Linkyo Electric Knife Sharpener

For years I used knives with blunt edges, not making the connection between hating cutting things and the fact that the blades I’m using are about as sharp as a teaspoon.

You could say I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

Through a friend I discovered the joys of using a sharp knife, and the affinity I developed for a sharp blade since has rubbed off on my wife and even the odd friend.

Once you start sharpening your blades, you’ll refuse to waste your time with a blunt edge.

This is the third knife sharpener I test. The other two, a Lansky Deluxe and a Warthog V2, are both phenomenal. The Lansky sharpens an axe edge so well you can shave with it and the Warthog doesn’t need electricity, so it’s great for camping.

The Linkyo is supposed to beat both the Lansky and Warthog at sharpening speed, and should be accurate enough to give a consistent angle, sharpen after sharpen.

But does it deliver?

We own a set of Zyliss knives. They’re cheap but they work well, even though they need a lot of sharpening.

For testing the Linkyo knife sharpener I sharpened four Zyliss knives.

I wasn’t impressed by its performance.

That said, the price is too magnificent to pass up on owning it, since it gives you a better experience than having to cut with a blunt knife.

Here’s my full review…

In the box

You can see that Linkyo cares about getting their product to you in good condition, since the sharpener was securely packed between two pieces of styrofoam.

The Linkyo’s box contained:

  • 1 x Linkyo knife sharpener.
  • 1 x instructional pamphlet.

How to sharpen a blade

You need a steady hand to sharpen a knife with the Linkyo, else you’ll end up creating an uneven cutting edge.

Follow these five steps to sharpen a blade:

  1. Switch on the Linkyo.
    1. The single on-off switch on the front of the Linkyo makes this an easy step.
  2. WIthout applying aggressive downward pressure, pull your knife three to four times through the left slot of station 1, starting from the heel (the back of the blade, nearest the handle).
  3. Then pull your knife three to four times through the second slot of station 1.
  4. Then pull your knife three to four times through the first slot of station 2.
  5. Finally, pull your knife three to four times through the second slot of station 2.

If your blade’s not sharp enough after this, repeat steps two to five.

You need a steady hand

It’s important to keep the blade’s cheek resting against the Linkyo’s inner wall while you’re drawing it through the Linkyo. If you don’t, the knife won’t have a consistent cutting angle along the edge.

Now, Linkyo refers to the inner wall as the automatic blade positioning guide.

I’m not sure why they call it that, because there’s plenty of play inside the guide. There’s no way to lock the knife into position to give it the same angle along the whole edge, which means you must have a steady hand for sharpening.

And this is where the Linkyo falls a bit flat.

It’s not so easy to keep the knife’s cheek at a consistent angle when you’re pulling it through the machine, especially if the knife tapers to a point and starts running out of cheek.

Sharpening tests

I ran four Zyliss knives through the Linkyo knife sharpener.

Knife sizes

These are the blade lengths of the knives I sharpened:

  • Red knife – 7.56 inches (192mm)
  • Yellow knife – 5.9 inches (152mm)
  • Green knife – 5.19 inches (130mm)
  • Blue knife – 5 inches (127mm)

I did a simple hair removal test for each knife.

With some persistence I got the blades sharp enough to shave my arm hair.

The blue knife (a santoku) was the easiest to sharpen, since it has a consistently wide cheek from heel to toe, thereby allowing better guidance.

But in all honesty, the Lansky and Warthog both do a far better job of sharpening a straight edge blade.

How to clean the Linkyo

Cleaning the Linkyo is a simple affair.

Follow these steps:

  1. Unplug the Linkyo.
  2. Turn it upside down.
  3. Remove the two plugs at the bottom of the Linkyo.
  4. Shake out shards, dust and filings into a bin.
  5. Push the two plugs back into place.

Your Linkyo is ready for another round of sharpening.

Can it sharpen serrated blades?

The Linkyo cannot sharpen serrated blades.

To be clear, they claim that you can sharpen the flat side of a single-side serrated blade.

I’d advise against it.

If you want to sharpen a serrated blade, you need something like the Lansky Deluxe, but…

The Lansky by itself isn’t sufficient for sharpening serrated edges. You need special triangle or round sharpening stones for the Lansky to sharpen serrated edges.

Sharpening angle

The Linkyo offers only one sharpening angle.

For home use this is sufficient.

I’ve tested the Warthog on different sharpening settings, and although it’s nice to know I can sharpen at different angles, I’m content with a single angle.

Remember, sharpening to a new angle takes a long time; time you could spend sharpening more knives.

Replacement sharpening stones

I emailed Linkyo asking where I could buy replacement sharpening stones (if possible), how much they’d cost and whether there’s a guide to show how to replace them.

I received this email reply:

Thank you for contacting us.
Please keep in mind our LINKYO Electric Knife Sharpener – 2 Stage Knife Sharpening System is made with diamond grind wheel we do not have a sharpening stone in there this is not replaceable. Please let us know if you have any other questions.

So the sharpening stones are not replaceable.

Warranty

The Linkyo comes with a 1 year warranty, IF you register the product. That’s a generous offer for a tool with many moving parts.

You can visit linkyo.com/warranty to register your Linkyo knife sharpener.

Technical specs

The Linkyo isn’t big, so it won’t take up much kitchen countertop space.

