Top 5 Best Hunting Knife Sharpeners (Review and Buyer’s Guide for 2019)
A hunting knife is only as good as its edge is sharp. Maintaining the sharpness of the blade is as important as taking care of the rest of your hunting gear. It's not a daunting task, either, as long as you have the right equipment.
For this reason, we decided to review some of the best hunting knife sharpeners on the market. After careful consideration, here are our top five choices.
Top 5 Rated Model Comparison Table
Best Hunting Knife Sharpeners: Our Top 5 Picks
The BearMoo Whetstone sharpening stone is a 2-in-1 tool boasting excellent safety and precision. It's small and portable, making it a great piece of gear to take on hunting trips.
It comes equipped with dual grit sides - 3000 and 8000 grit. This feature means it will cover your needs for both coarse and fine sharpening the edge of your blade.
This item was designed for hunting knives, so avoid using it on ceramics and serrated blades. The material is heat and corrosion resistant, as well as equipped with a silicon base to prevent slipping.
- 2-in-1 sharpening stone
- High-grade materials
- Non-slip silicone base
- Small and portable
- Can't use it for ceramic knives and serrated blades
- Asks for lengthy soaking before use
Most users find it admirable that the tool remained so affordable while delivering on both sides (literally). They use it for hunting as well as sharpening their kitchen knives. We were glad to read that most negatives focused on fabric errors, not the stone quality.
Whetstone Cutlery Stone Sharpener is, in many features, similar to the previous tool mentioned. Its design aims to provide you with top-notch sharpening. Also, although the name says 'Cutlery,' worry not - it works perfectly well out in the wild, too.
This tool is also one of the most affordable options that still managed to get quite a positive feedback from the public. It offers two-sided function, 400 grit and 1000 grit, one for sharpening and the other for polishing.
The portability and multifunctionality of this product means you won't need to get another product any time soon.
- Dual side sharpening
- Simple to use
- Too coarse for finer edges
- Asks for long soaking
Those who used this tool were impressed by the quality it offers for the price. It's also quite durable. The negatives mentioned focus on poor instructions and fabric errors.
Out in the field or inside your kitchen, the Work Sharp is there to give you a helping hand. It comes with diamond plates, but if you need quick sharpening, you can remove them without any issues.
Besides the diamond plates, you will find ceramic rods and a leather strop. Thus, you may sharpen both rough and delicate surfaces, as well as fixing serrations. We could say that Work Sharp is a one-stop-shop for those who use multiple blades.
- Multifunctional and versatile
- Quick and reliable
- Easy to assemble
- The heaviest of the 5 sharpeners reviewed
- The grip is nonexistent, making the tool more challenging to use
In general, the customers are in love with this sharpener. It's a one-stop-shop for all their sharpening needs. Certain types of trips need some adjustment, though, and in some cases, it's easier to stick to sharpening stones.
The Lansky QuadSharp is a handheld knife sharpener, and one of the most versatile and affordable on the market. It's a dual-sided, all-in-one tool that caters to various blades with its four angles.
It comes with several diamonds and an abrasive stone system, as well as an 800-grit ceramic bench stone. This design allows you to fix damaged blades or do fine sharpening with a single tool.
Another benefit is that Lansky will sharpen both sides of the blade at the same time, as you pull your knife through the plate, saving time and effort.
- Lightweight but durable
- Sharpens both sides simultaneously
- Doesn't work with ceramic knives
- You need to buy the base separately
People love the multifunctionality of this small tool. They find it quite handy, and many use it as their go-to tool for hunting trips. However, some find it noisy, and they commented that the construction is somewhat loose.
The electric Chef's Choice 130 is a 3-stage knife sharpener which boasts incredible versatility. Being electric, it removes the frustration and effort needed for manual sharpening. At the same time, it's capable of sharpening and realigning serrated and straight blades.
It comes with rubber feet, which means the station will be stable, and you can store it somewhere once you’re done using it. It operates as simple as clicking the on/off button. While primarily being designed for cooks, you may use it on any blade.
The best part about this tool, though, is the three-stage process. At first, you use the diamond abrasives, then miniature steel to develop a razor-sharp edge. Finally, the diamond discs will polis the blade.
- Easy to use
- Effective 3-stage process
- 100% diamond abrasives
- Comes with rubber feet for stability
- Not portable as it requires a power source
- Pricier than most
- Only features a 20-degree angle
Most customers purchased Chef's Choice for the kitchen, but they are in love with the results. They claim it's worth the price, and that it lasts for years. The hunters out there are no less satisfied.
