If you’re anything like me, when you think back to the first time you tried to sharpen your hunting knife on a whetstone, you probably wanted to throw it out the window. It quickly descended into an oily mess that did nothing but frustrate. Luckily it doesn’t have to be that way.
We’ve taken the time to pull together the best hunting knife sharpener options that are worth paying a little attention to. Our goal is to get you informed and ready to get the best value for money. You’ll be guided through what to look for and where to find it. Let’s jump in!
Top 7 Best Hunting Knife Sharpeners Review in 2023
We’ve carefully selected 7 of the best hunting knife and general knife sharpeners. These knives have an excellent balance between price, performance, ease of use, and durability. There’s quite a bit that goes into choosing the right sharpener, so we’ve laid it out to make it easier for you.
You’ll what’s unique about each setup, how it performs in the real world, and why it’s worth your money. We’ll finish each review with what we did and didn’t like about each of the sharpeners so that you know what to realistically expect. You’ll be able to choose the sharpener that’s just right for your knives. Let’s get into our best hunting knife sharpener reviews!
Smith’s Abrasives PP1 Hunting Knife Sharpeners
Let’s kick it off with a super-affordable knife sharpener that can handle all your utility, hunting, outdoor, and pocket knives. You’re getting a high-quality diamond-coated tapered rod that can sharpen all your serrated edges. It can easily squeeze into the smaller serrated teeth and handle the more wavy style serrations.
The carbide blade slots will give your straight and curved edges a quick touch up with only a couple of strokes. There’s also a ceramic slot that has a finer-grit finish and easily put razor-sharp edges on your knives. You don’t need to put much pressure on the knives when you’re sharpening them in the slots and it doesn’t take much time to significantly sharpen the edge.
We loved that both the ceramic and carbide slots are easily replaced or reversed – so that you get more life and effective sharpening out of them. While the sharpening angles of the slots aren’t adjustable, they’ve been preset for the best possible results on the broadest possible range of knives. They’re especially well-suited to handling hunting knives with serrated edges.
It’s a compact and lightweight sharpener with a lanyard hole for easy-to-carry convenience without getting in the way. When you consider you’re getting all of this at a price this low, it’s a tough option to ignore. It’s durable and tough enough to handle the outdoors and is one of our favorite picks for the best hunting knife sharpener in this price range.
- Compact and lightweight
- Has a carbide and ceramic slot for a complete sharpening
- Robust and durable design
- Excellent quality tapered rod
- Not the most ergonomic build
- Struggles to handle very large blades
Lansky BladeMedic Knife Sharpener
Here’s another fantastic value for money compact and easy to carry and use knife sharpener. You’ll be able to get almost any outdoor or utility knife to incredibly sharp levels using a combination of ceramic and carbide sharpening slots. They’re marked out on the side of the blade so you don’t confuse them.
You can use this sharpener on a serrated, standard, gut hook, and various kitchen and fillet knives. It’s extremely versatile and capable, despite having a low price and minimalistic design. The diamond-coated tapered sharpening rod is exquisite and just the right side to sharpen the most serrated edges.
What we loved most is how easy this handheld sharpener is to use. Don’t let the small size get you, this is an extremely efficient and capable sharpener. You’ll be able to take your blade’s edge to razor sharpness in under 5 strokes.
There’s also a serrated ceramic slab that runs along the top side of the handle. You can run curved blades and various serrated blades over it. It’s fantastic for quickly sharpening in the field and is brilliant for hunting knives.
- Super-versatile and easy to use
- Lightweight and compact
- Ergonomic design
- Robust body and durable materials
- Tapered rod loses its firmness over time
- Not well-suited to heavy-duty use
Sharpal Pocket Knife Sharpener & Survival Tool
The Sharpal 6-in-1 sharpener is a class-leader when it comes to value for money. There are a rough carbine and a fine ceramic V-shaped slot for getting your dull blades razor sharp. You’ll have a 400-grit diamond-coated tapered rod for touching up all your serrated blades and gut hooks (400-grit is considered medium).
