Best Survival Knife Sharpener

by Knife Expert on October 8, 2013

Choosing the best survival knife sharpener for field use


If you’ve owned a survival knife before, then chances are that there have been times when you’ve been in need of a good survival knife sharpener when your not at home.

And why is that? Well having a high quality survival knife is just the first step in the process because once it loses its sharp edge, then you should consider that your wilderness trip just took a turn for the worse. It’s for this very reason that it’s always a must to have a reliable sharpener along with you when in the outdoors.

This is especially true for situations when you’re out hunting and you need a sharp blade for skinning and gutting. A good knife sharpener can help your blade retain its edge and you’ll be able to use your hunting knife more efficiently. And for this to happen, you need to have a top quality survival knife sharpener that ticks all the boxes when it comes to compactness, sharpening performance, durability, and ease of use.

One of the key characteristics of a good survival knife sharpener is that it should be easily portable and be operable without electricity. It needs to actually sharpen a blade and not just hone it and in some cases you’ll need a sharpener that can handle serrated edges.

With so many different types of knife sharpeners out there, it can be quite confusing and time consuming to choose the right one. That’s why I’ve made your job simpler and come up with my hand-picked (and personally used) list of the top 3 survival knife sharpeners.

Note: Before you go on to choosing a knife sharpener, make sure you have a good outdoor survival knife as well. If you’re looking to replace your old knife, you might want to consider reading my detailed reviews on some really good hunting and outdoor knives.

Top 4 Survival Knife Sharpeners:

1. Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener 

#1 on this list of the best survival knife sharpeners is the Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal and this tiny tool does pack a punch.  It weighs less than 1 ounce, so you will hardly notice it is there and was truly designed with hikers, campers, hunters, fisherman, and survivalists in mind.  The Pocket Pal boasts a carbide sharpening stage for dull or slightly damaged knives that really need a new edge.  The carbide blades are for straight edged knives only, not serrated.  The next stage consists of ceramic stones that provide a polishing or stropping type action.  Both straight edged and serrated blades can be used on the ceramic stage.

Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener

The Pocket Pal also have a round, tapered diamond coated rod for sharpening serrated and standard edges, pre-set carbide blades for quickly restoring a dull edge, and specially shaped ceramic stones.  The carbide blades and ceramic stones are reversible and replaceable for extended sharpening life.

The Smith PP1 has an excellent diamond coating on the inside and has excellent capability to sharpen and maintain the top performance of your beloved blades. Plus it doesn’t weigh anything at all so you can carry it along everywhere you go.

Best Survival Knife Sharpener

And if you still don’t trust my word, check out the ratings of the Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener on Amazon and you’ll see that it has over 1600 positive reviews with an average rating of 4.3 stars out of 5.

I usually do about 4 to 5 passes to ensure that my knife is sharp and has got back its edge and one can even use this for serrated blades. At a price of less than $7, this one’s really a no-brainer and that’s why it deserves it tag of the best survival knife sharpener!

Click here for Pricing, Reviews, and more Information on Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener

2. Gerber Bear Grylls Field Sharpener 

2nd up on this list of the top survival knife sharpeners is the Gerber Bear Grylls Field Sharpener. Gerber as a company is renowned for its survival knives (read my review of the Gerber LMF II) and it doesn’t disappoint one bit with the quality of its sharpener. 

Gerber Bear Grylls Field Sharpener

I really liked the fact that this one comes with a hard rubber handle because it’s so much easier to work with during extreme weather conditions (think slimy, sweaty hands).

For those with serrated knives, don’t sweat because you can easily sharpen those edges as well thanks to the two rod shaped diamond coated sharpeners and for a price less than $14, this one’s a steal.

Click here for Pricing, Reviews, and Information on the Gerber Bear Grylls Field Sharpener


3. Gerber Diamond Knife Sharpener

This is the sharpener that I carry in my EDC bag due to its extreme compactness (it fits into a pen slot).  I don’t expect to do a razor edge on my survival machete with this small tool, but I sure will be touching up the blade of any of my EDC knives when necessary.  Plus this is the best deal going at under $8.

The round shape of the back side makes this ideal for sharpening your serrated knives, the flat side for your blade edges, and there’s a furrow for sharpening fishhooks and other sharp points.

Click here for Pricing and Information on the Gerber 09841 Diamond Knife Sharpener


4. Edgeware Edge Grip Knife Sharpener 

And finally completing this list of the best survival knife sharpeners is one of the most affordable ones and something that you can get for just $10. The Edgeware Edge Grip Knife Sharpener is extremely simple to use and has a unique V-shaped bottom design that helps you easily mount the sharpener on any counter.  Originally meant for kitchen use, this tool now sees much use in the field.

Edgeware Edge Grip Knife Sharpener

I also like the soft grip handle and it’s comfortable to hold when sharpening those dull edges and at the price that it costs, it will surely fit anyone’s budget!

Click here for Pricing, Reviews, and more Information on the Edgeware Edge Sharpener


Honorable mention: Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker

Though it folds up into a nice compact package that can fit in any bag, the Sharpmaker is likely too unwieldy for field use.  The set-up process is likely more than you want when you just need to touch up your edge.

However, no discussion of survival knife sharpeners is complete without mentioning this fantastic tool.  First, because if you use this, the edge on your knives will perfectly sharp before you get into the bush.

Second, because once you get home, any dulling, flat spotting or other edge damage you cause will be quickly taken care of by this tool.

Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker


I hope you liked this review of the best survival knife sharpeners and I would love to hear in the comments what you own for sharpening your knives – both at home and in the field.

There really is no excuse for having a dull blade on you when you are in the bush.  Keep your knives sharp at home with the Sharpmaker, and keep on of the tools above in each bag that you keep packed.


Matt @ November 1, 2013 at 5:03 am

I notice you omitted just an ordinary whetstone from the list. Get good with one and you can outperform most sharpeners out there.

Adrienne November 29, 2013 at 10:29 am

Finally, never use all of your strength for a single throw
because it could easily lead to an unnecessary injury.
Familiarize yourself with a little more about the tools prior to making a decision.

Chopping, slicing, dicing, and peeling, can be so much easier with a set of great quality,
forged steel knives that have handles that enable a firm, sturdy grip.

Prassana Patwardhan January 28, 2014 at 8:34 am

Edgeware Edge Grip Knife Sharpener i want this product please help to how to buy this product

Smithe287 April 8, 2014 at 5:32 am

Thanks for sharing it akaeeebeff

Knife Expert June 19, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Thanks Smithe, did you end up finding a blade for yourself? Any additional help you need in deciding?

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