The Lansky sharpener has been on the market for many years. When I first tried the Lansky, I quickly found that the Lansky was a far easier way to sharpen a knife than using a whetstone. Though there are a number of knife sharpeners on the market that make knife sharpening easy, the Lansky has stood the test of time due to its usefulness and its ability to give a knife a sharp edge. Lanksy offers many different varieties of its familiar sharpener, but the standard sharpener that features 3 stones may be the most commonly found in retail shops.
The 3 stone sharpener provides a course, medium and fine hone stone. These stones are used progressively to shape a blade at the proper angle and leave a sharp edge. The key to the Lansky system is the multi-position knife clamp. The clamp holds the knife that is to be sharpened and provides guide holes to sharpen the knife blade at the proper angle. The user then determines the proper angle to sharpen the knife (using the included instructions) and then places the rod from the stone in the proper hole of the clamp. The stone is then positioned at the proper angle to sharpen the knife.
The various holes in the clamp align the stones at different angles to sharpen a variety of knives including hunting and filet knives. When using the Lansky system to sharpen a hunting knife, the sharpening is a bit slower than using a traditional whetstone due to the need put the knife into a clamp and the need to change stones to complete the full sharpening. However, the Lansky sharpener will do a better job than a whetstone for most users. The Lansky also puts a great edge on a filet knife, but the long blade of a filet knife makes it difficult to use the Lansky compared to a whetstone. Though the Lansky kit is too big to be carried into the field in most situations, Lansky does sell smaller sharpeners that use a more conventional design for in field use.
The Lansky 3 stone sharpener retails for about $35, but can be found for less. The sharpening kit comes in a rugged plastic case and includes the clamp, three sharpening stones and rods and honing oil. Lansky sells additional stones to replace the originals as well as stones for specialized purposes such as putting an edge back onto a badly dulled blade.