One thing that is always recommended to take with you on a camping trip is a good quality knife. They can be used to protect your skills, cut the rope and defend against predators, if necessary. But after many uses, your knife will eventually become quite boring and will no longer be of much use to you. That’s why you should invest in one of the best pocket knife sharpeners on the market to ensure that your knife will always be effective when you need it.
When knives were first created and developed with my humans centuries ago, they found their own way to keep them sharp through sharpening blocks / stones, but this process can take a while and they are not all experts in that art anymore. A knife sharpener will do all the work for you, and you will never have to worry about doing it wrong.
What to look for in a sharpener
There are many important features that you should keep in mind when investing in a knife sharpener to take with you on your camping trip.
Buying the first cheap one you find is a recipe for disaster and could lead you to waste your money on having to replace it.
- Hard abrasive surface: You want a sharpener with a hard abrasive surface, as it will have to withstand many uses against metal. Diamond is typically the hardest sharpening material on the market, followed by tungsten carbide and polished ceramics. The level of abrasiveness of a sharpener is measured in grain, so the higher the number, the finer the abrasive surface. Example: 120 grains would be thick, while 1000 grains are very fine.
- Adjustable angles: When you start using a sharpener for the first time, it can be difficult to learn to hold it at the right angle to sharpen your knives effectively. It takes some practice and, instead of ruining your knives in the process, some sharpeners allow adjustable angles so you can learn the correct technique. Some of the best sharpener guides can be adjusted to fit multiple angles to be efficient, regardless of the type of blade you are sharpening.
- Multiple stages of sharpening.: Good quality sharpeners have a combination of grain – coarse material to reshape the edges of really dull knives, with finer material for polishing and retouching – so you do not have to spend money and space carrying two types of sharpeners. Having one that is only thick can result in the removal of too much material from your knife if you are just doing a touch-up job.
- Security features: dealing with sharp knives is always dangerous, and a good sharpener should take all the necessary precautions to avoid getting hurt. Manu sharpeners do this by placing a physical barrier between the fingers and the blade, while electric sharpeners use slots or rails that guide the knife to the sharpening belt.
The type of knife makes a difference
The various knives have multiple purposes, just look at the different knives in their own block of knives in your kitchen, and not all sharpeners are equipped to handle the different shapes that come. All sharpeners are capable of handling straight edge blades, but not many can take care of knives with serrated edges.
These knives, thankfully, degrade much more slowly than straight edges and, therefore, will require much less sharpening during the same period of use. Other blades to consider are sports knives, scissors or Asian style knives, and may require special sharpeners to handle them.
When it comes to buying a knife sharpener, there are certain questions that must be asked and that can play a part in what you get. This is more for your own comfort levels than the quality of the knife sharpener itself, since the process itself may be different for each person.
- You are patient: Answering this question is the difference between getting a manual and an electric sharpener. The latter will definitely do the job much faster and will be easier to use, while manual sharpeners can take much longer to master. However, keep in mind that electric sharpeners are more moving parts, and that means they can break more easily after long periods of use.
- Space: Manual sharpeners are much smaller than electric sharpeners and can fit in a kitchen drawer or in a backpack. Electric sharpeners are almost as big as a toaster, which may not be conducive to camping. There is also the problem of needing energy to be able to work, which means bringing more sources of food.
- Budget: the manual tends to be cheaper than the electric one, and lasts much longer. You will definitely get more use for your dollar from a manual sharpener.
- Noise levels: Some electric sharpeners can be quite noisy when they do the work. However, the electric sound of the motor can mask the sound of scraping the stone against the metal, which some people can not stand. This can be a problem with manual sharpeners, as it is the only sound they make. Everything is a matter of preference as to which sound is most annoying to you.
- Taking care of your knives: If your knives are extremely expensive, then you want to invest in a sharpener that does not generate heat and is very soft. Most electric sharpeners and some manual sharpeners can end up over-sharpening your knives and end up reducing the life of your blade. If it is a cheap knife that you do not use very often, then this may be a minor concern for you.
How to sharpen your knife manually
If you choose to go to the manual route, you only need two real tools: a sharpening stone and some type of lubricant. The stone is what does most of the work, and usually comes with a side of fine grain and a side of hard grain.
It can come in a variety of sizes and styles, but they all perform the same function, so the choice really depends on you. The lubricant also comes in a variety of forms, and serves to eliminate the heat produced by the sharpening process. The heat can end up damaging your knife, so the lubricant minimizes the possibility of this happening. It is a good idea to read the instructions on the sharpening stone you receive, as some of them do not require any lubricant to work properly.
Follow the steps below to sharpen your knife effectively.
Lubricate your sharpening stone (only a thin layer should be applied on both sides). Next, tilt the knife about 15 degrees against the side of the stone of the stone. Any angle you choose should be maintained throughout the process to create a clear and uniform edge. The angle may vary depending on the type of knife you are using and how sharp you want it to be. A general rule is that the smaller the angle, the sharper it will be, but there will be poorer edge retention; the greater the angle, the less sharp, but the edge will last much longer.
Practicing with maintaining this angle is key, and do not get too angry if you do not do it right the first time. However, if you discover that you still can not maintain a constant advantage, you can always buy a sharpening guide to help you.
Continue stroking the blade against the stone, either towards you or out, as if you were trying to shave a thin layer of stone from the block. It does not take much pressure, and it must be consistent. This must be done for about ten strokes.
Repeat on the fine grain side. You must continue with the sharpening process until you have lifted a cutter, which is where one bevel is ground down until it meets another. This is a frayed material that must be removed because it is weak and will break.
