I need a Good sharpener!!!!

Jun 24, 1999
Despite all the knives I own the one thing I lack is a good sharpener. Most of my knives are fixed blades 12in. and up. When the blades are really dull I can touch it up with a grinder but I can not put a razor edge on them. I see alot of sharpeners out there but don't know the real differences. I would appreciate some advice Thanks.
I have a Lansky basic system, with the three stones of different grit. I also have gotten a stand, better honing oil, and ceramic serration rods (both medium and fine grit) to accommodate any type of sharpening situation. I don't own ANY fixed blades, but I would think that any blade would be able to achieve a factory (if not better) edge with a basic system. You can always buy the more expensive systems out there, but for me it was easier to buy what I needed at the time, and get more pieces as time went on, and my needs changed. I have heard great things about the Spyderco Sharpmaker, I believe I saw one in a store once and the hones were HUGE, more then ten inches I would say... That might be what you are looking for. I would check out the sharpening section of "The Knife Center Of The Internet" for reviews of sharpeners, and breakdowns of what sharpening systems do what.


Robert Joseph Ansbro

If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed.
-Stanley Kubrick, 1928-1999
For really big blades like that I would go with a set of 10" or longer stones. I'm buying a set of natural Arkansas stones that are 12 inches long from www.handamerican.com. I'll let you know what they're like when I get them. If you really wan some kind of a system, the Edgepro is pretty well top of the line fo a rod guided system. Cliff Stamp has a review of the Apex system at www.physics.mun.ca/~sstamp/knives/reviews.html if you want to check it out.

Just because I talk to myself doesn't mean I'm crazy. What's wrong with getting a second opinion?
Sharpening is certainly an aquired skill.
For my customers who sharpen on a routine basis I recommend a fine India stone from Norton abrasives. For those who either don't have, or want to take the time to learn, I recommend the Lansky system. In as much as differnt types of knives are suited to different tasks, so the same with sharpening.
For heavy use (field dressing game) or camp chores I prefer a course, "bity" edge. For more delicate chores such as caping I like a very fine polished edge. Sometimes a fine "hair popping" edge not the best one.


Ed Caffrey
"The Montana Bladesmith"

The Lansky is great and works very well. For knives with blades longer than 6 inches you will have to mover the clamp on the blade, witch can be a little tricky. You may want to look at the Spyderco Sharpmaker, or the Edgepro if most of your blades are longer than 6 or 7 inches.

One other trick I have learned is get a long bench stone and clamp it in a vise at the angle you want and sharpen away on that.
Both the Edge Pro Apex and the Spyderco Sharpmaker are good systems. The Sharpmaker will put a good edge on most any blade. The Edge Pro will put a mirror shine edge on most any blade.


What? Another knife? Don't you have enough of those things already?
How many does one person need?

I have a Lansky diamond sharpening system. I am probably not using it properly but it seems to me that no matter what knife that I use it on the clamp slips on the knife spine. I tighten it and the gap along the clamp is even. I have tried it in many different positions on the blade and each time the clamp slips. Also it seems that the factory angles are always different than what the Lansky is able to provide. I called Lansky and did what he said but still to no avail. I just ordered a Spyderco Sharpmaker because I've heard many good things about it. I should probably just practice freehand and quit playing around and wasting money. Has anybody had similar problems and what am I doing wrong.
DMT makes a unique set of bench hones that I really like. These 'stones' are actually diamond impregnated ceramic with a steel mesh covering, so there are many sharpening surfaces on a single stone, resulting in a faster sharpening time. DMT offers these with a blade aligner which keeps the blade at a user selected angle, resulting in an even sharpening angle, so you get hand honed quality, and you don't even have to be good at it.
Incidentally, this system teaches you to sharpen with an even stroke, and after about six months, I didn't need the aligner anymore.

Good Luck!
Out of all the doodads, the Apex is probably best suited for really big blades. Most other doodads have annoying problems -- the Lansky-style systems require multiple re-clampings, the Razor Edge Guide won't accomodate a huge blade at all, the Spyderco Triangle Sharpener can get a bit awkward. The Apex is not my favorite sharpening system for smaller blades, but for bigger blades it's what I favor.

Actually, for really big blades, I favor freehand sharpening on a really big stone. The spyderco ceramic 8"x2" stones work really well for me.

Actually, I have a question. When you say your knives are fixed blades 12" and up, do you mean just the blade is >12"? Or that it's a 7" blade with 5" handle? If it's 7" blades, the Razor Edge works well as long as the blade spines are 3/16" or less, and the Triangle Sharpmaker's comfort zone reaches as far as 7" blades I think.


[This message has been edited by Joe Talmadge (edited 04 August 1999).]
I've already been ignored dozens of times elsewhere in these forums but since this question is the most common one here (take a look, it is in at least three other places) I'd guess that it remains a problem.

It isn't the equipment. Sharpening systems make others rich at your expense. A sort of flat rock is needed and a bit of leather is a luxury. Good golly, one can sharpen a knife on another knife, a plate, a brick, the sidewalk, a car window, . . .

Desert Rat