Pocket knife sharpenersConsidering the quality of today’s steel, the knife or camp axe that’s been stored in the backpack over the winter probably has an edge as sharp as when you stowed it away. In the back country where it’s actually used, the lifetime of that edge can often be measured in hours. There’s dirt and grit to deal with in the wider world, where a mistake or a bad swing can instantly wreck a blade you spent hours refining.

Until recently, fixing that edge in camp meant an evening by the campfire working the blade over a whetstone that was too small and too heavy all at the same time. The words “white Arkansas novaculite” sound pretty, but if you have to carry a full sized Quachita stone in your pack it’s just a heavy rock. A Quachita stone puts a great edge on a knife, but a slip small enough to take along comfortably wouldn’t handle anything bigger than a pen knife.

Today we do have better options. Diamond stones cut well enough to actually shape heavy steel, not just polish it. For the workbench, where carborundum and novaculite once ruled, there’s competition from modern ceramics as well as diamond matrix benchstones. In camp or on the trail, small diamond slips weighing only ounces actually can maintain a blade. The only complaint is that diamond matrix is a little rough until it wears down, so you may want that Quachita slip for the final touch.

Some of Our Favorite Sharpening Devices

For major work at home — setting the bevel and grinding back nicks — you’ll need something as good as the DMT Coarse Diamond Whetstone.

The three ounce, four inch long DMT Fine Diamond Whetstone includes a leather sheath and will handle anything short of major disaster.

Gerber’s Diamond Pocket Knife Sharpener hones belt knives too — and includes an abrasive groove for sharpening fish hooks.

Kitchen Knife Sharpening

For kitchen knives, check out our kitchen knife sharpening reviews and our complete guide to sharpening kitchen knives

See All of Our Pocket Knife & Hunting Knife Sharpener Reviews Below

Pocket & Hunting Knife Sharpening

Rapala4 Fillet Knife, Soft Grip Handle | Rapala Fishing Blade V Sharpener, Manual Single Stage

Rapala’s Soft Grip Fillet series knives feature flexible blades of high carbon European stainless steel and come with a handy pocket...
JT Hats
1 min read

Makita Carving Knife Sharpener, Electric Horizontal 9820-2 | Planer Edge Wet Wheel Grinder Waterstone

Makita designed the 9820-2 Horizontal Wheel Sharpener to restore the edges of planer blades to perfect condition. The same wet grinding...
JT Hats
1 min read

Arkansas Whetstone Knife Sharpening Set | Tri Hone 6 Inch with Wooden Stand G8T001

The Natural Whetstone Company of Royal, Arkansas, produces this set of three good 6-inch by 1-5/8-inch whetstones mounted in a simple...
JT Hats
1 min read

Tool Logic Folding Knife SLP2 | Stores Firesteel, LED Flashlight, Diamond Sharpener

Tool Logic’s SLP2 Multifunction Folding Knife makes the multi-tool approach to survival knives actually work. Similar in appearance to the Swedish...
JT Hats
59 sec read

Sporting & Kitchen Knife Sharpener, McGowan Electric Firestone | Ceramic Hollow Grind

McGowan’s Firestone Electric Sharpener quickly hones kitchen and sporting knives to a short functional hollow ground edge. The Firestone works well...
JT Hats
1 min read

DMT Diamond Sharpening Stone | Fine Grit Whetstone W4F 4 Inch

DMT’s W4F Diamond Pocket Whetstone has the fine grit matrix you most often need when touching up a blade edge at...
JT Hats
58 sec read

DMT Knife Sharpener Diamond Whetstone | Coarse Grit 6 Inch W6CP

DMT’s Coarse Grit Diamond Whetstone quickly restores accurate bevels to badly worn blades of tools and knives as well as materials...
JT Hats
52 sec read

Lansky Diamond Knife Sharpening System | Coarse, Medium and Fine Grit Hones

Where this sharpening system will really come in handy is in reworking badly worn and damaged blades. Using the Lansky system,...
JT Hats
1 min read

Spyderco Ceramic Sharpening Stone | Whetstone 302F Fine

This full-sized 2″ x 8″ ceramic sharpening stone from Spyderco is a fine grit finishing whetstone designed to use without lubricants....
JT Hats
51 sec read

Spyderco Tri Angle Sharpmaker Knife Sharpener | #204MF Triangle

You’ll encounter several different categories of sharpening devices out there, and easily hundreds of actual sharpening systems within each category. A...
42 sec read

Gerber Diamond Pocket Knife Sharpener | Hone / Sharpening Steel

Not many people need an all-in-one tool sharpener — They can get really bulky and annoying if they’re not being used...
38 sec read