From a long time, people go out for many outdoor recreational activities which include, hunting, fishing, cycling, camping, biking, mountain climbing, sailing, horseback riding, etc., for fun and to get entertained.
Hunting and camping are those activities for which you need specialized tools like knives, knife sharpeners, special shoes, gun and another lot of stuff.
Despite how much costly tools you carry, they became dull after some time and need proper care and maintenance.
Importance Of Pocket Knife Sharpener
In outdoor activities, pocket knives have great importance. And we all know that it does not matter how costly your pocket knives are, which brand you are using, whether they are serrated edge or stainless steel edge, whether you are using best hunting knife for dressing purpose or best skinning knife for deer skinning or best camping knife for cutting bushes, the blade of all knives become dull with time. And you have to sharpen your knives after regular intervals.
Some pocket knives require sharpening after a month or so, but some high-quality knives need to be sharpened after 6 months. So at the last, you need a best pocket knife sharpener that will sharpen your pocket knife and give it a razor sharp edge.
A long time ago, sharpening stones are the only way of sharpening your dull knife. They required a little bit of experience because you have to maintain the proper sharpening angle of your knife. If you don’t maintain the required sharpening angle, its blade will damage and your costly knife got destroyed.
Nowadays, sharpening stones are not the only option you got, there are many high-quality sharpening systems available in the market, so you can sharpen your knife easily. Some electric knife sharpeners require a plugin to work while on the other hand some are battery powered and some sharpeners are manual.
But when you are on hunting, camping or any other outdoor activity, you need a sharpener that you can carry easily, require less space in your backpack i.e., it is so small that easily fits in your pocket and is able to give razor sharp edge to your knives. So this type of knife sharpener is called pocket knife sharpener.
How To Select A Best Pocket Knife Sharpener
Currently, there are many pocket knife sharpeners available both in the online and offline market. But the question is which one to choose? Which one is the best pocket knife sharpener for your knives?
Well, there is no exact answer for these questions because there are many types of knives, like carbon blade knives, serrated knives, stainless steel knives, ceramic knives, Japanese style knives, etc. and selection of the best pocket knife sharpener depends on the type of knives, your personal preference and your budget is another important factor.
Things To Look For In A Pocket Knife Sharpener
We highly recommend you to avoid cheap pocket knife sharpeners, because a low-quality knife sharpener can damage your pocket knife.
1. Hard Surface:
Best pocket knife sharpener should have a very hard surface. Experiments have found that if we rub a knife on a harder surface, it will give a better and long lasting edge to your pocket knife.
2. Adjustable Angle:
If you have no previous experience in knife sharpening, it will be difficult for you to hold the knife at the right angle in order to sharpen it effectively. It takes a little practice to learn it.
So, instead of destroying knives, some knife sharpeners come with guides that adjust the required angle of the blade to give it a razor sharp edge.
These pocket knife sharpeners are particularly built to accommodate the blade the angle of a blade when sharpening, despite what type of blade you have.
3. Sharpening Stages:
Usually, pocket knife sharpeners have at least two stages. The purpose of having multiple sharpening stages is so that you won’t need to bring along two or more knife sharpeners. Because in stage 1, sharpener will give the required angle to the dull knife. And in the second stage, it will give touch ups and polish your knife.
Size of the pocket knife sharpener matters very much because some people think as it should be small to fit in your pocket but on the other hand, some outdoorsmen thought the other way.
If pocket knife sharpener does not fit in your pocket, then you have the option to put it in your backpack easily. And carry it wherever you want.
If you have large hands, then chances are you won’t feel comfortable in using a too small knife sharpener. So, in this case, you need a pocket knife sharpener that fit in your hands.
Normally, pocket knife sharpeners are lightweight due to their small size. But if you are looking for a bit larger pocket knife sharpener that you carry in your backpack rather than pocket. Then you may want 2/3 ounces are not much weight.
Types Of Pocket Knife Sharpeners
1. Sharpening Stone
Sharpening stones are used to sharpen pocket knives since ancient times and it is still one of the most efficient ways of sharpening a pocket knife. These are made up of natural materials like concrete, rock, ceramic, diamond dust, etc.
These are more or less one inch wide and have the ability to remove a lot of material from your pocket knife to give it a razor-sharp edge.
2. Steel Rods
Normally, these steel rods are used for maintaining the edge of your knife and not for sharpening dull knives.
They are made of a long rod which is either ceramic or steel. Although they don’t give a razor-sharp edge to your dull knives, these steel rods are still considered good for maintaining the proper edge of a pocket knife.
3. Knife Hones
These knife hones come with different sizes, shapes, styles, and use stone or steel to sharpen your knives. They are like steels rods, so not great for sharpening a knife with a dull knife but they are still used as pocket knife sharpeners because they can polish and give quick touch-ups to your blade.
Even electric knife sharpeners are very popular nowadays. But these three types of knife sharpeners are still used widely to give quick tweaks to your knives.
Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners 2020
Now, it’s time to get into the best and most popular pocket knife sharpeners that people are using all over the world.
1. Smith’s PP1 Sharpener
Smith’s PP1 sharpening tool is the most popular and lightest pocket knife sharpener due to its price. It is the best knife sharpener in terms of portability.
It is smaller than your pocket so don’t have to worry about making space for it in your backpack.
Its carbide plates are reversible, replaceable and provide quick edge settings for dull knives. On the other hand, ceramic plates give your knife smooth and polish edge.
