Lansky Knife Sharpener Review: An Intuitive Guide System for the Average User

In this Lansky Knife Sharpener review, we dug into the Lansky to see if it makes sharp blades and if it holds up to the claims.
Lansky Knife Sharpener Review

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Your knife is one of your most useful tools and a staple of every EDC kit. But every knife gets dull with use, so you need a bring it back to life. One solution is a knife sharpening system like the Lansky Knife Sharpener. In this Lansky Knife Sharpener review, we dug into the Lansky to see if it makes sharp blades and if it holds up to the claims of its biggest boosters.

Lansky Knife Sharpening System

Quick Overview

The Lansky Knife Sharpener Systems are some of the best consumer-focused sharpening systems on the market. The combination of high-quality components with an intuitive and easy-to-use guide system makes it one of the best ways for the average user to maintain your knives.

Functionality

10.0/10

Style

7.0/10

Dependability

9.7/10

Value

9.5/10

What We Like

Intuitive guide system
Easy to get the perfect angle
Mix of different grit hones
Fully rehab a blade edge

What We Don’t Like

If you want a different blade angle than those offered on the guide, you’re out of luck.

Want more knife options?

Start with our review of the best EDC knives, including high-end favorites and value-packed picks. It has everything you need!

What is a Lansky Knife Sharpening System?

The Lansky Knife Sharpening System is designed to provide precision sharpening without the need to master whetstone techniques. It takes a workman-like approach to solve a common problem and does a damn good job of it. Lansky offers a series of products to help you keep a sharp edge on your kitchen knives, pocket knives, outdoor knives, and a variety of blades (such as the Benchmade Bugout). 

A traditional whetstone requires you to maintain a consistent blade angle while sharpening your knife. Maintaining the correct angle is certainly doable with some practice, but if you’re sharpening just a few knives a year, it may not be worth it to master whetstone sharpening.

The Lansky Knife Sharpening set turns this approach on its head by clamping the knife in place on an intuitive angle guide so you can move different whetstones across your blade. This key feature is what sparked our interest and inspired us to write this Lansky Knife Sharpener review.

Lansky Knife Sharpener Review Overview

Lansky Knife Sharpening System: What’s Included

Lanksy has several different versions that use the same basic sharpening system, such as:

(Lansky also sells a variety of other products to take care of your knives, such as the popular pull-through sharpener.)

Each sharpener kit comes in a plastic box with contoured spots for each hone and tool piece. (A hone is a whetstone used to sharpen razors.) The box we got for this Lanksy knife sharpener review was black, but we’ve seen them in a few other colors.  It closes pretty securely, but we wouldn’t toss it around too much if you can avoid it. 

What's included in the Lansky knife sharpener set

The central piece of the sharpener kit is the combination knife clamp and angle guide. It’s the same in every sharpening kit along with an included bottle of honing oil. It also includes both regular size and extra-long knife clamp screws to fit all blade types and thicknesses.

We picked up the Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening System. It came with five hones plus five guide rods. The hones are:

  • 70-grit extra coarse for re-profiling a beveled edge.
  • 120-grit coarse for edge-conditioning.
  • 280-grit medium for sharpening.
  • 600-grit fine for touch-ups and achieving that perfect paper-slicing razor sharpness.
  • 1000-grit ultra-fine for a true razor edge.

Different kits have slightly different hone sets but the general equipment is the same.

Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening System

Deluxe 5-stone knife sharpening system for kitchen, outdoor, hobby, or garden knives. Includes extra-coarse, coarse, medium, fine alumina oxide, and extra-fine ceramic hones. Replica: Made with heavy duty polymer for a realistic feel. Weighs 8 pounds. Color-coded stones with finger-grooved safety holders; Specially formulated honing oil. Includes precision-engineered knife clamp and custom-molded storage/carrying case.

Buy on Amazon

How to Use a Lanksy Knife Sharpener

The biggest thing that sets the Lansky Knife Sharpener System apart from other knife sharpeners (and what we loved the most in our Lansky Knife Sharpener review) is its ease of use. The system is designed so that anyone, with any level of experience, can quickly and efficientlyturn a dull blade into a sharp edge. A big part of that is how easy it is to set up the sharpener and prepare to sharpen.

1. Set up your knife sharpening kit

We try to come at products we’re reviewing without a lot of research so we can get the full experience of unboxing a new product and using the manual to figure it out, and this Lanksy knife sharpener review is no different. The learning curve for the Lansky was mercifully flat, with every step intuitive and easy.

