Top 5 Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners 2020:
- Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic
- Smith’s PP1 Multifunction Sharpener
- Sharpal 101N Knife Sharpener
- Smith’s Tri-6 Sharpening Stone
- Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker
If you love hunting, fishing, camping, or any other outdoor activity, you should know very well how important it is to have a sharp knife. You should also know how easy it is to dull a blade after a trip to the wilds.
And if when you end up with a dull blade in the great outdoors, having the best pocket knife sharpener can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.
Unfortunately, the market is flooded with products that all look samey, which makes it easy to buy a model that can end up ruining your blade.
To help you avoid such mistakes, we’ve parped this article. Keep on reading and learn how you can pick the best pocket knife for you!
See Also: The Best Neck Knife
What Are Pocket Knife Sharpeners And How To Pick The Best One?
Pocket knife sharpeners aren’t that much different than your regular knife sharpener. However, pocket knife sharpeners are more compact and are intended for sharpening on the go.
No matter how expensive your pocket knife is, it will lose it’s edge sooner or later, depending on how much you use it. This is why it’s essential to have a sharpener close by so you can take proper care of your blade.
1. Sharpener Type
The first step in finding the best pocket sharpener for your needs is understanding the different types available.
Pocket knife sharpeners come in four types, each with its pros and cons.
These types are:
- Sharpening stone – are the oldest type of sharpening tool and is the most efficient one. A sharpening stone is usually around an inch thick and is generally made out of materials like diamond and ceramic. They’re excellent for incredibly dull blades because they can remove a lot of material from the knife.
- Sharpening steel – aren’t ideal for sharpening. Sharpening steels come in the form of a long narrow rod commonly built out of steel or ceramic. You can’t sharpen a completely dull knife with it, but it will maintain the edge on a sharp knife. They’re also excellent for realigning the blade’s edge to its original position.
- Knife hones – are similar to sharpening steels. However, they come in a plethora of styles and sizes, and most use steel or stone to sharpen your pocket knife. Even though you can’t use them to sharpen a dull knife, they can still work as a pocket sharpener because you can use them to polish and hone the blade.
- Electric Knife Sharpeners – are a recent addition to the market. This type of sharpeners relly on the spinning electric motor to do the sharpening. They’re usually bulkier than other sharpeners and are popular because of their convenience. However, they don’t offer much control over the sharpening process, which is why you should avoid them.
Just knowing the different types of knife sharpeners isn’t enough. There are plenty of other factors you should consider when looking for the best knife sharpener. Keep on reading to learn what are these other factors!
- The best pocket knife sharpener should be compact and lightweight because it means you can take it practically anywhere.
- Pocket knife sharpeners, as their name implies, are intended for sharpening pocket knives. Most people purchase pocket knives for outdoor activities such as camping, hunting, fishing, and backpacking, which means they have to be compact.
- A pocket knife sharpener should be just as compact as your knife. This is why there’s no point in getting a sharpener that can’t fit in your pocket since that defeats its purpose.
- Weight is just as important as the size of the pocket knife sharpener. Since you’ll mostly be carrying it in your pocket, a pocket sharpener shouldn’t be much heavier than your knife.
- However, you have to keep in mind that the lighter the sharpener, the more fatigued you’ll get when sharpening your blade.
- Pocket knife sharpeners are commonly quite lightweight due to their size. However, if you don’t want to save yourself time sharpening your knife, you can go for a heftier model that you can carry in your backpack. When it comes to this type of sharpeners, you shouldn’t look for anything heavier than two-thirds of an ounce.
4. Surface Type
- Best pocket knife sharpeners need to have a hard surface. The harder the surface you rub your blade on, the better and more long-lasting the edge will be. This is why you should avoid cheaper models since they often feature a soft, sharpening surface that can end up damaging your knife’s edge.
- When looking for a sharpener, pay attention to the product description. If a particular model uses a soft surface like iron or it doesn’t have the type of surface disclosed, give it a wide berth. You will end up with a dull blade and a crooked edge.
5. Adjustable Sharpening Angle
- If you have absolutely no experience with sharpening knives, it can be quite tricky to hold the blade at the right angle to sharpen it effectively. It takes time and, most importantly, a lot of practice to get the hang of it.
