The best field knife sharpeners have been a useful amenity for backpackers, outdoor enthusiasts, and survivalists. After all, knives and bladed tools are essential for expeditions and off-grid pursuits. If these knives are dull, you can’t expect them to be useful in the first place.
There is a myriad of sharpeners that exist in the market today. However, we are going to be extremely specific here. What we need are sharpeners that we can take on the field. That’s our main criteria, and the following made it through the cut.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Field Knife Sharpener Reviews
- 2 Why Do You Need The Best Field Knife Sharpener?
- 3 How To Choose The Best Field Knife Sharpener
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions:
- 5 Conclusion
Best Field Knife Sharpener Reviews
1. Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener – Editor’s Pick
- COMPLETE KNIFE SHARPENER - field, home or shop use designed for sportsmen who need a complete, compact field sharpening solution. The diamond plates can be easily removed to expose a broad head wrench to speed sharpening in the field. Diamond plates can be attached with the abrasive exposed or flipped over during transport in your gear bag.
- DIAMOND PLATES, CERAMIC RODS, LEATHER STROP, & SHARPENING GUIDES - provide a fast, easy & consistent sharpening solution for knives & camp tools. The ceramic honing rod rotates to expose coarse & fine honing surfaces, as well as a grooved surface for sharpening fish hooks. A second, small ceramic rod is used for sharpening serrations
- CONSISTENT BLADE EDGE ANGLES - purpose built 20° angle guide for sharpening with the diamond plates, & 25° angle guide for honing a strong micro-bevel. Five abrasive steps provide a complete sharpening solution: coarse & fine diamond sharpening plates, coarse & fine ceramic hones, & a leather strop.
- COMPACT & DURABLE - maintain your edge while out hunting, fishing, camping or anywhere you need a sharp edge. All elements are self-contained & require no tools, assembly, or set-up
- PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN COMPANY - This tool was engineered and assembled by hard working Americans. Work Sharp is part of Darex, a 4th-generation family owned company in Ashland, Oregon. For over 40 years we have been creating industry-leading sharpening tools here in the USA.
I have highlighted the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener a couple of times in this blog. And I will never get tired of doing that because of the finesse and overall quality of this tool.
This knife sharpener is a perfect everyday-carry utility for outdoor goers. It has a tested-and-proven capacity to sharpen knives and other blade products.
In fact, it offers a complete sharpening solution. It has a ceramic rod, leather strop, diamond plates, and sharpening guides to ensure that you can get a consistent sharpening result. This sharpener is suitable for knives and other tools you use in camping and fishing.
The ceramic honing rod can rotate so that you will be able to access its fine and coarse honing surfaces. Moreover, it also has a grooved surface, which you can use to sharpen fish hooks. Interestingly, another ceramic rod is also integrated into this sharpener. It is perfect for sharpening blades with serrations.
- Provides built-in angle guides for sharpening
- Compact and rugged construction
- Complete abrasive steps for total sharpening result
- Works with fish hooks and other bladed tools
- No assembly required
- Doesn’t have a grip for a steady hold
2. Work Sharp Micro Sharpener & Knife Tool – Runner-Up
- Diamond/ceramic sharpening - quickly sharpens and hones any steel blades so you always have a sharp knife
- Angle guides - consistent angle every time, makes sharpening fast and easy
- Knife maintenance tools - Bit driver and Torx bits: T6, T8, and T10 bits allow for easy knife hardware tuning
- Work Sharp quality - industry leading materials and industrial design for a durable, sturdy sharpening tool
- On the go - everywhere you use a knife or hand tool - in the field, on the boat, on the jobsite, in the yard, out at camp
Some people want it extra small when it comes to their backpacking gears. If you are among them, then the Work Sharp Micro Sharpener & Knife Tool should be a good choice.
The Work Sharp Micro Sharpener & Knife Tool features both diamond and ceramic sharpening surfaces. This means that you have a complete tool for coarse and fine sharpening. It works with various steels and ensures that they can get the sharpness they deserve.
It also provides consistent sharpening results, thanks to its angle guides. Moreover, it helps in making this sharpener user-friendly, since it doesn’t make the task arduous.
One of the key features of this sharpener is the presence of a variety of knife sharpening tools. It comes with a bit driver and Torx bits that can help you in knife hardware tuning.
