If you are in a hurry and would like to know which knife sharpener was the best for hunting, then I would recommend the Lansky Sharpening Tool.
Nobody likes to work with a dull knife. It is not only frustrating but also dangerous because you need to apply more pressure than necessary to get the work done, and this extra pressure makes it harder to handle the blade at a safe level. If you are an avid hunter or you like to work with hunting knives, then you will know that hunting knives can cut through harder material that your regular kitchen knives.
Here is the problem.
Cutting through harder material makes the knife more prone to dullness. The last thing you need is to cut yourself on the field when you are far from the nearest hospital. You also need to know how to effectively sharpen hunting knives because they are different than other knives.
In the next section, I have given you a tutorial on how to choose the best knife sharpeners for hunting purposes. I have also given you five of the best sharpeners so that you do not need to scour the internet with frustration. Below is a summary of the five knife sharpeners that you will get.
Best Hunting Knife Sharpeners Summary
- #1 Lansky Sharpening Tool (Top Pick)
- #2 Smith’s 50264 (Budget Friendly)
- #3 Work Sharp (Most Efficient)
- #4 Smith’s TRI-HONE
- #5 Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker
Are you ready?
Choosing The Right Knife Sharpener For Hunting Knives?
In this newbie guide, I will explain the different factors that you need to look at before buying a sharpener for your hunting knife. I will cover the best angle to use, the level of sharpening material used and also the experience level required with the products. You will also become more familiar with the most efficient knife sharpening system out there. I have also written an extensive guide on how to sharpen knives.
Choosing the optimum angle
The main difference between a hunting and kitchen knife is what you will be cutting with it (and its appearance off course). With hunting knives, you want to be able to skin a deer, cut through sticks, bone and also other harder material. The biggest mistake that most people make with hunting knives is that the angle of their cutting edge is too small. The best angle for the edge of knives that are cutting through harder material should be between 20° and 25°.
If you go under 20°, the cutting edge will become very thin and will start to bend once you begin to cut through hard material. When the edge of a knife is not straight, it will become dull and will need to be honed. Kitchen knives (knives that cut through softer material) can afford to have an edge of less than 20°. I made extra sure that all of the sharpening tools listed in this review fall between 20° and 25° angles.
The level of sharpening material used
For necessary knife sharpening, you need to be familiar with the types of materials used to sharpen knives and its textures. The most common types of materials used are sharpening stones, rods, tungsten steel and also abrasive belts. It is also essential to be familiar with the texture used in each of these items. The texture will range from coarse to fine and is measured in grit
Below are some of the types and textures most commonly found:
- Coarse: This texture is best used to repair the damaged edge of a blade or to form a new one. This type will remove the most metal from the blade and should also be used sparingly. It should also be used when there is a chip in the edge.
- Medium: The medium texture is used to refine the edge further to make it sharp. This texture level is used when there is already an edge on the blade. You can make a knife very sharp with this texture alone. This level will not shave as much steel like that of the coarse level.
- Fine: Once the edge of the blade is formed and already sharp, what is stopping you from making it even sharper? The finer the grit, the less material will be taken away from the blade, but it will also make it sharper on a microscopic level.
For hunting purposes, you need a sharpener that has at least the medium and fine level to sharpen your blades.
The experience level required
Not all of us are experienced, and professional knife sharpeners like you so there had to include knife sharpening tools that almost anyone can use. The most important skill that you need to have or need to develop is to maintain a constant edge while sharpening the knife. If you can keep a constant edge even if the angle is not 100% correct, you will still manage to make your blade sharp.
All of the sharpening tools listed in this review must have some guide to accomplish this essential and crucial must-have skill. By far the easiest tool to use is going to be the Smith’s 50264 as you only need to slide the knife through the sharpening slot to make it sharp again.
If you are more experienced and old fashioned, you can go for Smith’s TRI-HONE which makes use of sharpening stones. You will also get a guide to help you maintain an angle.
The best sharpening tool for the high-frequency sharpener
Some of us only hunt once per year which means we only need to sharpen our knives once a year as well. The same cannot be said for hunters or sharpeners that needs or wants to sharpen their knives several times per year. Some might even sharpen other people’s knives as well. If you fall into this category, you need a very efficient sharpening system.
If you are living in the 21st century, why should you use stone age methods to sharpen your blades? The most efficient knife sharpening system is this one from Work Sharp. It makes use of abrasive belts that are being driven by a motor. No need to tirelessly scrape your knife across a stone to get it sharp again.
#1 Lansky Sharpening Tool (Top Pick)
Best for: This product is best for those that want both a versatile and complete sharpening system that is easy to use.
- Editors Rating: 10/10
- Price Range: $$
- Type: Coarse, Medium, Fine and Serrated
This sharpening system from Lansky is my top recommended product because of how easy it is to use and to maintain a constant edge. It makes use of a clamp that will attach itself to the spine of the knife. This sharpening system can also be called a controlled angle sharpening system. You will also find four different sharpening hones where one of them can be used for sharpening serrated edges while the other three hones are coarse, medium and fine in texture.
