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Lansky sharpener?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by ReservoirDog707, May 15, 2018.

  1. ReservoirDog707

    ReservoirDog707 Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 26, 2018
    Has anyone triwd the lansky sharpening system? I dont really want to spend 200 on a kme and im not very talented at free hand sharpening, and allthough i dont have any super wxpensive knives, I dont want to ruin the edge on my benchmades or ZT's. So i was looking at the lansky sharpwning system, the reviews seem decent and it looks like a decent albeit bare bones system to put a good, even edge on a blade. I was thinking of maybe getring the regular kit with the normal stones, and one rough and one fine diamond stone for any edge reshaping i may need to do. Does anyone have any experiwnce or knowledge on this system or any other good systems that are around 100$ or less?
  2. Ditch-Tiger


    Jan 20, 2018
    I've been doing some research on this myself (I'm a pretty novice blade collector/sharpener) and from what I gather it's a good starting point but you'll need to also buy the ultra fine (maybe x2 different ultra fine ones if you want that sexy mirror edge) stone and strop if you wanna get the most out of the Lansky system.
    I'm sure somebody with more knowledge than me will be along shortly to add to what I've researched and/or correct me.
    Following for updates!
  3. Monofletch

    Monofletch Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    I have been at this a while. I have had the Lansky system and it works, but like everything else there is a learning curve.
    I use the Spyderco Sharpmaker. It is simple to use and will get your knife really sharp. You can find them new for about $60. Check out some YT videos.
    When my knife is so bad the Sharpmaker won't do it I just send them to @T.L.E. Sharp!
  4. Dan of Bazz Clazz

    Dan of Bazz Clazz Gold Member Gold Member

    May 10, 2017
    I have a Lansky set. It is ok, not great. I have several issues with it. One big one is you can only sharpen approximately 3" of blade at a time. So if you are a fan of big knives...
    Also, if you have knives with a swedge, the blade clamp doesn't hold the knife worth a lick. I retired it and switched to free hand.
    115Italian likes this.
  5. trailhunter

    trailhunter Gold Member Gold Member

    May 15, 2018
    I was just about to mention the spyderco sharpmaker as well. I just bought the delux kme kit and it shreds, there is a learning curve I need to iron out. I upgraded from a sharpmaker but I think I may end up keeping it for just basic sharpening.
  6. 115Italian


    Nov 13, 2015
    The lansky will do the job. Thats what i use. Get the diamond kit. Well worth it. I sharpen all my folders on it. Zt’s, Emersons, SAKs etc. Its not a perfect design but for the money I m happy
    willc and jux t like this.
  7. xdoomsongx


    Mar 25, 2018
    For a lot less than $100 you can get some decent stones to start out with. Free hand isn't as difficult as you might think. Watch some videos, and ask for help here, you will get the hang of it, and be much happier with your results. I have a lansky set that I was given. The cheap metal rods are almost guaranteed to be bent, meaning that you have to either try to straighten them, or you will have a less than perfect edge. The lansky wouldn't be my first choice for a guided system. If you are really concerned that you just won't get free hand, pick up a work sharp. They have, in my experience, provided a very good workable edge, with minimal practice, and in record time. I just picked up paper wheels, and have been practicing with those with some thrift store knives. It has been much more difficult than I anticipated getting the tips right. Hope that's helpful.
    gazz98 likes this.
  8. ReservoirDog707

    ReservoirDog707 Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 26, 2018
    I have something similar to the sharpmaker already, it does the job but as i said im not very good at making an even swipe over and over. Im going to give the lansky a try and maybe upgrade to a kme some day
  9. ReservoirDog707

    ReservoirDog707 Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 26, 2018
    I have free stones as well, their not horrible, but i still have a problem keeping my angles the same, my hands arent very steady i think lol
  10. Ajack60

    Ajack60 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    The lansky is good for maintaining a factory edge. For
    re profiling an edge, not so good. That’s because the lansky only have five degree increments. Five degrees is a lot of steel removal that can’t be put back on.
    With any system, mark your edge with a sharpie to make sure the whole edge is getting sharpened. To get a good grip on the blade, a strip of masking tape does wonders. With any guided system, if you apply too much pressure, you’ll move the blade and wind up with different angles.
  11. Puleio

    Puleio Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 2, 2014
    I'd +1 the SharpMaker as well. It does a good job out of the box. With a couple of coarser 1/2 triangle ruby stones from Congress tools, you can reprofile too (or hold a diamond plate against the rods, which I have done, and which stinks for reproducible results).

    Good luck
  12. number9


    Mar 5, 2017
    I've been using the Lansky for 20+ years. It works. It isn't, IMO, particularly pleasant or enjoyable to use. But it works. Small blades are a challenge because the clamp gets in the way of the stones. Large blades are a challenge because the stones don't reach, so you have to sharpen in sections. But it works and the results are good.

    It's also cheap enough that you can try it and see if you like it. Buy a basic set and add fancy stones if you like using it.

