Why do you need the best tactical knife sharpener? A tactical knife has to be sharp for it to function at its best. However, it is difficult to sharpen a tactical knife or any knife for that matter, without the right type of sharpening tool. Many of the high-quality tactical knives available in the market are made of stainless steel, a tough material that is hard to hone.
Compared to other materials though, once a stainless steel knife is properly sharpened, it retains its sharp edge for quite some time, even with continuous use. If you’re looking for the best type of sharpener for your knives, go for the one with a rough surface, preferably one that has diamonds on the surface, with the sharpener’s end made of ceramic abrasive or hard stone. This is because these two materials are tougher than steel and will easily sharpen the knife. A stone sharpener is another ideal material to use, although it will require more effort as its hardness is only a bit higher than steel.
Even the best tactical knives, which at times can double as a practical utility knife can become dull and display signs of wear. For a good knife sharpener, what you have to look for is its suitability to the material that it must sharpen. It should be durable, easy to handle and use and made of a material that is stronger and tougher than the material of the knives to be sharpened.
Here is a general comparison table of five of the top tactical knife sharpeners available.
Summary: Top 5 Sharpeners for Tactical Knives
|Spyderco Sharpmaker||Ultra-fine ceramic||4.7/5.0|
|Whetstone Cutlery Two-Sided Stone||Japanese stones||4.4/5.0|
|Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener||Carbide & ceramic||4.4/5.0|
|Presto 08810||Electric, 3-stage||4.4/5.0|
|Lansky Deluxe 5 Stone Sharpening System||Extra-fine ceramic hones||4.3/5.0|
Reviews of 5 Top Sharpeners for Tactical Knives
It is important when sharpening a knife that the right angle between the blade and the abrasive surface remains consistent. Spyderco Sharpmaker removes this requirement by providing a tool that keeps the angle constant and accurate. It’s easy to use and a bit of practice will turn a newbie into an experienced knife sharpener.
Spyderco comes in a neat ABS plastic storage box. It contains two pairs of high alumina ceramic sharpeners that are triangular in shape with a furrow in one of its flat sides. The brown rods are of medium grit for stronger sharpening, while the pair of white ceramic rods are for finer honing as well as to provide a high-level finish. There’s also a pair of brass safety rods to protect the hands while using the tool.
The set comes with a DVD instructional video and an instruction book with full details on how to use the Spyderco Sharpener. This no-oil system is great for sharpening hard steel such as 530V, VG-10, 154CM and D2. It can sharpen straight edged knives and serrated knives, while its furrow can be used to sharpen pointed things such as awls, darts, and fish hooks.
For tactical knife users who want to do things manually, nothing’s better than using a whetstone. A whetstone normally comes with two different types of abrasive surfaces, one coarse and one fine for sharpening and finishing. It can be made of mined natural stones, which are getting rarer or using modern synthetic ones. The synthetic ones are often made of bonded abrasives such as carborundum (silicon carbide) and corundum (aluminum oxide). Their sharpening properties mimic the properties of natural whetstones.
Whetstones have different properties depending on the material. There are whetstones that need oil (mineral oil) before use. These usually only has one grit. Water whetstones need to be soaked in water before they can be used. They are made with softer natural stone or synthetic materials that will wear out in time. This type comes with coarse and fine grits on each side. More expensive is the ceramic whetstone, which has a much harder surface, in two grits and steel that’s coated with diamond bits. The size and number of diamond bits determine the coarseness or fineness of its abrasive surface.
The PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener by Smith’s is a high-end sharpener, with replaceable preset ceramic stone and carbide sharpener blades for optimum sharpness. It’s a very portable sharpener that can easily slip into a pocket or small utility bag.
It contains a tapered round diamond-coated rod for sharpening serrated and standard edges. The carbides blades quickly set the blade edge and the ceramic stone gives an edge that’s sharp as a razor. Its carbide and ceramic stones can be replaced and reversed to allow for extended sharpening. Smith PP sharpener has a lanyard hole for carrying thus making it easily portable. It comes with preset sharpening angles that provide guaranteed results.
The multifunctional pocket sharpener from Smith’s is capable of sharpening knives with straight or serrated edges. The sharpening rod is rounded and tapered as well as coated with diamond. It also comes with a lanyard so it can be conveniently slung around the neck. The ceramic and carbide sharpeners are replaceable and reversible. The sharpening angles are preset so it removes guesswork while making sharpening a knife almost effortlessly.
The Presto 08810 is a professional grade knife sharpener that runs on electricity. It makes knife sharpening faster. As it sharpens knives automatically, it is great for people who do not have any experience or the time to sharpen knives. It boasts of ease of use and durability.
The electricity-powered Presto 08810 is an affordable knife sharpening tool, but it is also of high quality. Its sharpening system covers three stages and very suitable for sharpening tactical knives, sports knives as well as kitchen knives. It runs on 120 volts of electricity.
Lansky Deluxe 5 Stone Sharpening System boasts of being a convenient, easy and safe sharpening tool. It has its own carrying case and very handy for sharpening knives for gardening, hobbies, outdoor use and the kitchen. The color-coded sharpeners remove the guesswork on which one to use for the specific knife to sharpen.
Life is easier when the tool you use has convenient features. The Lansky Deluxe 5 Stone Sharpening System includes ceramic for extra fine honing, alumina oxide for finer honing, as well as medium, coarse and extra coarse hones for very dull knives. It also features controlled angles – 17 degrees to 20, 25 and 30 degrees for different types of sharpness needed to cut various objects. The safety holders are color coded for quick identification and have finger grooves. The kit comes with a special honing oil, knife clamp with precision engineering and its own molded case. Lansky also provides an instruction manual in different languages.
The ultimate choice for the best sharpener for a tactical knife depends on you. If you are practically a DIY-er and have the skill to hone knives by hand, then enjoy the pleasure of slowly sharpening your knife using a whetstone. If you are pressed for time or does not have the skill, there’s an electric sharpener. If you can follow instructions easily, you can choose the sharpener that is easy to use, has safety features to protect your hands and a variety of abrasive surfaces and preset angles to make knife sharpening faster and easier.
Choose the sharpener that you think you’ll be comfortable in using. It can be a combination of one or two sharpeners. One that can easily fit into your utility box or even your pocket can be a blessing when you’re outdoors and left your other sharpening tools behind. Make sure you clean and oil your knives before sharpening and they will last you a lifetime.