Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners – 2019 Buyer’s Guide

When you are compiling a 72 hour kit, you will not be able to find a list of recommended items anywhere that does not include some sort of pocket knife.

But a pocket knife will not be able to do you much good if its blade is not sharp enough to effectively cut. You need a tool that will ensure your knife blades are always sharp and effective, but is still small enough to be carried around with you – you need a pocket knife sharpener!

Comparison Chart of the Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners

Product

Rating

Price

Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic

Best Overall

Lansky Multi Angle Knife Sharpener

Runner-up

Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener

Best for the Money

Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener

Best Electric Pocket Knife Sharpener

Victorinox VN43323

Best by Victorinox

Smith's CCKS 2-Step Knife Sharpener

Best by Smiths

Gerber Bear Grylls Field Sharpener

Best by Gerber

Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener

Best by Work Sharp

What Makes a Great Pocket Knife Sharpener?

There are a few key qualities to keep in mind when you are searching for a great pocket knife sharpener. We have compiled the most important and listed them below:

Portability

If you are looking for a pocket knife sharpener primarily to carry along with you in case of a survival situation, this is probably the number one quality you need to look for. Your pocket knife sharpener needs to be compact and easily able to fit inside your survival pack. Plus, it should not be too heavy – there is already going to be a lot of hefty gear in that pack, do not make it worse with a weighty pocket knife sharpener!

Versatility

Again, in survival situations, one of the qualities that can really make or break whether you come out alive is the versatility of your tool kit. Sure, it is great to be able to sharpen your knife, but what if your axe blade suddenly becomes dull and you can no longer fell trees for a fire? Get yourself a sharpener that can work on a wide range of different blade edges.

Speed

Odds are, if you are in a survival situation, you are not going to want to hang out for very long with a dull blade. Find yourself a sharpener that will sharpen whatever blade you throw at it quickly, so that you are never without a sharp knife.

Quick Take | Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners

Before diving into our review of the best pocket knife sharpeners, here is a quick take of our top 3 picks:

Review of the Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners

Keeping in mind the qualities we have listed above, check out some of the best products we were able to find:

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • High quality
  • Well designed
  • Arrives razor sharp
  • Comes with an included case and an instruction manual

Cons

  • Carbide is aggressive and will leave the blade slightly wavy

The Lansky PS-MED01 Blade Medic is the premiere choice in pocket knife sharpeners and our best overall product option. This little guy can do pretty much anything you need it to do.

It is small enough to fit into any pocket, and its textured surface ensures you will always be able to get a good grip on it, no matter what elements you may be facing outside in a survival situation.

It has four different sharpening tools, so you will be able to sharpen just about any blade option. It does not have any plastic parts, and its metal frame adds substantial weight and rigidity for a more efficient sharpening experience.

Moreover, the carbide and ceramic rods can easily be replaced if necessary. The filing rods are held in place by a strong magnetic system, so do not worry about the files slipping and cutting where they are not meant to cut.

Bottom Line

The Lansky PS-MED01 Blade Medic is our top choice for pocket knife sharpeners. Keep in mind that the carbide file can be a bit on the aggressive side, though.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • Practical
  • Easy to use
  • Will easily sharpen any knife

Cons

  • Does not come with included instructions

The Lansky Multi Angle Knife Sharpener is a close second for our favorite pocket knife sharpener, right behind its cousin, the Lansky PS-MED01 Blade Medic. This model also has a number of fantastic qualities.

Less is more with this sharpener: it requires only very light pressure in order to sharpen effectively. Its small size makes it particularly convenient to carry along in a pack, as it will not take up a lot of storage space. You can use this knife sharpener at a variety of different angles, so you can choose the best one for your specific knife.

This versatility also lends itself well to sharpening less common tools, such as fillet knives and hatchets as well. The electric, bright blue color on this sharpener will make it so you can always quickly find it and grab it from within your pack – and if you do not want to keep it in your pack, it also has a handy lanyard hole to attach it wherever you would like.

Bottom Line

The Lansky Multi Angle Knife Sharpener is our runner-up choice for an excellent pocket knife sharpener. If you are new to sharpening knives, you may want to check out a few YouTube videos before using it, though, as it does not come with its own instructions.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Is razor sharp upon arrival
  • Good for sharpening serrated blades
  • Smith’s is a reliable survival gear brand you can count on

Cons

  • Will not make your knives as sharp as some of the other examples on this list

If you are looking to strike the best balance between efficacy and value, your top choice has got to be the Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener. This sharpener is startlingly inexpensive, yet you compromise very little in terms of quality when you choose to invest in this knife as opposed to its more expensive competitors.

If you need to sharpen a knife quickly, the Smith’s PP1 is your go-to. It has a molded finger and thumb grip for added comfort when using, and it can be effectively used with either the right or left hand.

It is easy to use, even for beginners and those who are completely new to sharpening knives. It is not tiring, as you will not need to exert a large amount of pressure in order to effectively sharpen your knife.

Bottom Line

The Smith’s PP! Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener is the pocket knife sharpener for you if you are looking for an economic choice that will still get the job done for you. Keep in mind that it will not make your knives as ridiculously sharp as some of the other knives we have analyzed, though.

Best Electric Pocket Knife Sharpener:
Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to transport
  • Sharpens knives quickly
  • Endorsed by professional chefs

Cons

  • Not a good sharpener for high quality, fancy knives

The Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener is the knife sharpener for you if you love electric sharpeners, but want something that you can easily carry along in a pocket or an emergency bag.