- Ideal for lightweight and backpacking purposes
- Sharpens steels pretty efficiently
- Highly durable and weather-resistant
- Angle guides ensure consistency in sharpening
- Comes with a lanyard for easier carry
- May not work for large blades
3. Smith’s CCD4 3 IN 1 Field Sharpening System – Budget-Friendly Pick
- Carbide blades for quick edge setting; interrupted surface diamond stone provides razor sharp edge
- Ceramic rods provide multi-use sharpening capabilities
- Protective lid serves as hand guard
- Sharpening groove for fish hooks and pointed tools
- Preset sharpening angles provide guaranteed results
One of the finest makers of sharpening systems is Smith’s. It is one of the reasons why this brand is highly trusted within the outdoor community. Most of their opuses are portable and ideal for backpacking and emergency purposes.
The Smith’s CCD4 3, for instance, is a notable sharpener for being ergonomic and intuitive. It has a durable construction, too, as it is manufactured from premium materials. It comes with carbide blades that can ensure a fast edge setting. Meanwhile, the interrupted surface diamond stone elevates the sharpness of blades.
There are also ceramic rods on Smith’s CCD4. They allow you to sharpen different types of knives. They also work for honing purposes. You can use them for sharpening serrations, too.
Furthermore, there is a sharpening groove on this system. You can use it for sharpening hooks and other pointed edges. You don’t have to worry about consistency either as this sharpener has preset angle guides.
- Versatile field sharpener
- Comes with a protective lid
- Guaranteed quick sharpening capability
- Include preset angle guides
- Constructed for outdoor purposes
- Metal residues that gather on it are difficult to clean up
4. Smith’s DCS4 Diamond Combo Bench Stone – Premium Pick
- Coarse and fine diamond stones in one compact sharpener
- Soft grip rubber handle
- Thumb guard
- Sharpening groove for fish hooks and pointed tools
- Micro-Tool sharpening pad
Another reliable field sharpener that you should check out is the Smith’s DCS4 Diamond Combo Bench Stone. It is compact, rugged, and straightforward. It is perfect for quick and hassle-free sharpening tasks because of its ergonomic design.
This sharpener has coarse and fine grit sharpening platforms. Each of them has multiple layers of micron-sized monocrystalline diamonds that enhance the sharpening process. They ensure that the “unnecessary” metals can be stripped easily from the blade.
Unlike other field sharpeners, this one has a quick-cleaning mechanism. It doesn’t gather metal fillings and make them into one giant mess. This is due to the presence of overlapping holes. They are the ones that collect and hold the residues whenever you are sharpening.
Each of the carbide and ceramic stone has a sharpening groove for pointed items like fish hooks.
The difference between the Diamond Combo Bench Stone and other field sharpeners is the guaranteed grip that it provides. It enables the sharpener to become a safe and hassle-free utility for every enthusiast and weekend warrior.
- Ensures a mess-free sharpening
- Micro-diamonds improves the quality of the sharpening result
- Includes a rubber grip for safety
- Comes with a thumb guard
- Compact and backpacking-friendly design
- It doesn’t have angle guides
5. Spyderco 303MF Sharpening Stone
- HIGH PERFORMANCE - Handy 1" X 5" Pocket Stone is ideal for field use or sharpening small knives and tools
- MULTIPURPOSE - Fine and Medium grit surfaces to meet all your sharpening needs
- EASY TO CLEAN - It can be cleaned using ordinary kitchen cleanser and a plastic scouring pad
- INCLUDES - Protective leather pouch
If you want a field sharpener that is extra handy, you might need to check out the Spyderco 303MF Sharpening Stone. This one is ideal for portable applications and field uses. Don’t expect that it can sharpen large knives. However, you can trust that this unit can refine the edges of small knives and tools.
This one doesn’t have a coarse grit; it only comes with fine and medium sharpening surfaces. Hence, it is not something that you should use for repairing damaged and dull blades. But for sharpening and honing purposes, this one can exceed your expectations.
Knives that are sharpened or honed here have acquired cutting-edge blades. It is a sharpener that excels in blade maintenance, and that’s something you need, especially if you are using your knives frequently.
The Spyderco 303MF Sharpening Stone is stashed in a rugged leather carrying case for quick and stress-free transport. Cleaning this sharpener is not a problem either. Just use a powdered abrasive cleanser, and this item is good for sharpening again.