Here are some tech specs:

  • Length: 8.26 inches (210mm)
  • Width: 5.19 inches (132mm)
  • Height: 3.46 inches (88mm)
  • Weight: 36 oz (1.02kgs)
  • 110V electricity supply.
  • Body material: plastic.
    • They don’t stipulate whether it’s made from BPA-free plastic.
The Linkyo knife sharpener posing with our largest Zyliss knife
The Linkyo knife sharpener posing with our largest Zyliss knife.

Cons

As stated at the beginning, I’m not too fond of the Linkyo. Or perhaps I’m not as fond as I thought I’d be.

Here’s why…

Durability. Since the Linkyo’s body is made of plastic, it won’t be long before the guides start wearing away.

Accuracy. It takes practice to get a consistently accurate cutting edge. You must steady your knife’s cheek against the guide and not twist it while running it through the Linkyo. But because the Linkyo’s guides are so wide, and there’s no way to fasten or lock the blade into position while sharpening, I suspect you’ll suffer a great deal of accuracy. All of this is fine, except, this tool was built to make sharpening your knife super simple, which it fails in doing.

Final thoughts

The Linkyo electric sharpener is a OK for sharpening smooth edged blades, but it’s not as good as the Lansky or the Warthog.

Quick sharpening. Once you get the hang of how to use the Linkyo, sharpening is quick. Click the on button, run your blade through the 4 slots, three to four times per slot, and you’re done. Not quite sharp enough yet? Do it again. It should take you no more than ten minutes to sharpen a blade. (Much quicker for touch-ups.)

Consistent sharpening angle. If you have a steady hand, the Linkyo will give you a consistent sharpening angle. If, however, you don’t manage to keep the blade’s cheek securely against the guide, your blade will have inconsistent angles along the edge.

Mediocre edge. The Linkyo gives a better edge than a knife just removed from its packaging. But it’s no more than an average cutting edge.

Easy to clean. The Linkyo is super easy to clean. Unplug it, turn it upside down, remove the 2 plugs and shake out the shards and filings.

It’s cheap. This is the clincher for this product. If it were expensive, I’d advise you to steer clear. But you pay next to nothing for the Linkyo, so even if it’s a dud, it won’t hurt too much.

The only excellent thing about the Linkyo is the price. It’s so cheap you won’t feel like you’ve been ripped off when you buy it.

And I don’t believe the maker of the product is trying to rip off anyone.

I think they’re selling a product they think is genuinely good. The packaging seems to convey that message.

But it’s a middle-of-the-road product at best.

The Warthog 2 does a far superior job of sharpening straight edged blades. It gives a sharper edge, and does so more easily than the Linkyo.

But if you have some cash to throw away, buy the Linkyo knife sharpener. It might make a good Christmas gift for someone you think might like an intro to knife sharpening.

Warthog V-Sharp Classic II

I bought the Warthog V-Sharp Classic II knife sharpener a while ago. Is it a good tool for sharpening knives? Read on to find out.


My wife and I were walking the mall, searching for a gift for a friend.

My friend’s a knife enthusiast, so we entered a hunting shop.

After finding nothing suitable, the shop owner pulled a dental torture device (that’s what it looked like) from a rack and placed it on a table before me.

The shop owner took a knife, flicked it open and pulled it through the tool.

My jaw dropped.

I had to have this contraption.

Never mind the buddy we’re supposed to be getting a gift for. He’d have to settle for a card.

I didn’t buy this majigger straight away. I feigned self-control for a few days, set a date and fetched it. It was a momentous occasion. Couldn’t wait to get home and sharpen anything and everything.

The Warthog Classic 2 is amazing for three reasons.

Easy to use

The Classic 2 is a plug-n-play type sharpener.

You remove it from the box and start sharpening your blades.

I don’t know why they included a usage DVD. It’s not necessary.

Saves time

A dull blade only irritates you if you know the worth of using a sharp one.

So go ahead and keep using a dull blade and hack away at whatever you’re cutting.

But once you taste the smooth, easy cutting of a sharpened edge, you won’t be happy using a dull edge.

And although various sharpening tools give you excellent sharpness, few give it to you with the ease and speed of the Classic 2.

Saves energy

We eat plenty of meat and vegetables.

Some foods are difficult to cut, even with a sharp blade. My wife often summons me to the kitchen to help her cut an unmanageable fruit or vegetable.

Throw in a blunt edge and you’re climbing a mountain with a rabid monkey on your back.

A sharp blade makes cutting tough fruits and veggies easier.

Tough

Some of the Warthog Classic 2’s parts are metal; some are plastic. All the parts will give you long life.

The sharpening hones will give you many sharpening sessions before they need replacing.

Clean

You don’t use lubricant for sharpening with the Classic 2.

The honing stones are diamond-coated. They’re made for dry sharpening your blades.

You’ll clean up a tad of dust, but there’s no grime.

No electricity

You can buy an electric knife sharpener, but you’ll need an electrical outlet to use it.

The Classic 2 is perfect for any sharpening situation, indoors or outdoors. You can sharpen anytime, anywhere.

Dislikes

The Classic 2 isn’t perfect (although it’s close). Here are my main issues with it.

It can’t reach the back

The Classic 2 can’t reach all the way into the corner of a knife’s ricasso. (The ricasso is a bit of unsharpened blade at the heel of the knife.)

The diamond hone rods are difficult to remove

Changing the sharpening angle requires the removal of the rods that hold the honing stones.

It’s a difficult task. You get used to it, but it takes a fair amount of finger pressure to unclip.

The knife guide is plastic

The guide against which you slide the knife down when sharpening, is made of plastic.

