Amazing Tips on How to Choose the Best Pocket Knife Sharpener

Pocket knives are practical tools to have around. If you have one, make sure that you also have the best pocket knife sharpener to help you in maintaining and caring for it.

If you’re an outdoor person, a pocket knife is a must. And of course, you should also know how to sharpen a pocket knife (video).


5 Ways To Sharpen A Knife Without A Sharpener Via Sierra Trading Post

If you’re just a knife enthusiast, knowing the best way (and products and accessories) to take care of your precious tools is also important.

Best Pocket Knife Sharpener Reviews 2019: Top 5 Picks




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Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener




Smith's CCKS 2-Step Knife Sharpener




Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic




DMT FWFC Double Sided Diafold Sharpener




Smith's #3001 10-Inch Oval Diamond Sharpening Rod




Types of Pocket Knife Sharpeners

Pocket knife sharpeners come in many different shapes and sizes. While the bigger ones are usually better because they can provide for a more thorough process of sharpening, the smaller ones may seem to be more practical. As pocket knives are usually used outdoors, portability has become a very important factor.

Sharpening Stone

Bora 501057 Fine/Coarse Combination Sharpening Stone Via Amazon

Bora 501057 Fine/Coarse Combination Sharpening Stone Via Amazon

Sharpening stones are popular as sharpeners for kitchen knives and other cutting tools (video). As such, they usually come in large sizes (about 5 to 7 inches). These are usually 2-sided – there’s a side of course grits and a side of fine grits. Since they are effective in sharpening kitchen knives, they are also effective in sharpening pocket knives.

The obvious downside to this type of sharpener (like a big stone) is that they are quite bulky and heavy. Therefore, they’re not that portable and practical for outdoor use.

How to sharpen a knife with a flat stone Via Chain AZ

Honing Rod


A sharpening rod can be made of steel, diamond, or ceramic materials. The diamond type provides for the best results in a shorter span of time, but it’s also the most expensive model. This type of sharpener will work for straight knives and for serrated knives as well. And yes, a honing rod can be used for sharpening pocket knives, too (video).

A regular sized honing rod can be quite long (about a foot long). And so, because of its size, it may not be that portable to bring along with you on backpacking, camping trips, and other outdoor activities.

How to sharpen a pocket knife Via chefgiovanni

Folding Knife Sharpener

If there’s a folding knife, there’s also a folding knife sharpener (video). These are also made to be as compact as folding pocket knives.

Usually, there are 2 sides in a folding knife sharpener – a rough side for cutting and profiling, and a fine side for polishing and sharpening. Unfolding it will provide you with a long handle to hold onto while sharpening your pocket knife.

EZE LAP Folding Diamond Sharpener - Knife Sharpening Made Easy Via Survival On Purpose

Pull-Through Knife Sharpener


As you can already imagine, this type of sharpener, it's like an electric knife sharpener but requires you to pull your knife through a set of angled blades or stones in order to sharpen it. Because of the pre-angled design, there’s no need for you to angle your knife while you’re sharpening it.

This type of sharpener comes in many different designs. Typically, there are 2 sets of sharpeners installed – a course one and a fine one. There are also those that come with mini honing rods for finishing touches and for sharpening serrated edges of knives.

Pull-Through knife sharpeners are usually made to be small and compact – they’re very portable for outdoor use.

Keychain Knife Sharpener

CRKT Stokes Key Chain Knife Sharpener 9096 Via bladehq

This type of sharpener works like folding knife sharpeners – they’re just smaller. As keychains (video), they can be easily attached with your other accessories.

​While these usually come with only 1 side of grits, you can get a whole set of them with different grit sizes since they’re very compact and light to carry around. Click here if you’re particularly keen on buying this type of pocket knife sharpener.

Fury Mustang Mesh Diamond Knife Sharpener Via Amazon

Fury Mustang Mesh Diamond Knife Sharpener Via Amazon

As you can see, the best way to sharpen a pocket knife depends on your tools and situation. If you are at home, you will have access to more efficient sharpeners. But if you are outdoors, you will be totally dependent on the compact knife sharpeners that you can carry along with you.

Parts of Pocket Knife Sharpeners

There are several parts in pocket knife sharpeners – and the different types of pocket knife sharpeners can have one or two (or more) of these parts

Carbide blades

These are very sharp and can cut through metal easily. That’s the reason why this type of sharpener is often used first when repairing dull and damaged knives.

A pair of angled carbide blades is found in pull-through types of pocket knife sharpeners.

Stanley UK - Carbide Blades Via stanleytools

Ceramic stones

A pair of angled ceramic stones are also found in pull-through sharpeners.

As these have fine grits, pocket knives that have already been processed on Carbide blades can be further sharpened and polished through them.

Ceramic Stones Via moldpolishing

Serrated knife sharpener

Honing rods come in different sizes, and these are best used to sharpen the serrated edges of knives.

