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The 8 Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners

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Pocket knives are pretty handy and important to carry in case you need to open something up urgently, cut out or hold onto an object when you’re outdoors.

Ensuring that your pocket knife continues to serve its purpose well and regularly maintaining it is equally important in this sense.

For this, a good pocket knife sharpener can go a long way to extend the lifespan and convenience of your pocket knife while also continuing to give it its edge.

There are loads of options available to you due to the growing market size, but there are a few ones that stand out. You can go through these and their fair reviews below, along with some other considerations that can help you decide on an option for yourself.

Kinds of Pocket Knife Sharpeners

With the varieties of pocket knife sharpeners available, being aware of them can help you determine which one will suit your needs best. Take a look!

Stone

Sharpening stones can be of varying thicknesses that can help you sharpen a pocket knife by pushing it against the stone. This can get rid of any excess metal and bring back the edge of the knife. These are usually conveniently sized, making them easy to carry in your kit.

Steel Rods

Steel rods are pocket knife sharpeners that can sharpen the knife and bring back its functionality. These can be of different lengths and thicknesses as well and work in a similar manner as stones, although you will need to take some time to figure out how exactly to use them.

Knife Hone

Coming in a range of shapes and sizes, a knife hone can rework the metal on the knife to sharpen the edge a bit. This is usually used towards the end of the process alongside some other tool, making it insufficient on its own to sharpen dull knives.

Electric Sharpener

Electric sharpeners can reduce the effort on your part since they make use of sharpening discs to sharpen your pocket knife properly. You will need to maintain safety levels while also keeping track of the process so that you do not get injured or overdo it to a considerable extent.

Straight vs Serrated Blade Sharpeners

Knives can be either straight or serrated, which usually has to do with how the blade looks. Straight knives have a straight or flat (but still sharp) blade while serrated knives have spiked blades.

Usually, you can use various kinds of sharpeners for straight blades but for serrated ones, the ideal choice might be to go with steel rods to ensure precision.

Factors to Account For

You will need to keep a few factors in mind while picking a pocket knife sharpener so that you know what to expect. These include the following.

Dimensions

Make sure you account for the dimensions or size of the pocket knife sharpener. Ideally, small ones can serve you well since you can both handle them safely while also carrying them around easily.

Make sure the weight is low enough as well so that you can make the process easier for yourself.

Adjustability

It can help to have an angle that is already set for you, especially if you are not used to working with pocket knife sharpeners. However, an adjustable angle can help you control the angle based on the kind of knife that you want to sharpen.

Make sure you go through any relevant instructions about this kind of adjustability as well.

Sharpening Stages

During the sharpening process, the initial stage will allow you to get rid of the metal and sharpen the knife while the later stage will provide a good finish. The grit should ideally be higher in the former and acute enough in the latter.

For sharpeners, it can help if you can get both.

Abrasives

Abrasives are usually added to sharpeners to make the process more efficient. It can help to have these abrasives on the sharpener, especially diamonds, aluminum, chromium or ceramic, among others. These, along with rods, can help ensure the durability of the knife.

Applicability

Ideally, the sharpener that you opt for should be widely applicable and versatile so that you can use it to sharpen different kinds of sharp edges such as straight blades, serrated blades, scissors and other relevant tools.

Safety

Ensure that the sharpener you are working with is safe enough to use. This includes safety measures on your part and some precautions that the sharpener itself can provide, such as additional accessories (like gloves) and guards.

Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners

Here, you can go through the features, pros, and cons of some of the best pocket knife sharpeners out there.

Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener


The Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener comes with a leather strop, diamond plates, and a rotating ceramic rod that allows you to make use of both coarse and fine grits so that you can sharpen and polish various kinds of knives effectively.

This knife has a 20-degree angle guide as well as a 25-degree angle guide so that you can work with different kinds of blades and requirements. The diamond plates are additionally detachable in case you do not require them at any point.

Features

  • Material: Plastic, diamond, ceramic
  • Weight: 5 ounces
  • Size: 1” x 1.5” x 6.75”
  • Angle Guides: 20 and 25 degrees

Pros

  • Compact and light to carry around
  • Five sharpening stages for versatile uses
  • Detachable diamond plates
  • Rotating ceramic rod for convenience
  • Both coarse and fine hones

Cons

  • No handle or strap to hold or carry

Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpener, Ken Onion Edition


This knife sharpener is electric since it comes with sharpening wheels and belts, allowing you to conveniently carry out the sharpening process. It also has adjustable angle guides, allowing you to use the sharpener for various kinds of blades and tools.

You can carry out grinding and honing tasks with this tool’s help due to the variable speed. You can also make use of a grit belt so that you can access tougher parts of your knife or tool.

Features

  • Material: Metal, plastic
  • Weight: 49 ounces
  • Size: 5” x 10” x 6”
  • Angle Guides: Adjustable between 15 and 30 degrees

Pros

  • Adjustable angle guides for versatility
  • Adjustable speed motor
  • Quick, accurate and convenient
  • No required setups
  • Repeatable settings

Cons

  • Much higher cost in comparison

Smith’s CCKS 2-Step Knife Sharpener


This knife sharpener includes two stages, one for sharpening and the other for polishing. For this, there are two blades as well made from carbide and ceramic. The preset angles and the convenient design make this sharpener a good consideration for you.

Since it has a bright and appealing color, it can also act as a good marking point if you are in the middle of nowhere. It also includes rubber feet so that you can sharpen your knife safely.