I have no problem with this, but some people might hate it.

Smooth (double bevel) blades only

The Classic 2 can’t sharpen serrated blades.

It also can’t sharpen a single bevel knife, since it uses a hone on either side of the knife to guide the knife while sharpening.

But it does a fantastic job of sharpening smooth blades. That’s enough reason for me to love it.

Price

You can buy the Classic 2 online for ~$75. That excludes shipping.

Compare this to knife sharpening services in the USA. You’ll pay from $1.75 to $3 per inch. Add shipping—$5 per order—and your bill for sending in knives soon surpasses a Warthog’s price.

Let’s do some calculations.

I sharpened 12 blades with a combined length of 1,673mm (65.86 inches).

The 12 knives I sharpened with the Warthog V-Sharp Classic 2
The 12 knives I sharpened with the Warthog V-Sharp Classic 2.

Let’s cut the outsourced sharpening price to $1.50 per inch AND exclude shipping costs.

65.86 inches x $1.50 per inch = $98.79.

It would cost you $98.79 to have your knives sharpened by someone else. Remember, that doesn’t include shipping.

That’s for every time you want your blades sharpened.

The Classic 2 lets you do the job at 23 percent cheaper. And you pay for it once and use it over and over and over.

You save plenty of money.

Besides, what if you want to try a different angle on one of your knives? The Classic 2 allows you to experiment. If you don’t like the new angle you’ve given your knife, sharpen it to another angle.

Warranty

The Classic 2 comes with a guarantee. Here it is, verbatim:

Guarantee

Warthog Blade Sharpeners warrants that our Sharpeners and Diamond stones will be free from defect and that only the best Quality material is used to manufacture this product. The Guarantee is granted safely to the Buyer. Warthog Blade sharpeners will replace any defective products free of charge. Buyer must return the defective product to Warthog Blade Sharpeners for inspection. Warthog Blade Sharpeners have no obligation under this Guarantee if the product is mistreated or modified, or if the product has not been used according to its instructions.

Consequential Damages: In the event the manufacturer shall not be held liable for any special indirect incidental or consequential losses or damages allegedly attributed to this product.

Warthog Blade Sharpeners International
PO Box 3190, George Industria, 6536
Tel: 044 874 1411 / 1442 Fax: 086 529 1309

Warthog diamond stone

Warthog Blade Sharpeners manufactures high quality diamond stones that are free of defects. Diamond stones will retain their cutting ability for years of use. Diamond stones are manufactured for hand sharpening and not for motor-driven application. Initially your diamond stone will seem especially aggressive. It will smooth over time. When sharpening you need not to exert pressure – let the diamonds do the work. To test diamond stone use it on glass (ashtray or bottle, if it scratches the glass the diamonds are still in tact.) Diamond stones can be used to dry or use water for lubricant. Do not use oil on diamond stones. When sharpening it fast, use water or water with a little bit of dishwashing soap to keep the stone cool and prevent it from clogging. When cleaning is needed use soap water and a scrub brush, do not use petroleum-based cleaners.

Click here to download a PDF version.

In the box

The Warthog V-Sharp Classic II box contains the following items:

  • Warthog V-Sharp Classic II.
    • Black, but also available in blue, red, silver and white.
    • Two hone rods with diamond hones included and mounted, ready for use.
  • Usage instruction DVD.
  • Usage instruction pamphlets.
  • Warranty pamphlet.
  • Brochure for other Warthog sharpening products.

How to use

It’s easy to use the Classic 2. Follow along, but…

Before you start

Before using the Warthog V-Sharp Classic 2, know the following:

  • Don’t use oil for sharpening with the Classic 2.
    • Use water when using diamond hones.
  • Wear gloves to keep from getting cut.
  • Press your knife’s cheek against the blade guide when you pull it through the Classic 2.
    • Not too hard. The guide is made from plastic and can bend.
  • Don’t apply pressure to the spring-loaded rods when you sharpen.
    • Let the diamond hones do their work.

Follow these steps

How to sharpen a dull blade with the Warthog Classic 2:

  1. Remove the Warthog V-Sharp Classic II from its box.
  2. Keep the Warthog steady by holding it by the thumb grip.
  3. Run your knife through the Warthog with your other hand, using an up and down, back and forth sawing motion.
    • Keep the blade’s cheek against the blade guide.
    • Do this 30 to 40 times.

That’s three steps.

No assembly or tightening required. No lubricant required.

How to touch up a blade with the Warthog Classic 2:

  1. Run your blade through the Warthog in a downward motion, out of the sharpener.
    • Do this ten to 15 times.

Once you’ve sharpened a blade, you only need to touch it up now and then.

Check the 12 second video for a demo.

Steeling your blade

You can steel your sharpened blade with the Classic 2. Follow these steps:

  1. Unclip the honing stone rods.
  2. Flip them over and clip them back in, steel rods on the outside, but at an increased angle.
    • If you sharpened your knife at 20 degrees, increase the angle to 25 degrees. If you sharpened at 25 degrees, increase the angle to 30 degrees.
  3. Pull your blade through, ten to 15 times.

This 24 second video shows you how to set up your Classic 2 for steeling a blade.

Sharpening thick blades

To sharpen a thick blade, you need to adjust the blade guide.

Follow these steps to adjust the blade guide:

  1. Loosen the blade guide locking screw.
  2. Tilt the blade guide as far back as possible.
  3. Tighten the blade guide locking screw.

