FYI: Knife Planet is supported by the readers. This means we may include affiliate links in articles and earn a commission at no cost to you if you purchase.
Knife owners oftentimes seek convenience when we shop for the best pocket knife sharpener. Let’s get real, humans want things to be as painless as possible, even when it comes to the hobbies we love. You shouldn’t attribute this mindset to laziness. Rather, think of it in this way, the busy craftsmen need convenience more than anyone. After all, most knife owners are out in the field when they realize their knife is dull. For most of us, carrying and utilizing grinding blocks is impractical. A dull knife is a serious issue. As we all know, working with a dull knife is dangerous. So the ability to sharpen your knife on the go is a godsend.
If you find yourself needing to maintain your blade in the midst of your work, we have good news. There are countless options when it comes to keeping your knife sharp on the go. Portable all-in-one sharpeners are growing in popularity. They are also replacing old school blocks all together. Portable sharpeners are smaller, last longer, and are in-expensive in contrast. The best pocket knife sharpener will have many features that increase their utility and value. That said, sharpening blocks still have their place in the workshop. As you will see, some companies have adopted this traditional tool into a simpler, portable option.
Having options is great, but when shopping for a new sharpener — more so online — it involves sifting through a sea of cheap products. Too often customers fall victim to these off-brand products. Well, we are here to save you from that fate. We have selected five of the best small knife sharpeners on the market today. So, hold your Buck knife close and choose wisely.
Best Pocket Knife Sharpener
1. Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Pocket Knife Sharpener – Portable and Compact Design
If you are looking for a company that specializes knife sharpeners, look no further than Smith’s. They have sharpeners for everything imaginable. You can find products for your pocket knife to your fishing hooks. If you can sharpen it they have a product for it.
Today we are looking at their PP1 Pocket Pal. The Pocket Pal aims to make any sharpening job as intuitive as possible. Whether you are new to maintaining knives or a pro, using the Pocket Pal is simple. There are two blade slots to use. The coarse carbide slot will make your blade as sharp as a Katana. While the ceramic slot will polish your blade giving it a pristine finish. Each slot is reversible and replaceable. The ability to replace each slot stone will add longevity and value to your buy.
There is also an extendable diamond-coated round rod. This is great for sharpening any irregular surfaces like serrated edges. At only 3-¾ inches long, the lightweight pocket Pal is great for knife maintenance on the go. With a lanyard hole, there is no need to worry about misplacing it. The Pocket Pal gives you a sharpening kit on the go. And at a price point under $10, you can’t beat that deal. Click here to see the best price.
2. Sharpal 101N 6-in-1 Pocket Knife Sharpener – A Workshop In Your Pocket
Sharpal is another great company based out of Ontario, California. They have about any sharpening device that you can think of. Although their main focus is on outdoor and sports cutlery. Each of their products is field-tested to ensure they perform to Sharpal’s standards.
As you can see with the 101N, they take pride in the products they sell. The 101N is a 6-in-1 sharpening device that seeks to put a workshop in your pocket. And they have succeeded at that. It has the basic sharpening slots. The tungsten carbide is the workhorse that gets your blade to a razor’s edge. Then the ceramic slot rounds out the job by giving it a smooth polish. The tapered diamond rod can handle awkward jobs. You can sharpen things like gut hooks, serrated edges, and fish hooks.
While most companies stop with the basics, not Sharpel, they pack a survival kit into the 101N. For starters, they were able to fit a fire starter into the frame of the 101N. They have also added an emergency whistle if you happen to get lost. To top it off there is a soft grip incorporated into the 101N’s design. So, you can have 100 percent control when completing any job.
There is no need to worry about the 101N failing after only a few uses. The 101N was tested up to 1000 times without any issues arising. The 101N has everything a knife owner could want in the best pocket knife sharpener. Click here to see the best price.
3. Whetstone Cutlery Knife Sharpener – Traditional Shape and Design
Let’s face it, sharpening blocks are cumbersome. There are a few reasons for this. Often you will need several stones to complete a job. And most of the time you will need an oil base to avoid damaging both the knife and the stone.
