Whether you are in the kitchen, doing yard work or out camping, a sharp knife is essential for cutting and chopping especially when cooking. You may not always have a knife sharpener handy but fortunately, with a little quick thinking and ingenuity, you can use a variety of surfaces or tools to sharpen your knives.
A ceramic coffe mug - Ceramic coffee cups are readily available in most houses. Simply turn the mug upside down, search for the raw part of the cup (which is the rougher part of the bottom that prevents the cup from sliding around), and run the knife across the mug until you get your desired edge.
A leather belt - A leather belt, which is something you might be wearing right now, is a quick and easy item for stropping a blade. In fact, many professionals use leather straps for stropping.
Sandpaper - The best grit will depend on the knife and how much you want to sharpen. If possible, start with a coarser grit and work your way up to a finer grit for maximum sharpness.
Nail file - They’re basically used the same way as sandpaper. Run the cutting edge of the blade against the emery board.
Nylon strap - Something like the strap on a backpack is more than enough to take your knife from sharp to sharper. Run the knife against the nylon strap away from the cutting edge.
Spine of another knife - A honing device that’s easy to find is the thick spine of a second knife. The same way you run the knife along honing steel is the same way you’d run it along the unsharpened spine of a blade.
Concrete - Find a piece of concrete that’s extremely smooth and run the knife the same way you would a sharpening stone. Stropping with leather afterward will help make things a little smoother.