Before we tell what the best pocket knife sharpeners in the market are, know what exactly are they and what purpose do they serve.
There are many types and classification of pocket knives. From its blade types, the number of blades, the appendages that come with it in a case, the housing case types, and a lot more that contributes to its miscellany. From simple tearing off parcels to boxes, or cutting edges from materials, or carving woods, it is a handy occupational tool.
Owing to its valuable contribution to humanity, a hardcore tool like pocket knife must be kept in top condition to keep its reputation. And that means always letting the razor sharp edges in its mint factory condition. Pocketknives are the best on-the-go tool because as it is called, it can easily be slipped into the pocket for portability and convenience. Although the federal and state laws recently have some issues concerning the legality of carrying these type of knives as it could account for an offensive weapon, the most daunting concern of many is probably on how to revive a dull pocket knife blade back to life and put it to good use.
10 Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners
Unlike common household cutleries, their blades are designed to withstand stringent pressures without limitations on what they can cut. The angle of each side of the double-beveled blades are set at a rough 20° to 30°, thicker and robust despite their small sizes and will not fit with just any new technology electrical or manual knife sharpeners.
Maintaining their angles at its original setting is also necessary to preserve the durability of the blades. The multitude of knife manufacturers and companies are not only innovating on the development of knives but are also looking at how to incorporate the convenience of sharpening blocks to service the need for keeping edges flawless and durable. This is especially true for backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts who might not get the access to sharpening materials out in the field. Instead of devising hacks for sharpening tools, manufacturers developed the best knife sharpeners to cater to their need.
1. Smith’s 50364 Pocket Pal X2 Sharpener and Outdoor Tool ($$)
For portability and multi function of pocket knife sharpener, this versatile tool from Smith’s Consumer Products is an example of an all-around portable and convenient knife sharpener for people who are always on the go. It is designed to provide the standard sharpening efficiency most sharpeners can offer despite its small size that is made available by its pull-through sharpening slots.
This knife sharpener has a two-stage system, the coarse slot which has carbide abrasives for setting edges of very dull pocket knives, and the ceramic abrasive that is used for polishing the edges of even of any double beveled knives. These abrasives are replaceable to make it reusable to last indefinitely with proper use and diligent care. A tapered rod that can be extended from the casing is used to sharpen serrated knives, single beveled knives or gut hooks.
This compact and multi-purpose sharpener comes in a set of tools that are essential for outdoor explorers like LED light, whistle, fire lighter, and a compass that are requisite for outdoor exploration survival.
To set the edge of a damaged double-beveled knife, insert the knife blade into the coarse carbide slot. Pull the blade from the heel to the tip using moderate downward force, tipping the knife downward for curving tips for equal and uniformly sharpened blades. Repeat pulling 4 to 6 times until sharp or more until the hair-splitting sharpness is achieved.
To sharpen a serrated knife and gut hook, use the tapered rod. Extend the rod and match the grind angle to the serrations. To avoid damaging the serrations, choose the diameter of the rod that is slightly smaller than the gullet or tooth of the knife. Push the rod into the serration or hook with light downward pressure, gently rolling it as you do. Repeat on the entire serrations. For better result, a serrated knife can be passed through the ceramic slot to polish the edge and remove the burr after sharpening with the rod. With the pre-set angle of 22.5°, this multipurpose and functional sharpener is the best tool to have for any outdoor activity and a versatile pocketknife sharpener.
2. Kitchen IQ 50009 Edge Grip 2 Stage Knife Sharpener ($)
Taking the two-slot sharpener design of this brand into a smaller and compact version, this mini manual sharpener is good for outdoor use because of its portability. However, small as it is, it is also exceptional in its sharpening ability. Designed to accommodate most pocket knives and other cutleries, Kitchen IQ 50009 is a nifty sharpener to be around.
The product’s dimension is only 4.3 x 2.1 x 5.9 inches and weighs only 0.6 ounces. It may just fit the palm, but it is versatile and functional. This two-stage sharpener has a coarse carbide and fine ceramic blades that give the same powerful result as Kitchen IQ’s larger version of this manual knife sharpener. It can be used for American/European angle specific blades and can sharpen both straight edge and serrated knives.
It’s Deluxe Edge Grip features a V-Grip bottom that can be used on the edge of the counter top to prevent larger knives from touching the surface of the platform when sharpening and large knives from dragging it away. This user-friendly tool is beneficial for outdoor enthusiast because it can be carried anywhere without all the hassle and guesswork of sharpening.
This fine honing slot is also used for sharpening serrated knives. When sharpening serrated knives, allow a minimum pressure on guiding the blade across the sharpener to preserve the jagged edges of the knife. Serrated knives are a bit delicate to handle because of its saw-like edges that would chip away if not handled properly.
Any aggressive sharpening could also deform the edges and renders the knife unusable. Regular honing on the fine ceramic slot before using a knife, or after an excessive cutting job helps maintains the sharpness of the edges to make it always available for future stringent pocketknife activities.
