We have recently begun a ‘Loadout Room Approved‘ series of articles where we recommend specific gear for you to purchase and use. We test and evaluate quite a bit of gear, clothing, firearms and firearms accessories. Our goal with this series is to sift through all those articles and give to you what we actually use and recommend. Our past two articles covered EDC Bags and EDC Knives. In this installment we are going to cover Knife Sharpeners. Many of you own, carry and use knives on a daily basis. Keeping your knife maintained and sharp is critical.
The Lansky Sharpening Paddle is one of the most efficient sharpening paddles on the market. Efficient is both its effectiveness and its size. It’s a folding device that functions a lot like a Balisong. It folds into its handles for easy carry and storage. The folding nature also protects the sharpening paddle from being damaged or chipped when carried. It’s a dual side device that packs in a coarse and fine side for easy sharpening. It’s nice and easy to carry via bag, belt pouch, or even on a plate carrier. It fits an SMG pouch too!
I really like the DMT Dia- Sharp Credit Card diamond sharpener. It fits nicely in your wallet or any other place that you would put credit card sized objects into. When you’re on the road or out on patrol and board, pull this handy tool to sharpen your blades. It comes in three different colors that easily identify the grit needed; course, fine, and extra-fine for this model. DMT describes the surface of this whetstone as continuous diamond, which; Made with the same consistently sized preferred Monocrystalline diamond as our ‘polka-dot’ interrupted surface products but performs with slightly less aggressiveness. Well suited for small contact areas and pointed tools as well as sharpening, honing and deburring. If you have been using a traditional whetstone some of which weigh a few pounds this credit card sized sharpener will meet all your requirements while keeping the minimalist ideals well intact. The thickness (1 mm) of this whetstone is also great for sharpening those serrated grooves.
The Lansky Sharpening Puck was chosen because of its versatility. It can be used to sharpen both knives and axes equally well. There are other tools that many SERE Specialist use in my career field to specifically sharpen knives (diamond sharpening stones) however they lack the versatility of the sharpening puck. When using the puck to sharpen a knife you start with it in your hand using the “barstool technique” whereby your fingers are all below the edge of the puck to ensure that you do not slice your finger tips off while sharpening your knife.
If you’re looking for something portable, yet able to be more of a ‘work bench’ type system when at home then take a look at the Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker. I own a few different knife sharpening systems. I’ve found that the one easiest to set up and use for the average person is the Spyderco Sharpmaker. This system has been around since the 1990s and hasn’t changed much. Hey, don’t fix it if it isn’t broke, right? One of the key benefits of the Spyderco Sharpmaker is that the sharpening stones are preset to a 40 degree angle, which is common on most knives. The Spyderco Sharpmaker breaks down into a self-contained package, making it ideal for taking out into the field or to camp.
Looking for something unique? Check this out! Many warriors of the past used different forms of fixed blades or axes. They also learned how to maintain their weapons on the battlefield. One of those groups was the Vikings. I recently stumbled upon a new sharpening stone. This one is unique in that it is a replica Viking Whetstone Pendant. Available from Wazoo Survival Gear for only $24, I had to check one out.
We hope this article helps you out with regards to purchasing a knife sharpener for your needs. If you already own and use a sharpening system that you would recommend we’d like to hear about it in the comments.