When it comes to sharpening knives, I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a purist. I patiently work my blades across the wetstone, finding the right grit and material to help bring the edge to extreme sharpness. Of course, when I’m knee-deep in this craft, I finish off the blade on my razer strop — I’ve seen too many instances where a dull blade can be a dangerous blade.
But like anything, the art of sharpening a pocket knife or bushcraft knife takes years to perfect, and it requires time for even the most seasoned craftsmen. Sometimes, a knife just needs a little zip across a production-line sharpener to help remove a burr from the edge or ease out a small chip in it. That’s where finding the best pocket knife sharpener for you to use on the go comes in handy. Not every knife requires a wetstone or justifies the time and energy of using one — because let’s face it, most knives that you’re using around the farm or around a job site aren’t superbly heat-treated tools with amazing blade steel. They’re your run-of-the-mill 420 steel that’s mass produced and that doesn’t cause a lot of heartbreak if it gets lost or broken.
A quick-and-easy pocket knife sharpener is great to have handy — in the mud room, the work shop, glove box, barn, etc. They don’t cost a ton, and they’re great for taking a bit of the dullness off your blade so that it cuts a bit smoother … and a bit safer.
Here our four of our favorites when looking at the best pocket knife sharpeners available:
Smith’s Pocket Pal Knife Sharpener
This versatile sharpener has a fine ceramic sharpening slot as well as a coarse carbide slot to help you with getting your blade just the way you need it. The slots provide a quick edge setting, and the specially shaped ceramic stones are designed to give you a razor sharp edge on either standard or serrated edges (we haven’t actually tried this on a serrated edge, though). A fold out, tapered round, diamond coated rod is designed for sharpening serrations and small gut hooks, and this is a feature we really love! The sharpener is compact, lightweight, durable, and comes with a lanyard hole and a glass-breaking pin.
Lansky QuadSharp Tool
There are so many wonderful options on this tool, it’s hard not to find exactly what you’re looking for here. Its portable size lets you sharpen anywhere, and the slots give you the option to sharpen at four different angles: 17, 20, 25, and 30 degrees. This sharpener is great for getting a sharp edge on your regular or serrated blades and filet knives, and it includes a built-in ceramic polishing bench stone.
Work Sharp WSGPS-W Pocket Knife Sharpener
We love the quality that Work Sharp delivers, and if you want to go with something beyond a pull-through knife sharpener — meaning you like the wetstone approach of being able to choose the angle of the blade and the apply just the right pressure, then this is a great on-the-go option. The Work Sharp sharpener features a diamond plate and a ceramic honing rod in one convenient package, and each side has angle guides to help you get your blade just right.
Work Sharp also offers a lifetime guarantee on this tool.
AccuSharp 4-in-1 Knife and Tool Sharpener
This is simplicity at its finest. For something that is back-to-basics and super affordable, this is a great tool to have stashed anywhere you feel you might need it. It has an aggressive coarse carbide that sharpens all types of steel, a fine ceramic that hones and polishes your edge, a folding diamond-coated tool for precision sharpening, and a rod to work with fish hook grooves.
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