daily ad

Monday, June 6, 2016

lansky


LANSKY

When I was a young lad one of my first knife sharpeners ( I have no idea what my first knife was-my dad shared my stand that one couldn’t own enough knives and made sure I had my share, plus warded off any unwarranted attention from my mother- no, dear, it’s a guy thing, you wouldn’t understand.  Something quite primal and good in blades ) was a regular stone.  Of course I had no success with it, but just chalked it up to younger age energy and a complete lack of mechanical skills.  Later in life, as I learned how to relax and take my time ( that’s what she said! ), and I became far more experienced in the manly arts of actually doing rather than reading, I still couldn’t get the hang of a stone.  My second knife sharpener was a Lansky, one of the original ones ( or close enough ) usually only found in malls and NOT inexpensive!  The Lansky is the stones you attach to a metal guiding rod, place the rod the knife clamp and you get the correct angle, no guessing.  That Lansky didn’t last long.  I have no idea why.  Too much patience required, I moved and got rid of everything, whatever.  I don’t know what I did in the intervening eight or ten years for a sharpener, my memory has never been stellar with mundane life details, but mid-90’s I came across a homemade craft product at a Preparedness Expo which offered a sharpener I’d never encountered before.  The carbide V in a strip of metal that was placed on the key ring. 

*

Since then, of course, everybody and their Chinese brother has ripped off that idea, but back then I was quite enamored with the new found freedom of being able to sharpen a knife without any skill or effort required.  Now, I’m with you- a sharpening stone is the optimal solution.  When the store bought runs out, nature has plenty of rocks you can improvise on.  It is a forever tool.  But if you can’t adequately use a tool, the best thing to do is find another way.  I barely pass as adequate at firing a rifle, and knowing my limitations I don’t try for shooting long distance.  So with my adequate replacement I promptly forgot about the Lansky and whatever else I had been using.  You use a knife, high carbon steel or stainless, cheap or spendy, and with a few swipes it is nice and sharp again.  And that is where I’ve been for the last twenty years, collecting and using the same type of sharpener ( I‘ve also used the kitchen types, the two wheels overlapping or the round stone between two wheels, but the basic principle is the same-the manufacturer fixes the angle for you AND they are darn cheap ).  Until this year. 

*

A loyal generous minion offered a Lansky but not thinking very clearly I politely declined.  I was okay with my multitude of new V sharpeners.  Then, weeks later, working subconsciously from his mention, I got to thinking that there were some knives I hadn’t been able to sharpen.  I had promptly forgotten the issue, filing them under “worry about that later”.  In retrospect, that was kind of retarded.  I have one and half Lee-Enfields worth of bayonets ( in other words, what one and a half rifles cost me back when they were affordable is what I now have in a collection of pig stickers-six or eight knife types and ten or twelve tent stake types ) that need a real sharpener.  This is what happens when you get older.  You convince yourself you can still remember mental notes.  To acknowledge this isn’t true is to in effect accept onrushing death.  So we lie to ourselves and still think we can remember important details ( and hell, I know better, having probably forgotten more article ideas than I’ve actually written-and I’ve written around three thousand ). 

*

So I promptly ordered a basic $25 Lansky unit, just the standard stone attachments.  And it took about five minutes to get a nice sharp bayonet.  Of course, in fifteen minutes I STILL couldn’t sharpen the little whore of a boot knife which started this whole process of realizing poor quality control can also happen in the knife industry ( a little 4 inch $12 boot knife, “Raider II”.  A nice looking leather sheath for dressing up, and made in Taiwan which is surprising.  My first one was fine but its replacement seems to be un-sharpen-able.  I shan’t be ordering another ).  I’ve almost always had great luck buying inexpensive stainless steel knives, but not that one.

