Pocket knives need to be razor-sharp at all times because their ability to cut through anything is what makes them useful. But that doesn’t mean throwing your knife away when it gets dull! It just means you need to get a good sharpener.
And luckily, your search for the best pocket knife sharpeners ends here. In my 10+ years of experience in using, reviewing, and sharpening pocket knives, I’ve come across many knife sharpeners.
But only a few of them stood out to me, which is why I made this list of the 7 best pocket knife sharpeners on the market now.
Personally, I highly recommend the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener, Gray, simply due to its durability, portability, and ease of use. But if you’d like to go for something else, I have 6 more options for you to pick from. So, let’s get started.
Here Are the 7 Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners – Tried & Tested
- Dimensions: 6.75 x 1.5 x 1 inches
- Weight: 2.5 ounces
- Blades: Diamond, ceramic, and leather
- Sharpening Angle Guide: 20° for the diamond plate & 25° for the leather strop
In my opinion, the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener, Gray is the best pocket knife sharpener on the market; it’s reasonably priced, durable, portable, and easy to use.
Let’s start off with the plates because they’re definitely my favorite thing about this sharpener. The Work Sharp has five different plates: one made of coarse diamond, one of fine diamond, two ceramic rods, and one leather strop.
The coarse diamond plate has a 220 grit and is perfect for damaged knives or extremely dull blades. As for the diamond plate, it has a 600 grit, which is perfect for more precise work or for the maintenance of less dull blades. And both plates are measured at 4×1 inches.
As for the two ceramic rods, they consist of three parts: a coarse grit, a fine grit, and a fishhook groove. The ceramic rods are perfect for serrations, fine sharpening, and finishing. So they can be used for multiple tasks besides pocket knife sharpening.
The leather strop is a welcomed addition that you can use to finish off the blades after you’re done sharpening them.
Portability-wise, this sharpener is just 2.5 ounces in weight, and the diamond plates can be removed and flipped over, so it wouldn’t cause any harm to your bag or other gear.
You’ll also find a 20° angle guide for the diamond plates, so you can easily maintain a consistent angle of sharpening. There’s also a 25° angle guide on the leather strop to easily remove the burr.
- Portable and compact
- Replaceable plates are easy to work with
- Offers a five-stage sharpening process
- Very versatile and easy to use
- Not the most comfortable to grip
The AccuSharp Knife & Tool Sharpener is another budget-friendly option. The biggest selling point of this sharpener is how speedy and easy to use it is; it can get your knives from incredibly dull to razor sharp in just a few strokes of decreasing pressure.
The blades in AccuSharp sharpener are made from diamond-honed tungsten carbide, providing incredible hardness and an impressive ability to sharpen any dull knife.
Besides, such material guarantees that the sharpener will stay as good as new for years to come. Moreover, this sharpener is also very easy to clean and maintain, so it’ll surely last you a long time.
Furthermore, I found this sharpener to be easy to use and comfortable to hold. The full-length guard, especially, is a great addition because it ensures that your fingers will be nowhere near the newly-sharpened edges of your blades.
However, I don’t recommend using this sharpener for tools besides pocket knives, as it’s a bit too harsh and can take off a lot of metal at a time. Of course, that makes it perfect for on-the-go sharpening, but it isn’t ideal for your high-quality kitchen knives.
- Comfortable to hold with an ergonomic handle
- Incredibly affordable price point
- Lightweight and easy to use
- High-quality diamond-honed and tungsten carbide construction
- A little too aggressive for some knives
Because the world just doesn’t stop evolving, electric knife sharpeners are now a thing, and they might get better results than the traditional stone methods. And this Work Sharp WSKTS-KO-W is one of the best electric knife sharpeners out there.
This knife offers great customizability, so you can adjust it to the task at hand in order to get the best results possible. In addition, the sharpening guide angle changes from 15° to 30°, so you can control just how sharp you want your pocket knife to be.
As for the motor itself, it uses 120 volts, and you can easily adjust its speed from 1200 to 2800 SFM, depending on how dull the knife is. So you can go for high-speed grinding if you want to work quickly or for slow-speed honing if you’re looking for precision.
The convex edge of the belts here ensures that they’ll stay as good as new without suffering a scratch. Besides, the convex shape is perfect for pocket knives because it helps increase the knife’s lifetime.
And if you’re new to electric knife sharpeners, it’d be a good idea to put some masking tape around the knife. That way, you can protect the blade from getting scratched by tiny pieces of scraped-off metal from the edge.
