Best Pocket Knife Sharpener Guide

The perfect tool for camping and outdoor trips.

The perfect tool for camping and outdoor trips.

If you’re someone who enjoys getting out on camping trips or excursions, you’ll more than likely carry a pocket knife. Pocket knives are really useful for outdoor trips. You can fashion yourself stakes to build shelter, cut small pieces of wood for kindling, gut a fish and many other tasks. They also make for compact means of self defense if necessary. A pocket knife is a naturist’s best friend.

However, a pocket knife is useless if it’s not sharp. In fact, a blunt pocket knife can be quite dangerous and cutting yourself on a blunt blade will cause more damage, due to the larger surface area. That’s why having a good pocket knife sharpener is so important.

The problem with pocket knife sharpeners is that there are so many on the market. It’s hard to know when you’re buying a quality one or not. So, there are a few things you should consider before you buy, and this article will highlight exactly that. It will also offer some recommendations based on our research.

Considerations

There are a lot of portable pocket knife sharpeners available these days. Some common types include small sharpening stones, pocket diamond rods, ceramic rods and diamond plates. Even out in the wilderness, you can source some other options like a flat stone.

You need to think about what kind of sharpener you want. This will largely be influenced by what you will use the pocket knife for, or where you will be using it. For use in the field, such as camping or military exercises, you will want a small and convenient pocket knife sharpener. Home use won’t require such a convenient device and knives can even be sharpened by using the base of a coffee mug. Also, if you find yourself without a pocket knife sharpener in the field, you can sharpen your knife by applying a small amount of clay or mud to your belt and sharpening the blade that way. Just be prepared to take a while.

There are some very popular commercial pocket knife sharpeners that incorporate a set of opposed carbide teeth, opposed ceramic teeth and a folding diamond rod. It’s like the Swiss Army Knife of knife sharpeners. These devices are really useful because of the variety they offer, and they are so inexpensive there is no need for replacing the blades. Just simply purchase a new one.

A sharpener is essential for a pocket knife.

A sharpener is essential for a pocket knife.

You might also consider a smaller sharpener, such as ceramic strip. This is simply a small piece of ceramic, often coated with some rubber as a handle and grip. These are really convenient because of their size and easily fit in a pocket. Many are double sided as well, with flint on the other side. Flint is useful for producing sparks and starting a fire, but it does wear away quickly. These sharpeners are incredibly useful for extended camping or hunting trips and are also very inexpensive.

Many will opt for the basic sharpening stone. These often accompany a hunting knife when purchased. These are, historically, one of the most common knife sharpeners. You can easily attach them to the sheath of your knife, or just keep it in your pocket. The most common stones are small carborundum or small Arkansas stones. These convenient, pocket-sized sharpening stones measure about 3 inches long, but no longer. For their convenience, and lack of moving parts, these are trusted pocket knife sharpeners that can be used freehand to maintain an edge on your blade.

Benefits of Owning a Pocket Knife Sharpener

Sharp Knives

The benefits of owning a pocket knife sharpener are pretty obvious. You will have a sharp pocket knife. This is really important for anyone going on an excursion, hunting, camping or generally being away from the conveniences of civilization. If you’re away for several days, you will need a pocket knife sharpener with you because the frequent use of your pocket knife will cause the blade to dull. On such excursions, you should be sharpening your pocket knife every day to maintain the edge.

Additional Uses

As previously mentioned, certain pocket knife sharpeners will also double up as a flint. This is extremely useful when out in the wild. Matches or lighters are more convenient but don’t work if they are wet. Flint is just stone and will dry quickly to be ready to help you make your fire.

Top 5 Rated Products

Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpenersmiths-pp1-pocket-pal-multifunction

The pocket knife sharpener from Smith’s is a brilliant, multifunctioning tool that any pocket knife user will enjoy. It has a tapered diamond rod that sharpens excellently with serrations and gut hooks. The carbide blade quickly and effortlessly sets the edges of a dull blade. It also has a finishing sot. The three components together provide the ultimate finish on your dull pocket knife. It has a lanyard hole as well, making it easy to store until needed.