Now you’re able to sharpen thick blades, even an axe head.

This seven second video shows you how to set up your Classic 2 for sharpening thick blades.

The honing rods are marked at the top and the bottom. You won't get confused when you change the sharpening angle or replace the hones
The honing rods are marked at the top and the bottom. You won’t get confused when you change the sharpening angle or replace the hones.

Sharpening angles

The Classic 2 gives you three sharpening angles:

  • 20 degrees
    • Recommended for boning, carving and paring.
    • Slicing edge for meats, veggies and soft materials.
  • 25 degrees
    • Hunting knives, pocket knives, chef’s chopping knives.
    • For cutting on hard surfaces.
  • 30 degrees
    • Steeling and rough cutting work.
    • Durable bevel, great for chopping.

Accuracy

Because the Classic 2 uses the blade’s edge as reference, you get an accurate angle that remains the same, session after session.

This is not the case with sharpeners like the Lansky Deluxe, which uses the blade’s spine as reference.

When you use a Lansky Deluxe, chances are you change the sharpening angle every time you re-sharpen a knife. Unless you marked your Lansky’s position on your knives. That’s a schlep.

Sharpening grit

The Warthog V-Sharp Classic II comes with two 325 grit diamond stones.

You can buy the following diamond stones for it:

  • 270 grit.
  • 325 grit.
  • 600 grit.
  • 1000 grit.

Use the coarsest stone (270 grit) for rough edges. Use the finest stone (1000 grit) for finishing an edge.

How to exchange diamond hones

The Warthog box claims that it’s easy to remove the diamond hone from the rod.

I needed the help of my trusty stubby screwdriver.

This 16 second video shows how I remove it and slide it back.

How long does a blade stay sharp?

There’s no clear answer to this…

A blade’s toughness depends on the type of material it’s made of, as well as the heat treatment it’s received.

Your blade won’t stay sharp if it’s made from an inferior material, or if they messed up the heat treatment process.

How long it takes to sharpen a new blade

This depends on the condition of the blade.

Let’s do some calculations, based on Warthog’s instructions for using the Classic 2.

Warthog says you must sharpen a dull blade by pulling it through the Classic 2, 30 to 40 times, using a sawing action.

This is a quick action, so we’ll assign a second to each pull.

We’ll also double the number of times you pull it through, because we can.

Warthog says it takes ten to 15 slow pulls through the Classic 2, to finish the sharpening process.

We’ll do it thirty times, and count two seconds for each pull.

So we have 80 saw-like pulls, at one second per pull, and 30 slow pulls, at two seconds per pull.

That gives us a total of 140 seconds.

Let’s add steeling to the process.

Steeling requires you to unclip the honing stone rods, flip them over and reattach. We’ll assign 30 seconds to this action.

Then you need to run the knife through the Warthog another 15 times. We’ll double it, and assign one second to each pull.

140 seconds + 60 seconds = 200 seconds.

The fast, saw-like action required for dull blades takes practice to perfect. So you’ll start off slow.

At a slow pace, you can sharpen a blade in less than ten minutes.

Once you get the hang of the Classic 2, you’ll sharpen a blade in less than four minutes.

Technical specs

Technical specs for the Warthog V-Sharp Classic II. Metric and Imperial.
 MetricImperial
Weight541 grams1.19 lbs
Height210mm8.27 inches
Width220mm8.66 inches
Breadth57mm2.24 inches

Final thoughts

I love the Warthog V-Sharp Classic II.

It’s easy to use. Remove it from the box, set your desired blade angle and pull your knife through. Knife sharpening can’t be easier.

It’s clean. It uses diamond coated hones for sharpening. You don’t use oil for sharpening with these hones.

It’s consistent. Because the tool uses the blade edge as a reference point, as opposed to a clamping position on the knife’s spine, you never have to refresh your sharpening angle. The difference in angle, from one sharpening session to the next, is minimal, if any at all.

No electricity needed. Take the Classic 2 outdoors. It’s small enough to form part of your camping kit. And it’s manual. No need to plug it in.

The Warthog Classic 2 is hard to beat. It’s a premium knife sharpening tool. I recommend you get one.

Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Knife Sharpener

I bought the Lansky Deluxe 5-stone knife sharpening kit. The best thing about it? Hearing these words when I enter the kitchen: “Babes, these new* knives cut so much better than the old ones.”

The knives aren’t new, but they cut like new—even better—after a session with the Lansky.

*My wife knows they’re not new, but that’s her way of speaking.


I didn’t use the Lansky; I abused it.

I spent more than 10 hours sharpening steak knives, chef’s knives, an axe, a pair of scissors, mini multi tools and a woodworking chisel. In this post I show you how to use the Lansky and how a sharp blade makes a world of difference.

If you’re not convinced by the end of this post that a Lansky is a great tool, I’ll abstain from eating for 60 minutes.


I’m an Average Joe. I don’t have a love affair with knives. They’re tools. As long as the knife in my hand cuts well, I couldn’t care less about what type of knife it is, or the brand.

But a blunt knife is a pain in the nether regions. It drags out the task and wastes your energy.

And don’t think a new knife comes with a sharp edge. You’ll not find a new mass produced knife with a razor’s edge. Some people don’t know this. They buy a knife and start hacking and chopping and slicing away. They think that the blade is sharp because it’s new.

Not necessarily.

Most knives are made on production lines. Manufacturers aren’t concerned with giving you a sharp tool. They’ll give you a working product, but you must make it better.

