Making sharp decisions: Here are 5 of the best knife sharpeners
03/03/2020 / By Darnel Fernandez / Comments
Making sharp decisions: Here are 5 of the best knife sharpeners

Knives are, without a doubt, one of the most essential survival items that any prepper should have in his arsenal. Whether it’s part of your everyday carry kit or tucked away in your bug-out bag for future use, there isn’t a tool around that is as versatile as the knife. With it, you can build a shelter in the wilderness, start a fire, catch and prepare dinner and even defend yourself from potential threats. However, like all blades, repeated use of these knives can lessen their effectiveness. In this case, a quality knife sharpener can be a very useful tool to have in your survival kit. (H/t to

Making sharp decisions

Knives deteriorate in efficiency every time you use them. Because of this, you need to sharpen your knife in order to keep it in tip-top condition. Every knife has its own unique properties that can suit anyone’s needs but it would all be moot if you don’t even bother maintaining them. (Related: 10 of the best knives for survival and SHTF prepping.)

While it’s entirely plausible to just go out and get your knives sharpened by a professional or have it replaced with a brand-new one, learning how to maintain your own tools is an important survival skill. When SHTF, these services will most likely be unavailable for an indefinite amount of time. This emphasizes the need to have your own high-quality knife sharpener somewhere in your home or bug-out location to keep up the maintenance of one of your most important survival tools.

While the knife sharpeners below differ greatly in features and niches, they are all adequately-sized to fit inside any bug-out bag or everyday carry kit. However, they all require a bit of skill to use so it’s best to brush up on sharpening techniques while you’re at it.

Lansky Puck

As the name suggests, this minimalist sharpener literally looks like a hockey puck and is highly preferred by those who carry around axes and hatchets. One side of the puck is coarse while the other is medium-fine. You swirl the sharpener back and forth over the edge of the blade; the first side removing all the burrs and nicks while the other cleans it all up to restore sharpness.

The Lansky Puck is compact, light and contains no parts that can break off or come loose, which makes it a fantastic option for those who want to pack light. While it was designed to sharpen larger tools like axes, but it can definitely work on knives and machetes. However, the Puck doesn’t have any sort of angle finder so you need a lot of experience in setting up a sharpening angle. You also need to pay attention to your hand when sharpening your blade lest you cut yourself.

CRKT Knife Maintenance Tool

Despite being the smallest sharpener on the list, it still packs everything you need to keep your knives in tip-top shape. It has five main features: a tungsten-carbide pull-through sharpener, a ceramic pull-through sharpener, a pair of swing-out bit drivers and a bottle opener. The tungsten-carbide is responsible for removing all the damage found on the blade before you repeat the sharpening process using the finer ceramic version to clean up the edge of the knife. The twist drivers can fix any defects in operation or scale tightness.

Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker

The Sharpmaker makes use of two triangular sharpening stones that easily sets the angle for you when you place it on a flat surface¬†— this makes it the perfect sharpener for those who are new to the skill. To sharpen your knife, hold it vertically as you move the edge down over the stones. This particular sharpener also packs up nicely inside a compact case about twice the size of a modern smartphone.

DMT Slydr Sharp

The Slydr Sharp is a compact option that features an out-the-front opening mechanism for both sharpening surfaces, not unlike a box cutter. The sharpening surfaces include a 600 grit diamond sharpener plate and a rod made from the same material. The plate is a fantastic all-around sharpening surface used for most types of knives while the rod is great for sharpening serrations, which flat sharpeners cannot handle.

Work Sharp Outdoor Guided Field Sharpener

The Guided Field Sharpener boasts a variety of sharpening tech integrated into a body that’s only 7 inches long. The first of the sharpening surfaces is a coarse 220 grit diamond plate that removes blade damage from any type of steel. This is followed by another 600 grit diamond surface plate to help build the edge of your blades. Next, you have a three-position ceramic rod that uses both coarse and fine grit surfaces to help refine the edges of the knife while a tiny ceramic rod is included for much smaller blades and a little touching up. Lastly, the Guided Field Sharpener incorporates a leather strop with embedded superfine abrasives that can help finish your blade’s edge.

When you’re out on the field, you need to keep your knives as sharp as they can be to actually survive in one piece. Learn more about survival knives and other gear at

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