In the case of pocket knives, small honing rods can be used in sharpening the grooves of serrated knives. Some pull-through pocket knife sharpeners even feature a mini honing rod for such a purpose.

DMT FSKE Diafold Serrated Knife Sharpener Via Amazon

DMT FSKE Diafold Serrated Knife Sharpener Via Amazon

Sharpening plate

Sharpening plates are found in folding and keychain types of pocket knife sharpeners.

These can either be a single or double-sided diamond plates. For the double-sided models, there will always be a course-grit plate and a fine-grit plate.

DMT DIA-FLAT Lapping Plate Via Amazon

DMT DIA-FLAT Lapping Plate Via Amazon

Basic Steps to Sharpening a Pocket Knife

How to Sharpen a Pocket Knife Via wikihow

Before I present you with the Top 5 Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners, let me show the basic steps in sharpening pocket knives first. Let this be your guide in sharpening, maintaining, and taking care of your pocket knives.

  • Always start with the rough grit (unless you’re just touching up on an already sharp pocket knife)
  • Angle properly. Sharpening angle should be around 20 degrees. For sharpeners that don’t come with angle guides or pre-angled settings, just aim for a 20-degree angle while doing a slicing motion on the sharpener
  • For best results, use alternating strokes (one side first, and then the other side next)
  • End the process of knife sharpening by using a fine grit sharpener. This will polish and finish off the edges of your knife
  • Note: As pocket knife sharpeners are usually small, take extra care in handling the sharpener as well as the pocket knife.

Top 5 Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners

Top 5 – Smith's Oval Diamond Sharpening Rod

This pocket knife sharpener is a honing rod type. It’s a regular-sized knife sharpener that can be used for regular knives as well as pocket knives.

Key Features:

  • Oval Surface - While honing rods usually have round surfaces, this model comes with an oval surface.
    • They basically work the same, but having an oval surface provides for a wider sharpening area.
  • Length – It’s 10 inches long
  • Grits – It comes with medium course grits – kind of somewhere between the course and fine
  • Grip – It has soft, comfortable grip
  • Hand Guard – A large hand guard serves to protect your hand while sharpening a knife
Smith's #3001 10-Inch Oval Diamond Sharpening Rod Via Amazon

Smith's #3001 10-Inch Oval Diamond Sharpening Rod Via Amazon

Things We Liked

  • It comes with a plastic tip to protect sensitive surfaces
  • There’s a hanging ring that you can use to easily access it (even outdoors)
  • It’s easy to use
  • Although it’s long, it’s thin enough to fit small spaces

Things We Didn't Like

  • It’s not that portable because of its size
  • It’s not cheap (since it’s a diamond sharpener)

This is an effective pocket knife sharpener. Since it gives quick results, it’s best used on very dull blades

Smith's 10" Oval Diamond Sharpening Rod Via Smith's Consumer Products

Top 4 – DMT FWFC Double Sided Diafold Sharpener Fine / Coarse

This model is a folding pocket knife sharpener that uses the diamond stone

Key Features:

  • Folding Handle – The folding handle also serves as the sharpener’s case
  • Course Grits – The course diamond size is 325 grits, and is best used for knives with dull and damaged edges
  • Fine Grits – The fine diamond size is 600 grits, and is best used for sharpening and polishing already fixed edges
  • No Oil Needed – You can use it dry or you can also apply water
  • Diamond Plate – The diamond plate has holes to get metal debris away from the surface of the sharpening stone
DMT FWFC Double Sided Diafold Sharpener Via Amazon

DMT FWFC Double Sided Diafold Sharpener Via Amazon

Things We Liked

  • It’s easy to hold when the handle is unfolded
  • Aside from pocket knives, it can sharpen other types of cutting tools as well
  • Storing it is easy since it’s very small and compact
  • It’s sharp and durable – that’s just how diamond stone sharpeners are

Things We Didn't Like

  • It doesn’t come with an angle guide, but you can get an angle mate accessory separately (if you are not confident about sharpening without a guide)
  • It’s quite expensive

DMT Diafold Double-Sided Field Sharpener Via Living Survival

I like this folding knife sharpener because you can use it on pocket knives, kitchen knives, gardening tools, etc. (light jobs only)

Top 3 – Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic

This model is a pull-through pocket knife sharpener

Key Features:

  • Compact Design – This is a small and portable pocket knife sharpener
  • Carbide Blades – With a little pressure, stroking dull and damaged pocket knives along the angled carbide blades will immediately improve its edges
  • Ceramic Stones – The angled ceramic stones will polish and sharpen your pocket knife’s edges with just a few strokes
  • Mini Diamond Rod – A built-in diamond rod can further polish and sharpen your knife. This can also be used for knives with serrated edges
  • Pre-Set Angle – The Carbide blades and Ceramic stones are already set at the right angle – all you need to do is glide and slide the knife blade
Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic Via Amazon

Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic Via Amazon

Things We Liked

  • Since it’s small, it’s very portable and easy to carry around during outdoor activities
  • It’s an all-in-one complete sharpening kit
  • Price is very affordable
  • It comes in a durable steel casing (not plastic, like other models)

Things We Didn't Like

  • It’s quite heavy

As the Top 3 entry in this Top 5 list of the Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners, this is really a good model. It’s an all-around knife sharpener that can be used on different types of steel blades. For a video review of this particular unit, click here.

