Top 5 Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners 2020:
- Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic
- Chef’sChoice 15 Trizor XV
- Hoffman Richter HR-1 Pocket Knife Sharpener
- Fallkniven Diamond-Ceramic Whetstone Sharpener
- SunrisePro Supreme Knife Sharpener
A good pocket knife is a real life-saver. Seriously, we can think of a thousand situations where these neat tools can prove to be useful. Cutting ropes, opening cans, and preparing quick outdoor meals are only some of them.
But, in order to perform all these awesome duties, the pocket knives need to be very sharp. Otherwise, they are not only near useless – they are also a dangerous liability that can cause some severe injuries.
Fortunately, this situation can be easily solved. As a matter of fact, people knew how to keep their blades sharp and shiny ever since the dawn of humanity. The only thing that changed is that, as time went, knife sharpeners became better, more efficient, and more portable.
So much, they now can be used on pocket knives as well.
So, let’s take a quick look at this niche corner of the market and try to find out what is the best pocket knife sharpener the money can currently buy.
Related: The Best Sharpening Steels
5 Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners In 2020: Detailed Reviews
1. Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic – Best Pocket Knife Sharpener Overall
People often like to say that “Jack of all trades is master of nothing.” This small knife sharpener is proof this old saying is not always true.
You see, Lansky PS-MED01 bites a lot more than other sharpeners in this range would ever dare to. However, all the duties of this unit is designed to perform are performed with grace and efficiency.
So, what makes this product so unique?
Well, let us start with the fact that packed in this small body, you can find as much as four different sharpening tools covering all major material groups. You get Tungsten Carbide V sharpener, two ceramic sharpeners, and one fold-out diamond tapered rod.
What’s even better, all these different sharpeners perform really well. All in all, a lot of value in such a compact package.
Keep in mind, though, that this versatility comes at a certain price. Namely, Lansky PS-MED01 feels quite heavy, especially for its small size. And small size in combination with heavy weight means you will have to put a lot of concentration into sharpening if you want to avoid serious injuries.
But, this is a small price to pay for this, otherwise excellent package. The build quality is excellent, design top-notch, and the whole thing looks like it can withstand years of abuse without losing any of the productivity.
A definite recommendation.
- Excellent build quality
- Four different sharpeners in one unit
- Great performance
- Compact dimensions
- Not always easy to use
2. Chef’sChoice 15 Trizor XV – Best Premium Knife Sharpener
Well, this is one pretty awesome knife sharpener if there ever was one. Now, to be quite honest, we were hesitant even to put this unit of the list. Primarily because the product was designed for large kitchen knives.
But, a lot of customers out there are using this unit for smaller blades, and we haven’t said that your new purchase needs to be used for pocket knives exclusively.
Now that we have moved this issue out of the equation, we can wholeheartedly conclude that this is the tabletop sharpener the dreams are made of.
First and foremost, you must know that this is an electric-powered unit, so the amount of work you will need to put into sharpening will be cut to a bare minimum. Second, the whole thing is incredibly safe to use – just put the blade in one of three available stages, and that’s pretty much it. See Also: The Best Electric Knife Sharpeners
But the biggest star are definitely the three stages themselves. With two diamond plated slots that can deal with even the most robust steel and third fine-grit slot used for polishing, this unit easily deals with any sort of factory edges you can throw at it.
On the other hand, the product is admittedly expensive, bulky, and often loud. Also, softer blades can easily end up damaged. Still, a rock-solid effort.
- Power and durability
- Three different stages
- The inclusion of diamond abrasives
- Incredibly efficient
- A bit too expensive and powerful for an average user
3. Hoffman Richter HR-1 Pocket Knife Sharpener -Best Budget Pocket Knife Sharpener
There is a lot of beauty to be found in simplicity. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at Hoffman Richter HR-1. It’s so simple and yet so efficient you can’t help but to admire.
This balance was clearly achieved by the fact that the manufacturer knew that low price and streamlined functions don’t have to imply the lack of quality. Instead, people from Hoffman Richter have simply stripped down the clutter and put their effort into a couple of features that matter the most.
