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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know a lot of you'll just say to use stones, but I cannot for the life of me keep the correct angle when using stones. I've heard really mixed reviews of the Lansky systems, some swear by at, while others swear AT it,lol. Heard good stuff about Smith's sharpening systems, but the lack of an ultra fine honing rod makes me wonder how sharp it can get a blade, and finally I've heard nothing but good stuff about the Sharpmaker. I was also considering buying Chef's Choice, but I want to be able to sharpen my blades and not just put 'em in a machine that does it for me, and I've also heard some people say they can ruin a good blade. So, what do you guys think is the best system out there for $50-100? If it makes any difference, almost all my knives are folders with blades less than 4"s, thanks for any info/tips/experience :) Also, if you recommend the Lansky, do you recommend the standard system or the diamond system? thanks
 

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I've gone to using the little Harbor Freight 1x30 sander to convex my blades. It's not practical for all of my knives, but most of them. I can't believe I never did this before. It's really easy, and field maintenance with wet/dry sandpaper is a breeze. The sander put a shave-sharp edge on a new Imacasa machete in about ten minutes. One of those super rough factory grinds that was very visibly flat and blunt when I got it.

The sander was $33, and I've spent maybe $25 on a wide assortment of belts that should last me for a few years. Not a bad investment at all. Here's the youtube vid that convinced me to try it:


There are two HF sanders that run 1x30. He uses the more expensive one. The cheaper one works just fine.


For the knives that I have that simply have to be stoned, I use an old Gatco guide rod system. In my limited, personal experience, Gatco is superior to Lansky. The Sharpmaker is a quality system, but you're back to needing a steady hand and determining grind angles.
 

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"Not vengence Punishment"
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I am a Sharpmaker fan. If you can hold your knife strait up and down and slice a tomato you can sharpen your knife.

I will also second the above post on the Gatco. It is superior to Lansky. I use mine to reshape the edge or repair a dull knife.

I should look into that little belt sander he mentions as well. Looks fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
so between the Gatco and the Sharpmaker, which puts the best edge on a knife? Also, does the Gatco have different angles like the Lansky does? That's what is drawing me toward that system, thanks for all the advice/info, might look into that belt sander too, just don't know if it'd ruin the black finish on my blades.
 

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"Not vengence Punishment"
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so between the Gatco and the Sharpmaker, which puts the best edge on a knife? Also, does the Gatco have different angles like the Lansky does? That's what is drawing me toward that system, thanks for all the advice/info, might look into that belt sander too, just don't know if it'd ruin the black finish on my blades.
Gatco has more angles than Lansky. I also felt when I use it I can sharpen a longer blade than I could on my Lansky. Gatco sets up faster than the Lansky as well.

Thinking about it now, if you are bouncing between those two go Gatco.:thumb:
 

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Maximus
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I know a lot of you'll just say to use stones, but I cannot for the life of me keep the correct angle when using stones. I've heard really mixed reviews of the Lansky systems, some swear by at, while others swear AT it,lol. ... So, what do you guys think is the best system out there for $50-100? If it makes any difference, almost all my knives are folders with blades less than 4"s, thanks for any info/tips/experience :)
I tried the lansky and the sharpmaker but not the smith's. I prefer the sharpmaker because I don't have to screw or unscrew anything. I know all your knives are 4 inches now, but you never know if you will purchase something larger in the future. For large blades like a kukuri I can do the entire lenght in one stroke. With the Lanskey, I had to unclamp, sharpen one section, then unclamp and do the next section, then unclamp and do the middle section again to get a continuous consistent edge. Pain in the backside and more complicated than it had to be.

The sharpmaker doesn't have many angles though. But the nice thing is, once you use it long enough, you can get the angles better and more consistent. Then you can lay it flat and use it as a "normal" sharpening stone to create your own angles. The triangle rods also give you a filing tool that you can hold in your hands to do other work with. You can also sharpen serrated blades with the sharpmaker.

And yes, the Chef's choice is ok, but I think it is better to learn the basics of sharpening also. It is great in the kitchen, but for survival and outdoor uses, you need to learn to sharpen. It is also to bulky to take on trips and needs a power source.

Throw a vote for sharpmaker for simplicity, design, and versitility.
 

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Be Prepared
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The only two I have any experience with are the Lansky and the Smith's systems. They are very similar, but the Lansky wins out due to sturdier construction. The Smith's uses plastic guides where the Lansky uses metal. I had a Smith's and it worked great until the guide broke.

Ridgerunner,

I may have to invest in one of those Harbor Freight sanders. I didn't realize they were so reasonably priced. I would imagine that they do work very well on a blade. Back when I was an auto mechanic I used to take my knives down to a friend in the body shop. One minute with a DA sander and he had a razor edge on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I went with the Gatco Deluxe System, tried it out on my Benchmade 550 Griptilian, VERY satisfied, definitely the best sharpening job I've ever done, still might pick up a Sharpmaker in the near future though. I searched "gatco sharpener" on youtube and there's a 3 pt. series called "Sharpening my way" by a guy named Blunttruth4u, that was VERY helpful, also stropped my knife after sharpening, first time for that too, and am very pleased with the results of the Gatco system and the stropping, thanks for all the info and suggestions guys, keep 'em sharp!:thumb:
 
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