Pocket knives are an important part of any kitchen or tool kit, however even the best knife will eventually dull and be in need of sharpening. So, you’ll want to ensure along with a handy pocket knife, you have the best pocket knife sharpener possible.
It’s just as important to have a great pocket knife sharpening kit as it is to have a great knife, maybe even more so as the best pocket knife sharpening system can aide the dullest of knives. However, it can be a bit confusing to pick out the best pocket knife sharpener, which is why we’ve written this guide.
Why use a knife sharpener?
No matter how high quality your knife is, it will eventually dull and sure you could use a sharpening service, but it’s often more economic and convenient to handle it in-house. That’s why we highly recommend purchasing your own knife sharpener, to save money and to have the ability to sharpen knives at a moment’s notice.
Not to mention, if you’re out camping, fishing or hunting with a dull knife, it would be nice to be able to handle the issue on the spot and not have plans ruined.
What is the best pocket knife sharpener?
Depends on what exactly your goals are and what kind of knives and blades you typically have.
If you have small pocket knives, you’ll probably want a pocket sized, portable sharpener. Same idea if you are on the go, camping, hiking or hunting more than you’re at home.
If you’re a homebody and/or chef, you may not necessarily need a portable version, although it could be handier. As for blades, make sure to double check what is and isn’t compatible with each model and if you’re a leftie, you’ll definitely want to check compatibility!
What to look for in a pocket knife sharpener
- Hard Surface – This is the most important factor and all the sharpeners we’ve reviewed have very hard surfaces, which has been proven to give long-lasting edge to your blade.
- Angle – For novices, it’s particularly important to have an adjustable angle, as it can take a while to learn how to properly hold a sharpener. If you’re more experienced, you may not require adjustable, but it’s nice to have.
- Sharpening Stages – Typically most sharpeners will have two, the first one is to have the proper angle, the second is to polish and touch up the blade.
Leftie vs. Rightie
An often overlooked factor is hand capability, if you’re right handed you likely won’t have to think about this too much. However, if you’re left handed, double check the description and reviews before purchasing to ensure you’ll actually be able to use the sharpener you intend to buy!
1. Smith’s PP1 Knife Sharpener
If you’re a traveler, outdoors lover or constantly on-the-go, this may be the best folding knife sharpener out there. It’s very versatile and meant for mobile users.
A foldable, mini knife sharpener that’s light and easy to use, it’s also durable and long-lasting – perfect for travel or use in nature. It’s perfect for providing a sharp knife whenever and wherever you are and contains reversible and removable carbide blades making it an even more convenient choice!
The best part however, is how easy to clean this small knife sharpener is, as all that’s required is a damp cloth and quick towel dry. No need for soap or an additional rinse.
- Very Portable
- A bit expensive
- Doesn’t sharpen to maximum effect
2. Smith’s Combo Diamond Bench Stone
This is a very versatile pocket knife sharpening kit, as it can also sharpen other tools such as, fish hooks. So if you want a multifaceted knife sharpener, this is a great choice!
The micro-sized layers of mono crystalline diamonds are a special sharpening surface that makes the process very quick. This allows for the collection and build up of metal fillings and its micro-tool sharpening pad is perfect for pointed tools such as hooks.
This sharpener has a wide range, making it a great choice, not to mention it’s extremely comfortable to use, with a soft grip rubber handle and a thumb guard for safety.
- Safety guard
- Versatility – doesn’t do one thing well
- Awkward angle
3. Sharpal 6-in-1 Pocket Knife Sharpener
The extremely versatile tool is one of the best pocket knives sharpeners out there, not only taking care of all your knife sharpening needs, but standing in for 6 other tools!
Reminiscent of a Swiss pocket knife, it not only functions as a knife, but as a fire starter, high pitch whistle, sharpener for rods and hooks and serrated. Definitely worth the very affordable price if you are a fan of multiple activities such as hunting, fishing and home improvement, especially if you’re not a fan of carrying around a bunch of equipment. Another important aspect is that it’s usable with blades of all different sizes, an advantage for sure
While it may not be the best overall folding knife sharpener, you can’t beat it’s multi-use aspect. However, if you’re not a fan of a “jack of all trades” tool, might want to look to another option.
- Can handle various blades
- Used with hooks
- No case
- Not best overall sharpener
4. Lansky PS BladeMedic Knife Sharpener
This great sharpener is so small, it basically fits in your pocket, however don’t mistake the size for small capacity as you’ll essentially feel like you’re holding an entire kit in your pocket.
It has the ability to work on both regular and serrated knives, as well as ceramic sharpening rods that will finish the edge after just a few swipes. Alternatively, the diamond tapered rod is perfect for maintenance and reconditioning when you don’t need a blade fully sharpened.