This sharpener is small and compact, but do not let its size fool you – it can definitely get the job done! It will sharpen a wide variety of different blades, including serrated knives.

The sharpener belts on this bad boy will last for a long time, and when you do eventually need to switch them out, the process of changing out the belt is quick and uncomplicated.

It is already extremely sharp upon arrival and is excellent not just for use in a pinch, but for everyday knife sharpening as well. There is not much to dislike about the Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener!

Bottom Line

The Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener is a great sharpener that combines the convenience of electric knife sharpening with the ease of carrying it along in your pocket. Just make sure to avoid using this sharpener on your fancier blades, as it is not designed for that purpose.

Best by Victorinox:
Victorinox VN43323

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Easy to use
  • High quality
  • 15 degree angle is excellent for sharpening smaller blades

Cons

  • Included clip breaks easily

The Victorinox VN43323 is the finest pocket knife sharpener you will be able to find that is made by the reputable Victorinox brand.

Its ceramic edge will last for an incredibly long time – users point out that in comparison to a diamond edge, which definitely has a larger “flash” factor but will ultimately wear down to reveal the steel underneath, when a ceramic edge wears down, it simply reveals more ceramic!

The edge on this sharpener is particularly worth mentioning when it comes to cleaning up nicked edges on your knives. And its material makes it extremely versatile – it can effectively be used on multiple components of your Swiss Army knife, including both the knife edge and the scissor blades, thanks to its smaller size and ease of manipulation. It can clean up your kitchen knives as well, no matter what kind of steel they are made with!

Bottom Line

The Victorinox VN43323 is a fantastic Victorinox knife sharpener with a well built ceramic edge that will last an incredibly long time and can be used to sharpen almost anything. But keep in mind that the included clip is low quality and can easily break off, so it may be safer to keep this sharpener in your pack than to hook it to your belt.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Lightweight
  • High quality
  • Arrives already sharp
  • Endorsed by professional chefs

Cons

  • Included instructions are inaccurate
  • So small that your fingers will be very close to the knife when sharpening

The Smith’s CCKS 2-Step Knife Sharpener is a top notch knife sharpener with a wide range of awesome qualities that make it stand out from its competitors. Its bright orange color makes it incredibly easy to find inside a dark camping bag.

It has two different edges, one made of carbide and one made of ceramic, which, when combined, will give your knife the best and sharpest edge possible. It is versatile enough to be used on a variety of different tools, including axes, hatchets, and garden tools.

Some users report that they were even able to use this sharpener on blades that were so nicked and tarnished, they believed the blades were completely done for, but they were brought back to life with this sharpener! It is great for quick touch ups for any blade or tool and a handy tool you can rely on.

Bottom Line

The Smith’s CCKS 2-Step Knife Sharpener is a great knife sharpener that will hone any blade you need sharpening. It is so small that your fingers may be a little close to your knife’s edge for comfort when using it, though.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Well made
  • Easy to use
  • Good for quick sharpening
  • Can sharpen knives of varying sizes

Cons

  • Not good for sharpening serrated knives
  • Included instructions are not particularly helpful

The Gerber Bear Grylls Field Sharpener is a great little knife sharpener that really lives up to the badassness of its name. This is the knife sharpener for you if you are looking for a sharpener that will hold up to field use and to emergency use.

It has an excellent grip for maximum comfort when holding it, and the grip will not be compromised by water or exposure to the elements, which is definitely something to take into account in a survival situation.

Its bright orange color will make it stand out from all of your other survival tools and enable you to find it quickly within your pack, even in the dark. You can’t go wrong with the Gerber Bear Grylls Field Sharpener!

Bottom Line

The Gerber Bear Grylls Field Sharpener is a super handy little pocket knife sharpener that can make it or break it for you if you ever find yourself in a survival situation. Keep in mind that it is a bit more limited than some of the other sharpeners on this list in that it is not particularly great at sharpening serrated knives.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Solidly built
  • Compact and portable
  • Comes with included instructions
  • Arrives sharp enough to shave the hair on your arms with

Cons

  • Does not come with a case
  • Grip is not great and can cause hands to cramp after a little while

The Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener is a fantastic pocket knife sharpener if you are looking for the best knife sharpener to carry along with you in your survival pack. We say this primarily because of its ceramic honing edge.

This honing edge will work from any angle, so it will be great for a wide range of knives, and even has little grooves in it that can be used to sharpen fish hooks as well, so if you get to a point where you are really living off the land, this knife sharpener will come through for you. 

Additionally, the honing edge (as well as the diamond sharpening plate) can easily be removed, so if you find you just need that edge and not the whole thing, you can dismantle the sharpener and only carry along that part in your pack. It will sharpen even the dullest blades extremely quickly, which is quite important in a survival situation.

Bottom Line

The Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener is a top notch pocket knife sharpener with a wide range of versatility. Keep in mind that its grip is not the best, though.

Conclusion

Pocket knife sharpeners are not a tool you would find on any list of traditional survival gear, but they are an absolute necessity to make sure your knife and your other survival tools with sharp edges remain useful and effective for you in a survival situation.

Make sure you invest in a tool that is best for your needs, meaning it can sharpen whatever tool you deem necessary in your survival kit, and it will fit nicely in your survival pack configuration and not unnecessarily weigh you down.        

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