Ask the Gear Guy

Sharpening a knife without a whetstone


Q. Hey Gear Guy, which devices (other than a traditional whetstone) can I use to sharpen my knife? How well do they work?
– Dull Tyler, Libertyville, Ill.

A. There are many types of sharpeners. To help you wade through it all, I contacted a friend at Gerber Legendary Blades. They make some of the best knives and know more than a little about sharpening blades. Here are the tree main types of sharpeners:

Diamond-coated rod sharpeners (work with fine or serrated blades). This one is most similar to a whetstone.

Pros: lower cost.

Cons: takes more time, tough to maintain the correct angle while sharpening.

Ceramic pocket sharpeners (work only with fine-edge blades).

Pros: lightweight, easy to carry, low cost, quick and easy to use

Cons: will create just an average edge and cannot sharpen serrated blades

Diamond fingers sharpeners (work with fine or serrated blades).

Pros: quick, easy to use, can sharpen a variety of angles and create sharper edge

Cons: more expensive

Comments about “Sharpening a knife without a whetstone”

  1. Eman5000 says:

    Get the smiths pp1 pocket pal

  2. someotherguy says:

    Some knives, if they are old, will not get sharpened. If you have one like that, ask your scoutmaster or a person who knows about knives if they can sharpen your knife for you. If they can’t, or if they do and it’s still dull, then it is time to get a new knife.

  3. Denner 1 says:

    One other thing you might be able to use would be a file you would use to sharpen
    an axe, I wouldn’t recomend it though. The wetstone probably be the best choise, if
    you are going to bring one when you are going on a trip, like canoeing in the boundry waters, you should find a smaller sized wetstone that will much more easily fit imto your
    pocket. There ate a sot of ways to sharpen your knife. The wetstone would be the best.

  4. Raptor says:

    We just purchased an Ozitech Furi Diamond Fingers Sharpener. Really neat device. Folds up. Worth the price. Easy to use. Thanks Gear Guy!

  5. Knife Xpert 157 (aka Chad 101) says:

    Smith’s Edge Pro is only $15 and has Ceramic for the fine stone and carbide for the coarse and it can sharpen serrated edges with the Ceramic

  6. Nayr Relleum says:

    You can flip over a ceramic coffee mug and sharpen your knife on the circular ring of exposed ceramic, it works great but it will take a little longer to sharpen your knife. Also if you roll down a car window or any kind of glass (be carefull) you can sharpen you knife on the edge of the glass.

  7. Curious says:

    Is there any specific model? A quick Google shows dozens of types for all three, and I have no idea which are good or bad. Any help?

  8. knifey says:

    Sandpaper works just fine. Lower grit to just do a basic sharpening, higher grit to make that blade sharp.

    • Knife Xpert 157 (aka Chad 101) says:

      ARE YOU CRAZY! sandpaper is a bad choice! sandpaper is basically a sheet of paper with a ton of small rocks glued to it . And rocks my friend, are a knives worst enemy.

      • Old Jake says:

        Sandpaper covers a lot of stuff. I use the same crocus cloth and emery paper I would use to polish a piece of metal. You can glue a few pieces to wood and pack them along. PLUS what do you think a whetstone is if NOT stone? I have sharpened a knife with a picked up piece of sandstone. Works.

  9. Sly Fox says:

    Try a small diamond steel, low cost and work great. You can even get a pen size steel that will fit in your shirt pocket. Mine also has a groove in it to sharpen fish hooks. Cost about $10.00.

  10. mikey says:

    i have a ceramic sharpener,but i prefer a file!

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