Buyer’s Guide: The Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners
Give your favorite pocket knife a perfectly honed edge with an effective, easy-to-use sharpener.
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- Best OverallWork Sharp Guided Field SharpenerCheck Latest Price
- Value PickSmith's CCKS 2-Step Knife SharpenerCheck Latest Price
- Upgrade PickWork Sharp Knife & Tool SharpenerCheck Latest Price
We tend to use pocket knives in challenging, relatively dynamic circumstances—cutting rope, opening packages, carving a clean tip on a stick for a marshmallow roast—that only become more difficult with a dull knife. The best pocket knife sharpener can help keep your blade sharp, so you can make shorter work of your next carving or cutting job.
Our Top Picks
From basic pull-through sharpeners to versatile high-tech models, these top picks will help guide you toward the best pocket knife sharpener for your needs and budget.
BEST OVERALL: Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener
With several sharpening and honing surfaces—diamond coated plates, ceramic honing rods, a leather strop—plus guides for maintaining the perfect angle, the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener is one of the best pocket knife sharpener options on the market. The built-in guides help you dial in either a 20- or 25-degree angle, and the multiple sharpening surfaces allow you to work your way from a dull, damaged blade to a precision tool with a surgically sharp edge. It’s a full-service sharpening system that can put a razor-sharp edge on any pocket knife, but it is a bit bulky. It’s unlikely that you’ll be comfortable taking this in the field with you unless you tote it in a backpack.
BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Smith’s CCKS 2-Step Knife Sharpener
The CCKS 2-Step Knife Sharpener from Smith’s is a handy pocket sharpener useful for putting a quick edge on a knife. This sharpener features a set of carbide blades for grinding a blade smooth, while the set of ceramic rods hone the fine wire-edge left behind during grinding. Simply pull your blade through the carbide side a few times, then finish by cleaning up the edge with the ceramic rods.
UPGRADE PICK: Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpener
Upgrade your sharpening game with this top-notch tool, which uses a flexible belt to put a sharp and durable edge on a pocket knife instead of the grinding wheels other power sharpeners typically use. It has variable speeds and blade guides adjustable from 15 to 30 degrees to make dialing in the perfect edge a breeze. Excellent on pocket knives, this sharpener can also handle axes, mower blades, and shovels. Sharpening aficionados will point out that if you use this tool according to the instructions, you’ll sharpen the left side of your blade in the wrong direction. So while this tool does create a sharp edge, it technically doesn’t follow conventional sharpening rules.
BEST MULTI-USE SHARPENER: Work Sharp EDC Micro Sharpener & Knife Tool
Blade sharpness is one thing, but if the knife wobbles in your hand, it’s not safe to use. Fortunately, the EDC Micro Sharpener and Knife Tool has everything you need to keep your knife in tip-top shape. It boasts two honing rods (one diamond, one ceramic) with blade angle guides, three standard Torx bits, and a built-in bit driver so you can tighten up your knife and its edge in no time with one tool. It’s small enough to keep in your pocket, but it also comes with a lanyard for clipping to a backpack or fishing vest.
BEST POCKET SIZE: Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener
Pint-sized yet multipurpose, the PP1 Pocket Pal from Smith features standard carbide and ceramic blade sets and also has a built-in folding diamond-coated rod for honing a perfect edge. The rod’s round shape makes it useful for cleaning up the edge of serrated blades as well. If you don’t want to carry it in your pocket, it has a lanyard hole for strapping to a backpack. Just be aware that the PP1’s tiny size makes it less stable during sharpening than larger sharpeners, so extra care needs to be taken for safe use.
BEST DIAMOND SHARPENER: Smith’s Sharpeners Diamond Combo Bench Stone
This Diamond Combo Bench Stone can put a sharp edge on your pocket knife with just a few passes, thanks to a coarse stone for reshaping your blade’s grind and a fine stone for honing its edge. The interrupted diamond surface allows for metal filings to temporarily collect inside the cutouts, allowing you to sharpen your blade quickly without clogging the surface. Also, the stones store inside the handle, making this a compact tool for camping and fishing trips. This bench stone may work very well for smaller pocket knives, but larger trapping-style knives might be a challenge to sharpen due to the relatively short length of the stone.
BEST WHETSTONE: Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone
If you’re a collector—or you simply prefer to ensure your knife is sharp before you head out—this premium whetstone from Sharp Pebble is ideal. The whetstone kit comes with two grits, 600 and 1000 on opposing sides of the stone, and there’s an included blade guide to help you to put an accurate edge on your knife time after time. The non-slip bamboo case functions as a stand—and it’s nice-looking, too! While this whetstone is useful and versatile (it’s good for kitchen knives, too), it doesn’t work quite as well for the serrated sections of some pocket knives.
BEST HONING ROD: Kershaw Ultra-Tek Blade Sharpener
This Ultra-Tek Blade Sharpener is a nice addition to anyone’s kit. The honing rod features a 600-grit diamond-coated blade that stores away inside of the aluminum body of the sharpener to ensure rod longevity. The oval shape makes it helpful for dialing in blades of all shapes and sizes, especially pocket knives with serrated edges. The knurled texture provides plenty of grip when honing your knife while also offering a shoulder to keep your fingers away from the blade. But like all honing rods, it cannot grind your blade down to a perfect edge—you need carbide and ceramic blades for that—so it won’t do much for severely dull blades.