Unlike sharpening stones, electric knife sharpeners or any of the other devices used to sharpen knives, pocket knife sharpeners are designed to be portable enough to be used anywhere. They’re also designed to be easy to pull out, and easy to use, so the user can have a razor-sharp knife in only a few moments. Of course, the consumer does have to make sure that they buy a model that works well for their needs and is easy to use. We’ve reviewed some of the best pocket knife sharpeners, and we’ve posted them for all of our readers, so they can find the sharpener that does a great job for them.

Quick Summary of the Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners

Editor’s Choice: Lansky Quad Sharp Sharpener

Anyone searching for a great pocket knife sharpener should keep this model from Lanksy in mind. This knife sharpener is known as the Quad-Sharp and it’s called that because it gives the user the option to sharpen their blades from one of four different angles. This knife has a 17-degree, 20-degree, 25-degree and 30-degree sharpeners that are capable of honing a blade quickly and with the user only making a few passes at a time.

This sharpener doesn’t just have a knife pull-through feature, however. It’s also equipped with an 800-grit ceramic element that can be used much like butcher steel can be used. And because it’s made from ceramic, it’s never going to wear out and can be used to sharpen just about any knife in existence—even serrated knives. And if the user has an extremely dull blade, this element of the sharpener can be used to reprofile knives that have become too dull for conventional sharpening.

It’s also worth mentioning that this sharpener is not only great at sharpening, but it’s also just the right size to slip into a pocket or a backpack. That allows the sharpener to be taken just about anywhere, so outdoorsman and survivalist of all types can service their pocket knives while they’re away from home. These sharpeners are also good for slipping into everyday carry kits, bug out bags, or even in a vehicle’s glove box.

This knife sharpener is also equipped with a hole so that it can be attached to a lanyard. If there was one single complaint that we had about this product, it was that it didn’t come with usage instructions. Although we understand quite well how to sharpen a knife using this product, some people might not be as familiar with it so a set of instructions would’ve been nice. With that said, we still think that this is one of the best pocket knife sharpeners around.

What we liked about it
  • Sharpens blades quickly and with a minimum of fuss.
  • It doesn’t require a lot of space to store.

Also Recommended: Sharpal 6-In-1 Pocket Knife Sharpener

This knife sharpener has so many features it was difficult for us to decide where to start, so we decided to start this review with the most important feature for anyone to think about when buying this product, and that’s how this product sharpens their blade. This product is equipped with Tungsten carbide blades that are designed to quick-set and edge, ceramic blades for fine blade honing, and a tapered diamond rod with a medium 400-grit that’s good for sharpening serrated knives.

Inside of the diamond rod is a groove that’s designed to sharpen fishhooks and other pointed tools. But as we said, there’s more to this pocket knife sharpener than being a good device for sharpening knives. It’s also equipped with other features that make it quite handy as a survival tool. Equipped on this product is a high-pitched emergency whistle, and is even equipped with a firestarter that can be used to start fires while camping for the night.

Something else that makes it a great tool to use is that it’s extremely portable. This product is a mere 3.5-inches long and 1-2/5th-inches wide, so it can be placed in a pocket, bug out bag, backpack, tackle box, or glove box. And since it only weighs 1.5-ounces, it’s small enough to be used by hikers, even hikers who try to keep their packs as light as possible. Thanks to this product, no one has to be inconvenienced by a dull knife.

Of course, as great as this knife sharpener is, it does suffer from the same flaw that all pocket knife sharpeners suffer from and that’s the fact that they will never replace a full-size whetstone. It’s just not possible for a small sharpener to do the same job. However, it should also be said that this sharpener is one of the best of the portable sharpeners, and that’s why we have no problems recommending it. It’s not a full-size whetstone, but it’s the next best thing.

What we liked about it
  • It does a good job of putting an edge on a blade.
  • It is also an emergency whistle and firestarter.

Also Consider: Smith’s Pocket-Pal Multifunction Sharpener

Of all of the pocket knife sharpeners we’ve reviewed, this one is probably the most well known of them. That’s because Smith has been making quality knife sharpeners since 1886 when they were just a small-time Arkansas stone company. As a result, their sharpeners can be currently found in tackleboxes, hunting bags, backpacks and glove boxes all over the world. Needless to say, when we got the chance to review this product, we just couldn’t wait to get our hands on this sharpener.

This product is approximately 3.5-inches long by 1-inch wide and weighs just an ounce. That’s small enough for the consumer to take it anywhere and it’s quite easy to be able to transport it anywhere it’s needed. However, it’s small size does mean that it might be difficult for people with larger pocket knives to use. We guess it’s a trade-off that most people are going to have to consider for themselves what’s more important. Do they want a larger easier to use sharpener that’s not as portable or this portable one but may be more difficult to use? It’s up to them which one is correct for their needs.