Once you have made ten hits on the other side, you must ten or more, but this time you must change the side of each hit, first on the rough side and then on the thin side. Once you are finished, you should clean your sharpening stone to remove and leave pieces of steel. Omitting this step can lead to the development of rust.
It is important to keep in mind that you must use the same angle every time you sharpen your knife. It is not recommended to change the angle and this can cause your knife to be damaged.
Find the best pocket knife sharpener
Because there are many in the market, it can be difficult to determine which ones will do the job correctly. That is why we have provided a useful list of some of the best knife sharpeners you can bring with you on your camping trip.
Because they are for pocket knives, all are manual sharpeners, so it’s worth doing a little practice with them before taking them with you to the road.
Multifunction sharpener PP1 Pocket Pal by Smith
This is the perfect knife sharpener in terms of portability and doing the job well. Actually, it is smaller than your pocket, so you will not have to worry about saving space in your backpack. It only costs around $ 8, and has only received positive reviews from everyone who has invested in the small device.
It comes with two slots, one in carbide blades and one in ceramic stones, so that it covers your needs for coarse and fine grain. It also has pre-set sharpening angles so you do it right every time and you do not risk damaging your pocket knife. The blades and stones are reversible and easy to replace, so you do not have to worry about buying a completely new tool when these surfaces are worn.
Do you like this amazing product? Then you can check its price on Amazon.
Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker
If you’re not good at keeping stable angles, then the Spyderco sharpener is definitely the right choice for you. Make the strokes to the left and to the right instead of outward or towards you, which allows you to hold the knife normally while you sharpen it.
It’s a bit more expensive at $ 52, but there’s more you can do than just sheets. The two sets of high alumina ceramic stones allow you to sharpen punches, darts, hooks and punches, among other things. The stones can also be used without lubricant, as long as they are properly cleaned after each use, and the kit comes complete with a manual and a DVD with instructions.
If you think that this product could be useful for you, then you can buy it at Amazon.
Knife sharpener AccuSharp 001
Nothing gets easier than this useful knife sharpener. It is small and cheap, it costs approximately $ 8 and does not take up much space in your kitchen drawer or in your backpack. You can restore the knives of your knives, even the teeth, and it is so easy to use that you do not need a lot of practice with it.
The shape of the sharpener itself keeps your fingers clear of the blades, allowing you to sharpen safely and without problems. Diamond-sharpened tungsten carbide will ensure that your pocket knife is sharp every time you use it.
If you think that this product could be useful for you, you can buy it here.
Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic
It is a popular choice of knife sharpener, and for a very good reason. It is very robust and well built, which makes it an excellent option to go camping where you can deal with rough use and rebound. It can also handle a wide variety of blades when it comes to sharpening, either regular or serrated. It also covers gut hooks, hunting knives and fishing knives, so you can take care of all the blades you bring with you on your trip.
With an approximate cost of $ 9.50 and an approximate weight of 4 ounces, it is definitely a sharpener that should be included in your bag. It uses tungsten carbide for coarse grain and ceramic bars for fine grain, which allows you to get your knives as sharp as you can. The toothed blade element also helps you get into all those little grooves along the blade to make sure they are also sharp. The diamond conical rod allows you to take care of the other knives you may have, but it should only be used sparingly when sharpening at speed is necessary. Lubricant is required when using this sharpening rod.
Do you like this product? Then you can buy it on Amazon.
DMT F70F Diamond Mini-Sharp Sharpener Fine
This little sharpener will fit only on a key ring, and is still tough enough to do the job. Due to its size, it produces excellent results and it is very convenient to have it on your person when you have forgotten to bring a sharpener. It can be described as a mini sharpening stone, and it is not necessary to use any lubricating oil. It can be used dry or with a little water to sharpen your knives no matter where you are: in your canoe, by your campfire, or simply admiring the view and passing the time.
The simple and convenient design comes with a folding handle that protects your stone when it is not in use, so you will not have to worry about it getting damaged when it swings around your pocket or backpack. With only $ 8 for this practical tool, you will get more than adequate results.
The manufacturer provides other sharpeners with different grain quality, so you may have to invest in more than one to be able to do the job correctly.
If you like this product, you can find it and buy it on Amazon.
Wusthof 2899 2-stage knife sharpener
This sharpener provides a quick and easy way to sharpen your knives while traveling. It comes with two stages: a thick abrasive made of coarse carbide to cut the edge of your dull blade, and another made of fine ceramic to sharpen the edge.
That’s definitely a lot of functionality for a tool that costs less than $ 7. It has a keychain for easy transport and already has angled slots so you can get a constantly sharp blade every time. Some have said that the sharpener itself can be quite aggressive and take off more than the edge of what you want, so it will take some practice to do it right and make sure you are not using too much pressure.
Do you like this amazing product? Then you can check its price here.
Lansky Quick Fix Pocket Pencil sharpener
If you are looking for a sharpener that is super cheap and easy to use, this should be the first one you go to. With less than $ 5, this sharpener can easily be stored in your toolbox or in your equipment bag for when you need it. It is a useful tool that has two sharpening elements.
There is a layer of tungsten carbide on one side and ceramic on the other. The grip ensures that you do not lose control, so you can stay safe while sharpening your knives. Just take three to four strokes with each side to get a sharp blade, and it can easily be stored in your pocket for when you need to use it next time. For such a small tool and at such a cheap price, its sharpening power is definitely there.
If you like this product, you can find and check its price on Amazon.
Getting a sharp razor does not have to be as difficult as you think, and the mane of these sharpeners makes it much easier even for someone without practice to do it right.
However, it does require some patience, and forcing the blade through these devices in a hasty manner will not provide you with a sharp edge. It might be better to practice with someone who has one and with a cheap knife so you do not worry about ruining yourself.