In the second of our sporadic series of reader tips, here is one sent in by Hugh Bryan, who writes:

“I have bought almost every knife sharpening tool and gimmick over the years (almost everything Dave Petzal has recommended). Some have worked better than others. Unfortunately, they are seldom with me when my knife needs a quick touch up.”

“However, at the office or at home or in camp, I can almost always find a ceramic coffee cup, which serves as a quick finisher for a dull edge, especially on smaller knives. Just turn the cup upside down and you will feel the rough ceramic un-glazed rim on the bottom. A few strokes of your blade on the bottom of the cup will bring it back to service to complete your task.”

I’m sure many of you are familiar with this one. I will have to confess it was brand new to me. A quick Youtube search turned up dozens of videos of people sharpening knives on coffee cups.

Thanks to Hugh, and we’ll be sending you a copy of the Total Gun Manual. Send your tips to