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Reviews > Knives > Sharpeners > WORK SHARP Pocket Knife Sharpener > Owner Review by David Wilkes

Test series by David Wilkes



Dec 4, 2021

Tester Information

Name: David Wilkes
Age: 56
Location: Yakima Washington USA
Gender: M
Height: 5'11" (1.80 m)
Weight: 203 lb (92 kg)


I started backpacking in 1995 when I moved to Washington State. Since then, I have backpacked in all seasons and conditions. I am currently getting into condition to summit some of the higher peaks in Washington, Oregon, and California. I normally use a tarp/tent or hammock for shelter. My current base weight is around 17 lb (8 kg), not including consumables.

Product Information

Manufacturer: WORK SHARP
Year of Pruchase: 2017
Manufacturer’s Website:
MSRP: $14.95 US
Dimensions:Measured (not listed) 5.5" X 1.75" (14cm X 4.5cm)
Measured (not listed): 1.6 oz (46 g)

Product Image

Product Description:

The WORK SHARP POCKET KNIFE SHARPENER is a compact portable sharpening system consisting of two sharpening surfaces, one 320 grit diamond plate with 20deg sharpening guides and one fine ceramic rod with 25deg sharpening guides. It is intended to allow the user to quickly sharpen or hone the edge of a blade while on the go.


  • Since obtaining this sharpener I have used it to sharpen multiple knives ranging from cheap blades I keep in my shop or around the house, to some of my higher end tools such as my Benchmade and HELLE of Norway knives. I have also used this to sharpen some of my garden and bonsai tools. It has been used on blades consisting entirely of stainless steel, to high carbon, as well as laminated steel.
  • While I have taken this on a few backpacking trips, I rarely find the need to sharpen my knives during a trip so this is mostly used around the house, my yard, shop and to put an edge on my knife before/after a trip.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I obtained this sharpener as a free giveaway item at a trade show.

A dull blade is a pet peeve of mine. From my first job working in restaurants I learned that there are a myriad of reasons most knives absolutely should be kept sharp from safety to ensuring they are up to the tasks they need to perform. As such I have used and owned many sharpening systems over the years. So when I received this one I did not have very high expectations. However I was soon to learn to not trust first impressions and that sometimes the simplest solutions are best.

I would mention here that I have seen miss or overuse of diamond sharpeners quickly destroy knives and/or greatly shorten their usable life so I tend to be skeptical of them. However I have found it to be an asset to this handy little device. When I want to quickly put or restore an edge on a tool, a diamond plate can be exactly the right surface to use. Aggressive enough to remove lots of material but still fine enough grit that it does not require additional work to clean up prior to honing. The ceramic rod is excellent for finishing a blade after sharpening with the diamond side, or just refreshing an edge.

If there is one downside to this, it would be that its small size makes safely holding it while sharpening a bit of a challenge. I have tried holding it a few different ways but when I am working with a really sharp knife I have yet to find a hold that does not leave me open to possibly nicking my fingers, or the blade contacting the surface I have it resting on. But I would note that this small negative is more than compensated for by its ability to put a quick edge on my tools as well as being small enough to carry just about anywhere. I would also note this allows me to maneuver the sharpener in ways that may be difficult if not impossible for some other larger sharpers which adds to its versatility.


Opportunities for improvement

Lightweight, compact, easy to use, quickly puts an edge on even a very dull tool, hones to a very sharp edge, integrated angle guides.

Hard to hold in a way that does not expose my finger to getting nicked.


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Reviews > Knives > Sharpeners > WORK SHARP Pocket Knife Sharpener > Owner Review by David Wilkes

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