This sharpener has both carbide blades and ceramic stones so the user can sharpen knives in any condition. The carbide blades are good for setting the blade’s edge and are good for bringing extremely dull and/or damaged blades back to life. The carbide blades are for straight-edge knives and are both reversible and replaceable as needed. This sharpener’s ceramic stones are designed to finish a knife’s edge. It delivers a polished edge for knives that are already sharp and can be used on both standard or serrated blades.

This sharpener also comes with a medium grit (400-grit) tapered diamond rod. It also has a lanyard hole that allows it to be clipped to a belt or backpack. All of these things come together to make a pocket knife sharpener that’s one of the best ones around. Though it’s a little bit small, it’s a quality product that sharpens blades well and is made by a company that’s been making quality products for over 134+ years.

What we liked about it
  • This sharpener puts a great edge on a blade.
  • It’s small and extremely portable.

A Guide To Pocket Knife Sharpeners

Pocket knife sharpeners are designed to be easy to carry and to sharpen knives quickly and efficiently. We should know because we’ve spent quite a bit of time reviewing the best pocket knife sharpeners. Now we’re going to change direction and not only talk about what consumers should look for when purchasing a new pocket knife sharpener, but also how they should use them for the best results. Sound good? Well, if it does, then let’s get this guide started. 

How To Purchase A Great Pocket Knife Sharpener

We’d like to start this guide off by talking about some of the things that consumers should think about when purchasing one of these knife sharpeners. Although these devices tend to be pretty simple, there are a few key points that the consumer is going to need to think about before purchasing their next pocket knife sharpener. Let’s talk about those points quickly before moving to the next section.

Make Sure It Has Ceramic & Carbide Features

The first thing that the consumer is going to want to consider is whether the sharpener has both ceramic and carbide features for getting the blade in good condition. Carbide blades are good for reviving a blade that’s dull and/or damaged, and ceramic blades are good for putting a fine edge on the blade. 

Of course, not all knife sharpeners do this the same way. For example, Smith’s Pocket Pal uses both ceramic and carbide v-grooves that the user can pull the blade through, but the Lansky Quad-Sharp only has a carbide v-groove and pairs it with a ceramic bench stone. They’re both are used for the same things, but they each are used differently. 

Decide Whether A Diamond Rod Is Needed

The next thing the consumer is going to want to think about is whether they need their sharpener to have a diamond rod. A diamond rod is a medium grit rod, meaning that it’s about 400-grit, and is used mainly for serrated knives. If the consumer has a serrated pocket knife, then they may want to make sure that the sharpener they want has a diamond rod equipped on it.

If the consumer is getting a model with a diamond rod, they may want to consider getting one with a groove that allows them to sharpen fish or gut hooks. Once again, however, that depends on whether the user is going to sharpen hooks or not. If they don’t intend on doing that, then they don’t have to worry about it.

Other Features That May (Or May Not) Be Needed

Even though the prime purpose of a pocket knife sharpener is to sharpen knives, some people like the added convenience of their sharpener having a few included tools on them—sort of like a multi-tool. If you fall into that category, then you might want to consider a sharpener with one or more of the following features. 

  • Fire Starter
  • Emergency Whistle
  • Bottle Opener

Using Your New Pocket Knife Sharpener

Okay, let’s see where we’re at. We’ve already covered the best pocket knife sharpeners, and we’ve gone over some of the features that you might want to consider when purchasing a new sharpener, so now we think it’s time to talk about how to use that knife sharpener to get the best results. Below are some tips that will help you sharpen a knife using one of these devices like a pro. 

Step One: Use The Coarse Setting

If your blade is blunt or needs to be reshaped, then the coarse setting on the sharpener is what you’re going to need to use. The coarse setting is designed to remove steel from the blade so that it’s aligned properly. Pull the blade through the coarse setting 3 to 6 times at the maximum to bring the blade back up to a proper level and prepare it for further sharpening. 

Step Two: Use The Fine Setting

The next thing that you’re going to want to do is to run the blade through the fine blades to finish off the blade’s edge. Using very little force, pull the blade through the fine setting (usually the ceramic portion of the sharpener) 2-3 times. Now that the blade has been properly sharpened, it’s time to turn our attention to cleaning it and putting it away.

Step Three: Rinse And Dry The Blade

Immediately after sharpening, be sure to run the knife’s blade under warm water to rinse off any residue that may have formed during the sharpening process. If you feel it necessary, you may even want to wash the blade in warm soapy water to remove any remaining remnants of the steel. When that’s done, use a lint-free towel to dry off the blade and then put the blade away. Congratulations! You now have a sharp, clean blade ready to be put to work.