- Made for maintaining the sharpness of blades
- Can be used to sharpen different bladed tools
- Durable and long-lasting construction
- Includes a rugged leather carrying pouch
- Compact and easy to transport
- Cannot repair chipped and dull knives
Why Do You Need The Best Field Knife Sharpener?
There are numerous reasons as to why these field sharpeners are essential. They are not just extra accessories or optional amenities. Every outdoor enthusiast, especially those who are wielding knives and other bladed tools, is required to bring these sharpeners.
It Keeps Things Sharp
Of course, the main reason why you need to invest in sharpeners is to ensure the sharpness of knives. After all, one cannot expect that these knives can remain useful when they are already dull.
Outdoor applications will require you to cut a myriad of sturdy and rugged surfaces. These items can gradually decrease the edge of any blade. By honing the knife from time to time, you can guarantee that it will not succumb to the challenge.
It Maintains The Knife’s Quality
Another important function of field sharpeners is maintenance. Regardless of how tough the steel of your knife is, it will eventually crack, especially if you use it frequently. Sharpeners are there to ensure that chips and cracks can be removed, ensuring that the knife will never lose its touch.
It Is Useful For Other Bladed Tools
Don’t ever think that a field sharpener is only suitable for knives. You have seen that most of the field sharpeners I listed in this post are capable of working with other sharp tools such as hooks, pins, and axes. When you have a field sharpener, you are automatically guaranteed that your other outdoor tools will get sharpened, too.
How To Choose The Best Field Knife Sharpener
When selecting a field knife sharpener, attention to details is necessary. At this point, it is important that you are aware of the factors that make a particular sharpener exceptional and functional at the same time. By doing this, you will never be able to get a shabby and frustrating option.
- Sharpening grits – When selecting a field knife sharpener, you need to ensure that it can do both coarse and fine sharpening. These two processes are important in ensuring that your knife will reach its maximum potential.
Coarse grits are usually made from carbide stones. They are often used for extensive sharpening. Specifically, they are ideal for sharpening dull blades and repairing chipped and damaged steels.
Fine grits, on the other hand, are usually tailored from ceramic stones. Their surface is not that rough, which makes them suitable for honing purposes. Keep in mind that honing and sharpening are not the same. When you hone a knife, it simply means that you are just maintaining its sharpness.
- Sharpening rods – Another critical feature of field knife sharpeners are sharpening rods. Of course, I do recognize that not all sharpeners have them, especially if we are referring to whetstones. However, one should not downplay the importance of these rods in the overall maintenance of knives.
Specifically, these rods are made from ceramic stones. They are used for sharpening the teeth of serrated blades. You cannot sharpen serrated knives through the conventional method; you need these rods to work on jagged edges one by one.
- Angle guides – Sharpening is a difficult task, especially for beginners. What you need to achieve here is not only sharpness; you also need to make sure that there’s a consistency in the sharpness of the blade throughout its length.
Normally, you cannot achieve such finesse with ordinary sharpeners. After all, it is difficult to control your strokes. But with the presence of angle guides, you will reach such precision in your work. You just pass the knife in the “guided” slot, and the blade gets sharpened according to its bevel.
- Size – You also need to mind the size of the sharpener. Keep in mind that you are going to bring them into the field. Hence, it is pretty ironic if you are going to bring a bulky sharpener. For camping and backpacking purposes, the ideal sharpener should be compact, lightweight, and easy to carry.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Can the best field sharpener work with large blades?
A: It depends on the size of the sharpener. But theoretically, any sharpener can work with large knives. The only issue here is the time and skill needed to accomplish it.
Q: What’s the difference between field sharpeners and pocket sharpeners?
A: Field sharpeners don’t require to be extremely compact like handheld sharpeners. However, you can always treat a pocket sharpener as a field sharpener since they share the same degrees of portability.
Q: Should I get a field sharpener for my survival knife?
A: Absolutely! It is the very tool that ensures the overall survivability and performance of the knife!
It is highly recommended that you get the best field knife sharpener. Always consider your knife as a versatile outdoor tool; it has a plethora of uses. Because of this, it is completely natural for it to lose its edge sooner or later. But if you have a reliable sharpener, you can always prevent this from happening.
The sharpeners I listed here are some of the exceptional field utilities that you can trust. Better see them first before you hop to other options.
I hope you learned from this guide. For other questions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.