You can sharpen fishhooks with the groove in the diamond rod. Finally, you’ve got a Ferro rod and a high-pitch whistle for emergencies. All this comes together to bring you a sharpening tool that can handle all your sharpening needs. It’s easy to carry and has an orange pad with a non-slip pad for easy handling.
You’ll find the sharpener is easy to work with, doesn’t slip, and has overall reliable and consistent performance. The abrasives are durable and designed to last a lifetime – and they’re preset at the optimal angle most blade’s edges are beveled at. This versatile knife sharpener comes with some of the best value for money you’ll find. It’s an inexpensive hunting knife sharpener you’ll keep with you for ages.
- Extremely versatile and functional
- Easy to use with an ergonomic grip
- Has an emergency whistle and a Ferro rod
- Long-lasting abrasive materials
- The whistle isn’t very loud or reliable
- Ferro rod isn’t reliable and meant to be used only as a backup
Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener
While this sharpener is quite a bit more expensive, you’re getting a complete kit that can handle pretty much any field sharpening tasks. It’s ideal for sportsmen, knife enthusiasts, outdoorsmen, and hunters. The diamond-coated plates can be easily removed for quick access to a broadhead. You can use this head to get a fine edge in ridiculously fast times.
In terms of functionality, you’re getting it all here. With diamond plates, ceramic rods, and a leather strop, you’ll have the tools for taking even the roughest blade to their finest. The set also comes with guides to help you through the learning stages and help you make the most of the tools available to you. You’re getting excellent consistency from the diamond plates as they’re set at 20°.
You can guide this up to 25° for honing stronger and steeper beveled blades. Overall, this sharpening kit is compact and extremely durable – it’s worth the higher price and you’re getting top-notch value out of every dollar spent. You’re getting one of our favorite picks for best hunting knife sharpener.
- Lightweight and compact with impressive functionality
- Complete and capable for all field sharpening
- Class-leading quality and design
- Perfect pre-set angles on the diamond plate and rods
- Takes a while to learn to use right
- Not very beginner-friendly
Spyderco Tri-Angle Premium Sharpmaker Set
If you’re just getting started with your first premium knives and don’t know how to go about keeping them sharp, here’s a wonderful starting point. You’re getting an ABS plastic base that’s lightweight and easy to set up. All you do is fit the provided sharpening rods into the holes at either the 30° or 40° angle.
You simply need to hold the knife’s blade on a vertical plane as you stroke it across the length of the rod. When you’re done, everything neatly packs up and fits into the back of the ABS plastic base. You’ll have an instructional book and CD to guide you through the process and teach you some valuable skills (while giving you the practice you need).
With a little practice and experience, you’ll be able to put an edge on any blade to match any whetstone or handheld sharpener. The set includes both medium and fine grit triangular ceramic rods to handle everything from aggressive sharpening through to the finishing touches. It’s probably the best hunting knife sharpener among beginners and gives you professional quality results – with a little practice.
- Fantastic for teaching beginner sharpening techniques
- Easy to use and set up
- A handy compartment in the base for storing all the components
- High-grade sharpening rods
- Not suitable for all types of knives
- Plastic base can crack under excessive loads
Smith’s CCD4 Field Sharpening System
The combination of the carbide blades and the diamond-coated plates let you quickly give any knife a thorough sharpening. You’ll be able to set the edges with basic technique and just a couple of strokes. The ceramic rods offer you quite a few options for sharpening different edges. They can effectively handle curved (both inside and outside curves) and serrated blades without much hassle.
You can close the protective lid to preserve the diamond-coated plate – and it doubles as an effective handguard. This is the perfect sharpening kit for the outdoors and hunters. We loved the subtly and intelligently placed groove for sharpening gut hooks and pointed blades.
It’s placed right in the center of the body and it super-easy to control. Overall, the sharpening angles are set just right. It is beginner-friendly and the top best hunting knife sharpener for outdoor enthusiasts who need reliability and versatile sharpening options.
- Exceptionally well-suited to giving traditional knives a razor’s edge
- Compact and easy to store
- Protective lid doubles as a handguard
- Excellent quality abrasive materials and design
- Not great for single-beveled blades
- Provided instructions are great
EdgePro Apex-1 Knife Sharpener Kit
Our final knife sharpener is a kit coming from the top-leagues of sharpeners. While there’s no denying the cost is high – you’re getting your money’s worth. If you’re tired of spending hours trying to sharpen and hone your blades on a whetstone, and this kit fits into your budget, you’ll get everything you need here.
