Thoughts on the Lansky Knife Sharpener

Discussion in 'Other Weapons' started by NitroxAZ, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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    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?
     
  2. Jo da Plumbr

    Jo da Plumbr New Member

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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.
     

  3. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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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
     
  4. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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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!
     
  5. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Franciscomv [​IMG]
    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. :D

    Jack
     
  6. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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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.
     
  7. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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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
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  8. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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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.
     
  9. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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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.
     
  10. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    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.
     
  11. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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    I probably will get the Lansky or Edge to try but on your advice I will try freehand too. If I get a Lansky, which model do you suggest? Which Spyderco stones would you recommend? Should I get an assortment?
     
  12. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    From the Lansky models, I'd get the standard one, and perhaps add a coarse diamond stone for quick reprofiling.

    The basic stone set up would be coarse, medium, fine. For a coarse stone, I'd go with a diamond one from DMT, or even Lansky has some nice diamond benchstones. You won't use it much, and diamonds will do a quick job. For medium and fine, I'd go with Spyderco ceramic stones. Spyderco's Profile set is nice, as it allows you to sharpen several types of edges (plain, serrated, recurve, etc.) and they aren't expensive.

    Later on you can add one of Spyderco's Extra Fine ceramic stones, the finish you get is amazing, really nice polish.

    A tool you'll use a lot is a simple leather strop, charged with buffing compound. It's cheap and it's tremendously effective. It's almost all I use for daily edge maintenance.
     
  13. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Forget the Lansky!! I just tried it and it does not work with the very steep angle of the Spartan.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Okay, JD is always talking shi'ite about he has this trick item, or he has that one, but we never get to see it. We have to take his word for it. I bet he doesn't even own those Nighthawks. :cool:;)

    So, as you can see, I taped off the ends of my Lansky with black athletic tape to give a better purchase on knife blades. The Lansky is aluminum and I like the grip the athletic tape gives better than metal on metal.

    Now, the Lansky has like 4 settings, but the "steepest" is 30 degrees. 30 Degrees is NOT enough to sharpen the Spartan.

    As you can see, a little trick I learned directly from Benji Dale with Apex Sharpening Systems, is to drag a black Sharpie marker along the blade that you want to sharpen. This tells you if you are getting the full purchase on the area that you want to sharpen.

    I chose a pretty aggressive medium coarse sharpening stone, so you could see the effects.

    Bottom line: The angle is not steep enough to get full purchase on the angle of the factory bevel.

    Hopefully you can see that all of the black Sharpie is not removed after about 3 minutes of "sharpening".

    This one lone picture is the best of about 6 that I took and it's not that great.
     

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  15. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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    Thanks for the advice Franciscomv and for the trial JD. I may just stick to stones and just make the time. Just so damn little time to go around these days.
     
  16. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Now, I have been a fixed blade knife fan for about a dozen years. I don't know HALF of what Francisco has forgotten, nor have I ever had the patience to learn to flat, free hand sharpen correctly.

    As such, I have tried just about everything out there. Razor's Edge, where the guy shaves his beard with an splitting axe?? Yeah. EFF THAT "SYSTEM"!! What a piece of crap that is.

    I tried a couple of other cheaper versions too. Neither stayed in the collection. :rolleyes:

    So, in my search for the best sharpener available, I stumbled across Benji Dale in little old Oregon and he showed me, personally, in his shop, the beautiful work that can be done with the APEX portable system.

    Here are some pictures of the Spartan versus The Apex. Yes, the APEX was able to catch the angle and it was able to sharpen the whole belly, down into the recurve right at the fold point. The flat stone of the APEX can't make the curve, but I can easily make it with the round, ceramic that came with the kit.

    I hope you can see, that after about 15 passes with the APEX, most of the black is gone on the edge of the blade, and that is without getting the APEX set up like I normally would. I was rushed because Fight Night is on, but I knew I could hit the angle quickly with it, so I went for it.

    So, I would have ZERO problem recommending the APEX to sharpen this knife.
     

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  17. Scare_Rab

    Scare_Rab New Member

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    I'm happy with my Lansky

    I was always a 'free-hand'. To be honest I think I liked the "Snob value"

    Then my son put me onto Lansky. he works as a Supervisor in a meat works. Getting good staff is a killer. Trying to get teach them *HOW* to keep their knive's sharp bent his head.
    Then he got Lansky and the morons have sharp knivefs
     
  18. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    Edge Pro makes the best sharpening systems on the market today. As I've said before, I don't like to depend on these sort of gadget, but the Edge Pro is a good one that doesn't have the same limitations other similar sharpening systems have. It's quite a bit more expensive than a Lansky or Sharpmaker, but well worth it, IMHO.

    Thanks for the pics, JD. They are very useful!

    PS: I told you that the Lansky's usefulness was limited to certain blade designs... :)
     
  19. lukeisme

    lukeisme New Member

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    I use the Lanskey system and I love it. I maintain my Buck Knives and Outdoor Edge equipment with it. I was never really good at freehand shapening myself seemed like I spent more time fixing my mistakes then actually getting an edge that way. I have been told by guys that you can't get a razor edge on a knife with Lanskey but I can take out my Buck folder and shave away with it. The only draw back I have run into with it is if the knife blade is over about 10" it hard to sharpen. Hope this helps...
     
  20. superc

    superc Member

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    If you don't know free hand sharpening, I would pick up one of the Gerber folding pocket hones (springs coated with 500 diamond grit, designed to produce a 30 degree hone). They are pretty fast and I have used them on everything from old swords and ax heads to steak knives. Yes, I can free hand (and have for 45 years) sharpen to scalpel level with the best, but for long swords, machetes, and blades with curves, I am finding the Gerber sharpener hard to beat for producing a decent edge very quickly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010