There’s definitely a learning curve when it comes to using this type of sharpeners, so test it out on cheaper knives first until you’re familiar with its operation.
- Versatile sharpener
- Adjustable angle guide
- Different motor speed options
- Flexible belts
- Requires minimal set-up
- Relatively pricey
- Has a learning curve
If you’re constantly on the go and use your pocket knife often, you need to look at this Victorinox VN43323 because its compact size makes it the perfect outdoor knife sharpener.
This sharpener is around the size of a pen with dimensions of just 5 x 5 x 2 inches, so you can easily fit it into your pocket.
Besides its unmatched portability, this knife sharpener offers dual sharpening functions. On one side, you’ll find a grinding stone for quickly shaping your dull pocket knife into the perfect shape. After that, you just need to slide the knife on the ceramic discs on the other side to get an incredibly sharp knife.
Keep in mind that both sides come with a pen-shaped cover to ensure safety and keep the stone sharp over time. So all you have to do is uncap the side you need, and your pocket knife will be sharp after just a few passes.
- The compact size makes it perfect for on the go
- Dual-function sharpener with a grinding stone and ceramic discs
- Easy to use
- The pocket clip breaks easily
- A little pricey for what it offers
If you’re on a tight budget and you want a sharpener that’ll easily and quickly get the job done, you need to take a look at this Smith’s CCKS 2-Step tool.
Don’t let its low price fool you into thinking this is a low-quality sharpener because that’s far from true. On the contrary, this unit offers excellent value for the money.
The Smith’s 2-Step sharpener has two tungsten carbide blades that you can use on dull knives to bring them back to life. After that, you can use the incredible ceramic rods to finish off the knife.
The ceramic rods are, by far, my favorite part about this sharpener because they allow you to get that perfect sharp edge to finish things off. On top of that, they’re perfect for quick touch-up for already somewhat sharp pocket knives to give them that extra edge without much effort.
Moreover, the sharpener has preset sharpening angles, so you’re guaranteed flawless sharpening every time. Besides, this sharpener is perfect for beginners who aren’t very familiar with how to properly sharpen knives.
For your safety, the sharpener has rubber feet to keep it in place and prevent it from slipping while you’re getting your work done.
However, I have to mention that the coarse side is a little too harsh; the tungsten carbide construction takes away too much metal at a time, decreasing the lifetime of your pocket knife. So, make sure you’re applying as little pressure as possible when using it.
- Budget-friendly sharpener
- Lightweight and portable
- Has rubber feet to prevent slipping for safety
- Comes with preset sharpening angles
- Perfect for touching up already-sharp knives
- The coarse side might be too harsh for some knives
- Dimensions: 2.11 x 2.31 x 0.38 inches
- Weight: 1.6 ounces
- Blades: Diamond rod with 400 grit and ceramic rod
- Sharpening Angle Guide: 25 degrees
- Torx Bits: T6, T8, and T10
Work Sharp makes another appearance on our list with the Work Sharp EDC Micro Sharpener. Besides its budget-friendly price point, this sharpener is one you can rely on and will always produce razor-sharp edges for your pocket knives.
This compact-sized sharpener offers diamond and ceramic rods that you can use on any dull blade to bring it back to life. The diamond rod can quickly sharpen your knife; then, you can use the ceramic rod for finishing and ensuring that the ultra-sharp edge is achieved.
And, for beginners, the sharpening angle guides of 25° could be incredibly helpful with getting the knife perfectly sharp.
Further, this is more than just a regular knife sharpener because it also offers knife maintenance tools. These tools include a 1/4-inch bit driver and bit sizes of T6, T8, and T10. That way, when you’re out and about, this sharpener could come in handy in many different ways.
Sadly, though, the bits are a bit too loose, and you might lose them easily. If only they were magnetized, this would’ve been a whole different story. However, I can’t complain too much, seeing how this sharpener comes at a very affordable price point.
- Offers excellent value for the money
- Durable construction
- Comes with Torx bits holders of sizes T6, T8, and T10 and a 1/4-inch bit driver
- 25° sharpening angle guide
- The bits are a bit too loose and not magnetized
Another high-quality pocket knife sharpener on this list is the Spyderco Tri-Angle 204MF. This sharpener has an interesting design that’d be very helpful for a beginner who’s not yet familiar with the correct sharpening angles.
This sharpener has an ABS plastic base where the sharpening components are kept protected, so you can easily travel with this sharpener in a bag. To use the sharpening rods, all you have to do is snap them out of the plastic container, and they’ll be set up at the perfect angle.