Furthermore, this isn’t just a pocket or hunting knife sharpener, it’s definitely appropriate in any kitchen!
- Workable with different blades
- Functions as multiple sharpeners
- Serrations need extra care
- Heavier due to metal material
5. Gatco Carbide Knife Sharpener
This is arguably the best knife sharpener for pocket knives on the market, made out of high quality aluminum and a carbide insertion. It’s also simple to use, only requiring a swipe against the carbide a few times.
It’s not exactly a mini knife sharpener, but it is small enough to fit easily in your hand and not take up too much space in a tool kit. It’s smaller size and ease of use make it the ideal sharpener for beginners. No more intimidation by large or overly complicated tools!
It’s also generally usable with any blade!
- Very small
- Tungsten carbide material
- Lightweight handle
- Not great for lefties
- A bit more expensive than others
6. Work Sharp Pivot Knife Sharpener
This is one of the best pocket sized knife sharpeners you could buy. Made of stainless steel and weighing in at only 1.2 oz, it’s extremely light, yet durable and can easily fit in your pocket.
This sharpener gives you great control, with pivot response that follows your knife’s curve for consistency across the entire blade. The ceramic hone resharpens any blade in a quick manner while the diamond shaped plate is perfect for fish hooks and other tools.
It also comes with a lifetime warranty and is extremely affordable, you won’t want to miss this!
- Very affordable
- Pocket sized
- Lifetime warranty
- Not super efficient
- Small – difficult to work with large blades
7. Smith’s CCKS Knife Sharpener
This tiny, 1.6 oz pocket knife sharpener is a great (and colorful) tool to add to your kit. The crossed carbide blade provides quick edge setting and the crossed ceramic rods make sure your razors are optimally sharpened.
It’s compatible with all types of knives and outfitted with non-slip rubber feet for safety and security.
This pocket knife sharpener is easy to use, compact, lightweight and a great price, get yours today!
- Easy use
- Compatible with multiple knives
- Not great with high-end knives
8. Work Sharp Knife Sharpener
This is a great pocket knife sharpener for all types of users, with a ceramic hone and diamond shaped plate, it will sharpen all types of blades as well as hooks. It’s also great with serrations – always a plus!
Keep in mind due to the size this is best used with pocket knives, not necessarily with kitchen tools. The best feature however, is that it works great for both left and right handed users, something that can be difficult to find with knife sharpeners!
The rough grit is perfect for your pocket knives and the lifetime warranty means you definitely won’t want to miss out!
- Good serrations
- Left and right handed compatible
- Lifetime warranty
- Not great for large knives
- Not very ergonomic
What types and features should I look for in a knife sharpener?
There are three main features most sharpeners may or may not have; a sharpening stone, steel rods and knife hones. The sharpening stone is the “traditional” part of any model, as it’s been used since ancient times. It’s also the most efficient way to sharpen most blades. It’ll typically be made of concrete, rock, ceramic or diamond dust and requires just a few passes of the blade for sharpening.
The steel rods are mainly for maintenance to keep blades sharp, not necessarily for sharpening completely dulled blades. They’re typically made of steel or ceramic.
Finally, the knife hones are similar to the rods in that they provide more of a maintain and polish service. These come in all different sizes, types, and styles, but are typically made of steel or stone.
How important is size?
There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer as it depends on your preference. Some people think it’s best if a sharpener fits in your hand, others like a bit bigger of a tool. Some argue that the smaller sharpeners don’t do as good of a job as the larger options, however, this is rarely the case as proven by most reviews. If you’re really concerned by this, many people opt for multiple sharpeners, one for on-the-go and another for the kitchen and/or tool kit.
If you prefer a pocket sized sharpener, there’s plenty to choose from, as this is the hot item on the market right now. Although even the “larger” options will typically be an easy fit for a backpack or portable tool kit.
You’ll also want to take into consideration your hand size, as not all sharpeners will be comfortable fit for everyone.
How to care for a knife sharpener?
As with any piece of equipment, you’ll want to keep your pocket knife sharpener somewhere safe and dry, away from potential damage. The best way to do this is to either buy a case or keep the sharpener in a toolkit where it’s protected. You’ll also want to make sure it’s stored in a dry, accessible place and that you clean it every few uses.
Usually a damp cloth is good enough for cleaning, although if it’s been awhile you may want to add some soap with a sponge. Don’t scrub too hard as this can damage the material, just a few gentle passes should be enough. Make sure to use warm water, as it’ll best remove particles from the blades. Additionally, if it’s been a long while since the last cleaning, you may need to invest in a magic erase marker.
Even when you’re taking it on the go, make sure you have a portable case or covering to prevent damage.Invalid table id.
Knife lover? Check out our other reviews of the top magnetic knife holders and venison meat grinders!