There’s a remarkable difference between a dull blade and a sharp blade.

A knife with a dull edge multiplies your pain. It drains your energy and wastes time. A sharp blade makes your cutting task painless and quick. You’ll experience it firsthand when you start sharpening your knives.

That’s where the Lansky comes in.

The Lansky is amazing for these reasons.

Saves time

It’s a truism that a sharp knife works faster than a dull knife. I don’t need to prove this. It’s a vanilla fact.

How much time do you waste on cutting with a sub-par cutting edge?

Run a test using a blunt knife and a sharpened knife. Cut various items with both and note the time difference. You’d be surprised at how much time a dull blade costs you.

Saves energy

My wife’s the chef in our home. She’s good at cooking. Her food’s my favourite.

We’re meat and veggie eaters. We eat plenty of pumpkin. They’re difficult to cut. My wife often calls me into the kitchen for cutting duty. It’s an exhausting task for her, even with a sharp knife. Throw in a dull blade and it becomes a drag. A sharp blade makes the task easier.

Handles a beating

I didn’t expect the honing stones to last long. As mentioned earlier, I didn’t use the Lansky, I abused it. I read the manual, snorted at their directions and did my own thing.

The Lansky took it.

After more than ten hours of assault, the honing stones are fine. They’re like Rocky Balboa. A few scratches here and there, but ready for another round.

Dislikes

The Lansky isn’t perfect. Here are my main issues with it.

Screws don’t tighten well

The Lansky doesn’t grip a blade well IF you don’t tighten the main screw with a pair of pliers. I didn’t use a pair of pliers the first time I sharpened a knife, so the knife shifted while I worked on it. This caused me to lose the sharpening angle.

After this experience I started tightening the locking screw with pliers. It works fine, despite my initial doubts.

I would have preferred the Lansky with hex button-head cap screws, though.

Tighten the red-headed screw with a pair of pliers to prevent a blade from moving while clamped in the Lansky
Tighten the red-headed screw with a pair of pliers to prevent a blade from moving while clamped in the Lansky.

A file extension would work well

While sharpening the axe, I couldn’t help but wonder why Lansky doesn’t make a file extension for working down rough edges. Lansky makes a heavy duty tool sharpener, but it doesn’t work in the same way their honing stones work. They could design a tool sharpener with a guide rod extension.

It won’t work well on all metals. A file has no effect on hard metal. But there are cases where a file would work well.

Price

You can buy the Lansky online for ~$32. That excludes shipping costs.

Compare this to knife sharpening services in the USA. You’ll pay from $1.75 to $3 per inch. Add shipping—$5 per order—and your bill for sending in knives soon surpasses a Lansky’s price.

Let’s do some calculations.

I sharpened 16 blades with a combined length of 1,784mm (70.24 inches).

I sharpened 16 edges with the Lansky, with a combined length of 1,784mm
I sharpened 16 edges with the Lansky, with a combined length of 1,784mm.

Let’s cut the sharpening price to $1.50 per inch AND exclude shipping costs.

70.24 inches x $1.50 per inch = $105.36.

It would cost you $105 to have your knives sharpened by someone else. Remember, that doesn’t include shipping.

The Lansky lets you do the job at less than a third of the price.

Yes, it takes time to sharpen blades, but it saves you plenty of money.

Besides, what if you want to try a different angle on one of your knives? With the Lansky you can experiment. If you don’t like your new angle, hone it back to the old one.

Warranty

I emailed Lansky for warranty info. They responded with a PDF document outlining their Limited Lifetime Product Warranty.

Here it is, verbatim:

Warranty: Lansky warranties this item to be free from defects in material and workmanship for the life of this tool. Damages caused by alteration, misuse, or abuse are not covered by this guarantee. Lansky disclaims any responsibility for incidental or consequential damages.

European Union Warranty: Lansky warranties this item to be free from defects in material and workmanship for the life of this tool. Damages caused by alteration, misuse or abuse are not covered by this guarantee.

Lansky disclaims any responsibility for incidental or consequential damages. This guarantee is in addition to and does not affect your statutory rights with respect to faulty goods.

If your product has a manufacturer’s defect which is covered by this guarantee, we will repair or replace it (at our option). Return the item directly to us at:

Lansky Warranty Center
10 Aqua Lane, Tonawanda, NY 14150 U.S.A

Click here to download a PDF version.

In the box

The Lansky Deluxe 5-stone box contains the following items:

  • Plastic storage case
  • Knife clamp with angle selector
  • Five guide rods
  • Honing oil
  • Five sharpening stones:
    • Black, 70 grit, extra coarse
    • Red, 120 grit, coarse
    • Green, 280 grit, medium
    • Blue, 600 grit, fine
    • Yellow, 1000 grit, ultra fine
  • Extra honing stone wingnut
  • Extra front screw for clamp

Note:I received the 35 year anniversary edition Lansky. There are slight cosmetic differences, but what I review and what you buy are the same thing.

Only standard honing stones

The Deluxe 5-stone kit doesn’t come with half-round or triangle honing stones, used for sharpening serrated blades.

It comes with five flat honing stones. You can only use it for sharpening smooth edged blades.