3. Lansky Blademedic Pocket Sharpening Kit ($)
For quick repair of pocket knives, serrated, filet or gut hook even when out the field, this pocket sharpening kit is a great solution. It has four sharpening functions: the tungsten carbide slot for restoring damaged & nicked edges, ceramic sharpening slot for finishing, light touch ups of already sharp edges, and the serrated knife sharpener for easy sharpening.
The carbide slot is very aggressive in sharpening and can be used for really quick sharpening but is not advisable for frequent use as it could remove more metal from the knife and in time could damage its original formation. Use this slot only for severely damaged knives, making 3 to 4 strokes with moderate downward pressure.
The ceramic slot polishes the edge and is used after using the carbide sharpener to give the refined edge of the blade an additional bite. This is also the best for maintenance of slightly dull knives and regular honing.
The ceramic abrasives are designed not to wear out, but over time, metal filings accumulating on the surface could diminish its effectiveness. Solve the dilemma with Lansky Eraserblock, their patented product for cleaning such types of sharpeners.
The extendable diamond tapered rod is used for sharpening fish hooks. The diamond abrasives can cut faster than steel making it a more speedy option for reconditioning all knife types but is advisable to be used sparingly hence it could remove more metals on itself and the knife due to its aggressiveness on sharpening. To use with gut hooks, make a rotating motion of the rod on the edges until it is sharp. Lansky Blademedic is also portable and can go very well with the manageability of the pocketknife.
4. Chef’s Choice M317 Sportsman Extreme 2 Stage Straight and Serrated Edge Diamond Hone Knife Sharpener ($$$)
Pocketknives sharpening do not necessarily mean everything that can slip easily into the pocket. Sometimes it needs effective tool to help give out its added bite. For the superior quality of sharpness, without all the hassles of angle-guesswork, effortless sharpening, advanced equipment like this Chef’s Choice Sportsman Extreme can be used. This versatile sharpener is suitable for various outdoor tools with varying thickness to help it revive its industrial quality sharpness for it to be able to perform its rigorous work.
The two stages of its sharpening slots are equipped with 100% diamond abrasives that can cut faster and more precisely into the metal edges bringing even the most dying blade back into life. Stage 2 has flexible stropping disks that create the arc-shaped edge patent of Chef’s Choice to ensure the durability of the knife’s edge.
The geometry of the edges plays a role in ensuring a lasting and more reliable sharpness of the blades. The traditional V-shaped edge that is prevailing in most knives’ designs have lesser metal support making the blades more prone to dulling or chipping. Knives become dull when metals start to coil back into itself that would happen with the V-blades.
The arc-shaped ones are more robust and are beneficial to pocket knives granting its laborious and unspecific cutting job description. This unit is also compatible to use with other kitchen knives, filet knives, Santoku, serrated knives and other outdoor and sports knives.
5. Buck Knives 97076 Edge Tek Dual Grit Pocket Stone Diamond Knife Sharpener ($$)
Pocketknives on an outdoor adventure require its unwavering rigor. When being out in the field, there can be hacks on sharpening a pocket knife when it gives away in the middle of the journey, like doing what the primitive men do: sharpening on a rock.
Of course, this is where all these knickknacks of sharpeners had sprung. However, it is technically not built for the extreme. But keeping an evolved version of a sharpening stone like this Buck Knives 97076 could be a great idea. This slim and lightweight sharpener has a 100% diamond coated surface that has a dual sharpening surface of medium and coarse grit, already a two process grinding and honing.
A great and heavy-duty add-on to a heavy-duty tool but light on the load. Sharpening stones are the best contrivance for pocket knives because of its superior quality result, diamonds above all are valuable metals for its fast cutting rate that could bring back blades sharpness in no time. Buck knives are diamond metal encrusted, super compact and weigh only about 1.3 ounces and just 3 millimeters thick.
The coarse grit diamond surface is good for working out severely damaged knives even those with nicks and chips. The medium one is used for polishing the edges and removing the burr caused by the first sharpener. It is also best for maintaining the sharpness of the edge to keep it in its top shape after extensive use, or to prepare it for a rigorous one. Maintaining edges is not just for aesthetic or display reasons, it is for serving a pocket knife’s purpose.
For chipped edges, it is best to start sharpening around the edges of the nicks using the coarse stone to remove the metals that have folded on that edge before doing the entire surface of the blade.
To be always ready, a pocketknife and a pocket knife sharpener must always be available on hand for a complete outdoor adventure package.
6. Sharpal 101N 6-In-1 Knife Sharpener & Survival Tool ($)
Another high quality and precise sharpening performance tool is this Sharpal 6-in-1 sharpener and survival tool that is made possible by its preset tungsten carbide blades for restoring edges of pocket knives and its ceramic blades for polishing the edges into finer and sharper metal blades.
Tungsten carbides are very abrasion-resistant which means it will not scrape itself off when used in sharpening different metal types of the knife’s blades. It can also maintain the finished edge that requires only a little honing to produce a finer cut.
The ceramic blade for honing is best for realigning and polishing the edges of pocket knives after sharpening. Sharpal’s knife sharpener also comes with a tapered diamond rod that can be used to sharpen the gullets of a serrated knife, gut hooks, and fish hooks. The diamond rod is also extensive in sharpening the edges of a pocket knife for regular maintenance.
