How to Choose The Best Knife Sharpener for Backpacking

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what is the Best Knife Sharpener for Backpacking, then we recommend the Spyderco Tri-Angle Premium Sharpmaker Set as the best one.

How to choose the best knife sharpener for backpacking

Looking For The Best Backpacking Knife Sharpener For You? When it comes to a knife sharpener, you’d find a variety of forms and sizes that will most likely meet your specific needs. And when you’re looking for a backpacking knife sharpener especially for outdoor use like camping and hiking, you’d certainly need one that’s small, light but also durable and reliable.

In this article, we’re going to review the following knife sharpeners for backpacking:

Your Guide for Choosing A Knife Sharpener for Backpacking

Before we get to our recommended choices of outdoor knife sharpener, let’s think about what you’d need to consider for getting the best Knife sharpener for outdoor using and how to chose them.

Good Questions To Ask Before Buying

Whichever knife sharpener you should choose for your trip? you’d want to make sure it fits your needs. A tiny knife sharpener works better for smaller pocket knives while knife sharpeners in the form of rods work best for bigger and longer knives. That’s when knowing what sort of knives you’ll be using it for becomes an important question to ask.

knife sharpener

You can enjoy a week-long or a month-long backpacking trip without the need for a knife or a knife sharpener. But if you’re one who takes knife work in the outdoors seriously, it does make sense to have a knife sharpener handy and ready. 

Knowing how often you’ll be using your knife and on what material you’ll be using it on will help you know what sort of a knife sharpener you’ll be better of, the best knife sharpener for backpacking and more.

So, aside from what sort of a knife you’ll be using the sharpener on, it’s worthwhile asking on what will you be using your knife and how often.

Two Categories of Knife Sharpeners

There are two categories of knife sharpeners to consider after you’ve answered those two questions I’ve mentioned above. Whichever one you choose depends on your experience in knife sharpening and your preferences.

How skilled are you in knife sharpening?

You might prefer a knife sharpener that makes the most of your skill in angling for the best blade grinding. If you’re someone who does not want to be bothered with the right way of sharpening knives, you’d be better off with a no-brain no-sweat kind of knife sharpener.

Either way, it’s important to know which one you are because it’ll mean either you’d choose freestyle or a guided style.

A freestyle knife sharpener lets you choose the angle of sharpening. Oftentimes, it’s just 15º or 20º bevel. That’s the angle of the blade that meets into a sharp edge. There are knives that have a one-sided bevel and many with two-sided bevel. Whichever one you choose also determines how you should be sharpening your knife and which knife sharpener you’ll need to use.

freestyle knife sharpener

Unless you’re one who is particular about how you use and treat your knife, you’ll be just fine with whichever knife sharpener you’ll be using for whatever angle of bevel of your knife.

Carbide, Ceramic and Diamond Rods

Many pocket knife sharpening tools have three sharpening parts: the tungsten carbide V-slot, the ceramic slot and the diamond rods. Each one is meant for a specific purpose where one can be used after the other.

The tungsten carbide slot is meant for rough sharpening. This type of sharpening really scrapes off fibres of metal from your knife edge in order to bring out another layer of cutting edge. This tends to be rough and wavy, very much unlike how the edge is straight from the factory. You get a new cutting edge but it does rough up the line of your sharp edge.

That’s also the reason for the ceramic slot for smoother edge sharpening. The ceramic slot does some sharpening but in a far milder way. Often, after having gone through the carbide slot, the knife is further refined through the ceramic slot.

And there are the diamond rods. They’re not really made of diamonds. The rods are made from solid stainless steel but covered in diamond abrasive surface coming from very very fine diamond grains applied on the surface through a chemical process. The rod can also be used to sharpen knife blades similar to the way you use the kitchen steel. They are most often used for sharpening toothed serrated edged knives.

Sharpening in the Outdoors

Whichever knife sharpening tool you purchase, always consider your plans for it, your own experience and preferences and how often you plan on using it. Knowing the answers to these questions will determine the right knife sharpener for you.

Here’s a list of the best knife sharpener for backpacking.