How to use

It’s easy to use the Lansky. Follow along, but…

Before you start

Before using the Lansky, know the following:

  • The Lansky doesn’t do well on long blade. There’s a big difference in sharpening angle from one end of the edge to the other.
    • This doesn’t bother me, but it’s something to keep in mind.
  • Oil the honing stones before and during use.
    • The Lansky Deluxe kit comes with honing oil. If you run out, use mineral oil (medicinal liquid paraffin).
  • The sharpening angle is a guideline. It’s not perfect. The blade’s width and length determine the actual angle.
  • When you sharpen a knife for the first time, mark the Lansky’s position on the knife, while it’s clamped. The next time you sharpen the knife, you won’t have to worry about having to create a new edge from scratch.
  • Tighten the clamp screw with a pair of pliers. Your fingers won’t do a good enough job.
  • Tighten the honing stone rod extensions with a pair of pliers, else they keep coming loose.
  • It’s a dirty job. Have something handy to clean your hands with.
  • Wear gloves if you don’t like cutting your hands.

Follow these steps

Follow these steps to sharpen a knife with the Lansky Deluxe…

  1. Attach the guide rods to the honing stones.
    • Use a pair of pliers. If the guide rod isn’t tight, it moves around, causing mild frustration.
  2. Make sure the knife clamp bolts are loose.
  3. Slide the knife into the knife clamp slot.
    • If the blade’s wide, don’t use the slot. Seat the knife against the Phillips screw.
  4. Tighten the Phillips screw.
  5. Tighten the red screw.
    • Use a pair of pliers to tighten it.
  6. Drip oil onto the honing stones. Rub it into the stones with your finger.
    • The oil keeps the stones lubricated AND keeps them from clogging.
  7. Start with the 70 grit stone (if the cutting edge is in a bad condition), working your way up to the 1000 grit.
    • The 70 grit is the roughest stone. If the blade isn’t too bad, you can start with a smoother stone.
  8. Slide the guide rod into one of the Lansky’s angle slots.
  9. Lay the honing stone on the blade’s edge.
  10. Applying pressure, push the stone up and sideways, towards the clamp’s centre. Cover one to two inches.
  11. Once the edge is sharp, remove the honing stone and guide rod.
  12. Flip the whole thing over.
  13. On the other side, slide the guide rod into one of the Lansky’s angle slots.
  14. Lay the honing stone on the blade’s edge.
  15. Applying pressure, push the stone up and sideways, towards the clamp’s centre. Cover one to two inches.
  16. When you’re finished with the last honing stone, loosen the screws and remove the knife.
  17. Wash the knife and start cutting.

Sharpening angles

The Lansky has four sharpening angles:

  • 17 degrees
    • Recommended for razor blades, fillet knives and similar tools.
  • 20 degrees
    • Recommended for kitchen cutlery and slicing knives.
  • 25 degrees
    • Recommended for hunting and outdoor knives.
  • 30 degrees
    • Recommended for cardboard, wire and carpet cutting knives, and other heavy duty blades.

Inaccurate sharpening angles

The Lansky’s angles aren’t accurate. Two factors determine the sharpening angle. These are:

  • The blade’s width.
  • The blade’s placement inside the knife clamp.

I’m no mathematician, but let me explain the hypotenuse concept as best I can.

The Lansky, with the honing stone and guide rod in place and resting on the knife, creates a triangle. They call one side of that triangle, the one represented by the honing stone, the hypotenuse.

The hypotenuse is the longest side of a right-angled triangle, opposite the right angle.

On the Lansky, the hypotenuse is the length from the knife’s edge to the edge of the hole through which you stick the honing stone extension.

The true sharpening angle is determined by the blade's width
The true sharpening angle is determined by the blade’s width.

The further you move the edge, or the wider the blade, the longer the hypotenuse becomes. This changes the sharpening angle.

To further complicate things, the Lansky struggles to accommodate a long blade. There’s a big difference between the honing angle closest to the knife clamp, and the honing angle at the point farthest from the clamp. This shows best on longer blades.

But you won’t mind these shortcomings once you see the difference a sharp blade makes.

True sharpening angles

To determine the Lansky’s true sharpening angles, I measured two knives while they were clamped in the Lansky. One’s a steak knife, the other a chef’s knife.

Note: These calculations aren’t rock solid. I don’t have digital measuring equipment. I own a standard vernier caliper and ruler. The purpose of this exercise is to show you the difference between angles a small distance makes, not to give you exact scientific data.

The chef's knife and steak knife I used for measuring the Lansky's true sharpening angles
The chef’s knife and steak knife I used for measuring the Lansky’s true sharpening angles.

Here are the specs…

Specs for a chef's knife and steak knife, for the purpose of working out the sharpening angle. Metric and Imperial.
 Chef's knife (metric)Chef's knife (Imperial)Steak knife (metric)Steak knife (Imperial)
Blade's width (at widest point)41.4mm1.63 inches21mm0.83 inches
Cutting edge length188mm7.40 inches115mm4.53 inches
Hypotenuse - 17 degrees - shortest angle132.5mm5,22 inches112.5mm4.43 inches
Hypotenuse - 17 degrees - longest angle190mm7.48 inches139mm5.47 inches
Hypotenuse - 20 degrees - shortest angle134mm5.28 inches114mm4.49 inches
Hypotenuse - 20 degrees - longest angle191mm7.52 inches140mm5.51 inches
Hypotenuse - 25 degrees - shortest angle135.8mm5.35 inches115.8mm4.56 inches
Hypotenuse - 25 degrees - longest angle193mm7.60 inches141.5mm5.57 inches
Hypotenuse - 30 degrees - shortest angle138mm5.43 inches118.8mm4.67 inches
Hypotenuse - 30 degrees - longest angle194mm7.64 inches144mm5.67 inches
Longest right angle length188mm7.40 inches136.4mm5.37 inches
Shortest right angle length130.8mm5.15 inches110mm4,33 inches
Blade cutting edge lengths
Blade cutting edge lengths.