*

The Lansky doesn’t really look like it could last a lifetime, what with the un-reinforced plastic hole to place the guide rod.  And it isn’t exactly top notch performance with the rod screw loosening during use.  But it sure gets the job done and I’m not using it for everyday sharpening.  For that I’ve ordered several Rada Cutlery R119 sharpeners-I swear by these and at $7 each I plan on having about another half dozen.  The Lansky is for putting a new, correct angel ( I use the 25 degree slot, your mileage may vary ) on a dull blade and then the Rada will keep the edge on.  For travel, or bug-outs I have a Lansky brand key ring carbide sharpener.  It goes with me all the time.  For longevity, I’ve also ordered the diamond stone course attachment for the Lansky.  Diamond works quicker than regular stone and should last a lot longer.  Not cheap-two were more expensive than the whole Lansky kit ( just the “course“ stones, not the whole set-I think a complete diamond set is double the cost of the traditional stone ).  But I think now I’ve completely licked the knife sharpening without skill issue ( I was missing the element of compensating for those knives not initially responsive to a carbide V use ).  Yes, it sucks that I’ve spent $47 on all the single units in the tool kit where a $7 stone should have sufficed.  But since a sharp knife is required to be a useful tool, it is the price you pay.  How much have I spent of all those knives over the years, anyway?  In the long run, a small price indeed.  Rush out and trade in those soon to be worthless Greenbacks for tangible goods-using my Amazon ads, of course.

END

Please support Bison by buying through the Amazon ad graphics at the top of the page.  IF YOU DON’T SEE THE AD, DISABLE AD BLOCK ( go to the Ad Blocker while on my page and scroll down the menu to “disable this site” ). You can purchase anything, not just the linked item. Enter Amazon through my item link and then go to whatever other item you desire. As long as you don’t leave Amazon until after the order is placed, I get credit for your purchase.  For those that can’t get the ads because they are blocked by your software, just PayPal me occasionally or buy me something from my Amazon Wish List once a year.  Pay your author-no one works for free.  I’m nice enough to publish for mere Book Money, so do your part.*** 
*Contact Information*  Links To Other Blogs *  Land In Elko*  Lord Bison* my bio & biblio*   my web site is www.bisonprepper.com
*Link To All My Published Books
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there

23 comments:

  1. I may indeed get some of that Lansky stuff. I went and looked, but in old guy style, I gotta think about it a bit. If I do I'll go through you.

    Ya know, I'm starting to get suspicious about the V type sharpeners that I've been using for a few years. Seems I have to use them a lot, or the knives get sharp quicker, or both. I'm suspecting the angle of the grind rendered by the V types is less than optimal, and that is causing them get dull faster. I have no way of knowing this, but I think a knife should stay sharp enough for a few kitchen uses before resharpening.

    I have a new and very nice Gerber assisted pocket folder that I use sparingly. I don't think I want to run it thru the V type and ruin the angle. So maybe I'll wait and get that Lansky set up then I'll hone that Gerber.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't be surprised about the V sharpeners, but of course there are always trade-offs. Have plenty of knives, cheaply.

      Delete
    2. A lot of people sharpen their knives to often. Once you get a good edge a steel rod keeps the edge on a good knife for a long time. I steel my butcher knives evry time I use them (almost every day)and hone them every 3 months.

      Delete
    3. They saw too many movies when the guy who loves to kill keeps sharpening his knife in anticipating another gutting. Hollywood teaches how to grind down a knife.

      Delete
    4. Apparently I can't type and think at the same time. Above I meant my knives seem to get DULL faster by using the V type sharpeners.

      Also, when I said I'm gonna get a Lansky I meant the stone type you elaborated on not a V. I already have a Lansky V in my short bag.

      I'm gonna take Gary in Bama's advice and get a steel rod and keep in the kitchen drawer.

      Delete
    5. I followed you okay. But thanks for clarifying for the slower minions :)

      Delete
  2. The pocket V sharpeners are for emergencies and are prone to ruin the edge on blades. The Lansky is okay. What you really want is the KME Precision Knife Sharpening System. It fixes all the design flaws in the Lansky and you can get such a nicer edge easier. I purchased, used, and researched numerous sharpeners before deciding the KME was the best for what the average person can afford. If you can't afford it, the reduced frustration in getting an excellent edge is worth figuring out a way to save up for it. "The bitterness of poor quality will linger much longer than the sweetness of a good deal."
    http://www.amazon.com/Precision-Knife-Sharpener-System-Diamond/dp/B010ESF0AW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1465262981&sr=8-1&keywords=kme+sharpener
    There's various models to choose from, but you definitely want the base for consistency.
    Peace out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry, but I don't think the average person can afford $203 for a sharpener. I'm not saying it isn't worth it, but that for 10% you get the Lansky which, as you acknowledge, is Good Enough. Frugal preps are all about BTN and Good Enough, not Best Of Everything. Rich humper Yuppie Scum Survivalists can't even afford that so how is the average person? By saving on the sharpener you can get other needed items. Sorry, but if you don't think like this on every purchase and life decision you won't make it in a contracting economy.

