Mar 1, 1999
I want to buy a sharpener but i can't decide. Maybe u guys can give me some suggestions. I've never sharpened a knife in my life. But plan on getting good. Cost is also a factor...the lansky is 27 dollars i think...and the sharpmaker is close to 40. thanks for your help.

I own both of them. Basically, the Lansky is more accurate since it locks in a constant angle throughout the sharpening process and the Sharpmaker is faster to set up and use. If you're new to sharpening, I'd recommend the Lansky. It's a little cumbersome to use but even a beginner will be able to put a razor sharp edge on a knife. Take care.

Knife Outlet
I have tried both, But I like the Sharpmaker much better. Once I bought the Shapmaker I sold my Lansky, and have never looked back. I also like the fact that the Sharpmaker is quick and simple to use. The Lansky requires the use of oil (on non diamond stones) and the time it takes to set it up, not to mention the finess it takes to use it. It's not a bad system but it is a lot more work. All my knives are hair shaving sharp after using the Sharpmaker.

Both will work, but I perfer the sharpmaker.

Don't own a Lansky.

I absolutely love my sharpmaker. It was my first serious sharpening tool and it worked well for me as a newby sharpener. It continues to work well for me as a not-quite-so-newby sharpener.

I believe I paid less than $35 for my sharpmaker including shipping. Got it over the internet. Sorry, can't remember which internet dealer I ordered it from. Unless you absolutely need the new sharpmaker, you should be able to find some pretty good prices on the older one.
Have owned both. Gave the Lansky to a friend of mine. Use the Sharpmaker all the time. Easy to get a great edge. Check out Joe Talmadge's "How to Make Your Sharpmaker Perform" (probably in the FAQ; if not I think it is in the Reviews section of to really get the feel for what it can do.

It is also easily portable (definitely get the cordura case for it). I made my grandmother very happy once by bringing my Sharpmaker to visit and sharpening all her kitchen knives.

If you are wanting to learn freehand sharpening, I would suggest some Razor's Edge guides.

Hope this helps,


Clay Fleischer

"10,000 Lemmings Can't Be Wrong!"
If you really get the Lansky system for *less* than the Sharpmaker, then go for it (this comes from an owner and user of both).

And if the Sharpmaker is the *old* (pre-204) model with only one sharpening angle, then... (I'd like to say, "forget it", but don't dare just now). You may have to buy additional "stones" for a basic Lansky system later, but that's OK. The pre-204 Sharpmaker is an old model, whose stones won't fit in the new two-angle 204 (for additional information, see the Spyderco forum). The Lansky system is not perfect (some threads on this, too), but it has served me (and my well over half a hundred knives) well for at least three years (I've had the Spyderco system for maybe three years, but used it mostly for touch-ups).

Of the Gatco system I have no first-hand experiences (I'm anticipating a bit here, sorry). The Lansky system has functioned better for me than the DMT system.

I've got the Lansky. I used it once. Get the Sharpmaker. It is easy to use and does the job well. Even on those serrated blades that nobody seems to be buying. (sorry. I could't resist)


who dares, wins

Given the proposed choices, I'd go with the Spydie Sharpmaker hands down. If you are really interested in a system like the Lansky, get one that has infinite angle adjustment. The only folks that make those are Edge-Pro. The Apex-1 is pricey but smokes those others of this general design.


I did NOT escape from the institution! They gave me a day pass!

Hi Johnny!

Well, I've just finished doing my first knife manually, thanks to Joe (Talmadge) for being patient enough to help me through (all in one email!).

But it takes a lot of practice, so I'm probably getting myself a GATCO diamond kit (same principle as Lansky, cheaper too) and share that with my dad, for the regular knives, and use the manual method to my more "beloved" knives.

Like what Joe told me, any of these will work, it's just a matter of preferences.

If cost is a factor, then either a Gatco or a Lansky will have to do for now.. But I think the most preferred system here is the Sharpmaker. You can also try to wait a while longer, and save up for this. Remember, haste makes waste!

hmmm.. guys? how much would the Sharpmaker 204 cost with the 20% discount at our very own Bladeforums Store?


Save your money and buy both, The lansky I used to set angles on real high angled knives
but I use the stones more than the angle device. The Sharpmaker is required for serrated edges that are damaged or really dull.Pros and cons for the lansky-setup time, the rods bend, but the coarse stones work real well and the ultra fine stone is the best(fine) one I have(better than Spyderco's-no offense Sal). While the Spyderco's system is quicker to setup, and uses less strokes due to longer stones, be prepared to buy new stones when they fall and break.

If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail!

Military "Military" fans unite!!!
I would say that if you have to choice only one system then go with the Lansky one, because you can always add more stones in different grits. But I use the sharpmaker as well and it works the best for serrations. So if the knives that you are going to be sharpening have ser. Blades then you might just want the sharpmaker. The lansky system will do ser. But I do not think that it works as well.
Thanks for the replys guys. I've made up my mind and am going to get a sharpmaker. I have some knives that are serrated and the sharpmaker would work well with those knives.