What’s the Best Pocket Knife Sharpener?

Reviews

Oct 06
best pocket knife sharpener

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. 

The Best 3 Pocket Knife Sharpeners

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. 

2nd

Smiths Stone Sharpening Kit

Smith's SK2 2-Stone Sharpening Kit

( 4.3 out of 5.0 )

  • 5 x 1 5/8 x 3/8 medium stone to set edge
  • 4 x 1 x 3/8 fine Arkansas stone to finish
  • Natural Arkansas stone removes the least amount of metal while polishing
  • Sharpening angle guide to teach basic correct angle for first time user
  • Great for pocket knives. Too small for larger knives

1st

Smith Pocket Knife Sharpener

Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener

( 4.4 out of 5.0 )

  • Tapered diamond rod for sharpening serrations and gut hooks
  • Carbide blades quickly set the edge
  • Ceramic finishing slot and lanyard hole
  • Pre-set sharpening angles for guaranteed results
  • Reversible and replaceable carbide blades and ceramic stones
  • Small contact point on blade, while ideal for pocket knives, makes sharpening larger knives less accurate

3rd

Fiskars Pocket Knife Sharpener

Fiskars Pocket Knife Sharpener 3247

( 4.0 out of 5.0 )

  • Two stage ceramic rods
  • Coarse rods remove imperfections, fine rods restore sharp edge
  • Low cost option
  • Would be more stable with a wider rubber base

Why Buy a Pocket Knife Sharpener?

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.  

  • A dull blade is dangerous
  • A pocket knife can be your most useful tool. If looked after

What to Look Out for When Buying a Pocket Knife Sharpener

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. 

  • Do you prefer 1 a stone or pull through sharpener? I know plenty of people who always have been, and always will be stone sharpeners. This doesn't make them the best sharpeners to use, but to a certain extent the best sharpener for your pocket knife, is the one you're going to use the most and be comfortable with. 
  • Do you plan to use the sharpener for other knives?  A pocket knife is, as the name suggests, a small knife with a small blade. If you want to buy a sharpener for your pocket knife that you will also use on other larger knives, you need to consider whether to buy a more generic purpose knife sharpener

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. 

A word on technique

?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. ?

Guide to the Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners

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. 

Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener

Smith Pocket Knife Sharpener

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. 

Features

  • Tapered diamond rod for sharpening serrations and gut hooks
  • Carbide (coarse) blades quickly set the edge
  • Ceramic (fine, brown ceramic) finishing slot; lanyard hole
  • Pre-set sharpening angles provide guaranteed results
  • Reversible and replaceable carbide blades and ceramic stones

What's Good About It?

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. 

What Could Be Improved?

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. 

Smith's SK2 2-Stone Sharpening Kit

Smiths Stone Sharpening Kit

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.  

Features

  • Five inch block mounted medium stone to set your edge
  • four inch fine Arkansas stone to finish your edge
  • Premium honing solution cleans and protects the sharpening surface
  • Sharpening angle guide to help you get the correct angle every time

What's Good About It?

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. 

What Could Be Improved?

It doesn't come with much oil included. But you can buy this in bulk at your hardware store easily. 

Fiskars Pocket Knife Sharpener 3247

Fiskars Pocket Knife Sharpener

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. 

Features

  • Two stage ceramic rods
  • Pre-set ceramic sharpening rods
  • Coarse rod to remove blade imperfections, find rod to restore the edge

What's Good About It?

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. 

What Could Be Improved?

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. 

Final Verdict on Best Pocket Knife Sharpener

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!

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