Throw Smith’s Pocket Pal X2 Sharpener and Survival Tool in your backpack and 72 hour kit, and you’ll have a knife sharpener, fire starter, whistle, and even a small flashlight handy when you need them most.
The Pocket Pal X2 has all those features in one small and inexpensive ($14.99 MSRP) package. If you need to touch up a blade in the field or at home, the dual sharpeners include a 40 degree coarse carbide slot, and 45 degree fine ceramic slot. While I prefer a good old stone to sharpen my knives, this makes it easy for anyone to get a decent edge on most knives. For your serrated knives, there is a fold out 400 grit diamond rod, with a nice taper. I had never used one of these before, but got good results the first time out. Tucked inside is a rod for starting fires. You could draw it across the carbide blades, or use the back of that knife blade you just sharpened. Either way, you’ll get some nice hot sparks. Next to it is a whistle that was loud enough to work as a signal, but not super loud. Like the small LED light built in, I consider it a small bonus. Better than nothing, but they should both be backups to bigger lights and louder whistles. Which brings me to the compass. I did not find it reliable enough that I would use it in anything but the most dire straights, and even then, I would give it a few shakes, and maybe take best two out of three.
For $15, I did not expect a whole lot. But after going through all the pocket knives I was able to dig up around my office, night stand, desk, and workshop, I have to admit that it makes quick work of taking your blade from dull to sharp. With no special training, my wife and daughter were able to get a sharp edge as well, which is another selling point for me. And it gave new life to serrated edges I have never sharpened. A quick test of the firestarter confirmed that it can do the job in a pinch. The Smith’s website has a wealth of information about sharpeners and sharpening, which I found educational too. Overall, this inexpensive tool packs a lot of value into a small package. I would not hesitate to buy a few more and stash one in my car, one in my 72 hour kit, and one each in our backpacks. Find it, and the rest of their products, on their website – smithsproducts.com