The Long Dark Wiki

Sharpening is a secondary survival skill that is used to repair bladed tools. Higher levels in the sharpening skill reduce the amount of time required to sharpen, and additionally increase the amount of condition restored to a tool by sharpening.


Sharpening is the action by which a player may restore the condition of a bladed tool, such as a hunting knife or hatchet, using a whetstone.

Sharpening is only available when viewing a bladed tool in the inventory and is not a core survival skill like those listed in the player's journal (e.g., cooking). Players start with 30 skill points, and gain 1 additional skill point each time a blade is sharpened, with the amount of condition restored per sharpening session increasing at different skill point intervals. How long each session takes will decrease at higher skill level intervals, as well.

How to sharpen tools[]

Sharpening is known as one of the easier skills to train in The Long Dark, as players can increase their skill by repairing any bladed tool.

Players can sharpen their bladed tools with a whetstone during daylight hours or in the dark.

To actually sharpen something, players have to select the Sharpen option while viewing the tool to repair in the inventory menu. Repair amount and chance to succeed at the repair are listed on the right hand side of the screen.

Currently, players will always have a 100% chance of success while sharpening and cannot fail. Activating the start button on the bottom right will launch an attempt. A progress bar/wheel will appear on the screen during sharpening.

Sharpening a tool consumes 5% condition from the whetstone and restores some condition to the sharpened tool, based on the player's skill level. Each whetstone can be used up to 20 times for sharpening tools.


Players need a whetstone before they can start sharpening tools. Whetstones can be found while scavenging in containers and buildings that are likely to contain tools. Whetstones are always found in 100% condition.

Bladed tools[]

The player is able to sharpen the following tools to improve their condition:

Image Name Type
Hatchet icon.png Hatchet Bladed
Hunting Knife icon.png Hunting knife Bladed
Improvised Hatchet icon.png Improvised hatchet Bladed
Improvised Knife icon.png Improvised knife Bladed

Skill levels[]

Players can increase their sharpening skill by repairing a bladed tool.

There are currently no research books that allow players to increase their sharpening skill.

The sharpening skill does not unlock any perks, but gives a gradual reduction to the amount of time required to sharpen, and additionally gives a gradual increase to the amount of condition restored to a tool by sharpening. Key milestones (based on the amount of skill points) are listed in the table below.

Skill Condition Improvement Time to Sharpen Chance of Success
30 3% 12 minutes 100%
35 4% 12 minutes 100%
40 4% 11 minutes 100%
50 4% 10 minutes 100%
60 4% 9 minutes 100%
67 5% 9 minutes 100%
70 5% 8 minutes 100%
81 5% 7 minutes 100%
90 5% 6 minutes 100%
100 5% 5 minutes 100%

Note: the table shown above, contains information related to the hatchet. Sharpening time for the hunting knife does not go below 10 minutes.


  • The sharpening mechanic was introduced on 16 December 2015 in version 0.298, also known as the Timberwolf Mountain update.