Top-Rated Buyer's Guide: Best Handheld & Portable Knife Sharpeners

Rilor Staff
Update: August 7, 2020
Table of Contents

The is a sharp need to have the best handheld knife sharpener. If you deem that your survival knife, multi-tools, and other bladed amenities are essential, investing in this utility is exceptionally crucial. 

Items like knives rely on the sharpness of their blades for them to perform properly. Having a dull, chipped, and damaged knife blade is truly cumbersome, especially if you are dealing with robust materials like wood and stones. You simply want a sharp edge so that you can cut, slice, and dice while you are in the wild. 

Reviews Of The Best Handheld Knife Sharpeners

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

One of the best portable pocket knife sharpeners these days is this unit from the Work Sharp. Specifically, the Guided Field Sharpener is among the trusted sharpeners of many survivalists and outdoor enthusiasts. It offers a complete sharpening solution without compromising its compactness. 

This one comes with a diamond plate that can be used for sharpening standard knives. You can remove it so that you can access the wide head wrench, so speed up the sharpening, even if you are in the field. 

Meanwhile, its ceramic honing rod has a rotating feature. With this capability, you can reveal the fine and coarse honing surfaces of this field sharpener. It has a grooved surface, too, which you can use to sharpen your fish hooks. 

A smaller ceramic rod is integrated here, which is designed to sharpen blades with serrations. 

Keep in mind that the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener has several guides for consistent sharpening angles. For instance, the diamond plates have a 20-degree angle guide for sharpening and a 25-degree angle guide for honing. 


  • Can sharpen serrated blades
  • Features fine and coarse honing surfaces
  • Complete five-abrasive steps for flawless sharpening results
  • Includes a leather strop
  • Durable and compact construction


  • Doesn't have a sufficient area for gripping

2. Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic - Runner-Up

You should never miss the Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic, especially if you want a sharpener that is compact and reliable at the same time. This handheld knife sharpener is extremely rugged, which makes it ideal for outdoor purposes.

This one is rated to work on different blades and other bladed tools. It can sharpen regular and serrated knives, fishing and hunting tools, and other utilities that have an edge on them. 

This sharpener features a tungsten carbide as its main sharpening platform. It has a quick sharpening feature that enables you to retain the sharpness of your blade by just three to four strokes. 

It has a ceramic finishing, as well, which is great for honing purposes. It can maintain the razor-sharp sharpness of your survival knives without the need for extensive stroking. 

Meanwhile, the serrated knife sharpener of the Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic is extremely efficient in sharpening even the smallest serration. The diamond tapered rod reconditions the quality of your gut hooks. 


  • Sharpens different types of blades and bladed tools
  • Capable of coarse and fine sharpening
  • Lightweight and pocket-size construction
  • Perfect for blades with serrations
  • Sharpeners have guides


  • Too small for large knives

3. Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener - Budget-Friendly Pick

The Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener is definitely a field sharpener that you can rely on. Despite its lightweight and streamlined profile, this pocket knife sharpener is still capable of ensuring the sharpness of your blades and other tools. 

One of the notable features of this sharpener is its tapered round diamond-coated rod. The latter doesn't only work on serrated blades, but you can also use it to sharpen and hone standard edges. 

There are two sharpening slots in this sharpener. One is ceramic, and the other one is carbide. Use the carbide for fixing the dullness of your knives. The ceramic sharpener, on the other, provides a fine sharpening performance to further elevate the sharpness of any blades.

Interestingly, both the carbide and ceramic stones are replaceable. Removing them is pretty easy, which, in turn, enables you to extend the service of this sharpener. 

The sharpening slots have preset angles already. Hence, you don't have to fuss about sharpening anymore. 


  • Compact and backpacking-friendly design
  • Features replaceable carbide and ceramic stones
  • Preset angles for quick sharpening
  • Integrated diamond coated rod for dealing with serrated blades
  • Comes with a lanyard hole for easier transport


  • The rod is too coarse for delicate blades

4. Work Sharp EDC Pivot Knife Sharpener - Premium Pick

If you want an ergonomic knife sharpener, the Work Sharp EDC Pivot Knife Sharpener. I always consider this as an intuitive handheld knife sharpener since it allows optimal user-control. 

The seemingly box-shape design of this unit enables it to stand freely on its own. This gives you better results, especially in keeping the sharpness of your knives. 

This quality is further improved by its controlled sharpening mechanism. Specifically, it has a pivot-response that quickly "follows" the curve of the blade during the sharpening process. The result of this design is consistent angles and edges throughout the length of the blade. 

You can utilize its convex-carbide slot for coarse refining. I can say that this item is capable of repairing damaged blades because of the given coarseness of its carbide. Meanwhile, its ceramic slot is there to ensure that you can maintain the sharpness of your knives with just a few passes. 

You can also use its diamond plate for sharpening and other edged and bladed tools. 


  • Provides exceptional control in sharpening
  • Capable of removing chips in the blade 
  • Ceramic stone quickly maintains the sharpness of knives
  • Compact and easy to carry
  • Includes a diamond plate for sharpening other outdoor items


  • Does not work with serrated knives

5. Smith's Diamond Combo Bench Stone

One of the complaints of having pocket knife sharpeners is their size. Because of the limited dimensions they have, these sharpeners end up functional but with minimal room for control and grip. 

Fortunately, that's not the case with the Smith's Diamond Combo Bench Stone. This one is pretty similar to the Guided Field Sharpener of Work Sharp. However, this bench stone has a large handle where you can hold it properly. As a result, you can easily control the entire sharpening process.

This sharpener includes both fine and coarse sharpening. It provides a versatile solution in dealing with various blade issues. Whether you want to repair damaged blades or refine their sharpness, this tool can help you with those tasks. 

