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

Rilor Staff
Update: August 7, 2020
Table of Contents

Are knife sharpeners expensive? Not necessarily, especially those that are designed for outdoor and field applications.

You see, the best affordable knife sharpeners are engineered to do their job right without breaking your pocket. They are extremely valuable, considering their price tags and performance. You would really love to have them in any of your off-grid trips and weekend warrior adventures. 

The following knife sharpeners are among the exemplary choices for these specifications. 

Best Affordable Knife Sharpener Reviews

1. Smith's CCKS 2-Step Knife Sharpener

One of the most inexpensive sharpeners in the market today is Smith's CCKS 2-Step Knife Sharpener. This one is designed with compactness and ruggedness, making it an ideal choice for frugal backpackers and outdoor goers. 

Sure enough, one cannot underestimate the quality of this knife sharpener. After all, this one is manufactured by Smith's--one of the trusted makers of sharpeners in the world today. A proof of this is the existence of two tungsten carbide blades and two ceramic rods. These components will ensure that you can do coarse and fine sharpening all the time that you want. 

They can also do quick work; the carbide sharpening slots can sharpen blades after three to four strokes. It might even be able to deal with damaged knives. Meanwhile, the ceramic rods have a preset angle so that you can do consistent finishing for blades that are already sharp. 

Again, this knife sharpener is exceptionally light and portable. It is ergonomic, too, as it comes with non-slip rubber feet for additional safety. 


  • Highly compact and portable
  • Easy and safe to use
  • Sharpens dull blades
  • Slots are integrated with preset angles for sharpening consistency
  • Comes with a non-slip rubber feet


  • Doesn't work with serrated knives

2. Outdoor Edge SharpX

The Outdoor Edge SharpX is an excellent choice for an affordable knife sharpener. It has great construction and features usability that will not baffle any of its users. 

Of course, one of the stark designs of this knife sharpener is its portable size. It doesn't weigh too much, and it will never burden you with additional load either. You can carry it conveniently anywhere as a pocket-size sharpener. 

The sharpening capabilities of the Outdoor Edge SharpX is never disappointing. There are two slots here, where you can do both coarse and fine sharpening procedures. The coarse slot features tungsten carbide, which is useful in dealing with dull blades. The fine ceramic rods of this sharpener are almost the same as Smith's CCKS. It has a preset angle of 22 degrees so that it can handle standard blade designs.

Interestingly, the base of this sharpener has a pivoting design. This means that it can be folded for enhanced safety and stability when you are using it. Specifically, the base is made from glass nylon with rubberized TPR finger grip. 


  • Extremely safe and convenient to use
  • Rated to deal with dull knives 
  • Lightweight and durable construction
  • Works with various blade edges
  • Provides consistent sharpening results


  • Not suitable for knives with serrations

3. Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic 

The Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic is a knife sharpener worthy of recognition. It is not only because of its streamlined cost but also because of its holistic sharpening performance. 

Specifically, this sharpener can do a myriad of sharpening and honing techniques, making it a complete package. It has a ceramic platform where you can sharpen the teeth of your serrated blades. Even the smallest tooth will not escape its sharpening prowess. 

The Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic is designed to conduct field repairs on any type of blade. It even works on fillet knives, gut hooks, and fish hooks. It features ceramic, carbide, and diamond sharpener so that you can deal with any sharpening task. The carbide slot of this sharpener, for instance, can restore the edge of your blade in just a few strokes. 

Meanwhile, the ceramic rod rods of this unit ensures that you can do highly precise polishing. You will be able to maintain the sharpness of your knives if you pass it on them consistently. 


  • Rugged and durable constructions
  • Works on different types of knives and bladed tools
  • Ensures quick sharpening action
  • Can recondition gut hooks and fish hooks
  • Includes a lanyard hole for easier transport


  • Requires extensive work if you are going to sharpen a large knife on it

4. Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener 

The Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener is an interesting choice for an affordable sharpener. This one provides exceptional value to your money, as it can do a lot of sharpening tasks. You can use it on your home, garage, and in the field, making it one of the versatile sharpeners that you can get today. 

Specifically, the Guided Field Sharpener includes ceramic rods, diamond plates, sharpening guides, and a leather strop. Once this item is in your backpack, you can guarantee that all your bladed tools can get the sharpening maintenance they deserve. Just rotate the ceramic honing rod so that you can access the fine and coarse honing surfaces.

Meanwhile, the grooved surface of this sharpener is effective in dealing with fish hooks. There's also another ceramic rod on this item, which you can use to sharpen blades with serrations. 

One of the impressive aspects of this field sharpener is its built-in angle guides. Specifically, it has a 20-degree angle guide for its diamond plates and a 25-degree angle guide that you can use for micro-bevel. 