First of them are two top-quality stages (one on each side of the unit) – one of them using Tungsten Carbide and the other using ceramic V-shape rods. So, you get all the essential boxes checked.
The second thing we would like to point out is the very appealing and simple design. The unit feels very light, but at the same time, very durable. What’s even better, convenient handles mean it can be used in your hands or on the top of the table – whatever feels better at the moment.
However, there are some downsides.
For instance, both rods on use here are not especially abrasive, so you will most likely use this unit for fine-work and softer blades. Second, due to design, you should have to pay extra attention when handling curved edges.
- Excellent price-value ratio
- Solid build quality
- Two different sharpening rods
- Good for softer blades
- Not abrasive enough for harder materials
Some people find standalone sharpening rods incredibly useful. Others think they are a pain in the neck. From a neutral standpoint, we have to agree both sides are, in fact, right.
In our honest opinion, the best way to describe the standalone sharpening rods is top-notch performance devoid of any convenience.
Well, in the case of Fallkniven Diamond-Ceramic sharpener, that’s not entirely the case, and we are more than happy to report that.
So, as the name suggests – this neat sharpener uses two materials instead of a regular one.
On the one side, we have a tough diamond stone that makes an easy job of steels of all kinds. On the other, we can find an elegant ceramic stone that handles more sophisticated polish duties. So, you do get the best of both worlds. See Also: The Best Sharpening Stones
It is also good to know that the very sharpening doesn’t require water so you can write in one more point in the convenience department.
The real and probably the only problem with this product is a somewhat compromised performance. Namely, taking into consideration the quality of the materials on display here, we have to admit we were slightly underwhelmed with the final results.
Don’t get us wrong – the blades ended up sharp, but nowhere near as sharp as we wanted.
- Handsome price
- Quality materials
- Versatile performance
- Easy to use
- The final results are not that sharp
And for the very end, we have one lovely-looking and useful tabletop unit that makes up for the lack of exciting functions with incredibly reliable performance. Let us elaborate.
And we will start with the elephant in the room here – if you are looking for a lot of different poles, interesting special features or special features at all you can easily pass this unit. With only one pair of V-shaped sharpening rods, this product can’t compete with any of the previous contenders. Well, at least not in terms of versatility.
When mounting this bad boy on the table, though, you get a completely different impression. First of all, suction-base is rock-solid and looks like it can keep the sharpener firmly in place until the end of days. Second – this thing gets the job done.
Some would say it gets the job done more than it was supposed to because some smaller and softer units can be easily damaged in the unit’s clutches. But, if your pocket knife is made from quality and durable materials, no need to worry – a couple of swipes, and you will quickly restore the blade to its former glory.
Unfortunately, the final product will end up a bit messy, and so you may want to use another unit for a quick polish.
- Simple and easy to use
- Excellent suction base
- The blades do end up sharp
- Very affordable
- Too harsh for finer blades
- You need to use a separate unit for polishing
Factors You Should Consider When Buying A Pocket Knife Sharpener
And now that we have finally sorted out our tonight’s contenders, it is finally time to see which one of them deserves to carry the title of the best pocket knife sharpener on the market. But, for us to do that, we need to set some standards we are going to use to compare these products.
Besides, different people use different knives and need different knife sharpeners. Learning more about their types and features will help you to find the unit that best suits your needs, even if you don’t agree with the choices we are going to make further down below.
So, here are the top 5 things you should consider before buying a knife sharpener.
1. The Sharpener Material
Although they tend to look pretty basic at first glance, the pocket knife sharpeners actually offer quite a lot of variety. But, even with all that variety in mind, we can still divide all these units into three major groups based on the material they were made from.
- Tungsten Carbide – This material is very rough and sturdy. It features twice the strength of steel and makes an ideal match for very dull knife blades. Not the most durable option on the market, though. Even so, Tungsten Carbide features a very good price-performance ratio.
- Diamond – As you probably know, diamond is one of the hardest and durable materials you can find in nature. It shouldn’t be surprising then that diamond sharpeners are incredibly efficient in keeping your knives in pristine condition. They are, however, pretty expensive, so we recommend that you buy them only if you are a hunter or use knives for your professional occupation.