For each stone or honing rod, you will find a guiding rod as well. The guiding rod is used along with the clamp to maintain a consistent edge. On both sides of the clamp, you will have four holes where each one represents a different angle (17 °, 20°, 25°, and 30°). The best angle to use for hunting knives is the 25° angle. You will also get honing oil along with the kit which is used to clean the stoned when they are clogged up with steel filings. You always want to start with the coarse honing rod and work your way up to the finer one.
#2 Smith’s 50264 (Budget Friendly)
Best for: The Smith’s 50264 sharpening tool is best for those that want an easy to use tool at a very low cost.
- Editors Rating: 8/10
- Price Range: $
- Type: Coarse, Fine and Serrated
This tool from Smith’s is far the easiest tool to use when it comes to knife sharpening. You do not need any skillset to sharpen your knives with this tool. If you can pull a knife through sharpening slots, then this product is for you. This product has three sharpening slots which come in coarse, fine and also used for serrated edges. The coarse slot is used when the blade’s edge is damaged, and you need to create a new one. The fine slot is used to make the edge deadly sharp.
There is also an adjustment knob which is used to adjust the angle of the slots to fit your knife’s current angle. The knob can change the angle from 14° up to 25°. The best angle for hunting knives is 25°. There are many products on the market that have these sharpening slots, and only this product enables you to change the angle. It also has a legend on the side which will inform you on the best angle for the type of knife you wish to sharpen. This product is also very safe to use. It has a soft rubber grip handle and non-slip rubber feet which prevents it from slipping.
#3 Work Sharp (Most Efficient)
Best for: If you are after efficiency and sharpen a lot of hunting knives, then this product is for you.
- Editors Rating: 9/10
- Price Range: $$$
- Type: Coarse, Medium and Fine
Do you want to know how professional knife sharpeners sharpen their client’s knives? They do it with the help of belt grinders and sanders. Do you need to buy such a setup? No, but there is nothing wrong with getting your hands on the mini version. This tool from Work Sharp makes use of belts that runs with the help of a motor that runs on 110 volts. It comes with three types of abrasive belts such as coarse P80, medium P220 and fine 6000.
It is always best to start with the coarse belt to form a new edge and then move onto the medium and fine to sharpen the blade. This sharpener also has a 20° and 25° angle guide which is perfect for hunting knives. This guide will ensure that the edge of your blade is constant and sharpened evenly. This tool is also not limited to hunting knives but can sharpen scissors, axes, mowing blades and even other tools that need sharpening. It can also sharpen blades which have serrated edges.
#4 Smith’s TRI-HONE
Best for: This product is ideal for knife sharpeners that are old fashioned in using sharpening stones.
- Editors Rating: 8/10
- Price Range: $$
- Type: Coarse, Medium and Fine
Using sharpening stones is cut out for professional knife sharpeners. This product makes it easier for intermediate and newbies to use. This product makes use of three stones that are mounted on a rotating triangle that can be placed on a molded plastic base with rubber feet. The three stones represent the coarse synthetic stone (400 grit), the medium Arkansas stone (600 grit) and also the fine Arkansas stone (1200 grit). The stones will be named and even color coded to help you identify them quickly.
Along with the stone setup, you will get a honing solution which will help to keep them clean. You will also get an angle guide which will make this process a lot easier at maintaining a constant angle. There is also a “V” trough in the middle of the plastic base which will catch the dripping honing solution. To use this product at its full potential, you need to start with the coarse stones and work your way up to the finer ones.
#5 Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker
Best for: This product is best for knife sharpeners that yearn after a simple sharpening system that will maintain a constant edge.
- Editors Rating: 7.5/10
- Price Range: $$$
- Type: Medium and Fine
If you can hold your knife straight at a 90° angle, then you can easily make use of this sharpening system. This kit comes with two sets of high alumina ceramic stones which include two medium grit stones and two fine grit stones. The plastic base of this product has keyed holes in which the sharpening rods should be placed in. When the knife is placed at a 90° angle or straight down, you will sharpen the knife at a 15° or 20°. For hunting knives, I would recommend any angle from 20° up to 25°.
You can also sharpen a blade that has a serrated edge. It also comes with brass safety rods which will help keep the blade away from your hands while sharpening. This product can be assembled quickly and be stored inside the lid for secure storage.
Knife Sharpener Comparison Table
|Product Name||Level||Price Range||Editors Rating|
|1. Lansky Sharpening Tool (Top Pick)||Coarse, Medium, Fine and Serrated||$$||10/10|
|2. Smith’s 50264 (Budget Friendly)||Coarse, Fine and Serrated||$||8/10|
|3. Work Sharp (Most Efficient)||Coarse, Medium and Fine||$$$||9/10|
|4. Smith’s TRI-HONE||Coarse, Medium and Fine||$$||8/10|
|5. Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker||Medium and Fine||$$$||7.5/10|
Today, I have covered 5 of the best sharpeners for hunting knives so that you never need to struggle with a dull knife. Above, you will see a small comparison table, and I have also written a buying guide at the beginning of the article.
Which knife sharpener was your favorite?
Leave a comment below and share with us your choice.