Portable pocket sharpeners from Spyderco and Lansky for sharpening knives in urban and field conditions.

Some manufacturers, such as Spyderco and Lansky, offer smaller, compact versions of their full-size sharpeners for field use. And even sometimes such projects turn out to be reasonable enough and successful enough to really seriously think about introducing them to their camping equipment. But rarely, rarely. 

Portable pocket sharpeners from Spyderco and Lansky for sharpening knives in urban and field conditions.

In the vast majority of cases, attempts to miniaturize a full-sized device turn into curiosities. Losing the positive features of both worlds and putting together their flaws. A special section of portable sharpening devices are those that you can take with you on a journey in urban conditions. For example, going on vacation or a long business trip. Without depriving ourselves of the benefits of civilization, in fact, we will find how to sharpen our pocket fold and without any special devices.

And if we don’t even find it, then nothing bad will happen either, because civilization is all around, after all. Terrible, of course, will not happen, but it can be ridiculous, as, for example, with me during a journalistic trip to Switzerland. During breakfast in the hotel restaurant, it seemed to me that my faithful Victoririnox did not cut fresh buns well enough. Perhaps you can imagine what a dubious pleasure it is desperately to cut, or rather crumple, a fresh, still warm bun with a restaurant table knife.

So I decided to slightly sharpen my fold, which I did quickly on the supporting mug of an inverted tea saucer. An elderly lady at the next table was vividly interested in my manipulations and politely asked what the hell I was doing. To my explanation, the lady was very happy and pulled out her Victirinox from her purse with a request to sharpen it too. And since work with him was incomparably more than with my regularly grinded, so I sharpened it and thought to myself, would I have to grind knives now to all hotel guests present at breakfast? Especially knowing that such quizzes in the pockets of the Swiss will be pretty.

Managed, fortunately. But it led me to the idea that, nevertheless, it is better to have at least a minimal sharpening device with you. All these manipulations should be done not in public in the restaurant, but in your room, without witnesses. Spyderco has released a half-length version of its popular Spyderco Pro-Files abrasive kit for use in the field. In the picture, both sets are shown together, for comparison.

Portable pocket sharpeners from Spyderco and Lansky for sharpening knives in urban and field conditions.

In terms of versatility, the shortened version of Spyderco Pro-Files is not inferior to the full-size one, as it offers the same two grains of granularity that are most suitable for the needs of grinding and sharpening of not too blunt blades. In addition, they allow working with concave and serrated blades, as well as with pointed points. The compactness of the Spyderco kit is also beyond doubt, although it is heavy, weighs 85 grams. In terms of performance, things are slightly worse. Due to the greatly reduced length of abrasive surfaces. But as for the convenience and safety of work in the field, the matter is already completely non-brilliant.

If you manage to find a reasonably stable surface on which you can put the abrasive during operation, then wherever it went. But to work on the knee or keeping on weight narrow and short, not even having a symbolic handle, abrasive, I thank me obediently! Maybe that’s why Spyderco stopped producing a shorter version, but there may still be sales..

The Lansky Sharpeners company turned out to be a very curious device when trying to reduce its very successful stationary horned sharpening device to portable sizes. Lansky Turnbox Crock Stick Sharpener seems to show all the features of a portable device, its abrasive rods are removed inside a wooden stand, which makes transportation much more convenient.

Portable pocket sharpeners from Spyderco and Lansky for sharpening knives in urban and field conditions.


Lansky is relatively inexpensive with abrasive shanks of 5 inches (about 125 mm). The effectiveness of medium-grained (alumina) ceramic-aluminum abrasives also does not cause too much objection, and in the Lansky Deluxe version a pair of fine-grained (fine) grades are also added to them. In addition, Lansky also offers a diamond abrasive option. The device is a little heavy, weighs 135 grams, and the Lansky Deluxe version is naturally even heavier. Only now, the set sharpening angles spoil the whole thing. Well, tell me, what a hell will we grind in the field our knives at angles of 50 and 40 degrees if at home we sharpened them at angles of 40 and 30 degrees, respectively?

And will we find in the field a fairly even and sufficiently rigid foundation, without which the whole idea of ​​a horned adaptation loses its meaning in its very basis? Well, blessed is he who believes. But this miniature horned device by Lansky Sharpeners turned out to be just more useful than I could expect. It’s cheap, it costs only five, in dollars, of course. But even for this money, I would never buy it by my own initiative, it looks very frivolous, an advertising gadget, and that’s all. I was presented with it at some exhibition, I don’t remember anymore, I just presented it with advertising gadgets for the journalists who visited the Lansky stand.

Portable pocket sharpeners from Spyderco and Lansky for sharpening knives in urban and field conditions.

Imagine my surprise when it turned out that a small blade with a thin blade can even quite well undercut here with this trinket from Lansky. It is using as a miniature horned device. And lazy people, clumsy women and blondes can scrape along the blade with the back of the device, there really is no need at all. This is not a miracle, you understand, but it’s better than to make a sensation by grinding a warehouse on a plate support plate in a restaurant of a decent hotel. Abrasive shafts are simply latched by springy protrusions of a plastic frame. They can be easily removed to remove loose particles of steel..

Excerpt from the book of Sergei Mitin How to sharpen knives.
Published with the consent of the author.

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