As a hunter myself, I know how hard it can be to narrow down a whole slew of appealing products down to the one that’ll actually get the job done. This is especially true of hunting knife sharpeners. With varying sizes and prices across the market, how are you supposed to pick the best one? Luckily, I’ve already spent some time reviewing five of my favorite choices.
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List of the Best Hunting Knife Sharpeners
How to Choose a Hunting Knife Sharpener
While it might sound obvious, the best sharpener for one hunter might not be the smartest choice for another. In the end, it all depends on the type of hunter, the ideal size of the knife being used, and the type of animal it’ll be used on. Ideally, when choosing the best hunting knife sharpener, the hunter should keep these factors at the forefront of their mind.
On the other hand, I feel a hunting knife sharpener should have a few main features no matter what the hunter’s specific preferences are. (Think of it like this: I prefer to drive a truck as opposed to a sedan or a minivan, but every car’s going to have a steering wheel, four tires, and an engine.) Some things to look out for are:
- A consistent angle
- An easy-to-use mechanism
- The ability to restore dull or old knives
- A compatibility with several different kinds of knives
Hunting Knife Sharpener Features
As noted in the previous section, there are several key components all hunting knife sharpeners should possess. A consistent angle matters because, without this steady gradient, the hunting knife will burr improperly and completely botch the sharp edge of the knife. Trust me: the last thing you want is a hunting knife sharpener that does more harm than good.
Likewise, an easy-to-use mechanism is a necessity because you need to know that the product is going to get the job done — a tricky or overly complicated sharpener simply won’t be worth the effort when you’re out on a hunt and need the knife sharp as soon as possible. I remember an incident where a friend handed me the most convoluted sharpener I’ve ever seen in my life. He’d never used it, so neither of us could figure it out. Needless to say, we weren’t able to skin or bone anything. Ideally, the best knife sharpener for hunting knives can be used by pros and amateurs alike.
The ability to restore dull or old knives is important, too. Not only will it allow you to maintain your new knives, but it’ll allow you to bring your older knives up to par with the younger ones. It’s not too much to ask for a hunting knife sharpener to be multi-faceted in this way.
Perhaps most important of all is compatibility with all kinds of knives. There’s no reason for any hunter to have to buy a different sharpener for every knife they own. Imagine a world where every household product required a different kind of electrical outlet. It’d be unlivable. It’s the same logic here — the best sharpeners should practically be universal.
Prioritizing Your Needs
Ultimately, I believe the best hunting knife sharpener is the one that meets the four key features as well as your specific hunting needs. The hunting knives of a big game hunter, a fisherman, and a waterfowl enthusiast will likely differ significantly, but that doesn’t mean that their sharpeners have to. Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled the five best on the market and included breakdowns below. Each includes info pertaining to the specific type of hunter best-suited for the sharpener depending on which of their needs is most important.
Reviews of the Best Hunting Knife Sharpeners
To find the best hunting knife sharpeners, we looked at a variety of sharpeners, each with different mechanisms, features, and abilities. Depending on your knife sharpening needs, there is likely a sharpener that will suit them.
Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener
Currently a bestseller, I’d argue Work Sharp’s Guided Field Sharpener stands out because it doesn’t discriminate — it prides itself on being a complete package, ideal for every kind of hunting knife and small enough to be toted by any type of hunter.
This knife sharpener is designed for use at home, out in the field, or in the shop. With four different sides, the Guided Field Sharpener can be used on dull blades, fine edges, burred blades, and coarse edges. A 20° angle guide is incorporated into this knife sharpener so you can be sure that you sharpen your blade consistently.
The Guided Field Sharpener is compact, so it lends itself toward sharpening smaller knives extrememly well. While the four sides of this sharpener allow it to accomplish almost any sharpening task, it can sometimes be confusing to know which blade is for which job.
Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic
Even smaller than the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener is the Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic. Advertised as a high-quality tool for all types of hunters and fishers, I think its miniature size and plethora of features makes it a useful tool for those who like to travel light.
This knife sharpener offers a variety of blades: a diamond sharpening tool, a carbide sharpening tool, and both a ceramic and a serrated ceramic sharpening tool. All of these tools come in a tiny form factor that is perfect for slipping into any pack. Despite its size, the Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic blades in just three to four strokes.
AccuSharp Knife and Tool Sharpener
Short, sweet, and to the point, AccuSharp’s Knife and Tool Sharpener is a camouflaged sharpener with a large handle and rust-proof replaceable blades. That’s pretty much it. When so many other products on the market offer plenty of bells and whistles, I believe AccuSharp should be commended for making a product that is no nonsense.
AccuSharp’s Knife and Tool Sharpener uses high-quality diamond-honed tungsten carbide, which means the blades aren’t going to dull for years (plus, when they do eventually dull, AccuSharp offers replacement blades). This knife sharpener has a large handle, which makes it perfect for sharpening almost anything, from axes to kitchen knives and even machetes.
Redi Edge Mini Multi Tool Sharpener
With a straight-edged sharpener on one end and a serrated sharpener on the other, the Redi Edge Mini Multi Tool Sharpener diverges from the pack by looking more like a baton than a traditional sharpener. Regardless, it’s still an effective tool that’s easy to use.
This knife sharpener is made from military-grade aluminum for maximum durability and long life. It has two knife sharpening tools: duromite inserts for straight edge knives, and a ceramitized honing rod for serrated knives. The inserts are set at a 30° angle for a consistent double cutting edge.
Buck Knives EdgeTek Dual Grit Pocket Stone
Last (but certainly not least) is the Buck Knives EdgeTek Dual Grit Pocket Stone. Unlike many other sharpeners on the market, the Dual Grit Pocket Stone isn’t a traditional tool with a handle or room for attachments. It’s simply a two-sided diamond-coated sharpening surface. For traditionalists, this Buck Knives product is as authentic as it gets.
This knife sharpener is not a fancy product that requires instructions or how-to videos — what you see is what you get. For this reason, this sharpener is probably not going to be the best for someone who is new to knife sharpening. Because of its simplicity, this pocket stone won’t fail you or break unexpectedly. Better yet, it comes with a protective sleeve that you can keep it stored in.
After weighing all the options, taking into consideration each and every type of hunting knife, and determining which tool would be the most useful for the widest variety of hunters, I can’t help but feel like the Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic is the clear winner.
With at least four different uses to meet the needs of each blade and every hunter, the BladeMedic is also user-friendly because of its easy-to-read labels beside each section of the tool. This makes it so that even the most inexperienced or professional hunter can sharpen their knives with ease, regardless of how much time they’ve spent out in the field.
Plus, the Lansky is surprisingly affordable. Even if the sharpening blades wear out quite quicker than its competitors, the low price makes it so that replacing the tool is cheaper than replacing the individual blades on something like the AccuSharp or the Work Sharp. No matter what the hunter’s needs, the Lanksy is sure to fit them.
Most importantly, it meets the four criteria I outlined above: a 22 degree consistent angle, an easy-to-use mechanism with user-friendly labels, the ability to bring old knives to their former glory, and an obvious compatibility with a slew of different blade types. Simply put, I can say with confidence that the Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic is the greatest hunting knife sharpener on the market today.