- Ceramic – Ceramic sharpeners are often used for professional knife sharpening, and for a good reason too – they feature high water, rust, and heat resistance. They are a bit more expensive than Tungsten Carbide sharpeners but still way more affordable than diamond units. See Also: The Best Ceramic Knives
2. Abrasive Surface
All the materials have the inherent properties that make them suitable for grinding and polishing the blade’s edge. However, this job would not be possible if the surface of the sharpening unit wasn’t abrasive – the two materials would simply slide across each other.
On the other hand, use the sharpener with a rougher surface, you will get more reliable performance and sharper edges.
Now, we should point out that knife sharpening is performed in stages, not all of which require overly abrasive tools. For instance, ultra-fine ceramic surfaces do an excellent job at polishing, but they are not that good at reshaping/repairing the blade.
So, to avoid further confusion, here are the standard grit options and the activities they are most commonly used for.
- 8000 grit – Basic polishing
- 6000 grit – Basic finishing
- 1000 grit – Basic sharpening
- 300 grit – Used for sharpening of very dull steel knives
- 220 grit – The most abrasive option used for reshaping and repairing of steel blades
3. The Body Type
Much like the sharpening materials, the bodies these materials are wrapped in for more convenient use can be divided into a couple of well-defined major groups. This time, we get four of them.
- Fold-out sharpeners – These units are, actually, very similar to pocket knives. Small in dimensions, they can be easily carried in a pocket, and you use them by folding the sharpening rod. Suffice to say; they make an ideal match for outgoing persons who put convenience in front of efficiency.
- Tabletop sharpeners – As the name suggests, these units are primarily used on kitchen knives but make an easy job of pocket and keychain units as well. They are sturdy, safe, and efficient but can be used only in the safety of your home.
- Compact centerline sharpeners – This type usually features opposing sharpening channels and holding grips at each side of their bodies. Strong, sturdy, and versatile; they represent the middle of the road between fold-out and tabletop units.
- Standalone sharpening rods – This is, by far, the most stripped-down category you can buy – literary. But, using the standalone sharpening rod has its perks. You get a lot of longevity at a comparably low price.
Most of the knife sharpeners (at least fold-out units) feature an adjustable rod that allows you to set up your unit to work better with certain types of knives. So, essentially, you should choose the units with the angle that will suit your needs the best. Here are the three most common options:
- 12 – 18 degrees – Small paring and filet knives
- 18 – 25 degrees – Small kitchen knives
- 25 – 30 degrees – Pocket and outdoor knives
5. Safety Features
- Last but not least, we have to point out that sharpening knives is a pretty dangerous activity. Whenever you are doing anything involving sharp blades, you should do your best to squeeze out every ounce of safety you can.
- In this case, this added level of security is achieved with an ergonomic design that allows you a firm grip over the unit, protective barriers that keep your fingers safe during sharpening, and in the case of tabletop units, non-slip suction bases that will keep your unit firmly in place.
Final Thoughts And Recommendations
So, the time has finally arrived for us to proclaim the winner and tell you which contender is the best pocket knife sharpener currently sitting on the market. We have to admit our job was pretty hard – all the products pretty much competed in their own leagues and put something interesting on the table.
But still, some products simply work better than others. So, here are the results we came up with after long and careful consideration.
Best Product Overall: Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic
- As we already mentioned, we had our doubts here. Still, Lansky PS-MED01 eventually swayed us with its excellent build quality and the sheer number of things you can do with four different sharpeners you get in the package. A bit tricky to use, but an excellent product nevertheless.
Best Premium Knife Sharpener: Chef’sChoice 15 Trizor XV
- If we struggled to find the knife sharpener that represents the best balance of price, quality, and versatility, finding the premium pick was a far more straightforward job. Chef’sChoice 15 Trizor XV has premium written all over its body. So, if you are ready to go past the century mark, this product is definitely for you.
Best Budget Product: Hoffman Richter HR-1 Pocket Knife Sharpener
- This neat knife sharpener is small, handy, easy to use, and sells at a price so dirty cheap you’ll want to wash your hands after checking out. Sure, its performance is far from stellar, but stellar is not something you get at this price point. Better than expected and worth your money? Definitely yes.