  • Offers complete sharpening solution
  • Compact and portable
  • Sharpen different tools and bladed camping utilities
  • Self-contained component; no assembly needed
  • Highly durable design


  • Doesn't have enough space where you can grip it conveniently

5. Work Sharp EDC Micro Sharpener & Knife Tool

The EDC Micro Sharpener & Knife Tool is a good choice for people who want to have a powerful sharpening tool minus the cost. It is a compact sharpener but provides holistic and astounding results.

This one is capable of sharpening and honing steel blades with ease. It has built-in angle guides to ensure the consistency of your work. The guides enable hassle-free and flawless sharpening of knives and other bladed utilities. 

Aside from this feature, the EDC Micro Sharpener is also designed to conduct knife maintenance. It includes Torx bits and bit drivers that are useful in knife hardware tuning. With these components, you can guarantee that your knives will always be on their top condition. 

Both the ceramic and diamond rods of this sharpener excel in fine and coarse sharpening, respectively. Only a few passes on them, and a dull blade will become sharp again. 


  • Designed to be portable
  • Comes with tuning tools for knives
  • Sharpens edges effectively
  • Include angle guides for sharpening
  • Pocket-size design for enhanced portability


  • It is difficult to align the blade in the guides because they are short

A Guide In Choosing The Best Affordable Knife Sharpener

There will come a point where you need to settle for something less expensive. If you are trying to be frugal, that's completely fine, too, considering that our times now are quite volatile. The economy is not as sharp as it used to be. We have to accept that fact. 

However, there's no need to make excessive compromises. Just because an item is cheap doesn't mean that it has low quality already. Even for knife sharpeners, this should not be the case. 

Of course, there's already proof of that. The knife sharpeners that I featured on the first part of this post are a testament that there are excellent utilities that you can find in the entry-level price range. 

The next thing that might come into your mind is how to spot a functional and effective sharpener. Since we are dealing with value-friendly options, being extra cautious is a must. Luckily, there are only a handful of fundamentals that you need to learn here. 

Coarse and Fine Grit

A sharpener is definitely useful, especially if it can offer a "complete" sharpening solution. It simply means that the tool can be used in either fixing a dull knife or maintaining its sharpness. 

An excellent sharpener should have a coarse and fine sharpening platform. The existence of these two signifies the versatility of the item. 

  • Coarse sharpening is essential if your blade is dull or damaged. This procedure will remove materials in the metal so that a new edge will be formed. It requires the service of stones that have a grit of 1000 to 3000 to do this job. The lower the number, the more metal it can shred from the blade. Usually, coarse sharpeners are made from carbide stones. 
  • Fine sharpening, on the other hand, is effective in honing and polishing purposes. It is a necessary procedure that helps in preserving the sharpness of the blade. If your knife is already sharp, then you only need to polish it to make it even sharper. That's where fine sharpening comes in. The ideal grit for fine sharpeners is 4,000. But at the same time, you can also go higher, especially if you want a mirror-like finish. Ceramic stones are the material of choice for fine sharpeners. 

Angle Guides

Knife sharpeners should have angle guides. After all, you want to sharpen your knives with precision. You don't want the blade to have impartial or uneven edges. That would ruin its performance and ability to cut, slash, and rip through things. 

Most of the knives follow specific bevel designs on their edges. Commercial sharpeners are designed to accommodate these shapes through their preset guides on their sharpening slots. 

Some sharpeners will allow you to adjust the angle of the guides while others are fixed. The ones that I featured here have fixed guides, but you can generally sharpen standard blades on them.


The size of a knife sharpener matters. The first reason is ergonomics. It is undeniable that it is easier to use large sharpeners than small ones. Some people complain that they have difficulties in gripping or holding small sharpeners, especially when they are sharpening a large blade. 

However, this doesn't mean that having a compact unit is already bad. For instance, if the intended application is on the field, it is pretty impractical to bring cumbersome electric or workshop sharpeners. What you need is a sharpener that you can stash in your bag or pocket. 

The second reason why size should be a factor is functionality. As I mentioned earlier, sharpening a large knife in a small sharpener is quite tricky. It is not impossible, but it will be a time-consuming process. 

Affordable knife sharpeners tend to have a portable construction. At least this time, you are aware of their given limitations. But honestly, it is not a deal-breaker for me. 

Added Functions

When choosing a sharpener, you have to think of the kind of knives or tools that you want to sharpen with it. 

For instance, if you have fish hooks or axes with you, it is important that the sharpener has a specialized platform to sharpen them. Rod sharpeners are usually integrated on some sharpeners so that they can work with these tools. Other rods are used for sharpening blades with serrations. 

Be mindful in picking a sharpener. You need to make sure that you get something that can fit the needs of your tools.


Picking the best affordable knife sharpeners is a sound decision. After all, you cannot just get a unit that exceeds your current financial limits. Of course, it is not a shameful act if you want to be thrifty at some point. As long as the inexpensive sharpener has the correct features and construction, it is a valuable purchase. 

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

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