as a number, indicating the density of the particles, a higher number denoting higher density and therefore smaller particles
Sharpening stones may be natural or artificial. Artificial stones can come in the form of a bonded abrasive. Bonded abrasives have a faster cutting action than natural stones. They are normally available in a double-sided stone with a coarse grit on one side and a fine grit on the other. You normally start your sharpening process with a coarse stone and progress to a fine stone to get your finished edge. Natural stones tend to clog up without oil or water. Most man-made stones can be used dry.
There are also special kits like the Lansky or Spyderco Tri-Angle both of which I have and recommend. If you can afford it, a set of diamond hones are very valuable.
I am not about to try to tell you how to sharpen a knife or anything else in this post, this is a subject you could write books about. You need to practice and learn for yourself. You can always find old knifes in garage sales to practice on. I recommend you buy the best sharpening stones you can afford and practice.