Well, with the Whetstone dual-sided stone these issues are eradicated. Although this stone is not compact enough to fit in your pocket it has added benefits. Thanks to its dual-sided design it can complete a sharpening job on its own. Each side is made from silicon carbide, The only difference being in the grit and color. Side one has a 400 grit carbide rating. Which brings the blade back to a like-new state. Side two is 1000 grit and is meant to finish and polish the blade edge. Each side is a unique color so you know what you’re working with.
Adding to the portability of this Whetstone is the ability to use water instead of oil. Traditional stones need oil to reduce friction and damage. Oil can not only become messy, but it’s also another item you need to carry. The ability to use water is far more convenient. So, if you prefer a traditional stone, this is the best pocket knife sharpener for you. Click here to see the best price.
4. ALPHA TEK Pocket Hunting Knife Sharpener – Simple and Intuitive Design
Alpha TEK is a newcomer from New York state. While pocket knife sharpeners aren’t their main focus, it doesn’t disqualify them from our list. Their general expertise in outdoor gear gives them a unique advantage. They understand what outdoor junkies desire most, lightweight gear. With their pocket sharpener, you get that and more.
At first glance, the Alpha TEK pocket sharpener looks basic as if it’s lacking something. When in reality it exemplifies minimalism. When your away from your shop on extended trips the last thing you need is over-complication. The Pocket sharpener is anything but complicated. Shaped like a guitar pick, the design is intuitive. The top side has the abrasive carbide slot. This will do all of the dirty work by bringing your knife back from the dead. Simply flip the sharpener upside down to use the ceramic slot. Here you will put that pristine finish on your blade. Bringing it back to its production line state.
The bottom of each side is flat. This provides a stable base when applying pressure. The added benefit of diamond grip on both the left and right side provides optimal control. If you care, there are three colors to choose from, black, day-glow orange, and OD green. If you are seeking an inexpensive and small, yet reliable sharpener, Alpha TEK sharpener is the best pocket knife sharpener for you. Click here to see the best price.
5. Lansky C-Sharp Hunting Knives Blade Sharpeners – Sharpen With Luxury
Lansky is the Lamborghini of knife sharpeners. Not in their pricing, but their expertise. Their attention to detail is first class. Their designs are meticulous. Their construction, impervious to defect. There is something to be said about Lanksy, the word perfection comes to mind.
With their C-Sharp hunting knife sharpener, you don’t get the basic two-slot design that you typically see. No, you get four slots, each with a different use. Often portable knife sharpeners are limited in choice when it comes to angles and grit. Lansky has shattered expectations by giving users two times the amount of angles to choose from. It would be ignorant to think each sharpening job requires the same approach. And Lansky understands this. That’s why they incorporated a 17-degree, 20-degree, 25-degree, and 30-degree angles, each with their either a 600 or 800 grit rating.
Not in only is this sharpener versatile, it’s built like a chunk of iron that fell from the heavens. The C-Sharps body is made from dual casted metal, giving it a solid build. Drop, smash and torture the C-Sharp all you like, it will persevere in the end. Like the aforementioned iron meteorite, the C-Sharp is bright orange as if it just re-entered the dense atmosphere. This makes it easy to spot if you were to misplace it.
If the best pocket knife sharpener means quality, ruggedness, and perfection, the C-Sharp is what you have been lusting after. Click here to see the best price.
Best Pocket Knife Sharpener Buyer’s Guide
There you have it, five of what we consider to be the best pocket knife sharpener models on the market. Now that we have lowered your search considerably, you may still have some questions. To help you narrow your search to one, we will now cover some of the basics of pocket knife sharpeners.
The size of a pocket knife sharpener is what makes them so popular. Today, the ability to maintain your knife on the go is greater than ever. That is all thanks to the compact design of on-the-go sharpeners. You can place them just about anywhere your pocket, backpack, even a tackle box. This is something you could never do with sharpening blocks.