- To prevent you from destroying your blade, a lot of pocket knife sharpeners feature guides that adjust the required angle of the blade to give it a razor-sharp edge.
- These types of sharpeners are specially designed to accommodate the blade and the angle of the blade when you are sharpening it, no matter what kind of pocket knife you have.
6. Sharpening Stage
The last thing you have to consider before heading out and buying a pocket knife sharpener is the sharpening stages.
Typically, pocket knife sharpeners have at least two stages. The purpose of these stages is so that you don’t have to carry two different sharpeners with you all the time.
- Stage one of the sharpener is used to give your dull knife a proper angle. This stage is also more coarse that stage two since it has to shave off some of the material to produce the right angle.
- Stage two is used to give your blade polish and sharpness. This stage is much less coarse and can also be used to maintain your knife’s blade.
See Also: The Best Keychain Multitool
5 Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners In 2020: Detailed Reviews
Now that you’re equipped with the necessary knowledge about pocket knife sharpeners, you can take a look at our selection of best models you can find in today’s market.
Keep on reading, you might find a model you really like!
The Lansky PS-MED01 is a well-made all-around sharpener, suitable both for experienced veterans and beginners. Fashioning a large diamond tapered rod, it makes for an easy and comfortable time reconditioning and sharpening your serrated tools.
Apart from the sharpening rod, the BladeMedic comes with the standard tungsten carbide V sharpener, found on most pocket sharpeners.
Apart from the tungsten V, this sharpener comes with a ceramic V for a polished finish, as well as a blade-shaped sharpener. The great thing about the blade sharpener is that it can get inside the smallest serrations on your knives, suited for pocket knives and other blades with a flat cutting surface.
When it comes to build quality, the PS-MED01 is made for an all-metal construction, providing extra durability. The body is also covered with a textured surface to allow for a firm grip. The metal body does make it more cumbersome, but it gives it the right amount of rigidity.
This knife sharpener, with its combination of available sharpening surfaces, feels like having an entire sharpening kit in your back pocket, ready to revitalize both your regular and serrated blades: gut hooks, hunting knives, even fish hooks. For its incredibly affordable price, this pocket knife sharpener offers beyond-amazing performance.
- Ceramic and tungsten carbide V suited for standard knife blades
- Longer sharpening rod for sharpening serrated tools
- Firm grip on the textured surface
- All-metal build gives it sturdiness
- Diamond tapered sharpening rod is not the greatest
The Smith’s PP1 is perhaps the smallest and lightest pocket knife sharpener out there, and indeed so on our list — it only weighs 0.3 ounces. However, despite its lightweight and low profile, it is capable of delivering sharp and straight edges.
Of course, this pocket sharpener comes with a tapered diamond rod that folds out, made for sharpening serrated edges, though it can sharpen regular blades too if you prefer. This makes it excellent if you have a serrated-edge pocket knife.
It also comes with two preset V blades: one carbide and one ceramic. The carbide is there for sharpening, and the ceramic gives your blade edge an excellent smooth polish after sharpening. They form a 45-degree angle.
The carbide and ceramic stones are replaceable, which is, needless to say, a nice touch. This gives the pocket sharpener extended lifetime, as you can swap out the stones when you feel they’ve lost their edge. Another cool thing about this sharpener is that it comes with a lanyard hole in it, allowing for more comfortable carrying.
If you’re often hiking or camping and are looking for a good pocket knife sharpener, the Smith’s PP1 Multifunction Sharpener might just be the one for you. It comes with all necessary tools to sharpen your blade, and is easy to pocket.
- Foldable diamond coated rod for serrated edges
- Ceramic finishing stone for extra polish
- Lanyard hole for easy carrying
- Small size may give trouble for users with large hands
- Incredibly lightweight feels infirm while using
Where the last knife sharpener was the lightest one in the bunch, this one is definitely the most featureful. It comes with six different functions, though we’ve only found about five, three of which can actually sharpen your blades.
Like all sharpeners we’ve covered so far, this pocket sharpener comes with a diamond tapered rod which you can use to sharpen serrated blades, or, as the manufacturer suggests, fishhooks and other odd knife edges regular V-cut stones just can’t do.
