The Best Survival Knife Sharpeners in the Industry for 2019

Benjamin Roussey

Table of Contents

Introduction

One of the oldest and most essential survival tools is the knife. In the wilderness, knives are used for a wide range of tasks, from creating feather sticks to batoning to skinning an animal. It takes many years for knife users to learn what survival knife they like the most, why they like it, and how they can make the best use of it in every task.

Along with this, users also need to learn how to maintain their blade and have a sharp blade at all times – a dull knife will do no one any good when they are out in the wilderness and facing life and death situations.

What to Consider When Buying a Suitable Knife Sharpener

When buying a survival knife sharpener, you need to put in as much thought into it as you do when buying a knife. Here is a look at some of the things to keep in mind when buying a decent knife sharpener:

  • Remarkable Performance: One of the most important features to look for in a sharpener is its ability to produce a consistently smooth edge that does not have any scratches or nicks in it. Always pick a sharpener that performs well when you use it on your knives.
  • An Abrasive and Hard Surface: Generally speaking, the hardest sharpening material is diamond – it is also the fastest. After diamond, tungsten carbide and polished ceramic come next. You measure abrasiveness in terms of grit, which means that the abrasive is finer when the grit number is higher.
  • An Accurate Angle Guide that You can Adjust: There are some sharpeners that make it easy for even users without experience to hold the blade at the correct angle while a little bit of practice is required in others. The best angle guides can be adjusted to accommodate more than one blade angle, especially 15 and 20 degrees.
  • Adequate Safety Features: A sharpener should come with safety features that allow you to avoid cutting your finger while you are sharpening your blade. There are a number of sharpeners that do not come with enough safety features or the right safety features – avoid them no matter how good looking or cheap they are.
  • Multiple Sharpening Stages: With a coarse abrasive, you can reshape the edges on knives that are extremely dull or damaged. Finer abrasives are mainly used for polishing and touch-ups. It is essential to have both because you will remove too much steel from your knife if you use a coarse material to polish or touch up your knife.

7 Best Sharpeners for Survival Knives

Here is a comparison chart of our top 7 sharpeners so you can choose the right one for you.

At a Glance: Our Choices for The Top 7 Survival Knife Sharpeners

Click on one of the links to go directly to our overview, opinion, and features of each sharpener.

top-7-sharpeners-for-survival-knives

1. Smith’s 50364 Pocket Pal X2 Sharpener and Survival Tool

Smith's 50364 Pocket Pal X2 Sharpener & Outdoors ToolThe Pocket Pal X2 is a lightweight and versatile survival tool that will help you a lot when you are in the wilderness. The first thing you get is a fantastic survival knife sharpener with a tapered diamond rod and ceramic finishing slot. There is no doubt that Rambo would approve of this tool and his enemies would wish he did not have it on him.

This tool comes with preset sharpening angles and premium abrasive components to provide you a sharper cutting edge. Apart from this, the Pocket Pal X2 features a compass, firestarter, LED light and signal whistle – tools that you need to help you survive in the wilderness.

Opinion: We think that the Pocket Pal X2 is one of the top survival knife sharpeners on the market. It being lightweight makes it easy to carry whether you are camping, hunting, etc. We like that all the mechanical features in this tool work as they should, making it versatile and useful. We believe that it is better than the original with its extra tools.

If there was one thing that we would like to change, it would be the bulky build of the Pocket Pal X2. It makes it a little tough to carry around. Apart from this, there are no complaints and we have no problem saying that this multifunctional sharpening tool is an excellent product that comes at a good price and works amazingly well when you need it to. Overall, we would recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable survival knife sharpener. Jason Bourne would be happy to have the Pocket Pal X2 to sharpen his knife but terrorists certainly would be unhappy if Bourne had any other weapon since he is already very dangerous with just his hands.

Pros Cons
(+) Sharpens knives extremely well (-) Bulky and large
(+) Lightweight and versatile (-) Dim LED flashlight
(+) Excellent firestarter
Features Details
Our Rating: 4.8 Stars
Material: Carbide and Ceramic
Weight: 1.76 oz
Angle: 40 and 45 degrees
Good for: Serrated and plain blades

2. Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker Knife Sharpener

Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker Knife Sharpener 204MFThe Tri-Angle Sharpmaker is one of the best knife sharpeners around and it is easy to see why. It is made of the best quality materials and tested for quality and durability. When it comes to keeping blades sharp, there is nothing quite like this set from Spyderco. It comes with 2 sets of high alumina ceramic stones that work effectively in sharpening flat and plain edges, punches, fishhooks, darts, and awls.

The stones are used dry without lubricants, oil, or water. This knife sharpener is easy to clean and even comes with a drilled base so that you can bolt it to countertops and tables for permanent attachment in kitchens or shops. The Tri-Angle Sharpmaker is a fantastic choice if you are looking for a high-quality survival knife sharpener.

Opinion: We love the Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker because it is easy to use and made with the best materials. It is durable and portable. Even users who are not outdoor enthusiasts say that it is one of the best knife sharpeners to have in the kitchen. We like that the unit can be permanently attached to a table or countertop. We believe that this sharpener is not like other ones that come with gimmicks and is worth every dollar you spend.