Another great feature of portable sharpeners is the weight or the lack of it. When you can attach a major portion of your workshop to your back or hip and not even notice it, you know these companies are on to something. A lot of this is thanks to the contemporary plastics and steels that are used in the manufacturing of these devices. Which we will get into in the next section.
The materials used in the manufacturing of these great little devices aren’t so basic. While the frames are made from basic materials like stainless steel and synthetic plastics, the materials that do the sharpening are a little more complex. There are three to focus on carbide, ceramic, and diamond.
Carbide is carbon mixed with various types of metal. For pocket knife sharpeners, it’s forged with tungsten. Tungsten carbide is one of the world’s strongest materials. It is used in the manufacturing of countless tools, equipment, and even clothing. Carbide is resistant to chipping, cracking and heat. Making it a valuable material to work with. The reason it works so well sharpening knives is its density and hardness. In order to shape and reform the steel of your blade, you need a material that can hold an edge no matter what you throw at it. Tungsten carbide is the perfect material for this.
The ceramic in your sharpener is intended to bring a polished finish to your blade. In the process of maintaining your knife ceramic has a grit rating of 800 or more which essentially brings the now sharp yet rough blade into a smooth razor-sharp edge. Like the carbide we talked about earlier, ceramic is very tough. Some believe it to be as hard as a diamond. Which makes it great for working the hard stainless steel of a blade.
Why would anyone use such a precious material on a tool that is meant to shape and sharpen steel? Probably for the same reason oil rig drills use them. Diamond is the hardest substance known to mankind. If your drilling through rock, steel, or an asteroid that’s headed for earth, you best bet diamond-tipped drill bits are being used. When it comes to sharpening a knife, diamond is typically saved for the worst cases. It’s reserved for a job that carbide and ceramic cannot complete on their own. The one downside to this material is the cost. It will undoubtedly increase the cost of the sharpener that it’s attached to. Rest assured, it will be the best pocket knife sharpener your money can buy.
What can I sharpen a pocket knife with?
You have several approaches you can take when sharpening your pocket knife. The more complex option or grinding blocks. These typically take more time, requiring you to use several blocks to complete one job. There are some blocks including the Whetstone on our list that are double-sided only requiring water for lubricant. Lastly, we have pocket sharpeners which are the most convenient for sharpening on the go. They are lightweight, compact, and cost-effective, making them a popular option.
Do knife sharpeners ruin knives?
No, they actually extend the life span of a high-quality knife. Knife sharpeners don’t actually remove any metal. They instead fold it. This is why you alternate between both sides as you go. What will ruin your knife is improper care and negligence. When a knife becomes dull it is more prone to chipping and cracking.
How do you use a Smith knife sharpener?
Using a smith knife sharpener is straight forward. First, you want to find a solid surface to limit movement and enhance control. Then you want to place the base of the knife blade in the carbide slot with a slight angle downward. Then slowly pull the knife back towards yourself. Curving the blade with its natural shape as you go. You will want to repeat this process 5-10 times. You will essentially repeat the same process in the ceramic slot to polish the blade. After that, you are done.
How do you sharpen scissors with a knife sharpener?
While this task can be tricky, it is not impossible. With a traditional knife, the edge is on both sides, but this is not always the case. Like scissors, the edge may only be present on one side. You might think you can just focus on that side, you would be wrong. You still need to alternate between sides or else the edge of your blade will be so curved it won’t cut through the water. With pocket sharpeners, there are different angle outputs that will eliminate this problem. You simply need to run it through the desired setting then polish it off.
How do you sharpen knives with a knife sharpener?
Unless you’re using knife blocks the process is simple. Place the base of the blade in the desired slot, pull the blade towards you, and curve with the natural shape of the knife. And that’s it, just repeat this process 5-10 times and move on to polishing the blade, then you’re done.
What is the best knife sharpener?