Note: Do not clamp your knives as I did in the pictures below. I did it to make a point, not for sharpening.

Chef's knife shortest right angle distance
Chef’s knife shortest right angle distance.
Steak knife shortest right angle distance
Steak knife shortest right angle distance.
Chef's knife longest right angle distance
Chef’s knife longest right angle distance.
Steak knife longest right angle distance
Steak knife longest right angle distance.
Blade widths at widest points
Blade widths at widest points.

Here are the sharpening angles for these knives, based on the specs above.

True sharpening angles for a steak knife and chef's knife, when using the Lansky Deluxe.
Lansky angle slotChef's knife sharpening angleSteak knife sharpening angle
17 degrees - shortest distance18.38 degrees24.2 degrees
17 degrees - longest distance16.64 degrees22.2 degrees
20 degrees - shortest distance25.09 degrees30.45 degrees
20 degrees - longest distance20.34 degrees26.04 degrees
25 degrees - shortest distance31.19 degrees36.42 degrees
25 degrees - longest distance26.14 degrees30.86 degrees
30 degrees - shortest distance37.18 degrees44.38 degrees
30 degrees - longest distance28.57 degrees37.4 degrees

Sharpening at the right angle depends on more than the markings on the Lansky.

Yet, this does not make the Lansky a bad tool. It’s close enough. The knives I sharpened at these angles work well.

Sharpening grit

The Lansky Deluxe comes with five stones:

  • 70 grit
    • Extra coarse
    • Black handle
  • 120 grit
    • Coarse
    • Red handle
  • 280 grit
    • Medium
    • Green handle
  • 600 grit
    • Fine
    • Blue handle
  • 1000 grit
    • Ultra fine
    • Yellow handle

Use the coarsest stone (70 grit) for rough edges. Use the finest stone (1000 grit) for finishing an edge.

Sharpening

For this post I sharpened 16 blades. These are my findings.

Steak knife

We own a set of cheap Shogun steak knives. The Lansky is perfect for this type of blade.

I started with the 70 grit, although I could have started with a finer grit. These knives aren’t too dull.

I opted for the Lansky’s 20 degree angle.

How long it took

It took 34 minutes to sharpen the steak knife. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 70 grit – 15 minutes
  • 120 grit – 6 minutes
  • 280 grit – 3 minutes
  • 600 grit – 5 minutes
  • 1000 grit – 5 minutes

Chef’s knife

I found a monstrous chef’s knife in the kitchen, which took longer to sharpen than the axe head. This was surprising.

I started with the 70 grit and used the Lansky’s 20 degree angle.

How long it took

It took 85 minutes to sharpen the chef’s knife. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 70 grit – 76 minutes
  • 120 grit – 3 minutes
  • 280 grit – 2 minutes
  • 600 grit – 2 minutes
  • 1000 grit – 2 minutes

Meat cleaver

This was an easy operation. The Lansky did a fine job of sharpening the cleaver’s edge.

The meat cleaver’s blade doesn’t have much curve. The straighter the edge, the better the Lansky works.

How long it took

It took 26 minutes to sharpen the meat cleaver. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 70 grit – 18 minutes
  • 120 grit – 2 minutes
  • 280 grit – 2 minutes
  • 600 grit – 2 minutes
  • 1000 grit – 2 minutes

Pair of scissors

I had to stretch my imagination for this one. The Lansky is not made for sharpening scissors. I managed to do it only by using a vice grip to secure the scissors to the Lansky.

The scissor’s blade protruded far beyond the Lansky clamp. I had to hold a finger to the blade while honing, to cut vibration.

How long it took

It took about ten minutes.

Axe head

Of course you can sharpen an axe head with the Lansky 5-stone Deluxe. It takes imagination, but it’s doable.

You’ll need something to secure the Lansky’s two parts to the axe head with. I used a vice grip, but cable ties should work too.

The axe’s cutting edge had an original angle in the 20 degree range. It was too sharp. I changed it to 25 degrees. You could increase it to 30 degrees and give it a compound bevel.

I did not prep the axe with a grinder or sanding belt. I took to it with the 70 grit honing stone.

How long it took

It took 72 minutes to sharpen the axe head. The edge was in a bad state, so I made the 70 grit stone sweat. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 70 grit – 55 minutes
  • 120 grit – 6 minutes
  • 280 grit – 5 minutes
  • 600 grit – 2 minutes
  • 1000 grit – 4 minutes

Serrated blade

The Lansky Deluxe 5-stone doesn’t come with a honing stone for serrated blades. If you want to sharpen serrated blades, take a look at these Lansky sharpening stones…

Medium hone

A medium grit triangle hone for serrated blades.

Fine hone

A fine grit triangle hone for serrated blades.

Chisel

Like with the axe, it takes imagination to sharpen a chisel.

I secured the Lansky clamp to a 20mm chisel with a vice grip and sharpened it to 30 degrees. I opted for a single bevel, but you could give it a double bevel, with 25- and 30 degree angles.

I did not prepare the chisel beforehand. I only used the Lansky.

How long it took

It took 355 minutes (yes, 5.9 hours) to sharpen the chisel. The edge was in a bad state, so the 70 grit stone worked overtime.