Using the Lanksy sharpener requires just a few components that take seconds to set up. Attach your knife to the blade clamp. There are two screws used to do this, with the first used to gently hold the knife in place at finger tightness before you up the pressure to secure it using the rear screw with a plastic twist cap. We were surprised how quick this was to set up during our Lansky Knife Sharpener review.

Lansky knife sharpener review: setting up your kit

Once the knife clamp is ready, the only thing left is to attach a guide rod to your chosen hone. You should always start with a lower grit to remove burrs and other imperfections and to put a rough edge on your blade. Unless you’re completely rebuilding your edge you can start with a 120-grit or even a 280-grit hone.

2. Choose your angle

If you’re lucky, the manufacturer of your knife listed the blade angle either online or in the paperwork it came with. If not, we included a neat little trick to find the right blade angle below.

Once you know what angle you need, you’re ready to start sharpening. Slip the guide rod into the angle needed and set the hone against the blade edge with gentle yet firm pressure.

3. Sharpen your knife

Here’s where the magic really happens with the Lansky. Whereas most whetstones require you to hold your knife blade at just the right angle all the way through each pass across the stone, the Lansky system allows you to make a single fluid motion with moderate pressure and a consistent angle every time. It takes all the guesswork (and skill, to be honest) out of sharpening knives. 

Use the guide to keep your knife in place

If your Lansky includes diamond stones, be sure to use very light pressure at all times. They can wear down quickly with too much force. 

More a visual learner? Check out this great video from Lansky that shows exactly how to setup and use the sharpener. We followed it closely during our Lansky Knife Sharpener review to get a great edge.

4. Clean your knife sharpening kit

Your sharpening tools need to be cared for as much as your knives. Over time, metal shavings begin to fill the pores of sharpening stones. They accumulate on ceramic crock stick rods and clog your sharpeners, preventing your blade from sliding across them smoothly. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways you can keep your sharpening hones and rods clean. Read Lansky’s full guide on cleaning your sharpeners

Lanksy Knife Sharpener Review Effectiveness and Usability 

Any sharpener is only as good as the blade edge it gives you. No matter how easy it is to use a system, if the edge isn’t sharp, it isn’t sharp.

Effectiveness

The Lansky knife sharpener kits are undeniably effective. Lansky uses high-quality hones eminently suitable for everything from rehabbing a seriously damaged blades to putting a mirrored razor edge on a lovingly maintained one. It gives you fine control over blade work without years of practice. 

They’re the match of any other whetstones or sharpening systems on the market in terms of pure effectiveness, particularly when you add in the intuitive guide system. Because you aren’t maintaining the edge manually, you can ensure that every pass is precisely the right angle for your blade profile.

We sharpened several different types of knives in our testing, everything from a Benchmade Griptilian to a Japanese Shun chef’s knife, and were seriously impressed with the results. Each blade went from usable but dulling to slicing effortlessly through paper in less than a minute.

Lansky edge effectiveness

Ease of Use

The Lansky Precision Knife Sharpener set shines in accessibility and ease of use. Anyone with any skill level can quickly put a razor edge on just about any knife. 

The system itself is so intuitive and easy to use we barely needed instructions to get started. It was straightforward to attach our knife to the clamp, and once in place, we had no problem guiding the hone over our blade to find the proper angle.

Figuring out where to start as far as hone grit goes can be a little trickier, but when in doubt we always find it better to start with a higher-grit hone and then check how effective it is. You can always go up to a lower-grit hone if you need something a little stronger.

Lansky Knife Sharpener Durability/Longevity 

Lansky has a hard-earned reputation for making quality products, and everything we saw about the build quality of the Lansky Knife Sharpener Deluxe Kit impressed us. The blade clamp is made from stainless steel as are the screws that hold your knife in place.

Each hone is composed of a plastic frame attached to a metal rod. The individual whetstones embedded in them last a very long time with regular use. If you drop a hone, and it lands at the wrong angle, it may suffer some damage. Short of that, though, it will far outlast your knives when used properly. 

Lansky Knife Sharpener Set Tips and Tricks

While the Lansky Precision Sharpener is intuitive and effective, we found a few little tricks and addons that made it even easier and produce high quality blades.