If there was one thing that we could change, it would be that it takes a bit of practice, especially for people who are used to stones for sharpening their knives. Apart from this, there are no complaints. All in all, we can finally say that if you are looking for a top quality survival knife sharpener, you should definitely pick this one. If Jack Bauer was real he would agree. The knife he would sharpen using this sharpener would be able to kill all sorts of terrorists!

Pros Cons
(+) Highest quality materials (-) Takes practice
(+) Works excellently in keeping tools sharp (-) May be difficult to use for those accustomed to using stone for sharpening
(+) Can be easily carried in any situation
Features Details
Our Rating: 4.8 Stars
Material: Ceramic
Weight: 1.8 oz
Angle: 30 and 40 degrees
Good for: Serrated and Plain blades

3. Fallkniven Knives DC4 Diamond/Ceramic Whetstone

Dianova FNDC4 Combination Whetstone Knife SharpenersThis is a fine whetstone with a fine diamond on one side and a ceramic on the other side. It is lightweight and compact and easy to carry, whether you are camping, hunting, or in any other survival situation. This knife sharpener also comes with a quality leather pouch to store and protect it.

The DC4 whetstone is easy to use and more convenient than many other knife sharpeners. It is a stellar quality item that is worth the money you spend. If you need a whetstone to carry to the wilderness, this is the perfect one. Riddick would agree and all those Necromongers that he killed would have to agree as well if they were still around! Riddick knows his knives!

Opinion: The famous german knife maker, Fallkniven has made a whetstone that we are sure it is one of the best stones you can find available in the market. It makes for a great sharpening to carry in all types of outdoor activities, whether it is backpacking or hunting. We find that this dual-sided sharpener works extremely well and gives you a sharp blade every time. It is also compact, making it easy and convenient to carry everywhere.

There is one small complaint that we have and that is the quality of the ceramic – it tends to crack easily. Also, in some units, the stones are not glued properly, making them crooked. Apart from this, there are no issues and we would recommend the DC4 whetstone to anyone looking for a magnificent knife sharpener. This includes Blade! There are plenty of vampires that have seen the terrible effects of a sharpened knife from the likes of this daywalker!

Pros Cons
(+) Light, compact, and easy to use (-) Ceramic cracks easily
(+) Dual-sided whetstone that gives you the sharpest edge (-) Stones not glued straight
(+) Great for all types of outdoor activities, like camping, backpacking, hunting, etc.
Features Details
Our Rating: 4.6 Stars
Material: Diamond and Ceramic
Weight: 1.34 oz
Angle: None
Good for: Plain blades

4. Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic

Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedicThis is a well-designed knife sharpener that comes at an affordable price, making it one of the top choices on the market. The BladeMedic has a diamond tapered rod for maintenance and fast reconditioning. Its tungsten carbide and ceramic sharpening rods ensure that you are able to restore your blade and get a great finish with just 3 or 4 strokes.

It also has a sharpener for serrated knives that is designed to get inside small serrations. This sharpening kit is compact and lightweight, making it convenient to carry anywhere.

Opinion: When it comes to survival knife sharpeners, we think that the Lansky BladeMedic is one of the best out there. Well-designed and built, we find that this sharpener gives you a sharp blade every time you use it. It is handy, especially when you are on the go. We like that it is portable and fairly inexpensive. If you want to quickly sharpen your knife without using a whetstone, we believe that this is definitely one of the top ones.

On the other side, we think that the BladeMedic is a tad too heavy, especially when you want your survival kit to be as light as possible. Other than that, there are no complaints and we can finally add that this is one handy survival knife sharpener that always works when you need it to.

Pros Cons
(+) Sharpens all types of knives extremely well (-) A little heavy for some users
(+) Well designed (-) Tapered diamond rod does not stay in place
(+) Convenient for all outdoor situations
Features Details
Our Rating: 4.5 Stars
Material: Carbide and Ceramic
Weight: 4 oz
Angle: 45 degrees
Good for: Serrated and Plain blades

5. Kershaw Ultra-Tek Blade Sharpener

Kershaw Ultra-Tek Blade Sharpener (2535); 4-Inch Sharpening Steel; 600-Grit Diamond-Coated Oval Shaft; Lightweight 6061-T6 Anodized Aluminum Handle; Compact, Portable Design; 2.1 oz.The Kershaw Ultra-Tek is a neatly-designed sharpener that looks awesome and works fantastic too. Made of 600-grit steel, this diamond-coated is made with some of the best materials, ensuring quality and durability.

Its textured handle prevents slipping. If you are looking for a portable knife sharpener that gives you a sharp blade every time, this is the one for you. It works excellently for survival knives as well as kitchen knives. So no matter what type of knife you need to sharpen, you can be sure that the Ultra-Tek will not let you down.

Opinion: Let’s begin by saying that the Kershaw Ultra-Tek sharpener is an effective product that ensures that all your knives have sharp blades. Whether you use it on survival knives, kitchen knives, scissors, etc., you will always receive excellent results. We like the fact that it is portable and comes with a protective cover as well as the textured handle that will not slip or slide while you are gripping it. We believe that it is a very good product from Kershaw.