This question is rather subjective. It will depend on what you want out of a knife sharpener. With that, there are some qualities that are universal when looking for the best pocket knife sharpener. You will want it to be lightweight. As most backpackers can attest to, the lighter the equipment the better. Another aspect to consider is ease of use. When you on the go, you want to be able to get your knife razor-sharp in 5 minutes or less. Lastly, you will want the sharpener to be small, compact, and easy to transport. If a knife sharpener has these qualities it should be in your running.
What’s the best way to sharpen knives?
While there are different techniques for sharpening knives, you are still limited. The mechanics will depend if you are using a sharpening block or pocket sharpener. Pocket sharpeners are the easiest and therefore the best. Let’s be real we all want it to be easy. Just place the blade in the slot, pull back, rinse and repeat until satisfied.
Do diamond knife sharpeners wear out?
While a diamond is one of the strongest materials on earth, it too can succumb to overuse. That said, there is no need to worry, the diamond sharpener will probably outlast your blade anyways.
How can I sharpen my knife at home?
Well, the first step would be to buy the best pocket knife sharpener. Once you have accomplished that there are several techniques you can undertake. Of course, this depends on the type of sharpener you have acquired. With knife blocks, you glide the blade over the stone from base to tip increasing the grit rating until polished. All while using oil of course. With pocket sharpeners you move from blade base to tip about 10 times then you’re done.
Can you over sharpen a knife?
The short answer is no, you can’t. To expand on this, there is a point when you can get to optimal sharpness. Beyond that point, you are uselessly repeating the same process over and over. If you are worried about damaging your knife, don’t, it’s nearly impossible.
How do you sharpen a blunt knife blade?
You can sharpen a blunt knife blade with either sharpening blocks or pocket sharpeners.
What type of knife sharpener is best?
The best knife sharpener is the easiest one to use. And in our opinion pocket sharpeners are by far the easiest. They are small and easy to transport and use. Making them ideal for just about anyone from outdoorsmen to chefs. If you are looking for something more technical sharpening blocks are great too.
Do electric knife sharpeners ruin knives?
Electronic knife sharpeners do run the risk of damaging knives. This happens because of the friction and uncontrolled speed of the tool. Knives are forged with heat, they can most certainly be destroyed by it.
How long do knife sharpeners last?
Well maintained pocket knife sharpeners should last 5 years or longer.
Top Selling Pocket Knife Sharpeners
- 6 FUNCTION: 1. No. 1 V-Notch slot (Coarse CARBIDE)-Quickly set a new edge; 2. No. 2 (Fine CERAMIC)-Hone for a smooth finished edge; 3. Tapered diamond rod (Medium 400 Grit) for serrations & gut hooks; 4. Diamond rod with groove for fishhooks; 5. Ferro rod; 6. High-pitched emergency whistle
- A portable EDC field tactical knife sharpener with built-in lanyard hole, ideal for hunting, camping, outdoor survival use. It also works well for your kitchen chef knife.
- Crossed Carbide Blades Provide Quick Edge Setting
- Crossed Ceramic Rods Provide a Razor Sharp Edge
- Tapered Round Diamond Coated Rod for Sharpening Serrated and Standard Edges
- Carbide Blades (Coarse CARBIDE Slot) Quickly Set Your Edge; Ceramic Stones (Fine CERAMIC slot) Give You a Razor Sharp Edge
- Field repairs on all blades
- Works with standard, serrated, gut hook, and fillet knives
- COMPLETE KNIFE SHARPENER - field, home or shop use designed for sportsmen who need a complete, compact field sharpening solution. The diamond plates can be easily removed to expose a broad head wrench to speed sharpening in the field. Diamond plates can be attached with the abrasive exposed or flipped over during transport in your gear bag.
- DIAMOND PLATES, CERAMIC RODS, LEATHER STROP, & SHARPENING GUIDES - provide a fast, easy & consistent sharpening solution for knives & camp tools. The ceramic honing rod rotates to expose coarse & fine honing surfaces, as well as a grooved surface for sharpening fish hooks. A second, small ceramic rod is used for sharpening serrations