The stones snap at two degrees: 30° where you get a 15° sharpening angle on each side, or 40° divided as 20° on each side. That way, all you have to do is hold the knife vertically and let the sharpener do all the precise work.
The 204MF sharpener also comes with two sets of high alumina ceramic stones. One of the sets is a pair of brownstones with medium grit to quickly sharpen any dull knife. And the other set is a pair of white stones perfect for professional-grade finishing tasks. Each stone is 7 x 0.5 inches in dimensions.
- Easy to use with preset sharpening angles
- Offers two sets of ceramic sharpening stones
- Relatively pricey for what it offers
Benefits of Using a Pocket Knife Sharpener
You probably already know the fact that sharp knives are much safer to use than dull knives because you apply less pressure when trying to cut something. Well, it’s quite the same for pocket knives.
Pocket knives are used on a lot of materials, not just food; it’s very likely that you’ll use your pocket knife when camping or hiking to cut through wood or cardboard. Because of that, pocket knives are likely to get dull quickly when compared to a regular kitchen knife.
Therefore a dull pocket knife isn’t just useless; it’s also dangerous because it’s more likely to slip out of your hand due to applying more and more pressure to actually cut through anything.
And that’s where a pocket knife sharpener comes into action. Pocket knife sharpeners are usually small in size, so you can easily carry them around. Also, pocket knives’ blades are quite small, so you don’t need large sharpening blades.
So, not only are pocket knife sharpeners quite necessary, but they’re also convenient and easy to use.
Buying Guide: What Should You Look For in a Pocket Knife Sharpener?
If you’re unsure what to look for in a pocket knife sharpener, here’s an in-depth guide with everything you need to keep in mind before making a final buying decision. So, stick around to learn more.
The most important part of any sharpener is the material of its blades because that’s what makes the difference. There’s no one perfect sharpening material that you need to opt for, as each material has its own purpose and use cases.
For starters, tungsten carbide is incredibly harsh and scrapes off large pieces of metal at a time. That can come in handy when your pocket knife is very dull, and you want a sharpener to quickly bring it back to life.
But even though this material saves you a lot of time, it also decreases the lifetime of the knife because of how much metal it scrapes off. So, to keep it simple, don’t use tungsten carbide on expensive or high-quality knives.
On the other hand, ceramic is perfect for maintenance and finishing knives to get that razor-sharp blade. As you’d expect, the downside of ceramic rods is that it’ll take you a long time if you’re sharpening a dull knife, so ceramic is better for maintenance or touch-ups.
To get the best of both worlds, find a sharpener that offers both materials or some sort of combination of more than one plate. Make sure one plate is coarse to quickly get the sharpening done, and the other plate is fine to perfect the results of the coarse sharpening plate.
Sharpening is a process where you’ll need to use your hands to hold the sharpener steady in place. So, make sure you opt for a sharpener with a comfortable handle and some sort of slip resistance.
You’ll be working with incredibly sharp pocket knives, so safety should be your priority, and it all starts in the handle.
Size and Weight
Because you’re seeking a sharpener for a pocket knife, it’s probably safe to assume that the sharpener needs to be lightweight, compact, and portable so you can use it on the go.
You can find sharpeners as small as a pen or a little bigger than that, so keep looking for a compact sharpener that doesn’t take up too much space.
What Is the Best Degree to Sharpen a Pocket Knife?
The perfect range of angles to sharpen a pocket knife is anywhere between 25° – 30°. That way, you’ll get a razor-sharp blade that can cut through anything, which is what you need in a pocket knife.
What Is the Best Knife Sharpener for Hunting?
Choosing a knife sharpener for hunting means you need a sharpener that’s portable, lightweight, and with both a coarse and a fine plate to really get you to the razor-level of sharpness. So, any sharpener with these characteristics should be perfect.
You should now have a clear idea of what to look for in your next pocket knife sharpener. In case you need a memory refresh, here’s a recap of my top three picks and what I like most about each.
First of all, the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener is one you can’t go wrong with. It offers a five-step sharpening function, so you can easily get any dull knife to that razor-sharp state very easily.
Secondly, the AccuSharp Knife and Tool Sharpener is another excellent pick for many reasons; the diamond-honed tungsten carbide blades can get any knife from dull to sharp within just a few passes over the sharpener.
Lastly, if you love electric knife sharpeners, the Work Sharp WSKTS-KO-W is the one for you. It’s a very versatile sharpener that you can use for many different tasks, including pocket knife sharpening.