The fire starter is a rod to be pulled across the tungsten carbide slot to ignite a fire. This kit is a multi-functional tool that is best to have around that can be slipped into the pocket conveniently for a price that is also convenient for the pocket.
7. Lansky Quadsharp Carbide/Ceramic Multi-Angle Knife Sharpener ($$)
Best used for maintaining consistency of the angle of the blades to its factory edge, Lansky had incorporated the patented Lansky-Controlled Angle Sharpening System into this portable sharpener.
Keeping the angles consistent is best so as not to compromise the durability of the sharpness of the blades that enables the knife to function with the same precision as when it was first bought. But not many have the reflexes for precision especially when hand sharpening.
A pocketknife’s durability is never to be compromised, and it was on that premise that this tool could be the best as far as the blade’s angle is concerned. Pocketknives have angles ranging from 20° to 30° for durability to withstand whatever was put their way. Lanksy’s Quad Sharp has carbide slots for 17°, 20°, 25° and 30° which are perfect for these outdoor tools.
8. Work Sharp WSGFS221 Guided Field Sharpener ($$$)
Another compact pocket knife sharpener is the guided field sharpener of Work Sharp that also features a controlled angle sharpening system at 20° and 25° angle to accommodate pocketknives and other tactical and sports knives. The device has five abrasives for complete sharpening namely: the coarse and fine diamond sharpening plates, coarse and fine ceramic hones, and a leather strop that will hone knives into perfection.
The coarse and fine diamond plate for sharpening has a magnetic attachment to the housing and is removable if it is to be used for freehand sharpening. A knob at the end of the sharpener can be used to rotate the coarse and fine honing rod and a ceramic rod for sharpening serrations, thoroughly labeled for precision.
When using the sharpening kit, always keep the knives at its exact angle using the ramp guide at each end of the sharpening plates. Similarly, coarse sharpening plate is used for very damaged knives, and fine sharpening plate refines the edges of a slightly sharp knife.
To sharpen serrated knives, use the ceramic rod, pushing the beveled side of the knife back and forth into the rod until sharp. The ceramic rod is also used for curved blades and scissors while fish hooks can be sharpened on the ceramic rod designed for it. This sharpener can also be used in other blades and outdoor tools.
9. DMT FWFC Double Sided Diafold Sharpener ($$$)
Field sharpening gets easier with the foldable sharpener of DMT (Diamond Machining Technology) that comes with two surfaces. The coarse diamond coated stone can repair pocket knives’ edges while the fine stone refines and polishes the edges. There are four sets of grit combination to choose from: the coarse & extra coarse; fine & coarse; extra fine & fine; extra fine & extra-extra fine.
For pocket knives sharpening, the coarse and fine surface combination of the foldable sharpener is good enough to complement its rugged activities. Its size is reasonable enough for a pocketknife, but this compact sharpener can also be used in heavy duty blades like hatchets, shears and scissors, shovel, spade, pruner and other utility knives.
The best thing about having something so small is its ability to be slipped in the pocket, and the very best thing that one can get is the superior quality blades it could produce notwithstanding its diminutive appearance. The micronized monocrystalline diamonds coated with the proprietary Hardcoat of DMT creates the durable surface of the sharpener for it to retain its shape and minimize the worn out when used with hard metals like ceramics.
It’s coarse surface can be able to set and repair damaged edges of blades while the fine diamond surface keeps the edges polished and honed to withstand any rigor in cutting. The interrupted surface or holes within the surface of the coarse stone are made to catch metal filings while sharpening to prevent it from accumulating on the surface and impede the task.
It can, therefore, be used even without the need for water or lubricants. Cleaning off the swarf can be done after. The fine stone has a continuous surface, and this is best used for just regular and quick touch ups of slightly sharp blades.
This foldable sharpener is compact enough for pocket knives and outdoor knives. Since it does not require any water, sharpening can be done just almost anywhere, even take it standing. To use simply scrape the blades uniformly on both sides to set the dull edges and finish refining to its superior cutting quality on the other side. The sharpener comes in a plastic case for fold-and-go convenience.
10. Victorinox Pocket Knife Sharpener
If convenience, portability, and superiority are the basis for a pocket knife sharpener, this pen type sharpener would probably be one of the top ranking sharpeners. Victorinox is a company specializing in explorer tools like the Swiss Army pocket knives and therefore understood the importance of a travel sharpener to accompany a multi purpose knife on an expedition because as they said, a dull knife is not an excuse.
The pen-type sharpener already has two stages: the grinding stone for pre-sharpening, and the ceramic notch for edge refining. Weighing only about 1.4 ounces and just 9 inches in height, it is a package of complete sharpening tool that can be used for any expedition.
The choice for choosing the correct pocket knife sharpener is subjective of the purpose. Those that are just used for light and daily activities can have the bulky sharpeners, but for those whose life was really out in the field, a portable one is the best option.
No one would want to own a knife so portable with a sharpener occupying half of the backpack. The choice is endless, but the suitability and functionality are diverse. What’s best is a knife sharpener that keeps the pocket knife blades always job ready even when out into the vast outdoor.