Just like with all pocket knife sharpeners we’ve seen so far, the Sharpal 101N comes built with two V-cut sharpening stones. One is the usual tungsten carbide sharpener, for quickly setting your blade’s edge, while the other is a ceramic set for fine honing.
So, what are the extra features of this pocket sharpener? This sharpener is best suited for people who go out camping and often hiking since the additional functionalities it has are purposed for just that. It has a high-pitched emergency SOS whistle. While not particularly unique, this whistle can grab the attention of others nearby if you find yourself in trouble.
Apart from the emergency whistle, this knife sharpener comes with an integrated firestarter. Although you might have a couple of firestarters on you, it definitely doesn’t hurt to have more. If you use any of these extra tools often, this pocket sharpener might just save you some space.
- Extra functionalities can save you space
- Lanyard hole gives for easy carrying
- Its small size makes it portable
- Diamond sharpening rod isn’t the best
- Jack of all trades, master of none
The fourth palace in our list goes to a knife sharpener that isn’t quite pocket-sized but is still something that should be a standard part of your outdoor equipment.
Smith’s Tri-6 Sharpening Stone is a, as its name implies, a sharpening stone on a stand. In fact, it’s three different sharpening stones on a stand. These stones all feature a different level of coarseness, which means you’ll be able to make even the dullest blade as sharp as a razor.
You won’t get a better deal on sharpening stones than this. Typically a single sharpening stone will set you back as much as $40. The Tri-6 Sharpening stone is half the price of that, making it an absolute steal.
This pocket knife sharpener is an excellent step up from sharpening rods and honing tools. The Tri-6 can be an excellent introduction to sharpening stones, especially if you own more than one pocket knife, and you want to keep them all in top shape.
However, there are some downsides to this pocket knife sharpener. First of all, it’s quite bulky, which means you’ll have to keep it in your backpack. Secondly, the stand can make it difficult to sharpen your blade if you don’t have it set on a flat surface.
And lastly, if you’re entirely new to knife sharpening, you can quickly end up running the blade because you didn’t sharpen the knife at the right angle.
- Affordable for a sharpening stone
- Three different sharpening stones
- Excellent for beginners
- Takes time to master
The last place in our list of best pocket knife sharpeners goes to one of the weirdest products we’ve ever seen. The Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpener is part bench sharpener, part stone knife sharpener, and part point grinder.
This pocket knife sharpener will get just about anything any type of blade razor-sharp once you figure out how to use it. The concept behind this sharpener is that the blades should be more vertical and angeled rather than lying flat.
This unique concept eliminates any chances of you ruining the blade or messing up the angle. The Sharpmaker offers two angles to choose from. All you have to do to sharpen your blade is to set it up chose an angle, and keep your knife straight and vertical as you run it down the sharpener.
The Sharpmaker comes with two sets of sharpening stones that cover everything from maintaining a sharp edge to sharpening a dull blade. The first set consists of coarse stones that will the burrs of, and the other set is made out of fine ceramic you can use to refine your knife’s edge.
Although the design is meant to make blade sharpening easy for beginners, the process itself takes quite a bit of time. The sharpening process is even slower if you neglected your knife. Which is why this product sits in the last place on this list.
- Unique design
- Covers most aspects of blade sharpening
- Sharpening process takes a long time
- A bit pricey
At the end of the day, which is the best pocket knife sharpener?
Based on today’s roundup, the results are the following:
#1 – The Lansky PS-MED01 has been the expert’s pick since it came out. It gives your blades the perfect edge and polish they need, and it works on a variety of different tools. This is why we’ve decided to give it the number 1 spot.
#2 – Smith’s PP1 Multifunction Sharpener is an excellent sharpener that is built to last long. Its blades sharpen nicely but get worn quickly. It’s definitely a great sharpener, but there is room for improvement.
#3 – The Sharpal 101N was built with an outdoor adventurer in mind, and is probably the target audience. It can sharpen your knives and fishhooks pretty well, but it can also start a fire. This sharpener is excellent if you need all the functionalities it gives.