While it can be said that elite soldiers have been sharpening their implements of war since the bronze age using whetstones. In the U.S. the first known written guidance from a Commander to his troops in keeping their implements of war ready at a moment’s notice, comes in 1757 from none other than Major Robert Rogers. Those that have been to Ranger school or served in any branch that has General Orders is all too familiar with Rogers 28 Rules of Ranging. Those 28 rules were then fictionalized by Kenneth Roberts’ 1937 novel about Rogers, Northwest Passage, and have become known as Standing Orders, which can be found in the Ranger Handbook right after the Ranger Creed, “Have your musket clean as a whistle, hatchet scoured, sixty rounds powder and ball, and be ready to march at a minute’s warning.” Keeping the tools of your trade in proper working order is what professionals do, and for bladed tools that meant keeping them as sharp as possible.
Whet derives from Old and Middle English to sharpen through friction. In historical times, soldiers used natural stones from places like Belgium’s Ardennes, England’s Charnwood Forest, and Japan’s legendary Honyama mines. There are whetstones and then there are diamond whetstones. The DMT Dia-Sharp Credit Card diamond knife sharpener comes in three different colors that easily identify the grit needed; course, fine, and extra-fine for this model. DMT describes the surface of this whetstone as continuous diamond, which; Made with the same consistently sized preferred Monocrystalline diamond as our ‘polka-dot’ interrupted surface products but performs with slightly less aggressiveness. Well suited for small contact areas and pointed tools as well as sharpening, honing and deburring.
If you have been using a traditional whetstone some of which weigh a few pounds this credit card sized sharpener will meet all your requirements while keeping the minimalist ideals well intact. The thickness (1 mm) of this whetstone is also great for sharpening those serrated grooves. You should always have your sharpening requirements with you either in a load out bag, foot locker, or on your work bench. Follow your Standing Orders and keep your gear ready at a minute’s warning!