Keeping your knives sharp is essential for any outdoors enthusiast. A dull blade can make even the simplest tasks difficult and can be dangerous in certain situations. That’s why a field sharpener is a must-have tool for anyone who spends time camping, hunting, or fishing.
Field sharpeners come in various shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same purpose: to sharpen your blades in the field quickly. They are compact, lightweight, and easy to use. Most field sharpeners are designed to sharpen both straight and serrated blades, making them versatile tools to have in your kit.
When choosing the best field sharpener, there are a few things to consider. The type of abrasive material used in the sharpener can affect how quickly and efficiently it sharpens your blades. The size and weight of the sharpener can also be important factors to consider, especially if you’re looking for a tool that’s easy to carry with you.
We reviewed several field sharpeners to find the best ones on the market. Our top picks are compact, easy to use, and can sharpen both straight and serrated blades. Whether you’re heading out on a camping trip or going on a hunting expedition, these sharpeners will keep your blades sharp and ready for any task.
It’s important that you understand field sharpeners are not a replacement for regular sharpeners. Yes, they’re handy, and they’re also easy to mess up a knife. The truth is, they’re not easy to use, they’re just convenient. They should be used for quick touch-ups only, and the regular sharpener should be used as soon as you are able. Some of these sharpeners, like the Outdoor Edge below, should only be used on your less expensive heavy-use knives, as I don’t recommend this approach for quality knives. Every tool has its place, and if you’re aware of the limitations of these field sharpeners, you should be fine. Just be aware everything has its limitations, and you’re looking at some common limitations with respect to knife sharpening when you start to compromise for convenience, size, and portability.
Best Field Sharpeners
We know how important it is to have a sharp knife while out in the field. Whether you are hunting, camping, or just enjoying the great outdoors, a dull knife can be frustrating and even dangerous. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best field sharpeners on the market. These sharpeners are compact, easy to use, and produce razor-sharp edges quickly. We’ve tested and reviewed each one to help you find the perfect sharpener for your needs. Check out our top picks below.
If you’re looking for a compact and durable field sharpener, the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener is a great option.
- Provides a complete sharpening solution for knives and camp tools
- Consistent blade edge angles for sharpening and honing
- Compact and self-contained, it requires no tools or assembly
- It is probably too small for larger knives
- Some users may prefer a more traditional sharpening method
- Leather strop may need to be replaced after extended use
This sharpener includes diamond plates, ceramic rods, a leather strop, and sharpening guides, making it a fast and easy solution for maintaining your edge while out hunting, fishing, camping, or anywhere you need a sharp edge. The purpose-built angle guide ensures consistent blade edge angles for sharpening with the diamond plates and honing a strong micro-bevel. The compact and durable design makes it easy to pack and use in the field.
The diamond plates can be easily removed to expose a broad head wrench to speed sharpening in the field. The ceramic honing rod rotates to expose coarse and fine honing surfaces, as well as a grooved surface for sharpening fish hooks. A second, small ceramic rod is used for sharpening serrations.
With five abrasive steps, this sharpener provides a complete sharpening solution: coarse and fine diamond sharpening plates, coarse and fine ceramic hones, and a leather strop. All elements are self-contained and require no tools, assembly, or set-up.
As a 4th-generation family-owned American company, Work Sharp takes pride in engineering industry-leading sharpening tools. If you’re in need of a compact and durable field sharpener, the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener is a great choice.
What’s interesting about this particular sharpener is that it contains all three levels of sharpening in a field sharpener: stone, honing, and stropping. Knives are first sharpened using progressive grit stones, then usually stropped. However, an intermediate level is honing, and in many commercial use situations, such as butcher shops, the knife is first sharpened and then maintained using a honer. In fact, we recommend just such a commercial honer here and reviewed it here. It may not be the most sophisticated sharpener around, but it just may be the most comprehensive.
If you are looking for a portable and easy-to-use field sharpener, the Benchmade Guided Field Sharpener could be a great option.
- The 20-degree angle guides ensure a consistent bevel angle for sharpening.
