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 involves using the whetstone to keep a bladed tool, such as a hunting knife or hatchet, in optimal condition.

Sharpening is only visible when maintaining a bladed tool and is not an official survival skill in the player's journal. Players start with 30 skill points, and gain 1 additional skill point each time a blade is sharpened.

How to sharpen toolsEdit

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.

To actually sharpen something, players have to select the "Sharpen" menu 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. Progress bar appears in the top right corner.

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 toolsEdit

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

Image Name Type
Hatchet icon Hatchet Bladed
Hunting knife icon Hunting knife Bladed
Improvised hatchet icon Improvised hatchet Bladed
Improvised knife icon Improvised knife Bladed

Skill levelsEdit

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%


  • The sharpening mechanic was introduced on 16 December 2015 in version 0.298, also known as the Timberwolf Mountain update.
Survival skills
Hunting ArcheryRifle Firearm
Gathering Carcass HarvestingIce Fishing
Crafting CookingFire StartingMending
Other CleaningRepairSharpening