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Old 01-08-2010, 01:28 PM   #1
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Default Thoughts on the Lansky Knife Sharpener

I am waiting for my Cold Steel Spartan to arrive in the mail and am wondering what the best way to get or keep a good edge on knives are. I doubt that I will be able to always get the angle right by hand sharpening and don't want to have to send them to be professionally sharpened. Is the Lansky System a good buy or are there better options?

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Old 01-08-2010, 02:05 PM   #2
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I was asking this same question at the local hunting place last night. The veteran and knife buff their said he likes the Spyderco sharpening system. He carries Cold Steel but sharpens with the Spyderco.

Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker

He came across as a guy who knew his blades.

Got my eye on a Cold Steel Recon next.

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Old 01-08-2010, 03:19 PM   #3
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Calling FranciscoMV!!

Need to consult the local blade expert for this one brother.

I have the Lansky, and I have the Cold Steel. I do not think the Lansky will work well on the recessed curve of the Spartan, but I have not tried it.

I can give it a whirl this weekend if I remember and see how it does.

JD

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Old 01-08-2010, 04:21 PM   #4
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I'm not a big fan of any of those fixed angle sharpening systems. The Lansky gives you a few options, I think it has 4 different angles, it will work like a charm if the manufacturer happened to use one of those angles, otherwise you'll need to grind off quite a bit of metal to reprofile the edge to one of the Lansky angles.

Another shortcoming the Lansky suffers is that it works well with medium sizes blades with somewhat traditional profiles. A recurve blade, like the one on the Spartan, might not be that easy to work on with the Lansky.

I own a Lansky sharpener, I own (or have owned) one of almost any sharpening system out there, and I don't use it anymore. The only times I get it out is when I've got a blade that needs some serious grinding, not sharpening, something that just needs a new edge bevel.

There's nothing as good as freehand sharpening. Once you learn that, you won't need any gimmicks to get your knives sharp, and you can invest all your money in quality stones and more knives. It can be a frustrating learning process, but it's worth it. Especially if you use your knives outdoors, I know I wouldn't want to haul around a Lansky in my backpack.

Practice on some cheap kitchen knives until you get better, try some Spyderco ceramic stones, they rock. You can get them in different shapes, which makes sharpening serrations, recurves, hawkbills, etc. really easy. I like them better than diamond sharpeners because they come in finer grits and leave a nicer finish, I prefer my edges mirror polished. But DMT diamond hones and stones are a good choice, too (the coarse and extra coarse ones are great for seriously damaged edges, or tools that need reprofiling). There are better, more expensive, options than the Spyderco and DMT sharpeners, but they are really good, will last you a few lifetimes, and won't break the bank.

If you must have a sharpening jig of some sort, check out the Edge Pro system. It's not limitted to a handfull of angles, the stones are excellent, the company's customer service is fantastic as well. You can see it here: Edge Pro, Inc. It probably is the best sharpening system out there. You'll notice it's quite a bit pricier than the Lansky, but it's just that much better.

Spyderco's Triangle Sharpmaker is also good, the stones it comes with are rather nice, it has a fixed angle, but it isn't hard to make it work with just about any knife. Comes with a decent instruction DVD, too.

I don't mean to say that the Lansky is a bad product, it just has some serious limitations. It fits most common knives, but if you happen to own a knife that's smaller or bigger than average or has a less than orthodox blade shape (try sharpening a Spyderco Cricket on one of this things! or a 18" khukuri!) it can be a pain in the butt to get it to work. The same goes for the edge angles.

If you learn to sharpen your knives freehand, you won't suffer any of those limitations. Remember: the more you know, the less gadgets you need!

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Old 01-08-2010, 05:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franciscomv
There's nothing as good as freehand sharpening. Once you learn that, you won't need any gimmicks to get your knives sharp, and you can invest all your money in quality stones and more knives. It can be a frustrating learning process, but it's worth it. Especially if you use your knives outdoors, I know I wouldn't want to haul around a Lansky in my backpack.

Practice on some cheap kitchen knives until you get better, try some Spyderco ceramic stones, they rock. You can get them in different shapes, which makes sharpening serrations, recurves, hawkbills, etc. really easy. I like them better than diamond sharpeners because they come in finer grits and leave a nicer finish, I prefer my edges mirror polished. But DMT diamond hones and stones are a good choice, too (the coarse and extra coarse ones are great for seriously damaged edges, or tools that need reprofiling). There are better, more expensive, options than the Spyderco and DMT sharpeners, but they are really good, will last you a few lifetimes, and won't break the bank.

If you learn to sharpen your knives freehand, you won't suffer any of those limitations. Remember: the more you know, the less gadgets you need!



THANK YOU Francis!! I thought I was alone! Freehand sharpening is the only way to go on my knives and you really get to know each ones personalities and curves from the effort and intimate time you spend with each.

I love my knives and they get my very best personal concentrated sharpening time and attention, and in return, they perform to their sharpest ability and function very well for me everytime.

Jack
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:02 PM   #6
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Not what I wanted to hear as I don't know that I will ever be able to devote enough time to learning to sharpen by hand properly. I may have to try one of these systems and see how it works.

JD - I would definitely be curious to see if you can make it work on your Spartan.

As always, the best people with the best information is right here. Thanks.

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Old 01-08-2010, 08:34 PM   #7
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Got GOOGLE?

I free sharpen as well I have a 2 sided stone but I don't think I have ever used the corse side. I would get a few cheap knives from ebay and work on them first so if you screw them up you have only screwed up $5. I started young and man I messed up a few knives so bad it took a lot to get them sharp in the end. If you have to have one that sets the angles for you get the Edge Pro Apex system. I am thinking of buying 2 one for me and one for my dad.

How to Sharpen a knife

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Old 01-08-2010, 08:46 PM   #8
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LOL - Thanks Tango. That right there was funny.

I will probably pick up the edge first and then try freehand with cheap stuff as suggested.

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Old 01-08-2010, 08:46 PM   #9
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I use a Smiths sharpener. It works well on smooth & serrated blades. It even sharpens my Cold Steel Black Talon. If you need razor sharp... get a Smiths.

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Old 01-08-2010, 11:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroxAZ View Post
Not what I wanted to hear as I don't know that I will ever be able to devote enough time to learning to sharpen by hand properly. I may have to try one of these systems and see how it works.

JD - I would definitely be curious to see if you can make it work on your Spartan.

As always, the best people with the best information is right here. Thanks.
NitroxAZ, get a Lansky and try it out. It might work well on your knives. I own a lot of convex ground knives and other types on which the Lansky is not very effective, but that doesn't mean that it won't work for you. I still think that it's a limited tool, but what isn't?

With that said, learning freehand sharpening is not hard. It takes a bit of practice, but after a while it just becomes second nature. You can start with almost no investment, I'm sure you've got some kitchen knives lying around and you can get a cheap stone.
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