- With five different grit stages, you can fully sharpen your knives in the field.
- The dual ceramic rods can fit most serration sizes and quickly sharpen scissor blades and fish hooks.
- Some reviewers have noted that the same sharpener can be found for a lower price without the Benchmade logo.
- The logo on the sharpener can make it harder to use and gives you less workable surface.
- It may not be the best option for larger knives.
The Benchmade Guided Field Sharpener features a design that makes it easy and convenient to use in the field. It is lightweight and portable, making it easy to carry and store. The sharpener includes 20-degree angle guides that ensure a consistent bevel angle for sharpening, and it has five different grit stages that allow you to fully sharpen your knives in the field.
The dual ceramic rods can fit most serration sizes and quickly sharpen scissor blades and fish hooks. It is a great tool for maintaining your knives and keeping them sharp while you are in the field.
While some reviewers have noted that the same sharpener can be found for a lower price without the Benchmade logo, the Benchmade Guided Field Sharpener is still a great option for those looking for a portable and easy-to-use field sharpener. However, it may not be the best option for larger knives.
Overall, if you are looking for a reliable and portable field sharpener, the Benchmade Guided Field Sharpener could be a great choice.
If you’re looking for a reliable and easy-to-use sharpening system, the Lansky Standard Coarse Sharpening System with Fine Hones is worth considering. The Lansky is really one of those “you get what you pay for.” It’s small and compact but essentially a handheld system that is priced right. It is, in my opinion, much more than most of the other field systems offer, yet it’s still portable.
- Made in the USA
- Easy to use, multi-angle clamp to hold the blade securely
- Three types of hones for different sharpening needs
- The clamp may not fit all types of knives
- The system may take some time to set up and get used to
- The hones may wear out over time and need to be replaced
This sharpening system includes a coarse red hone for edge reconditioning, a medium green hone for sharpening and less frequent touch-ups, and a fine blue hone for most frequent touch-ups to keep your blade paper-slicing sharp. The multi-angle clamp allows for easy and secure blade positioning, and the guide rods ensure consistent sharpening angles.
While the system may take some time to set up and get used to, it provides reliable and consistent results. The only potential downside is that the clamp may not fit all types of knives, and the hones may wear out over time and need to be replaced.
Overall, if you’re looking for a versatile and reliable sharpening system, the Lansky Standard Coarse Sharpening System with Fine Hones is a great choice.
If you’re looking for a reliable and lightweight field sharpener, the Buck Knives EdgeTek Field FlipStick Diamond Knife Sharpener Medium Grit is a great option.
- The 100% diamond-coated sharpening surface has medium 750 and coarse 325 grit on both sides.
- The textured polypropylene handle has a locking system and doubles as a sheath for easy storage and transport.
- The oval sharpening steel can accommodate various edge geometries.
- The sharpening surface is only medium grit, so it might not be suitable for extremely dull knives.
- The handle might not be comfortable for some users, especially those with larger hands.
- Some users have reported that the sharpening surface wears down quickly.
This compact sharpener is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who need a reliable tool to keep their knives sharp on the go. The diamond-coated sharpening surface is durable and effective, and the textured handle provides a secure grip.
The Buck Knives EdgeTek Field FlipStick Diamond Knife Sharpener Medium Grit is also lightweight and easy to carry, thanks to its compact size and sheath/handle design. However, the sharpening surface is only medium grit, so it might not be suitable for extremely dull knives.
Overall, if you’re looking for a reliable and affordable field sharpener, the Buck Knives EdgeTek Field FlipStick Diamond Knife Sharpener Medium Grit is definitely worth considering.
Yet another sharpening steel inside the handle for outdoor use. We recommend the Kershaw Ultra-Tek Blade Sharpener for anyone looking for a portable and easy-to-use knife sharpener.
- The 4-inch sharpening steel stores inside the handle when not in use, making it easy to take anywhere.
- The diamond-coated oval shaft is perfect for restoring a dull edge on any Kershaw blade.