It also has preset sharpening angles to give your pocket knife a sharp edge every time and to make sure your knife not get damaged. As the blades are easily replaceable so you don’t have to worry about buying a new sharpener every time when its surfaces are worn down.
If you are going for hunting, camping, etc., this knife sharpener will do the job for you, but it will not give an extremely sharp edge to your knife.
2. AccuSharp 001C Knife Sharpener
The AccuSharp makes it so easy to get that perfect blade in seconds. Nothing to plug into the wall, no moving parts. Just a very straight-forward product that works exactly how you hope it would. There are instructions included for opening the tool and flipping the sharpening blades around.
The beautiful design of this pocket knife sharpener will keep your fingers away from the blade, so you can sharpen your pocket knife without any hesitation.
And the diamond-honed tungsten carbide will make your knife’s edge, razor sharp every time.
This sharpener comes with replaceable and reversible blades, to enhance the life of this sharpening device. So, you don’t have to worry about it.
Despite, the two blades that come with the package will last a long time, if you want to use this knife sharpener on daily basis, the company also provides extra cutting surfaces for you.
3. Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic
The Lansky BladeMedic and Smith’s PP1 Sharpener have lots of features in common. It’s really good for you if you are not good at using sharpening stones. This sharpener gives an incredible performance in three or four strokes.
It really depends on how you intend to use this. If you think it’s a great repair tool when you are hiking in the wilderness, then it may be a bit heavy.
If, however, you want to keep this in your toolbox for quick blade touch-ups? It’s well built and does a good job. You will be easily able to return a pocket knife to razor sharp with only about 10 minutes worth of work. You will definitely also like the ceramic wedge for cleaning up serrated knives.
The diamond tapered rod has a nice magnetic lock in both directions (closed or open). The tool feels solid and well-built all around.
So just depends on your use: if you’re through hiking and want a field repair tool? It’s a bit heavy.
Going to keep it in the back of your truck or in your field service toolbox? This is excellent for that.
4. Smith’s TRI-6 Sharpening Stone
At the low price range, you can get this pocket sharpener, it is a very good buy. Good water stones will cost you $40 a piece but are much larger so easier to move your blade across. This is under $30 for 3 stones and a stand but the stones are about 7/8″ smaller in width and 2″ smaller in length than a traditional Japanese water stone. If you are used to using larger stones, you may have a hard time adjusting to the size of these stones. If you are a beginner or someone used to more casual sharpening with a rod or a smaller pocket stone, this is a nice step up and perhaps a good introduction to stones especially if you own a few smaller blades or pocket knives.
If you are a beginner or someone used to more casual sharpening with a rod or a smaller pocket stone, this is a nice step up and perhaps a good introduction to stones especially if you own a few smaller blades or pocket knives.
If you haven’t used a sharpening stone before, it does take some practice before getting used to. The blade guide that comes with it can be helpful. If you aren’t sure of the edge angle on your blade, it’s best to check with the manufacturer of your knife for recommendations on proper sharpening and edge angle.
Mostly, you are not going to be using the coarse grit stone unless your knife is super dull (usually from not being maintained properly). You need to start with the medium grit stone which removes minimal metal from the blade. The fine stone is for taking it that last little bit or maybe just for touching up a bit before doing some more serious work with your knife. You could then finish off with a leather strop block if you wanted but most of the time that is overkill.
5. Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker
If you’re bad with keeping steady angles of blades, then this pocket sharpener is definitely the right pick for you.
This is an incredible knife sharpener! The system is easy to master, and gives a perfect edge on anything with an edge or a point. Knives, scissors, fish hooks, tools, serrated blades…. you name it!
The concept is that with the blades being more vertical and angled (rather than lying flat on a table). Hence, you don’t have to worry about running the blade at the right angle, or messing up your bevel. It has 2 angles to choose from, set it up, and keep your blade straight vertical as you run it down.
There’s a DVD with videos if you want to see how these tricks are done, or a booklet going through the various steps to sharpen or hone and how they are done. EASY!
Two sets of stones—a coarser one to get the burrs off, and a finer ceramic set to refine the edge. There are guards to keep your ultra-sharp blades from slicing your flesh, and it all folds up neatly into a box for easy storage.
You can also use these stones without any type of lubricant, as long as they are cleaned and maintained properly after each use.
6. Fallkniven CC4 Ceramic Whetstone Sharpener
This small stone is easy to carry and has just the right grit to bring a knife from dull to sharp with very little work.
The CC4 combines the two best stones for blade repair and recovery. The dark side is, its aggressive enough to remove a small knick and take care of most dulling issues. The white ceramic side puts a mirror edge on all the blades you sharpen.
The white side stains from the steel being removed but keeping the blade wet will alleviate some of the staining.
You don’t need any lubricant for this stone too. Weight of the stone is 1.8 oz by itself or 2.3 oz while in the black leather sheath.
Going in the woods for any duration of time you need to push the “1 is none 2 is one” rule, while also remembering you have to carry everything on your back.
I believe that if you keep your tools in good shape with proper edge symmetry, this should be able to bring back any edge failure you might run into while out and about.
Getting a razor sharp pocket knife is not as much difficult as some newbie thinks, and many of these sharpening tools make it extremely easy for those who are new in sharpening.
Sharpening requires a little patience, because if you force your pocket knife through these devices in a rush, it may damage your knife’s edge.
We recommend you if you are a newbie, it’s better to practice with a cheap knife that you are not worried about ruining.