This was a murderous undertaking. It took a Shawshank Redemption and some Community episodes to get me through the tedium.

I would not recommend using the Lansky for heavy-duty chisel sharpening. Start with a bench grinder.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • 70 grit – 225 minutes
  • 120 grit – 88 minutes
  • 280 grit – 32 minutes
  • 600 grit – 5 minutes
  • 1000 grit – 5 minutes

Multi tool

I own a Leatherman Micra and Gerber mini multi tool. I sharpened the blades of these tools.

Don’t buy a Gerber mini multi tool, by the way. The built-in pair of pliers is weak.

How long it took

It took ten to 15 minutes to sharpen each of these blades. It was a breeze, since the blades are small.

Apologies for the blurry pics. I was impatient. Wanted to get the article finished and delivered to your door.

Cutting tests

I made a video showing the difference a sharp blade makes in cutting various items.

I used only two steak knives and two chef’s knives. One of each was blunt. I sharpened the other two with the Lansky.

My sincere apologies to videographers everywhere, for the terrible video. I hope to improve upon my video making skills.

How long does a blade stay sharp?

I can’t answer this. A blade’s toughness is based on the type of material it’s made from and the type of treatment it received.

If your knife is made from the wrong metal and / or they messed up the heat treatment, it won’t stay sharp. You’ll spend more time on sharpening than you should.

Blade care tips

Tips to keep your blade in good condition:

  • Hang your kitchen knives. Don’t smash them into a drawer where the blades come into contact with each other.
  • Sheath your knife or axe.
  • Keep your blades lubricated. Not kitchen knives. You don’t want your meat to taste like oil.
    • Use a mineral oil for kitchen knives if you must lubricate.
  • Don’t wash your knives in a dishwashing machine. If you do, make sure it doesn’t make contact with anything that could hurt the blades.

Is the honing oil food safe?

I asked Lansky about this and they sent me a safety data sheet. Click here to download a PDF version of it.

According to the safety data sheet, the honing oil is a “Highly Refined Petroleum Base Oil”.

The SDS contains the following general precautionary statements:

  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Read label before use.
  • Wash skin thoroughly after handling.
  • IF SWALLOWED: Rinse mouth. Do NOT induce vomiting.
  • IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing.
  • Get medical advice/attention if you feel unwell.

Come to think of it, I once swallowed a mouthful of hydraulic oil. Aside from the disgusting taste, it caused me no harm. But I’m not condoning your drinking of oil. Don’t do it.

The best type of oil

If you want a food safe oil, get mineral oil. You can buy a pure food grade mineral oil in large quantities. It’s not expensive.

Visit Amazon and search for Sanco mineral oil.

Technical specs

Technical specs for the Lansky Deluxe. Metric and Imperial.
PartDimensions (metric)Weight (metric)Dimensions (Imperial)Weight (Imperial)
ClampWidth - 25.5mm
Thickness (thickest point) - 6.35mm
Height (base to tip) - 94mm
Depth (base to end of foot) - 57mm
37gWidth - 1 inches
Thickness (thickest point) - 0.25 inches
Height (base to tip) - 3.7 inches
Depth (base to end of foot) - 2.24 inches
1.3 oz
Front screw (star)Length - 17mm
Largest diameter - 8.9mm
Smallest diameter - 4.8mm
2gLength - 0.67 inches
Largest diameter - 0.35 inches
Smallest diameter - 0.19 inches
0.07 oz
Guide rodLength (longest) - 191mm
Length (shortest) - 26mm
Diameter - 3.15mm
12.4gLength (longest) - 7.52 inches
Length (shortest) - 1.02 inches
Diameter - 0.12 inches
0.44 oz
Guide rod locking screwLength - 21.4mm
Largest diameter - 14.3mm
Smallest diameter - 4.8mm
2.4gLength - 0.84 inches
Largest diameter - 0.56 inches
Smallest diameter - 0.19 inches
0.08 oz
Honing stone (excluding guide rod locking screw)Width - 15.3mm
Length - 121mm
Height - 21mm
~40gWidth - 0.6 inches
Length - 4.76 inches
Height - 0.83 inches
~1.41 oz
Nubbed locking screwLength - 21.5mm
Largest diameter - 27mm
Smallest diameter - 4.7mm
3gLength - 0.85 inches
Largest diameter - 1.06 inches
Smallest diameter - 0.18 inches
0.11 oz
BoxWidth - 109mm
Length - 215mm (without hook tag)
Height - 40.5mm
Empty - 145g
Loaded - 529g
Width - 4,29 inches
Length - 8.46 inches (without hook tag)
Height - 1.59 inches
Empty - 5,11 oz
Loaded - 18.66 oz
Oil bottleLength - 79mm
Body diameter - 30.5mm
Head diameter - 25mm
40gLength - 3.11 inches
Body diameter - 1.2 inches
Head diameter - 0.98 inches
1.41 oz

Alternative sharpener?

My go-to knife sharpener is the Warthog V-Sharp Classic 2. It can’t sharpen serrated blades, but it’s easier to use and quicker on smooth edges, than the Lansky.

Final thoughts

I love the Lansky. It gives you a well sharpened edge at a great price. If you compare the cost of a Lansky to the cost of sending your blades away, the Lansky wins by a landslide.

Is a sharp edge important for cutting?

You could plod along with a dull knife, but once you sharpen your blade with a Lansky, blunt won’t do.

The Lansky isn’t perfect, but the few niggles are negligible, especially considering the price.

Sources: