Lansky knife sharpeners offer a simple manual knife sharpening system
One of the big names in knife sharpening is Lansky. Lansky make a number of knife sharpeners, and their best knife sharpener is a complete knife sharpening kit called the Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening System as well as a second knife sharpening kit called the Lansky Professional Sharpening System
(Note that at the time of writing the Lansky Deluxe sharpening kit is selling at below half regular retail price, which is stunning value at Amazon, and is below the price of the Professional kit. This may not be the case when you visit, but if it is represents a great buy.)
Lansky also offer a number of other knife sharpeners including the Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic which is a very inexpensive, small and effective knife sharpener which can be put in your pocket when out and about, for instance when camping or hunting. If you need a knife sharpener and can’t carry the full kit this is a good alternative.
And as well as those mentioned above Lansky also offer a range of different variations of their sharpening kits, we won’t cover all of them here.
What is the difference between the “Professional” sharpening kit and the “Deluxe” sharpening kits? It’s in the coarseness of the grits offered in the stones included in the kit as well as the number of stones offered.
The Deluxe kit offers a 5 different grades of stone, however the Professional kit offers 4 stones, with one of the stones, the coarsest, at 120 grit, whilst the coarsest stone in the Deluxe kit is 70 grit, which is a coarser stone to begin with. And the finest honing stone in the Deluxe system is a ceramic stone for extra fine honing.
As we’ve previously mentioned we consider manual sharpening, in other words manually sharpening a knife using a sharpening stone, to be the most effective way as well as the most cost-effective way of sharpening your knives.
However manual sharpening has one particular problem which is that it is not easy for a beginner to learn. When sharpening a knife manually with a sharpening stone it’s important to maintain the correct angle on the knife.
Commonly knives are sharpened at 20 degrees, though there are exceptions, and when sharpening manually the user must hold the knife at the exact angle, and this is not easy. Get it wrong and you may not quite get the result you want.
One of the advantages of the Lansky sharpening kits is that they take this problem out of the equation. The kit offers a way of sharpening your knife at a specific angle without the need to hold it there yourself. Not only that but there are variations in the angle that you can use to sharpen your knife.
The finer the angle of sharpening the sharper you will get your knife, but the edge will be less robust and more prone to blunting. Japanese knives, for example, and are sharpened at a narrower angle than regular kitchen knives.
And other tools can be sharpened at different angles. For example a razor blade or a scalpel is sharpened at a narrower angle, and knives like hunting knives can often be sharpened at a wider angle of around 25 degrees. And some other cutting knives, for example knives cutting heavy duty material such as carpets can be sharpened at even wider angles to maintain the durability of the edge.
The Lansky knife sharpening system allows you to select an angle, choosing between 17 degrees, 20 degrees, 25 degrees and 30 degrees. This allows you to have a range of options when sharpening different knives whilst still providing you with the ability to hold the knife at the chosen angle. It is highly unlikely that a manual user who is using a simple sharpening stone would be able to to pick the difference between a 20 degree angle and 25 degree angle.
(Note to see exactly how the systems are set up watch the video below. Lansky also offer a demonstration video here)
In effect the Lansky knife sharpening kits offer a way to sharpen your knives manually but without the risk of losing the angle. The sharpening system uses different grit stones, as you would do if you were sharpening manually, and also provides the equipment to set up the sharpener as well as oil to lubricate the stone.
However, because it’s done manually, it is not fast, and it may take quite some time to set up the sharpener and to sharpen your knife. It’s not something you’re likely to do while you’re making dinner and you’ve decided your kitchen knife needs some work.
This is a drawback to the Lansky sharpening system. Whilst it can be very effective, if done right, it isn’t quick. Then again that’s the case with some other methods of sharpening knives as well.
Some people may find that using the Lansky knife sharpening kits gets a little tedious. They may prefer an electric knife sharpener which is simple and quick to use, but these also have some disadvantages.
And it does take a little practice to get used to sharpening a knife with the Lansky knife sharpeners.
Lansky knife sharpeners have been around for a long time. They are effective and, when you’ve learnt the basics of using them they are an inexpensive way to sharpen your knives. But they aren’t fast, and still require some basic manual work.
If you’d like to put in a little time reading then here’s an interesting discussion about some of the more technical details of using Lansky knife sharpeners from a user who has obviously spent a considerable amount of time learning how to use it. If you’re interested in buying the Lansky system I’d suggest, once you’ve done so and begun to practice, that you read this article to find tune your skills.