- The lightweight 6061-T6 anodized aluminum handle features a knurled texture for a secure grip during use.
- It may be difficult to sharpen an entire side of a 3.5-4 inch blade in one long stroke.
- It won’t remove a lot of material to fix a severely damaged blade.
- It won’t give you a finely sharpened edge.
The Kershaw Ultra-Tek Blade Sharpener is a handy, portable knife sharpener that requires no water or oil. The sharpening steel stores compactly in the handle when not in use, making it easy to take anywhere. The diamond-coated oval shaft is perfect for restoring a dull edge on any Kershaw blade, and the lightweight 6061-T6 anodized aluminum handle features a knurled texture for a secure grip during use.
This sharpener is a great companion for any knife enthusiast, such as backpackers, hunters, hikers, hobbyists, anglers, home cooks, contractors, and carpenters. It’s perfect for sharpening and realigning any Kershaw blade, such as any Leek, Scallion, Clearwater Fillet series, Shuffle, Link, CQC series, and any favorite fixed blade or pocket folder. However, it may be difficult to sharpen an entire side of a 3.5-4 inch blade in one long stroke, and it won’t remove a lot of material to fix a severely damaged blade. It won’t give you a finely sharpened edge, either.
In summary, the Kershaw Ultra-Tek Blade Sharpener is a great portable option for anyone looking to keep their Kershaw blades sharp on the go.
If you’re looking for a versatile sharpening tool that can handle everything from knives to fish hooks, the Smith’s DCS4 Diamond Combo Bench Stone is a solid choice.
- Coarse and fine diamond stones in one compact sharpener
- Soft grip rubber handle for safe and easy sharpening
- Sharpening groove for fish hooks and pointed tools
- The handle can be a bit flimsy, requiring shimming to hold the sharpening stones firmly in place
- Some users report difficulty achieving a razor-sharp edge
- The oval hole design can make it difficult to sharpen larger blades
The Smith’s DCS4 Diamond Combo Bench Stone features both coarse and fine grit sharpening surfaces, making it a great all-purpose tool for sharpening knives, scissors, and other bladed tools. The soft grip rubber handle is designed to make sharpening safe and easy, and the sharpening groove is perfect for sharpening fish hooks and other pointed tools.
One potential downside of the Smith’s DCS4 is that the handle can be a bit flimsy, requiring shimming to hold the sharpening stones firmly in place. Additionally, some users report difficulty achieving a razor-sharp edge with this sharpener. Finally, the oval hole design can make it difficult to sharpen larger blades.
Overall, if you’re looking for a versatile sharpening tool that can handle a wide range of blades and tools, Smith’s DCS4 Diamond Combo Bench Stone is a solid choice.
If you’re looking for a compact and portable knife sharpener, the Dianova FNDC4 Combination Whetstone Knife Sharpeners might be a perfect purchase for you.
- Great craftsmanship
- Portable and easy to use
- Can sharpen different types of knives
- A bit pricey compared to other sharpeners
- It may take some time to learn how to use it properly
- Not suitable for serrated knives
This whetstone knife sharpener is made of high-quality ceramic and diamond abrasive materials, ensuring that your knives are sharpened to perfection. It’s also compact and lightweight, making it easy to carry around for outdoor activities.
The Dianova FNDC4 Combination Whetstone Knife Sharpeners are a must-buy item for those who are looking for a reliable and efficient sharpener. It’s perfect for sharpening different types of knives, including kitchen knives, pocket knives, and hunting knives.
One of the best things about this sharpener is its great craftsmanship. The materials used to make this sharpener are of high quality, ensuring that it will last for a long time. It’s also easy to use, making it a great choice for beginners.
However, this sharpener may take some time to learn how to use it properly. It’s also a bit pricey compared to other sharpeners in the market. Additionally, it’s not suitable for serrated knives. This is really the modern version of the old sharpening stones that have been used for generations and may just be worth the effort to master and use.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a reliable and efficient sharpener that you can carry with you anywhere, the Dianova FNDC4 Combination Whetstone Knife Sharpener is a great choice. Its great craftsmanship, portability, and versatility make it a must-buy item for knife enthusiasts.
