Didn’t We Cover This Already!?
Welcome come back to myelectricknifesharpener! Last week’s discussion was all about portable sharpeners. We talked about what to consider before buying one, and in the end I provided some recommendations. Looking at the title of this post, you may be a little confused why the same topic is being addressed again. But it’s actually not the same! What’s the difference between a portable and pocket knife sharpener? For me, a pocket knife sharpener is one that is designed to specifically work well on pocket knives, whereas a portable sharpener is one that is designed such that it is easy to carry around and store. See the difference? Remember, not all knives are created equally. Kitchen knives and pocket knives, for example can be incredibly different. What are some of the notable differences?
- Blade Length: Pocket knives generally tend to have a shorter blade length in comparison to kitchen blades. And if you think about it, this is one of the main reasons people purchase pocket knives. Because they’re smaller and fit in your pocket, it’s convenient and easy to carry around.
- Blade Type: Clip point, drop point, tanto point, and straight back are just some of the pocket knife blade types. Each blade type has it’s own distinct geometry, as well as it’s ideal use. Kitchen knives also have different blade types (chef, utility, paring etc.).
What am I getting at? If not all knives are created equally, then why would you sharpen them the same? Think about it! Hopefully by now you will have understood that pocket blades can be quite different, and because of this you will need to carefully consider a sharpener that is capable of working on your specific blade. So a portable sharpener is as the name suggests, portable! That’s its main selling point or feature. And a pocket knife sharpener, is one that you’d buy to sharpen your Swiss Army, Spyderco, & Kershaw blades. Does that make sense? I hope it does! In your quest to find the best pocket knife sharpener, you’ll have to do some homework and answer a few questions. Below are some thoughts you may wish to consider/ponder to help you filter out the many choices available.
#1 What Edge Are You Dealing With? Plain, Serrated Or A Combination?
A pocket knife is one of the very first knives I owned. Growing up in the 90s, every kid’s fascination was the classic Swiss Army multi tool. After weeks of begging and pleading, my parents finally gave in and decided to buy me one. It was the coolest thing ever! The Swiss Army fad eventually passed, and in the following years single blade pocket knives were what the cool kids were sporting. Over the years, these blades have evolved and now feature 3 main edge types: plain, serrated, and a combination of both. Take a closer look at the pocket blade(s) you are looking to sharpen and identify its edge type. It’s important because plain and serrated edges are sharpened very differently from one another. Knowing this information will help you determine the best pocket knife sharpener to suit your needs.
#2 How Thick Is Your Blade?
Another important consideration is blade thickness. This is especially true if you’re considering buying a pull through sharpening solution. Many people have purchased these products only to discover that their blade is too thick to fit through the slots and be sharpened effectively. When I ask you the question “how thick is your blade”, I really mean what angle is the edge ground to. This is getting really specific, but knowing this will not only help you choose the best pocket knife sharpener, but will also be useful should you sharpen on stone. If you’re unsure of your edge angle, contact the manufacturer and ask.
#3 Does It Have To Be Small?
Does the size of the sharpener matter to you? If it does and you would prefer a portable one, then you do lose out on some really decent solutions. Size does matter for most people, however. People want to have a sharpener that they can carry when going hunting and camping, so if needed, they can sharpen quickly and easily while on the go. What’s important to you?
#4 What About Your Blade Type?
Blade type, just like edge is very important to know in your search for the best pocket knife sharpener. As mentioned earlier in the post, there are a variety of different blade types when it comes to pocket knives. Knowing what blade type(s) you require to sharpen beforehand can help you a great deal. Some blade types are a lot more curved than others, and because of this you would not sharpen them the same way. Remember what I said earlier? Not all knives are created equally. It’s very important you understand this. Knowing and understanding this will help you find the best tool to sharpen your pocket knife.
What Is The Best Pocket Knife Sharpener?
It’s not easy to answer this question. And that’s because there are so many variables when it comes to pocket knives, as you’ve seen above. When you have different blade types, edges, and thickness, it’s not easy to pick a solution that can cover all scenarios. In other words, it’s very difficult to find a one size that fits all. Having said that, I have listed two of my favorite sharpeners that I think would work well for most pocket knives. Others may have varying opinions, and that’s totally fine!
#1 Dia-Sharp Credit Card Sharpener
Nothing quite matches up to the results you get with stones! And now you can carry one of these diamond stones right in your wallet. How freaking cool is that!? I’ve always said that stones are the most versatile of all sharpeners because you’re not restricted and you basically have 100% sharpening control.
The downside with this? You can’t work on serrated edges (to sharpen serrations you should use a tapered rod and work on each individual tooth/serration separately). But other than this, it’s no different than any other stone you’d use, except a lot smaller! I always have a couple of these in my wallet, for when I need a quick touch-up. It’s cheap, incredibly easy to carry, and very effective!
#2 Smith’s TRI-6 Arkansas
This is probably the one and only post you will see someone recommending stones as the best pocket knife sharpener. Nearly everyone else recommends smaller pull throughs like the Smith’s PP1 and the AccuSharp. Don’t get me wrong I love both of those sharpeners, but I don’t think they’re necessarily the best solution for pocket knives. Smith’s TRI-6 is actually a great solution, however. It features 3 stones of fine, medium, and coarse grits. All 3 stones are mounted on a plastic triangle thereby making it easy to store and use.
The stones are high quality, and small enough to store in a backpack if you’re out hunting or camping. Not quite as portable as the credit card sharpener, but hey it does feature 3 larger, better quality stones. There’s always a trade off!
Don’t Be Impulsive, Take Your Time To Decide!
Finding your best pocket knife sharpener could require you to do some research (see the 4 considerations above). Don’t be fooled into thinking that the best pocket knife sharpener is the smallest one! And don’t purchase anything on an impulse either. Read reviews and watch one or two product demonstrations on YouTube. Finally, I’ll end with reminding you for the third or fourth time that not all knives are created equally, and because of this you can’t expect to sharpen them the same way. I hope this post will provide you some direction, and if it did a share would be appreciated. Has something better worked for you? If so, drop me a comment letting me know what your best pocket knife sharpener is!