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I'm a beginner so I don't need the best of the best.. yet. I'm looking for a good sharpener that will work well on all blades including partially serrated and tantos. I'm leaning toward a SharpMaker but I'm open to suggestions.
Sharpmaker seems to be the thing to buy, mine works pretty well, and everyone else seems to love them. I have a general dislike for the clamp on things, as they tend to do a good job of scratching the **** out of finishes if you aren't careful.
The Sharpmaker is an excellent tool for most blades. But I prefer either benchstones or my Lansky for sharpening Americanized tantos. Either is much better at maintaining the crisp angle between the primary and secondary edges. As far as scratching the blades, just place a piece of duct tape on the surfaces of the clamp to prevent this and it also helps prevent the blade from slipping. I also prefer the Lansky for serration touch-ups as the Spyderco will round the tips unless you do each one individually.
Oops, forgot another reason. Also of importance is that the Lansky system is much more effficient at reprofiling edges (especially when using a coarse diamond stone) than the Spyderco. Even a slight edge reprofiling of say, a 420V blade, would take forever on the Spyderco but is easily accomplished in a few minutes on the Lansky. My advise is to buy both. You won't regret it as they both have their places.
[This message has been edited by blademan 13 (edited 02-27-2001).]