You can sharpen anything from your premium chef’s knives to your outdoor and hunting knives with the same ease. The skill bar is low and then you’ll get comprehensive instruction on how to best use each tool and any related techniques. If you’re looking for a professional sharpening kit that’ll get your blades to the sharpest possible edge, this kit won’t let you down.
You can set up the system so that the blades are sharpened from the same angle – every single time. This means a few quick strokes will give your blade a bleeding edge and you’ll never have to work with dull blades again. It’s this consistency that makes this set one of the most reliable for both professionals and enthusiasts/beginners.
You don’t need to worry about removing too much steel from your edges (as is the main issue with many electric sharpeners). All the fittings can be quickly interchanged or removed by ergonomic and handy knobs. Overall, you’re getting an extremely smooth and consistent experience with a high-end professional sharpening kit. It’ll last for years and keep your blades at their peak performance for longer.
- Class-leading performance and quality
- Consistent sharpening angles that are easy to repeat
- High-grade abrasive material
- Needs almost no maintenance
- Slow to learn how to use
- Expensive compared to most other sharpeners
What You Need to Know Before Deciding on a Hunting Knife Sharpener
Now that you’ve seen some pretty solid options and know what to expect at various price points, you’re almost ready to make your decision. Before you do, though, there are a few things we need to discuss and walk you through to help you make the best choice possible. Let’s take a look.
Manual vs. Electric Sharpeners
This is almost always a difficult choice to make – especially if you’re new to the knife sharpener market. There are a couple of essential things you need to keep in mind. Firstly, electric sharpeners are significantly faster and initially more effortless to use than manual knife sharpeners. You can get decent results pretty quickly, especially if you’re using a high-quality electric sharpener.
This improved speed comes at the cost of accuracy, control, potential, and price. Electric knife sharpeners are usually more expensive and less mobile than manual ones. If you’re looking for something to use in-field, electricity is not the best choice. Although they’re easier to use at first, they don’t offer you the same level of control and accuracy that a skilled user could get from a manual set.
This is another area where people commonly make mistakes. If you’re new and don’t have much experience under your belt, try to stay away from diamond-coated hones. You might be drawn in by the name and the idea of faster sharpening times – but you’ll damage and even ruin your hunting knife if you don’t have the required skill.
We suggest you stick with ceramic hones or finer grit steels as they’re more forgiving. As you build up the skill and muscle memory, you can move onto diamond hones and safely improve your efficiency.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: How to Sharpen the Gut Hook Knife on a Hunting Knife’s Spine?
A: Many hunting knives have a gut hook blade built into the blade’s spine. They are the most useful tools, but when they are needed, they have to be super-sharp. You’ll need a tapered handheld hone (preferably ceramic or steel). Each stroke should use the entire length of the hone and be done at the same angle as the bevel. Keep the strokes even and consistent, and you’ll get an excellent cutting edge.
Q: Are There Battery-Powered Electric Sharpeners?
A: Yes, these can be found – though they tend to be less reliable and less efficient than non-battery models. You also have to factor in that the battery capacity fades over time. You’ll get better value for money and skill-development by picking a manual hunting knife sharpening set instead.
Q: How Long Do Hunting Knife Sharpeners Last?
A: Pull-through sharpeners and ceramic-coated sharpeners won’t wear out. Grit-based sharpeners don’t wear out but might appear to do so as the grit gets clogged up and blocked. All you need to do is scrub them and give them a thorough cleaning, and you’ll notice a significant improvement in how they perform.
We’ve taken a look at quite a wide range of knife sharpeners. From hand-held kits and budget sharpeners to premium and class-leading options, there’s something here for you. You must take note of your needs and budget. Feel free to take all the time you need to go over any of the sharpeners you were interested in.
We want you to get a sharpener that suits your skill level and your collection. With the best hunting knife sharpener added to your kit, you’ll never have to work with dull blades again – or spend hours sweating over a whetstone again. Good luck!