Best knife sharpener for backpacking

Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Sharpener

The Smith’s Pocket Pal Sharpener is truly a small gray pocket tool you can take with you outdoors when small and light are premiums. At just 3.5 inches and weighing ounces, it’ll fit in any pocket. A true companion to any pocket knife you bring with you. It comes with a lanyard hole where you can string for adaptable portability.

It’s taper rounded ends make it comfortable to hold in the hand. And just like the multi-functioning pocket knife, the sharpener has three ways of doing its job: carbine blades on a slot, ceramic stones on another slot and a tapered diamond coated rod for serrated knives.

With this type of knife sharpener, you’d want to use it for second or third tier knives

Pros

  • Diamond Coated Rod
  • Very Affordable
  • Slim, Small & Light

Cons

  • Quality May Not Be Consistent
  • Course Carbine Blades Leaves Rough Edge
  • May Rust

>> Check Price on Amazon <<


Lansky BladeMedic

The Lansky BladeMedic is yet another small and light knife sharpener with a black metallic body. No plastic parts. It also has the same combinations of three sharpening materials: the tungsten carbide, the ceramic stone and the diamond tapered rod. It’s sharpening angles are pre-set at 22.5º.

The Lanky BladeMedic has the first responders on the field in mind though it’s often taken on as a tool in the toolbox of casual fishermen and hunters.

Because it’s made of metal throughout, it’s got a solid body and has a little bit of weight. Its construction is supposed to make it more durable but there have been users who complain otherwise. Remember, this is an outdoor knife sharpener with an emphasis on lightness and speed of use.

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Solid, Well Made
  • Textured Surface for Better Grip

Cons

  • Can Be Heavier
  • May Need More Frequent Care
  • Components May Come Off In Time

>> Check Price on Amazon <<


Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker

The Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker has a unique design and uses, even as it fulfils its purpose as a knife sharpener. The system uses two pyramidal rods: one for aggressive sharpening with medium grit alumina ceramic stone rods and the other for medium to fine sharpening with white triangular soft ceramic rods.

The design incorporates Spyderco’s unique system of setting the rods in their respective pre-angled slots on an ABS plastic base/storage case. Sharpening with it involves a simple movement of holding the knife straight out and letting it slide down while allowing the length of the knife blade slide through.

Pros

  • Simple & Easy to Use
  • Small & Light
  • Effective

Cons

  • May Need Periodic Cleaning
  • Picks Up Metal Particles From Sharpened Knives
  • Stones May Be Fragile

>> Check Price on Amazon <<


AccuSharp 001C Knife Sharpener

The AccuSharp 001C Knife Sharpener has a different form factor from the typical knife sharpener pocket knife design. This has an ergonomic handle where your hand fits as a finger guard. A clear notched end is where the business end of knife sharpening happens. Surprisingly, it allows for at least two kinds of sharpening – straight edge and serrated.


The material body of the sharpener allows a no rust, dishwasher safe maintenance cleaning with replacement blades available for future purchases.


Though it may not look it, this knife sharpener seemed to have had the Cook’s Illustrated Magazine and America’s Test Kitchen endorsements.

Pros

  • Easy Use
  • Ergonomic Finger Guard
  • Dishwasher Safe

Cons

  • May Look Cheap
  • May Not Have Consistent Control
  • May Have Difficulty Returning

>> Check Price on Amazon <<


Victorinox Knife Sharpener

The Victorinox Knife Sharpener looks like a pen with a matching red brand name clip to hold it up on your shirt pocket. It’s designed as a companion to the Victorinox pocket knife the brand is popularly known for, communicating the message of portability, easy-fit-anywhere kind of Victorinox tool.

The sharpening material it uses is ceramic with a preset angle of 15º beveling, a detail set specifically for the Swiss Army Knife.

It is lightweight at 1.44 ounces at 5 5/8 inches long or 230 millimetres.

Pros

  • Perfect Pocket Knife Companion
  • Easy to Use & Light Weight
  • Beautiful Form Factor

Cons

  • May Not Sharpen Well
  • Fragile Sharpening Stone
  • Only for Small Knives

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

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