Lansky Sharpener

Aug 24, 1999
OK I didn't do so well in high school geometry class, but it still seems I've stumbled on an interesting and legitimate issue.

It starts with those degree markings on the Lansky. Doesn't this depend on the width (and length) of the blade? I mean, if I sharpen a narrow-bladed pen knife and then a wide-bladed combat knife, won't the angle change?

Next there's an even more nagging issue. Unless I put the blade in exactly the same spot every time I sharpen it, won't I end up re-shaping the bevel every time? I'm talking about lining it up in every dimension, including the sometimes troublesome issue of clamping a wedge squarely between two parallels without it flopping more to one side or the other.

If this really is an issue, how do you get your knife in your Lansky exactly the same way every time?

If it ISN'T an issue, somebody tell be why and put my mind at ease. I want to understand this thing perfectly before I go sharpening somebody's 1944 Omaha Beach Randall or something.

I don't want my children fed or clothed by the state, but I would prefer THAT to their being educated by the state.

[This message has been edited by Uncle Bill (edited 04 September 1999).]
Uncle Bill, you're not alone. I've thought about the same thing, the angle changes when the knife is wider or narrower. To tell you the truth, I quit using my Lansky because for me it doesn't work. I found that for some unknown reason, the angle can change depending on what stone you use. I tried sharpening a knife with mine a while ago and when I started working my way throught the grits, I realized that I was polishing a strip about a 32nd of an inch from the edge, the scratched form the coarse stone were still there! Personally I sharpen freehand now, I get much better results. Just my .02

Just because I talk to myself doesn't mean I'm crazy. What's wrong with getting a second opinion?
Yes this is so, the angle changes. I find that I use it only to profile the blade edges now that I have a sharpmaker. I don't think the slight change is angle is that important because you flip it over and you get the same angle on both sides even if it changes and is not the angle that hole indication says. As long as you sharpen till you get a burr I don't think its that important.
Beam is right. What is the big deel if the angle is really 17 or 17.5 degrees? As long as both sides are the same. Witch they are with the Lansky.
For the clip placement there is a little ridge on the inside of the clamp, this helps you place it in the same spot, depth wise, on the spine of your knife. I think the lansky is one of the best for reginding a new edge angle on knives that are 6 inches or less. If you just need to touch up a edge a stone or steel should work fine with a little practis. Oh ya, and read the sharpening FAQ.
Oh ya, not only can the clamp placement change the angle, but you need to line up the rods and the stones. One nice little trick is you can put a very slite duoble or triple grind on your edge. This is done by moving the rods so they are at a differnt level than the face of the stone.
The Lansky really is a nice and easy system. Just watch what you are doing the first few times and you will start to see how much it really can do.