Customers loved the convenient size of this pocket knife sharpener. And for such a small tool, it’s very versatile and reliable. However, some did complain that there isn’t much of a surface area, which meant extra care and time was necessary. But this is the nature of pocket knife sharpeners, they are small to be convenient on excursions.

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Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMediclansky-ps-med01-blademedic

The Lanksy BladeMedic is very similar to the Smith’s Pocket Pal. It’s a multifunctioning blade sharpener suited to any user. It has a tapered diamond rod for quickly sharpening and reconditioning blades. The tungsten carbine will restore your blade’s edge with three or four strokes. And it has a ceramic sharpening rod for serrated blades, which is designed to get inside even the smallest serrations.

This knife sharpener will work on just about any kind of knife. Customers were really impressed by the variety of tasks this knife sharpener can tackle. They also liked that it was a little longer than the Smith’s counterpart, which means it has a longer diamond rod. Some were unhappy about the weight of it, due to it’s metal body. However, this does mean it is sturdy and won’t break easily.

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Smith’s CCKS 2-Step Knife Sharpenersmiths-ccks-2-step-knife-sharpener

Another entry from Smith’s is their CCK 2-Step. It’s more basic than other models but that also makes it extremely easy to use. It has two tungsten carbine blades that are attached at pre-set angles. This ensures the perfect blade edge is achieved every time. Three strokes through the carbine slots restores the edges of even the dullest of knives. The crossed ceramic rods are also set at the correct angles to achieve the perfectly smooth edge to a blade.

This one is great for all kinds of knives, but especially fillet knives. Customers who had tried this product really liked the simplicity of it. Other products offer so many features that they can seem overwhelming, but not this one. One issue was that the plastic body could shatter if not cared for, but few customers had a bad thing to say about this knife sharpener.

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Alpha Tek Pocket Hunting Knife Sharpeneralpha-tek-pocket-hunting-knife-sharpener

This is a great knife sharpener for campers, hunters and travellers. It’s made for the great outdoors and is very easy to use on almost any knife blade. The crossed coarse carbide blades set the edges of your blade really quickly, while the crossed extra fine ceramic rods will bring the sharpness right back to the blade. It has a chain, so it can be hung from the neck or backpack and out of the way until needed. The non-slip rubber base ensures that it sits firmly on a surface, eliminating the risk of injuring yourself while sharpening blades.

Customers loved the results from this knife sharpener, claiming that their pocket or hunting knives were like new after a few strokes over the blades. One customer said it wasn’t an easy sharpener to hold, but they did say the results were fantastic, which more than makes up for it.

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Victorinox Pocket Knife Sharpenervictorinox-pocket-knife-sharpener

The Victorinox knife sharpener is slightly different to the others on this list. It is a ceramic rod, small enough to be mistaken for a pen. This makes it really easy to carry with you on excursions. It also gets good results on all grades of steel, meaning it can be used on essentially any knife. It’s also very easy to clean in warm water with a nylon sponge.

The other part of this device is the V-shaped pull through sharpener for people who aren’t comfortable with using the ceramic rod. The pocket clip means you can attach it to a lanyard if you please, giving your hands more freedom. It also comes with a lifetime guarantee. Customers loved the fine edges they got from the ceramic rod, but some complained that the V-shaped pull through didn’t achieve the results they wanted. One claimed that the pull through only has the right angles for Victorinox knives.

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Conclusion

If you use a pocket knife on a regular basis, enjoy camping, hunting or military-style excursions, you should have a pocket knife sharpener. It will maintain the sharpness and effectiveness of your blade, saving you the hassle of finding another adequate pocket knife to replace your dull one. With the right level of maintenance and care, you can have the same pocket knife for life.

When making your purchase, make sure to consider what kind of knives you will be using. Pocket knives will go through just about any knife sharpener, but if you have more knives, you may need a slightly bigger sharpener, or even a ceramic rod. Sharpening stones have been popular for centuries, but a sharpener will get you better results much faster.

The Smith’s Multifunction is probably the best pocket knife sharpener on the market, closely followed by the Lansky BladeMedic. Both offer superior quality in blade sharpening and encompass multiple methods, from ceramic rods to coarse carbide blades. They make the task of sharpening a dull blade effortless and fast, so you won’t be wasting your time when you really need a sharp edge.

Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: James C

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