Outdoor and pocket knife materials can vary form old -tyle western carbon steels, Japanese steels, and an array of powder metals. Typically outdoor and pocket knives benefit from a slightly coarser finish than their corresponding steel types used on culinary knives. For example: a pocket knife made with a Swedish stainless might do best at 1000 or 2000 grit, whereas a chef knife in the same steel works best with a 4000 finish.
We have found that diamond is the best for super wear-resistant steels. For easier to sharpen but still wear-resistant outdoor and pocket knives, diamond field sharpeners offer quick and convenient work, but Takarazukushi bench stones also provide good, fast work. Old style carbon steel pocket and outdoor knives can work well at a variety of finishes up to 4000. Rarely do outdoor or pocket knives work well for long at very high polishes. For sharpening Scandinavian style grinds see the wide bevel section.
Diamond stone flatteners are best to quickly level out the widest range of stone grits. Some flatteners can leave behind large particulates on finer stones that can leave deep, unexpected scratches. Use your fingers to feel for any malignant grit that needs to be cleaned off. After flattening fine stones, use a nagura or second fine stone to smooth out the grooves left from the flattener.