    I've never let my Benchmades or ZTs get dull enough that I couldn't touch 'em up on the Sharpmaker.
    ReservoirDog707 likes this.
  13. ReservoirDog707

    ReservoirDog707 Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 26, 2018
    Thanks everyone, great advice all around. Hopefully ill be able to keep my knives as sharp as they deserve to be :D:D
  14. BruceMack


    May 20, 2015
    I like the Lansky for establishing the initial profile. My experience is that my new knives from PM 2 to less expensive do not have an edge I can optimize with solely the Sharpmaker. Sometimes the edge is merely rough; sometimes it is irregular too. I use the Lansky medium diamond followed by the fine diamond at 17 degrees. My clamp has a step-off, convenient for positioning, and I have replaced the thumbscrew with a machine screw with hex insert (suggested by someone online, but I can't remember where I saw it). I put masking tape on the blade spine and can crank on the screw with whatever it takes to secure the spine. The clamp edge is secured in a bench vise, much better than the pedestal sold for the purpose. I first use a back and forth motion on each side until I feel a burr, and then sweep the hone longitudinally from tip to as near the pivot as I can without causing damage to the ricasso or guard. This smooths the edge for best appearance. As I'm not trying for a mirror finish, I stop there and then move to the standard Sharpmaker sequence for a 20 degree microbevel. Unless I damage the blade I do not expect to have to return to the Lansky during my remaining shelf life. I hope this is helpful.
    Torrin likes this.
  15. The Mastiff

    The Mastiff

    Apr 21, 2006
    I have a lot of experience with the Lansky original and the newer diamond stones for the original system. I freehand sharpen and have since the 70's. When I really want precision I go to the guided system. The one I use most is Lansky due to the ease and now I exclusively use the Lansky diamond hones for the system and I finish it with their "sapphire" then leather strop/stone. Even with a guided system the whole process takes time. I mean longer than an hour even to properly set a bevel. It's worth it. No freehand looks as good and very few have the ability to get such precision without some kind of jig or system. I don't use it every time I sharpen just for the initial re profiling then every now and then when I need more than stropping. Maybe once a month or so depending on use.The in between touch up is when the Spyderco system comes into play. It sharpens not reprofiles.

    After you have it and master it you will realize just how poor most factory sharpenings are. Systems like the Worksharp can save time but will never give the quality edges that spending time with a guided system can. I recommend the Lansky to those not wanting to spend the bucks to get the WE and KS but want even, equal better than commercial ( not counting Rockstead) knives and the ability to tailor your edges for everything from straight razor edge to a large chopper for eating wood.

    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  16. Torrin


    Jun 16, 2017
    I absolutely love the Lansky system, great value imho. I've sharpened a 7" blade with it many times with no issues. The rods will bend and they tell you that in the videos. In full on pro mode you can bend them to get more specific angles.
    Like anything there is a learning curve and I haven't found many really good videos on them. I learned how to get the most of it with trial and error. Use the marker trick and go slow until you get it down. The hardest part I found is orienting the blade to get an even bevel. I personally have to put the blade at an angle with the tip pointing more downward to get an even bevel. I make a couple light passes with a light stone until i get it the bevel width I'm looking for.
    It's not perfect but it's a good system with a few limitations not easy to overcome.
    My biggest issue is when trying to go less than 20° per side on a narrow (small) blade that is also very thick because the clamp get's in the way. I've rounded the corners of the clamp and that is no longer a problem on anybof the knives I own. My other issue is full flat ground knives will wobble in the clamp side to side if you aren't careful to not press too hard with the stones. I am working on some wedges in a few different materials to test for a solution to the full flat wobble problem. It's really not a big issue. If you get the blade snug in the clamp the amount of pressure needed to move the blade is a lot more than one should generally be using to sharpen.
    I get mirror finishes on everything from 20CV to 440C with just the basic diamond kit and the basic stone kit and the leather strop stone/ rod.
    On reprofiles when I don't want to take off too much at a time I stop close to a burr from each side then move the blade further back in the clamp to get a slight micro bevel to finish off. Then I test the blade before deciding how much further I want to go.
  17. sabre cat

    sabre cat Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    I have used the Lansky system for years. It's OK but I prefer Spyderco's Sharpmaker. If I had it to do over, I'd skip the Lansky completely.

    Anymore, the Lansky is only used if the edge is to badly damaged for the Spyderco.
  18. l1ranger

    l1ranger Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 27, 2017
    i use the lanksy for reprofiling mostly.
    I have all the synthetci stones, diamond stones, and some strops.
    there are limitations, but nothing I can't work with. I'm not running production with it

    I'll use it for touchups sometimes, but generally free hand those anymore.
    I did touch up my Kizer Velox the other day using the lansky after a long weekend of use around the house.
    it took me about 10 minutes - sharpie the bevel, clamp blade and set the angle - medium diamond, fine diamond, 1 micron strop, and put it all away
    Torrin likes this.
  19. uxo2

    uxo2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 3, 2013
    Stones work fine for S30V,D2,154 and VG10.

    For harder steels definitely get the diamond set up.

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