It doesn’t take a hunter long to understand the importance of a high quality knife. Skinning game, processing meat or removing a trophy head is going to make for some tough going if you aren’t equipped with some sort of blade. Of course knives are useful for everyday tasks as well but in order to function safely and efficiently they need to be kept sharp.
In reality it doesn’t take a lot of work for a blade to lose its razor sharp edge. A lot depends on the steel quality and the job you are asking of it but generally once you start using the knife then the process of dulling the edge has already begun. Good quality knives will keep a sharp edge for some time, but eventually you’ll find yourself needing to “touch it up” or perhaps even re-profile the edge to a more appropriate angle.
Once we get onto the topic of knife sharpening we come across a lot of information that needs to be sifted through. Traditional methods require a flat stone and a steady hand whilst modern methods can be as easy as using a powered device to do the work for you. I discovered in my bowhunting days that getting a razor sharp edge on a broad head with a flat stone was beyond my capabilities. The price tag on those flash electric units meant that they were not really an option and besides, finding power points in the bush can be troublesome at the best of times.
Eventually I stumbled across the name “Lansky” and after doing some research I purchased their Deluxe Sharpening System. That was several years ago now and even after using some of the other products available, I’ve always return the Lansky. Because of my experience with this product I jumped at the chance to review it and Nioa kindly sent me one of the newer models for testing.
One of the major factors for my liking of the Lansky system is how easy it is to use. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve never been good with stones and angles so having a product that eliminates the guesswork is just what I needed.
The Deluxe Sharpening System comes with everything you need to produce a razor sharp edge. There’s a clamping device which holds the blade and gives you four different pre-set angles to work with (more on that later), there’s also a decent quantity of honing oil and then there’s five different grades of hones. To make storage and transporting easier it all packs up into its own moulded case.
The angles on the mounting bracket are 17, 20, 25 and 30 degrees which gives a wide selection when customising your blades edge.
The 17 degree angle is primarily for razor blades or jobs that require an extremely sharp edge. I rarely use this option as it can create a highly delicate edge due to the severe angle.
The 20 degree setting provides an excellent edge for kitchen knives or for knives that require a razor edge for slicing and delicate tasks.
The 25 degree angle is probably the setting that I use the most. All my Kangaroo harvesting knives were set at this angle. This provides a great compromise between sharpness and durability. My hunting and camping knives receive the same angle and they’ve served me extremely well over the years.
The 30 degree angle is for knives that need a heavy duty edge capable of harsh cutting tasks with a small sacrifice to the blades sharpness. I keep my survival knives sharpened at this angle just in case they ever get called upon for some heavy chopping or splitting tasks.
The correct procedure for using the Lansky Sharpening System is a little hard to explain in an article, but fear not as Lansky have included an excellent pictorial set of instructions. And just in case reading instructions is not your thing, they’ve also included a how-to video on their website (I’ve embedded the video at the end of this article).
Lansky have been around since 1979 so you can be sure that they know what they’re talking about when it comes to knife sharpening. They have a huge range of products which includes extra hones with the capability of sharpening serrated edges. With a little practise it doesn’t take long to create a razors edge and it’s a good feeling knowing that your knives are sharp and ready for whenever you may need them.
Most major gun stores will stock Lansky products and if they don’t then they can easily order them in through Nioa. The only problem with owning a Lansky Sharpening System is that once friends and family notice how sharp your knives are you’ll be constantly bombarded with knives to sharpen!