If there was anything that we could change, it would be the quality of the plastic handle – it feels a little flimsy while you are sharpening a knife. Aside from this, there are no negatives and we think that this is a sensational sharpener to carry on camping, hunting, or backpacking trips. Optimus Prime does not go on backpacking trips, he does fly into outer space though and his large metal cutting blade could be sharpened using this fantastic product known as the Kershaw Ultra-Tek much to the chagrin of Decepticons!

Pros Cons
(+) Portable with a protective cover (-) Plastic handle feels a bit flimsy
(+) Works well for all knives, big or small (-) Low-quality threads with burs and other stuff stuck on them
(+) Fits both left-handed and right-handed people
Features Details
Our Rating: 4.5 Stars
Material: Diamond 600 grit
Weight: 2.1 oz
Angle: None
Good for: Plain blades

6. Benchmade 983903F Mini-Field Blister Sharpener

Benchmade 983903F Mini-Field Blister SharpenerWhen you have a survival knife or a few, you need a top-quality knife sharpener. The Benchmade 983903F Mini-Field Blister is a poignant choice as it works extremely well for all types of knives. With a 60-degree inclusive angle, this sharpener ensures that you get a really sharp blade.

It has a lanyard hole that you can use to attach the unit to your backpack, belt, etc. Compact and lightweight, it is the ideal sharpener to carry anywhere. The Benchmade 983903F Mini-Field Blister is also extremely easy to use, which is why it is a top option if you need a quality sharpener.

Opinion: With a compact form factor and excellent built quality, the Benchmade 983903F Mini-Field Blister is one of the best survival knife sharpeners you will find on the market. It is easy to carry, whether you want it in your backpack, belt, or keychain. We also like that it is so easy to use as well. As you know, convenience is important when you are in the wilderness and this knife sharpener is definitely convenient, making it perfect for all outdoor trips.

If there was anything that we could change, it would be the size. We feel that it is a tad too small for some. But all in all, we have no problem saying that we would pick the Benchmade 983903F Mini-Field Blister over other sharpeners as it gets the job done perfectly every time, no matter how big or small the knife is. This is an outstanding knife sharpener which could help Natasha Romanoff kill plenty of Chitauri!

Pros Cons
(+) Easy to use (-) Too small for some users
(+) Works extremely well (-) Can cut your finger if not careful
(+) Portable and handy
Features Details
Our Rating: 4.4 Stars
Material: Carbide and Ceramic
Weight: 0.3 oz
Angle: 30 degrees
Good for: Plain blades

7. Victorinox Pocket Knife Sharpener

Victorinox Pocket Knife Sharpener (Clam Pack), BlackWhen it comes to compact knife sharpeners, you will not find anything quite like the Victorinox sharpener. Known for quality, this is one of the best products you will find on the market today. It has a 100% enclosed system which means that your pockets are safe. There is nothing sharp or abrasive to tear holes in them.

It is easy to use, maintain and clean. The Victorinox sharpener also has a pocket clip so you have more options on how to carry it. This is also an advantage for those who use knives regularly and need a sharpener at all times with them. This is another awesome pick for anyone looking for a superb knife sharpener.

Opinion: We really like the Victorinox sharpener because it has everything you need to make sure that you get super-sharp edges on your knives. It is also compact and portable, which is ideal when you are in the wilderness. We believe that this knife sharpener is a must whether it is for EDC or backpacking, camping, hunting or fishing trips. Users who own other Victorinox products say that the brand’s products are all high quality and this knife sharpener is no different.

If there was anything that we could change, it would be the V-style pull-thru sharpener. We think that the pull-thru should be eliminated, making it a rod sharpener only. Apart from this, there are no major complaints. We can also say that the Victorinox sharpener is an awesome sharpener that we would recommend to anyone looking for a top quality one at an affordable price. Rick Grimes would not have to pay for it since money does not matter when civilization is collapsing but with this Victorinox sharpener, Rick Grimes could have a sharp knife where he could use against plenty of walkers and savage humans alike!

Pros Cons
(+) Enclosed system that prevents pockets from getting torn (-) Comes with a V-style pull-thru sharpener
(+) Gives a razor sharp edge every time (-) May not work well on some knives
(+) Great value
Features Details
Our Rating: 4.3 Stars
Material: Carbide and Ceramic
Weight: 1.41 oz
Angle: 30 degrees
Good for: Plain blades

Conclusion

When you own tools, it is important to learn how to maintain them. Survival knives need to be kept razor sharp in order to perform the cutting tasks they need to. This means that you need to make sure that you have the best survival knife sharpener you can afford to keep your blade as sharp as it can be.

With a top-notch survival knife sharpener, you can make sure that your knife gives you the performance you want or need out of it, no matter what type of outdoor situation you are in or what task is at hand. With the sharpeners mentioned above, you can be sure that your survival knife will always have a sharp edge.

Comments
  • Lita Watson
    Reply

    I see that Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic is terribly nice. It comes in a durable steel casing, not plastic like other models

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