When I went camping in the outdoor last week I noticed that my hunting knife as well as my pocket knife both got dull. I have been using these knives for about a year now every time I go for a hike or camping trip.
I started looking online and I came up with a list of the best sharpeners for hunting and pocket knives. There are a lot of different methods to get your knife razor sharp again.
Why you should sharpen your knife
Keeping a sharp edge on your hunting knife or any other knife is important. If you have a dull knife it can be really frustrating and even shorten the lifespan of your knife.
Sharpening can be a difficult process but you will eventually get the hang of it. When you know how to use your tools it will just be a matter of seconds to get a sharp knife again.
Note: My post about the Best fillet knives helps you find the best fillet knife
Different kind of knife sharpeners
There are all different kinds of sharpeners for different kinds of knives. The main difference being the portability and performance.
Which one is right for your depends on the purpose you are using your knife for. Here are the different kind of sharpeners on the market today:
Whetstones for the best sharpening performance
Whetstones are the best option to get your knife razor sharp. They come in different grains, this way you can polish your knife to perfection. You start with a rough grain and move up to a finer grain until you are happy with the results.
A great thing about Whetstones is that they are very cheap. On average a simple sharpening stone will cost about $10 USD.
The only downside of Whetstones is that they are a pain to take with you when you go hiking or camping because they are a bit heavy.
Note: My favorite whetstone is the Whetstone Cutlery 20
Electric knife sharpeners
Electric sharpeners are a good option if the only time you sharpen your knives is at home. They are great to have in your kitchen or workplace and they will do a great job at giving your knife an edge again.
Using an electric sharpener is great for beginners as the process is really easy.
The downside of an electric sharpener is the fact that they can be pretty expensive. Also using this on a survival trip is not really working…
Note: This is an electric sharpener I found the Chef’sChoice 15 Trizor XV
This is the easiest and fastest option to sharpen your knives. You just have to roll your knife through the slots in the tool.
This way your knife gets always sharpened in the right angle and super sharp. Most of the time they have 3 different grains just like a sharpening stone.
Rolling sharpeners are a popular option for adventurers and survival lovers. They come in a travel size if you want to sharpen your hunting or pocket knife on the go.
These tools are often used to get your knife slightly sharper but to really get the best performance I still suggest using a sharpening stone.
How to sharpen your knife with a sharpening stone
In the top video on this page, Army Barracks shows us how to sharpen our knives using a knife sharpening stone.
If you can’t watch the video these are the steps you should take to sharpen your knife using a whetstone:
1. Determine which side of the Whetstone you need to use first
Whetstones have 2 sides, one rough one to give your knife an edge and the other side is used to polish.
2. Make your whetstone wet with water
To get the best results, you should make the Whetstone wet with some water. If you don’t you will get scratches on your blade and damage it instead of making it sharper.
3. Find the angle your knife should be sharpened in
For almost all knives the angle of the edge should be around 22.5º. While sharpening you should always keep the knife in the same position.
To get the right angle there is a trick you can use (see picture above). Get a A4 paper and fold one edge to the other, this will give you 45º. Now fold it again in the same direction, that will give you 22.5º.
4. The actual sharpening process
Slide the knife in the 22.5º angle across the surface of the Whetstone. A good way to hold the stone is keeping it in your left hand while holding the knife in your right.
Flip the knife after every stroke so that both sides are equal sharpened.
After you did some strokes on the rough sides of the stone it’s time to flip it. With the polish side of the stone up, repeat the same process on this surface.
Note: This is a difficult process and learning it takes time!
5. Test the sharpness of your knife
To see if you successfully sharpened your knife you could use the “paper method”. Get a piece of regular paper and try to cut it while holding it. If the knife goes through the paper with ease, it means you correctly sharpened your knife.
The best knife sharpeners available
So if you decided to make a choice on which sharpener is best for you I made a list with the most popular knife sharpeners of the moment.
1. Sharpening stones
Ready to learn how to use a sharpening stone? Here is a list of whetstones that I think are worth buying.
The complete knife sharpening stone set
This is a complete knife sharpening stone set. With this set, you get 4 different grains: 400, 1000. 3000, and 8000. The set also comes with an angle guide, which helps you get the best results.
Note: for the price of this complete set have a look on amazon
Single sharpening stone (best budget option)
This is the best option to sharpen your knives on a budget. It’s basically all you will ever need to get your pocket knife sharp again.
If you decided to go for an electric knife sharpener here is a list for you. I own the Haus by Kalorik and I have been using it for 3 years now and still happy with it.
Haus by Kalorik electric
A great little electric knife sharpener. It has 4 suction cups on the bottom so it stays in place. Unlike all the other electric sharpeners, I really like the design of this one. The build quality is great as well.
Chef’sChoice 15 Trizor XV EdgeSelect
This electric knife sharpener is a bit more expensive. It’s a professional machine and has 3 different stages of sharpening your knife. This means you will get the sharpest results from the Trizor XV.
This is a list with rolling sharpeners for your hunting knife or a pocket knife. These are great for travel and for this item I kept portability in mind.
SHARPAL 5 in 1 sharpening tool
This is a great tool if you are an outdoors lover. It has 2 sharpening edges, a wire cutter, a sharpening stone, and a compass. A great tool to bring while hunting or traveling.