      Delete
    2. Okay, I can agree with that. However, if you wanted to have knife sharpening as a potential side business, this will make easy factory-quality edges and give you the appearance of skill instantly that otherwise only lots of time and experience would provide. You could consider the $200 start-up costs for a small business.
      Peace out

      Delete
    3. Sure, it would be a very affordable small business start-up. A wonder what a knife-sharpening would run? With a replacement set of stones $25, and they should last dozens of knives, that seems a nice profit margin.

      Delete
  3. I like the Wyoming made Speedy Sharpener, especially for tools like machetes, axes, shovels as well as knives. Does not have a guide for sharpening angle like the Lansky, but its very compact, light and carries really easily. If you are into spark rods (bushcraft crowd REALLY likes them), they throw sparks very well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The whole point here was pretty much morons such as myself needing a guide to put on an angle.

      Delete
  4. I have a Lansky, old enough that its in a metal box. Don't use it for every sharpening task but that's the fix for my messed up angles after doing the quickie thing with stones or ceramic sticks. Thinking about one of the diamond "stones", have you tried one?
    I've decided on a handle for use here on your fine blog: Idiot. That's descriptive of some of my earlier life choices and maybe a reminder for me to rethink upcoming moves.
    The mane looks glorious today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't blame yourself for earlier stupid choices-it was the hormones that did it, not your brain.

      Delete
  5. A late comment. Knife sharpening is a skill that was paid for. The old tinkers' wagon would stop and sharpen every thing on a farm For a price and on to the next one.

    A valuable trade would be tool sharpening PADA. stones are cheap use the expensive ones for finish work. Add a small solar charging station for extra profit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I could learn the skill-it might even work for a casual income pre-collapse.

      Delete
  6. Like most everything else, a little practice goes a long way to building skills. Using the bottom of a ceramic coffee cup to sharpen your blades was a common skill - now, not so much, not with 'Stays Sharp Forever' Ginsu blades now sold.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I kept missing out on getting my very own Ginsu blade.

      Delete
  7. I've had the same Lansky since the early 1980's, it works great. I have bought a few extra stones (extra course, V-shaped one) and more oil as needed.

    It's a good tool that I fully expect to outlast me.

    Chuck Findlay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you are correct but I've accounted for decreased quality and ordered a second complete set. At $24 it is basically just the cost of two books that might or might not be worth reading. I think $82 is a good lifetime knife angling tool bargain ( two Lansky's and two diamond course attatchments ). That was over three payday's, so very little pain felt. Of course, I can splurge a bit now, all preps done, just touching up.

      Delete
  8. Lansky, blech! I had a Lansky about 20 years ago and loved it, until I discovered the Spyderco Triangle Sharpener. I have a Spyderco that is sooo old it uses one angle and a solid plastic base. I sharpen everything with this gem. I can order new stones from Congress Tool and sharpen even butterknife dull knives quickly. Check out bladeforums.com for Spyderco tricks and mods. BTW i love your hair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't say that the price seems justified. $60 for two sticks in a base? I have no experience, but it seems almost vulgar. Thank you for hair recognition.

      Delete
  9. Ah ye of great glistening locks, ye do not understand the simple beauty of the Spyderco. Sharpens anything, standard or most serrated blades with no oil or exotic unicorn pee required. With cheap replacement stones from congress tool dot com, you can sharpen for years. The only maintenance needed is to scrub the rods with scotchbrite and a little cleanser when you get loaded up with filings. Come over to the Spyderco Darkside Lord Bison. We have a better sharpener:-)

    ReplyDelete

I must moderate-trust me. You don't want to see what happens otherwise. Sometimes it takes awhile to respond as I only check two or three times a day. No N-Bombs, nothing to get me libeled. Otherwise, have at it. If you criticize me, make sure to praise my hair first.