These surfaces have numerous layers of micron-sized monocrystalline diamonds for a more precise and quicker sharpening result. Meanwhile, the overlapping oval holes on the sharpeners collect the metal fillings of the blade. 

In fact, it also features a sharpening grove, which you can use for pointed tools like fish hooks.


  • Rubber handle ensures safety during sharpening
  • Oval holes collect any metal filling build-up 
  • Capable of quick sharpening
  • Stones can be stored inside the handle  
  • Works with other pointed tools


  • Doesn't let you do low-angle sharpening

A Guide In The Best Handheld Knife Sharpener

A knife sharpener is an important amenity that keeps the functionality of knives and other bladed tools. While it is true that you don't need to sharpen knives from time to time, it is still prudent to bring them alone. 

Pocket knife sharpeners are a type of insurance that your knife remains usable throughout your trip. For survivalists and outdoor enthusiasts, such an assurance is indispensable. 

But how do you choose the best handheld knife sharpener? What makes a particular sharpener better than the rest? 


One of the considerations in choosing a sharpener is size. Here, we are discussing pocket knife sharpeners. Therefore, it is essential that they have a compact or streamlined profile. They should be something that you can store in the pocket of your pants or anywhere in your backpack. 

Sure enough, handheld knife sharpeners do not follow the same construction as standard knife sharpeners used in kitchens and workshops. These sharpeners are bulky and usually operated by electricity. 

Of course, electric and fully-bodied sharpeners are great because they can deal with large knives and other knife variants. Your only issue with them is their portability. You can't bring them anywhere. Hence, your best option here is to get an ergonomic handheld pocket knife.

Coarse And Fine Grits

Next, you need to make sure that the sharpener has both coarse and fine sharpening stones. These two are equally important. A complete sharpening process has to undergo these two grits. 

  • Coarse sharpening is best described as "blunt" and "rough." This method is solely used if the blade of the knife is already dull and damaged. Most of the time, carbide and diamond stones are the material of choice for coarse sharpening. Keep in mind that you should not sharpen a knife in a coarse grit if it is already sharp. After all, this procedure removes substantial metal.
  • On the other hand, fine sharpening is reserved for the actual "honing" process. Once the blade is already sharp, you pass it through a fine grit so that you can extend the level of its sharpness across its length. When it comes to commercial sharpeners, the material of choice for fine grits is ceramic. It should do the job of maintaining the sharpness of the knife. 
  • How do you know if a particular stone is for coarse or fine sharpening? The answer to this is simple. You just need to look at the numbers. For instance, an 8000-grit is considered fine, and a 500-grit is coarse. The higher the number, the finer the sharpening that a stone can produce. You just have to remember this detail.


Another essential aspect of the pocket knife sharpeners that you should prioritize is durability. A sharpener has to be sturdy and durable. You should be able to use it for a long time without the need to replace the stones. 

Fortunately, sharpeners are not that feeble. However, if you are going to use them constantly, then you have to be concerned about their durability and rigidity. You don't want sharpeners that are brittle and easy to break. 

Also, you need to take into account where you are going to use the sharpener. External elements and factors can ruin the quality of the sharpeners. You have to make sure that the sharpener is robust enough to withstand these adversities. 

Guided Slots

Because we are dealing with pocket sharpeners, precision can be an issue here. After all, their size limits the speed and accuracy of the sharpening process. 

Luckily, some manufacturers were able to solve this problem. They integrated the "guided slot" design of conventional sharpeners to these handheld sharpeners. Because of this, sharpening with consistency became a possible thing for these compact sharpeners. 

But keep in mind that not all pocket knife sharpeners have this feature. If you are still not well-versed with sharpening, you might want to avoid those traditional sharpeners. Go for these guided ones. Also, it would really be great if these slots have adjustment knobs so that you can adjust their angles. 

Sharpening Rods

The best portable pocket knife sharpeners come with sharpening rods. Usually, these rods are made from either ceramic or carbide. They have one purpose alone, and that it is to ensure that your serrated knives will never be left behind. 

Sharpening serrated knives is not easy, especially if you don't have the appropriate tool to do it. You can't sharpen the teeth on flat surfaces, as you need to deal with their crevices. You need to work on each of them, and that's a task that these sharpening rods can do perfectly. 

If a pocket knife sharpener has a sharpening rod, it simply indicates that it offers a complete sharpening solution. 

Here is a video that demonstrates the proper way of sharpening serrated knives:

Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Portable Pocket Knife Sharpeners

Q: How often should you sharpen your knife?

A: When it comes to sharpening, knives should be sharpened once or twice a year. But it is a different thing when it comes to honing. Honing a knife, or maintaining its sharpness, is a regular procedure. It should be conducted once every two to three uses. In that way, you can ensure its razor-sharp edge. 

Q: Can I use a pocket knife sharpener for large knives? 

A: It depends on your proficiency. There are people that can still get the prime quality of their knives even if they are just using small sharpeners. Their experience in using the tool enables them to perfect the sharpening technique. Of course, expect that this task is time-consuming. 

Q: What are the other uses of the best handheld pocket knife sharpener?

A: Aside from sharpening knives, you can also use this tool for sharpening other utilities such as fish hooks and axes. But of course, you have to make sure that the sharpener allows you to do this process. 


Keep in mind that the best handheld knife sharpeners are essential components for ensuring the quality and lifespan of your knives. If you value your knife as a tool in the field, you should invest in these sharpeners. 

You'll never know when your knives lose their sharpness. Therefore, it would really be great if you have a pocket sharpener with you all the time. 

I hope you learned from this article. If you have questions about knife sharpeners, feel free to drop them in the comment section below. 

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