August 7, 2020

Top-Rated Buyer's Guide: Best Field Knife Sharpeners

August 7, 2020

Top-Rated Buyer's Guide: Best Field Knife Sharpeners

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 is a comprehensive and reliable sharpening system that we can take on the field. That's our main criteria, and the following made it through the cut. In this way, your pocket knife or tactical knife remains sharp all the time.

Best Field Knife Sharpener Reviews

1. Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener - Editor's Pick

Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener, Gray
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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 - Work Sharp is part of Darex, a 4th-generation family owned company in Ashland, Oregon. For over 40 years we have been engineering industry-leading sharpening tools...

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. If you want to sharpen a knife, this sharpener is a recommended utility.

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 pocket 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 sharpener is also integrated into this tool. It is perfect for sharpening blades with serrations. 

Pros:

  • Provides built-in guides for the best sharpening angle
  • Compact and rugged construction; small enough for backpacking
  • Complete abrasive steps for total sharpening result
  • Works with fish hooks and other bladed tools
  • No assembly required

Cons:

  • Doesn't have a grip for a steady hold

2. Work Sharp Micro Sharpener & Knife Tool - Runner-Up

EDC Micro Sharpener & Knife Tool
  • 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. They work well with a variety of pocket knife designs.

It also provides consistent sharpening angle, thanks to its built-in 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. 

Pros:

  • Small enough 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

Cons:

  • May not work for large blades

3. Smith's CCD4 3 IN 1 Field Sharpening System - Budget-Friendly Pick

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. Their pocket knife sharpeners are quite known for their rigidity and long-lasting built.

The Smith's CCD4 3, for instance, is a notable sharpener for being ergonomic and intuitive. It's also a very affordable knife sharpener. 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 sharpeners 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. 

Pros:

  • Versatile field sharpener
  • Comes with a protective lid
  • Guaranteed quick sharpening capability
  • Guided field sharpener for an accurate sharpening angle
  • Constructed for outdoor purposes

Cons:

  • Metal residues that gather on it are difficult to clean up

4. Smith's DCS4 Diamond Combo Bench Stone - Premium Pick


Another reliable field sharpener that you should check out is the Smith's DCS4 Diamond Combo Bench Stone. It is a compact and rugged diamond coated sharpener, ideal for outdoor use. 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. 

Pros:

  • 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
  • Diamond coated construction for maximum durability

Cons:

  • It doesn't have angle guides

5. Spyderco 303MF Sharpening Stone 

Sale
Spyderco 303MF 1" by 5" DoubleStuff Sharpening Stone - Medium & Fine Sided and Includes Protective Case - 303MF
  • 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. 

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Cannot repair chipped and dull knives

Why Do You Need The Best Field Knife Sharpener?

There are numerous reasons as to why these field knife 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. 

I have to emphasize as well that these field knife sharpeners may work better than sharpening stones. For instance, the units that I've listed here have ergonomics that enable users to utilize them properly. You may consider ordinary sharpening stones as your last option.

It Keeps Things Sharp

You don't want a dull knife.

In fact, that's one of the main reasons why you need to invest in knife sharpeners in the first place. After all, one cannot expect that these knives can remain useful when they are already dull. Knife sharpening has been a recommended practice to ensure the structural integrity and usability of bladed tools.

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. Knife sharpeners can essentially lengthen the lifespan of your blades.

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. Knife sharpeners are there to ensure that chips and cracks can be removed, ensuring that the knife will never lose its touch. 

If you have expensive or limited-edition blades, investing on these knife sharpeners is indeed a must.

It Is Useful For Other Bladed Tools

To sharpen a knife while on outdoors, you need these field knife sharpeners. But don't ever think that they are 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 to get a shabby and frustrating sharpening tool for your pocket knife and other bladed utilities.

  • 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.  These are great options for pocket knife sharpeners.

Fine grits, on the other hand, are usually tailored from fine 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 rod - Another critical feature of field knife sharpeners is a sharpening rod. 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. Of course, these rods can work as a pocket knife sharpener.

  • 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. If you own various types of knives, such as kitchen knives, you would want a sharpener that can do different sharpening angles.

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. You can work with different sharpening angles as you have these guides.

  • 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 these endeavors. For camping and backpacking purposes, the ideal pocket knife 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. Needless to say, it is easier to sharpen pocket knives than large blades.

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 knife sharpener as a field sharpener since they share the same degrees of portability. 

Q: Should I get a knife sharpeners for my survival knife? 

A: Absolutely! It is the very tool that ensures the overall survivability and performance of your pocket knives!

Q: What's the best degree angle when sharpening pocket knives?

A: There's a lot of ideas and suggestions when it comes to this matter. Some recommend a 22- to 33-degree angle for sharpening these tools. Others go higher than this. But keep in mind that if a knife or blade is used for cutting tough materials, it should have a durable edge. Hence, the a 22- to 33-degree angle cut is ideal. Also, different types of knives require different sharpening angle. Kitchen knives, for instance, require 17- to 22-degree angle of sharpening.

Conclusion

It is highly recommended that you get the best field knife sharpeners. Always consider your pocket knives as a versatile outdoor tool; it has a plethora of uses. Because of this, it is completely natural for them to lose their edge sooner or later. With a reliable knife sharpening system, you can always prevent your tool from getting dull.

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 such as sharpening stones. 

I hope you learned from this guide. For other questions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.

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