Finding the angle of your blade edge

One question we often saw was how to find the angle of your blade. You could try contacting the manufacturer, but we found it a lot faster and easier to pull out a magic marker or sharpie instead. 

Draw a small amount of marker onto the edge and set the finest hone into the 17° guide. Run the hone along the blade and check the marker. If it’s still there, move up one setting on the guide until most of the marker has been wiped away by the hone. When it’s mostly gone you’ve found your blade angle and are ready to sharpen.

Resting your hands

We don’t know about you, but our hands aren’t quite as nimble and up for punishment as they used to be. If you’re sharpening several knives at once it can get tiring to hold the blade clamp.

The Lansky Universal Mount really saved our bacon here. It allows you to rest the sharpening system on a workbench or table and use your hands to provide stability rather than holding up the full weight of the system.

lansky knife sharpener review universal mount

Who is a Lanksy Knife Sharpener Set For? 

The Lansky Sharpener System is undeniably effective, but then so is a much cheaper whetstone. What sets the Lansky apart is its ease of use, reliability, and lack of virtually any learning curve. Plus you can keep everything in one simple tool box so it’s always clean and accessible. 

For a lot of knife owners, sharpening blades is viewed as a tedious chore. It’s something you have to do to keep your knives at their best, but it’s generally not something most people look forward to.

A lot of folks don’t like using a whetstone and instead let their knives stay duller for longer. A dull knife is a serious safety issue, so you shouldn’t put off sharpening. 

With the Lansky, you get a razor-sharp knife faster and far easier than when using a traditional whetstone. Even better, you get it without having to learn a more complicated and “adjustable” system such as the Edge Pro Apex 4. If you buy Lansky knife sharpening tools, you’ve effectively bought sharp knives for the rest of your life. 

Is it the very highest-end knife sharpener out there? Definitely not. It is, however, one of the best knife sharpening systems for the everyday knife owner who wants sharp knives in a cost-effective way and doesn’t particularly care about learning the “ancient art” of whetstone sharpening.

If you REALLY hate sharpening tasks and want to get through it quickly, consider using one of Lansky’s products with diamond hones. They’re much faster (because diamond is so hard), but they will wear down more quickly and may need to be replaced. 

Do I Need a Lanksy Serrated Knife Sharpener?

Finding a good knife sharpener for serrated or semi-serrated blades can be a real headache. Thankfully Lansky hasn’t forgotten you, as both the Lansky Professional Sharpening System and the Lansky Universal Sharpening System include hones specifically developed to put the perfect edge on serrated blades.

They include standard hones for sharpening and maintaining straight edges but also come with a triangular hone. The guide system combined with the serrated hone was a lot easier for us to use on our serrated test knife than the standard diamond grit honing rod we were used to.

lansky knife sharpener review serrated kit

If you love the versatility of a serrated or semi-serrated knife but hate sharpening it, the Lansky Professional or Universal Sharpening Systems are a great choice. We only handled the Deluxe Sharpening System in this Lansky knife sharpener review, so your results may vary.

Lansky Knife Sharpener Review Final Thoughts

The Lansky Knife Sharpener Systems are some of the best consumer-focused modern knife sharpeners on the market today. The combination of high-quality components with an intuitive and easy-to-use guide system makes it one of the best ways to maintain your EDC pocket knives, chef knives, and everything in between for the average knife user, all at a reasonable price.

They don’t allow you to put a customized or experimental angle on your knife, but they do make it incredibly easy to keep your daily carry pocket folder razor-sharp and ready to go. You don’t have to be a knife guy to banish dull edges from your EDC kit!

Looking for a great EDC knife? Check out our full guide: The Best EDC Knives of 2022: Buyers’ Guide + Our Favorites

Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening System

Deluxe 5-stone knife sharpening system for kitchen, outdoor, hobby, or garden knives. Includes extra-coarse, coarse, medium, fine alumina oxide, and extra-fine ceramic hones. Replica: Made with heavy duty polymer for a realistic feel. Weighs 8 pounds. Color-coded stones with finger-grooved safety holders; Specially formulated honing oil. Includes precision-engineered knife clamp and custom-molded storage/carrying case.

Buy on Amazon
Dennis Hammer
Dennis has been a part of EDC since he was young - before he even knew what it was! As an artist, he loves beautifully designed products that function well. He also likes to be ready for any situation, which makes EDC perfect for his lifestyle.

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