Features

  • Material: Synthetic, ceramic, tungsten carbide
  • Weight: 6 ounces
  • Size: 88” x 2.71” x 2.33”
  • Angle Guides: Preset

Pros

  • Light and portable
  • Lanyard hole for convenient carrying
  • Non-slip rubber feet for safe usage
  • Carbide and ceramic blades for sharpness
  • Quick results

Cons

  • Insufficient for surgical sharpness requirements

Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone


The Sharp Pebble Premium Sharpening Stone can be another great and sturdy choice for your knife sharpening, honing and flattening requirements. There are stones of three different kinds that can allow you to achieve these three purposes.

This sharpener comes with a silicon holder and a non-slip bamboo base to provide additional stability while you carry out the sharpening process.

You can also expect a user manual with this purchase to take you through some tips and tricks of the process.

This sharpener is convenient to use, although portability can be an issue due to the weight and absence of a lanyard hole.

Features

  • Material: Aluminum oxide
  • Weight: 28 ounces
  • Size: 25” x 2.25” x 1”
  • Angle Guides: Pre-set

Pros

  • Non-slip bamboo base for stability
  • Sharpening and flattening stone for versatile uses
  • Silicon holder for added structure
  • 8000-grit honing blade for a good finish
  • Easy to clean and maintain

Cons

  • Not too suitable for serrated blades

Work Sharp EDC Micro Sharpener & Knife Tool


The Work Sharp EDC Micro Sharpener and Knife Tool can be a great choice if you are looking for something tiny and compact that you can easily carry around in your pocket or simply tie to your bag.

This sharpener has diamond as well as ceramic blades that can help with sharpening and honing. It also has a bits driver along with three Torx bits that you can use for tuning and fitting your knife properly.

Features

  • Material: Diamond, ceramic, stainless steel
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Size: 1”x 5.2” x 0.5”
  • Angle Guides: Consistent

Pros

  • Sharpening and honing blades
  • Comes with knife maintenance tools like Torx bits
  • Lanyard hole for easy portability
  • Small and compact
  • Consistent angle guides

Cons

  • Quick wearing out of pivots

Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener


This sharpener comes with a diamond-coated rod that you can simply pull out when you need to sharpen your knife. The blades are made from ceramic and carbide that you can use to sharpen the edge and hone it.

You can use this sharpener for both straight and serrated blades. The preset angle guides also make this process simpler. Since this sharpener is compact and light and has a lanyard hole, you can easily carry it around.

Features

  • Material: Diamond, carbide, ceramic
  • Weight: 1 ounce
  • Size: 5” x 1” x 0.01”
  • Angle Guides: Pre-set

Pros

  • Lanyard hole for portability
  • Diamond rod for straight and serrated blades
  • Carbide blades and ceramic stones for sharpness and polish
  • Detachable and reversible stones and blades
  • Pre-set and consistent angle guides

Cons

  • Not too steady, and requires extra safety

Smith’s Diamond Combo Bench Stone


This stone knife sharpener is compact and light while also including a lanyard hole so that you can easily carry it around. This knife sharpener has diamond stones that offer options for both coarse and fine sharpening requirements.

The sharpening stone or pad is also versatile for use with multiple tools and knife blades. Additionally, the sharpener includes a good grip and a thumb guard for some additional safety during the sharpening process.

It also includes a sharpening groove.

Features

  • Material: Synthetic, diamond
  • Weight: 8 ounces
  • Size: 4” x 1.5” x 1.33”
  • Angle Guides: Pre-set

Pros

  • Thumb guard for safety
  • Compact and light
  • Lanyard hole for portability
  • Coarse and fine stones for versatile uses
  • Soft and safe grip

Cons

  • Expensive for what it offers

Kershaw Ultra-Tek Blade Sharpener


The Kershaw Ultra-Tek Blade Sharpener comes with an aluminum rod coated with diamond to provide a sharpening as well as honing finish to your knife. This tool has a handle that can fully cover the rod when it is not in use.

The oval shaft is of 600 grits for a convenient process.

The edge of this sharpener also has a textured surface to provide a stronger grip to make the sharpening process safer. Since this tool is compact and relatively light, you can easily carry it around in your pocket or bag.

Features

  • Material: Diamond, steel
  • Weight: 2 ounces
  • Size: 6” x 1” x 1”
  • Angle Guides: 20 degrees

Pros

  • Anodized aluminum with diamond coating for sharpening and honing
  • Full-coverage holder for protection
  • Strong grip for safety
  • Compact and portable
  • Versatile usage

Cons

  • Insufficient for extremely dull knives

Advantages of Having a Pocket Knife

  • It can help you cut open packages or paper or knots at any point.
  • It can be portable and convenient to use.
  • You can easily sharpen it with a portable knife sharpener.
  • It can be useful for camping and outdoor activities.
  • You can use it for survival.
  • It is usually cost-effective while also including various features.

Things to Know about Sharpening Angles

Sharpeners can either be specific to your knife’s angle or can suit your own requirements. Some knife angles include the following.

  • Knives with angles below 10 degrees are mainly used for soft and flexible surfaces and usually have straight blades.
  • Knives with angles between 10 and 20 degrees can work for cutting fish and meat.
  • Knives with angles between 20 and 30 degrees are more long-lasting and can be used for tougher surfaces.
  • Knives with angles over 30 degrees are the toughest and provide plenty of force.

FAQs

How Much Time Will It Take to Sharpen a Pocket Knife?

This will depend on the blade requirements of the knife. If it does not require much work, it will take a few seconds, but if it does, it can take around 15 minutes.

Can a Knife Lose Its Functionality through Sharpening?

Yes, you should be careful so that you do not overdo the sharpening as this could change the shape or sharpness of the blade beyond use.

Does Sharpening Steel Deteriorate Over Time?

It will not entirely deteriorate, but it can certainly lose some of its functionality with frequent usage.

How Frequently Does a Pocket Knife Require Sharpening?

This depends on the knife’s blade, angle, and material. Essentially, if the knife does not make easy cuts, then you should sharpen it.

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