Lansky BladeMedic Tactical Sharpener Review Via DEAD WINTER

Top 2 – Smith’s Consumer Products CCKS Pull-Thru Knife Sharpener

This is another pull-through type of pocket knife sharpener

Key Features:

  • Carbide Blades – Run your pocket knife through the carbide blades to set and repair the edges
  • Ceramic Stones – Use the ceramic stones for finishing up and polishing your knife
  • Mini Diamond Rod – There’s a miniature diamond rod included in the set for polishing already sharpened knives. This also works for sharpening knives with serrations
  • Pre-Set Angles – The carbide blades and ceramic stones are already angled at the proper degrees – there’s no need for an angle guide
  • Replaceable Carbide Blades and Ceramic Stones – You can replace the sharpening system when they get worn out instead of throwing the whole thing away
Smith's CCKS 2-Step Knife Sharpener Via Amazon

Smith's CCKS 2-Step Knife Sharpener Via Amazon

Things We Liked

  • It’s compact and easy to carry for outdoor adventures
  • It comes in an all-in-one design – it’s already a complete sharpening kit
  • The pre-set angle of blades and stones makes it easy to use – even for beginners
  • Price is very affordable

Things We Didn't Like

  • It’s very small – making it hard to handle if you have very large hands

If you are after portability and functionality, this model makes for a fine choice. It’s effective for use outdoors and is effective for quick touch ups at home

Smith's CCKS - 2 step knife sharpener with test Via allos MD

Top 1 – Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener

The Top 1 slot goes to another Smith’s model of the pocket knife sharpener. It’s a pull-through type of sharpener

Key Features:

  • 2-Step System – There’s a section for Carbide blades (used for profiling and setting) and a section for Ceramic stones (for finishing touches)
  • Simple Design – All you need to do is slide your pocket knife’s blade through the angled blades and stones
  • Pre-Set Crossed Blades and Stones – Even beginners can use this model of the pocket knife sharpener
  • Rubber Feet – When you set it down to use it, it won’t slip or wobble while sharpening your knife
  • Cord Hole – You can use the cord hole to attach it to a keychain
Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener Via Amazon

Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener Via Amazon

Things We Liked

  • It’s small and lightweight
  • Since it’s not slippery, it’s easy and safe to use
  • Price is cheap
  • It’s simple to use
  • Because of the cord hole, you can use it as a keychain (and never lose it)

Things We Didn't Like

  • Unlike other models of pull-through pocket knife sharpeners, it doesn’t come with a diamond honing rod
  • It’s very small – too small for very big hands

Smiths PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener Full Review & How to Sharpen Knifes Via WayneSadler

This particular model made it to the #1 position because it’s cheap, user-friendly, and very effective in sharpening pocket knives

Which is the Best Pocket Knife Sharpener to Go For?

What’s the Best Pocket Knife Sharpener? Via testingteam

I actually like all of the Top 5 products presented here – they’re all good, honestly. However, if you specifically want something for outdoor use, I would suggest choosing from the top 3 – Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic, Smith’s Consumer Products CCKS Pull-Thru Knife Sharpener, and the Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener – as they are all compact and very portable.

The DMT FWFC Double Sided Diafold Sharpener, which is a folding sharpener, is also a great choice – but it’s rather expensive if you ask me.

As for the Smith’s Oval Diamond Sharpening Rod, it’s also an effective pocket knife sharpener – and it also works for other types of cutting tools. Its only downside is that it’s not that portable for outdoor use (because it’s long).

All things considered, I still recommend the Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener (which is the Top 1 on the list). It’s just so cheap and useful that you can’t afford to have one in your arsenal of knife accessories. Clearly (at least for me), it’s the best pocket knife sharpener to have when you’re going on an outdoor adventure.

As always, I would love to hear from you. Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

If you are looking for more types of knife sharpeners like sharpening stones, sharpening steels and electric knife sharpeners, check them here.

Lita Watson

Hi there! I’m Lita, and I’m absolutely in love with cooking blogs. I’m a beginner in cooking and i try my best to make it quick and easy. Even though, it’s not always quick and easy to keep up with fancy dinners… so i keep learning and blogging about quick and easy ways to create delicious and yummy foods for my two kids and a wonderful husband.

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