Your pocket knife is probably one of your most useful tools. Not only because it can be used for all sorts of jobs, but also it's just so accessible. I can often be seen using mine to open food packages, sharpening a pencil or cutting up boxes. A quick wipe of the blades on my pants and back it goes into my pocket. But you have to sharpen the blade. A dull blade needs a lot more force to work. And that's when you have accidents. So I will regularly sharpen my pocket knife, and here's my review of the best pocket knife sharpeners you can buy.
Two of our top three are Smith's sharpeners. But we also feature a Gerber sharpener. You'll have your own preference between pull through and stone sharpeners. Both are covered in our top three and we'd recommend any of these pocket knife sharpeners.
Smith's SK2 2-Stone Sharpening Kit
( 4.3 out of 5.0 )
Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener
( 4.4 out of 5.0 )
Fiskars Pocket Knife Sharpener 3247
( 4.0 out of 5.0 )
Your pocket knife will soon become far less useful if left with a dull blade. In fact, worse than that. It will be dangerous. You'll compensate for the lack of sharpness with force. And this is when accidents happen.
Absolutely the most important thing, is to sharpen the blade regularly. Once it starts to show signs of bluntness, you need to sharpen it. And for this, you can use whatever knife sharpener you have at home; even if it's usually used for sharpening the meat knife! However, you may want to consider buying a knife sharpening that is designed for the task. From a hygiene point of view this may be a good idea, and also it may be useful on camping and fishing trips to have something a little more portable.
And in case you're interested... here's a video of why every man should own a pocket knife.
For the sake of this review, we've considered the most important factor to be how well they sharpen a pocket knife. That said, the sharpeners' versatility to be used on larger knives has been considered to a lesser extent.
?Whether you go for the stone sharpener or a pull through option, you need to know a little about technique. And whereas the pull through options are often a little easier to get the hang of, a stone requires a little more practise. Here's our guide to sharpening your pocket knife with a stone.
Remember if you go for a Whetstone you must soak it in cold, clean water for 10 minutes before sharpening. ?
A Ceramic stone must also be soaked, but only for 3 - 5 minutes. They're harder than whetstones so will sharpen the blade faster and tend to last longer. But be warned, they are trickier to get the technique right.
Diamond stones. ?These very hard and very porous stones are often metal plates with small diamonds attached to the surface. These are the hardest sharpening stones and will sharpen your stone the quickest. They are also easily the most expensive!
Whatever stone you go for, you must first lubricate it with mineral oil, or similar. This prevents the stone's pores from clogging up with filings and reduces heat friction. ?
You need to identify your bevel angle of the blade. For most pocket knives this is between 25 and 30 degrees. ?Now position your knife at the proper angle, keep the position and have the blade facing away from you.
Now glide the knife along the stone, you need to adopt a sweeping action down and off the end of the stone. Repeating as many times as necessary to get a sharp edge. Usually this will be about a dozen times. ?
Now sharpen the other side of the blade. You should only need to do this about 6 or 8 times. ?
Now turn your stone over to reveal the finer side facing up. Run the blade at its bevel angle along the finer side of the stone. This gets rid of any bumps that may have formed when sharpening. ?
Finally test the sharpness by holding a piece of paper and trying to slide through it downwards with your knife. A sharp blade will easily slice through paper. ?
So your basic choice is between a pull-through device, and a stone block. Both work, and which you go for will come down to personal preference. For all around usability and results 2 of our top 3 come from the pull through category.
This really does have everything you could possibly need from a pocket knife sharpener. And it's easy to use and transportable. A great sharpener.
Folds up into your pocket with a handy hole for a lanyard. Does a great job on a pocket knife, but also hunting knives and serrated knives. Have all three options - diamond rod, carbide blades and ceramic finishing slot to sharpen your blade no matter what its condition.
Carbide blades are a little aggressive. Great if there's a nick or some damage to your blade, but otherwise are a little over enthusiastic and could damage your blade.
This kit comes lets you set your edge, finish your edge and comes with a honing solution to clean and protect the sharpening surface. Great for a lover of stone sharpeners rather than pull through options. Does everything you'd expect it to. And well.
It will sharpen lots of different blades - your kitchen knives, wood carving knives as well as your pocket knife. Once you get the technique there's no limit. Although for larger blades, a larger stone would be easier.
It doesn't come with much oil included. But you can buy this in bulk at your hardware store easily.
A very basic pull through product with a price to match. But basic doesn't mean it doesn't work. Far from it. This pocket knife sharpener is compact and a will absolutely sharpen your pocket knife well.
It absolutely will sharpen your pocket knife. And do a good job. It's a more basic product, but is also compact so can travel with you. Perhaps not as useful for other blades, but if you really do only want it for sharpening your pocket knife this will absolutely do the job.
For the price this probably couldn't. That said, a slightly more stable and wider base would be a good improvement without compromising on the minimalist nature of the product.
The best pull through sharpener is without a doubt the Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener. It will do a great job with your pocket knife, and with many other knives. It's really easy to use, a first time user would have no problems achieving a professional finish. The Stone Sharpening Kit is a great stone for pocket knives, and if you like a stone kit this is the best option for you. If you want to sharpen large knives though you'll need a larger stone. The Fiskars Pocket Knife Sharpener is basic yet extremely effective. If you want an entry level product in terms of ease of use and functionality but at the same time a great finish, you can't go far wrong with the Fiskars. All three are great sharpeners. Whichever you go for, you'll be happy!
Lastly, if you're in the market for some knives, make sure you check out our friend's blog Blade Scout. They feature reviews of almost any knife imaginable!