What To Look For in a Hunting Knife Sharpener
Now, so you could avoid blindly trusting us, let's take a look at some key features when it comes to choosing your knife sharpener.
Although sharpeners come in many shapes and forms, three are most common in the market.
Electric knife sharpeners are quick and come with two or three phases that let you adjust the process according to the knife in question. They tend to be the tool of choice for professional hunters, but they are also quite expensive.
Manual sharpeners are highly rated for their ease of usage and affordability. They also put you in complete control of the process. The only drawback lies in the fact that they require more effort.
Sharpening stones are similar to the previous type, and they are compact and portable. Remember, though, that the larger the knife, the more time you will need to spend sharpening it.
Your bevel choice mostly depends on the way you will use the knife. Here's what different bevels do:
- Convex - makes the blade durable and robust, but maintains a moderate sharpness.
- Chisel - sharpens one side of the blade, but provides a very sharp edge.
- Flat - creates razor-sharpness, but requires some expertise
- Hollow - it forms a very sharp edge, but the edge can chip easily
Most blades come with specific requirements, so think about where you want to use your sharpener before buying one. Of course, some tools will sharpen just about anything in your home so that you could go universal sharpener as well.
Level and Angle
Sharpeners come with various sharpening levels and edge angles. Here, the choice lies in the type of knife you need sharp. For example, some knives ask for sharpening on both sides, while others on one side only.
The grit denotes how coarse or fine the edge of the sharpening stone is. It's explained in numbers ranging from 220 to 8000, and the higher the number, the more abrasive the surface. Here's how it goes.
- 220 repairs nicks and chips
- 300 is what you would use for very dull knives
- 1000 is a primary sharpening stone
- 1200 is the grid recommended for everyday use
- 6000 is necessary for finishing the process
- 8000 is like an enhanced 6000, giving you an ultra-fine, polished, and sharp blade
Consider whether you're planning on taking your sharpener on a trip or finishing the process at home. In the first case, make sure that you get a sharpener light enough to carry in your equipment bag.
FAQs about Knife Sharpeners
If you've never used a sharpener before, you must be brimming with questions and confusion. Here are the answers to the most common questions.
Why Do You Need a Sharpener?
It's simple. Sharp knives cut better than dull ones, so you need to apply less brute force to use them. Dull knives slow you down while sharp ones make it easy and more comfortable to use. Also, a sharp knife is safer, because with a dull knife, you will use more force, and if the knife slips, you may knick yourself.
What Does It Do?
Knife sharpening is the process of grinding the blade against a tool to make the blade sharper. The edge grows dull with use, and this way, you can give your knife a sharper edge.
Does Sharpening Damage Knives?
Only if you use an inferior tool that removes too much metal from the blade, you're on safe grounds as long as you go for a high-quality sharpener. Also, try not to be too aggressive to avoid making the metal brittle.
How Often Should I Use It?
It depends on the type of knife and how often you use it. If you only take out your blade once every few months, three to four times a year is enough. On the other hand, if your knife is often with you, sharpen it before every trip.
Do Knife Sharpeners Wear Out?
All three significant types of knife sharpeners will eventually wear out. You're not doing anything wrong as long as you're not harming your blade. Tools lose their features with time, so a few years down the road, you may need to purchase another.
How to Clean my Sharpener?
All you need is a small, soft brush - it could even be a paintbrush. All you need to do is dust off the residue from sharpening. You could also wipe the sharpener body with a damp towel. If it gets too dirty, rinse it with warm, soapy water.
Fine Sharpening vs. Polishing
Honing, or fine sharpening pushes irregularities on blade edges back into the V shape. If your blade is very dull, you need to coarse sharpen it first, and then hone.
When it comes to polishing, the edge will glide through the intersection of sharpening bards. They are much harder than the blade. For this reason, they turn the blade into a very smooth surface, thus creating the 'razor-sharp' effect.
Since we decided to offer you our top five choices, we've already eliminated all sharpeners that don't meet the standards. Thus, it's challenging to decide on the winner.
If you're looking for a small, portable, and affordable stone to carry on your trips, go for BearMoo WhetStone Sharpener. Just remember to give it a good soak before you use it!
However, if you plan on doing your fine-tuning at home, and have the budget for it, Chef's Choice should be your choice as well. This station is superior when it comes to creating razor-sharp blades.
In the end, it all depends on your preferences. We hope our top five best hunting knife sharpener picks made it easier for you to choose your favorite and go to your next hunting trip with a more reliable blade.