Learn the basics of knife sharpening Sept. 12 at MDC’s Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

News from the region
Saint Louis
Published Date

SPANISH LAKE, Mo.—No hunter, angler, or outdoor adventurer should head out to the field without a trusty knife. This basic and essential tool has many practical uses. But knives require some maintenance to keep their performance consistent and in top form.

To help outdoors people get the most out of these important tools, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is holding a Stones and Steel, The Basics of Knife Sharpening program at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in Spanish Lake on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 10 a.m.-Noon. This free program is open for ages 10 and up, but those under 16 will need to be accompanied by an adult.

Participants will learn how to keep their knives sharp and ready for action when it is time to clean fresh fish or game after a successful day afield. The class will touch on different techniques for sharpening knives, from the use of simple sharpening stones, to steel and ceramic rods, motorized grinding wheels.

However, the focus will be on the technique for putting a good edge on your favorite knife using a basic sharpening stone. What types of stones work best? How are they applied to differing blade edge types? MDC will provide the stones and participants are welcome to bring their favorite hunting or filleting knife for this hands-on learning experience. All knives must be straight edged and non-serrated.

Stones and Steel, The Basics of Knife Sharpening is a free program, but advanced online registration is required at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Z2G. As this is an in-person program MDC asks all guests to observe social distancing guidelines and maintain at least 6 feet from others for the safety of participants and staff. Bringing and wearing face coverings is encouraged when indoors, or any time visitors are unable to maintain at least 6 feet from others. Local ordinances requiring face masks will be observed where applicable.

Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is located at 801 Strodtman Road in north St. Louis County. The area can be reached by taking the Riverview Drive Exit from I-270 and travelling north approximately three miles.


MDC offers many free educational programs in the St. Louis region to help people discover nature, fishing, hunting, and the outdoors. Stay informed by going to the MDC St. Louis reginal events page at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZP6.