If you need a reliable and easy-to-use knife sharpener, the Outdoor Edge Tungsten-Carbide Knife Sharpener is a great option.
- The tungsten carbide V-shaped bits are set at a universal 22-degree angle for extreme sharpness.
- The carbide bits are removable and reversible for twice the life and can be easily replaced.
- The ergonomic rubberized TPR handle ensures a safe, non-slip grip at all times.
- The safety guard may not fit all knives.
- It may take some practice to achieve the desired sharpness.
- It is not suitable for serrated knives.
This sharpener is perfect for shaping and maintaining a razor-sharp edge on all your outdoor and kitchen knives. The tungsten carbide V-shaped bits are set at a universal 22 degree angle for extreme sharpness, and the carbide bits are removable and reversible for twice the life and can be easily replaced. The ergonomic rubberized TPR handle ensures a safe, non-slip grip at all times, and the safety guard protects your hands.
Overall, the Outdoor Edge Tungsten-Carbide Knife Sharpener is a great choice if you need a reliable and easy-to-use knife sharpener.
Hey, if you’re looking for some great home sharpening systems, check our review here.
Frequently Asked Questions
As we researched the best field sharpeners available, we came across some common questions that we’d like to address. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions:
Q: Do I need to be an expert to use a field sharpener?
A: No, you don’t need to be an expert to use a field sharpener. Most field sharpeners are designed to be easy to use and come with instructions. However, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully to avoid damaging your knife or the sharpener.
Q: How often should I sharpen my knife?
A: The frequency of sharpening depends on how often you use your knife and the type of work you do with it. If you use your knife frequently for heavy-duty tasks, you may need to sharpen it more often. As a general rule, it’s recommended to sharpen your knife after every use or at least every few uses.
Q: Can field sharpeners work on serrated knives?
A: It depends on the field sharpener. Some sharpeners are specifically designed for serrated knives, while others can sharpen both serrated and straight blades. Be sure to check the product specifications before purchasing to ensure it can sharpen your specific type of knife.
Q: Are field sharpeners portable?
A: Yes, most field sharpeners are designed to be portable and compact. They’re great for taking on camping trips, hunting trips, or any outdoor adventure where you may need to sharpen your knife on the go.
Q: How long should a field sharpener last?
A: The lifespan of a field sharpener depends on the quality of the product and how often it’s used. Some sharpeners may last for years with proper care and maintenance, while others may need to be replaced after a few uses. Be sure to read reviews and do your research before purchasing to ensure you’re getting a high-quality product.
In conclusion, a field sharpener is a valuable tool for anyone who uses knives regularly. By following the instructions carefully and selecting the right sharpener for your needs, you can keep your knives sharp and ready for any task.
When it comes to buying a field sharpener, there are a few key features to consider. We’ve compiled a list of factors to keep in mind to help you make an informed decision.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a field sharpener is the material it’s made of. Look for sharpeners made of high-quality materials that are durable and long-lasting. Some popular options include ceramic, diamond, and tungsten carbide.
Size and Weight
The size and weight of the sharpener is another important consideration. If you plan on carrying the sharpener with you on hikes or camping trips, you’ll want to choose a lightweight and compact option. However, if you’re looking for a sharpener for use at home or in a workshop, a larger and heavier option may be more suitable.
Different sharpeners may offer different sharpening angles, which can affect the sharpness and precision of your blades. Look for a sharpener that offers a range of angles to choose from, so you can find the perfect angle for your specific needs. This is obviously much more limited in field sharpeners as most come with no angles and those that have angles may only have one.
Ease of Use
Finally, consider the ease of use of the sharpener. Look for a product that is easy to use and doesn’t require any special skills or knowledge. Some sharpeners may come with instructions or tutorials to help you get started.
By considering these factors, you can find a field sharpener that meets your needs and helps you keep your blades sharp and ready for action.