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Sharpening systems

For many years I've used a Chef's Choice Flexhone Strop to sharpen my kitchen knives and a Victorinox mini sharpener for my pocket knives. Both do a decent enough job but don't make my knives anywhere near razor sharp. I am therefore hoping to get something better, mostly for my pocket knives, and wonder if some of the moderately priced sharpening systems are any good. I am thinking here about the Lansky sharpening system or Work Sharp field system in particular.
I realise a couple of good wetsones would do a better job, but they seem to cost more than I'm willing to pay (even if, as a honing novice, I could decide which are any good) and would require a good bit of learning time, so aren't for me. In any case, I'm looking for knives which can shave the hair off my forearm, not split a hair on water or draw blood from the wind. So, would one of these sharpening systems meet my "needs", and if so which one?
 
I am watching this thread as it has been a question I have had for the past couple of years. I have two quality kitchen knives, as well as several cheap ones. I saw a couple of rigs for sharpening, but I don't trust the advertisements.
 
I have the Spyderco Sharpmaker, and the Lansky system.

The Lansky is a step up from the Spyderco, and will give you very sharp knives. If you buy some stropping compound, it will get you to a mirror edge, if that is your jam.

Both systems take a little practice to learn, but are intuitive enough. The Spyderco one is still quite a "manual" method, in so far as it relies heavily on your eye and a steady, and consistent hand, whereas the Lanksy is fully guided.

The drawback of the Lansky is that is doesn't really scale: once your blade is longer than a typical pocket knife (3-4") it is not really suitable. I still use it on smaller kitchen knives, but for the bigger knives, I just use whetstones.

I looked at a lot of systems some years ago. The Lanksy is a good compromise: you get to easily bring your blades to a very sharp edge (with a choice of bevel angles), but you don't have to pay the sort of serious money for something like Apex or KME which are undeniably superior, but were overkill for my needs.

If you do get the Lansky, it is well worth investing in the higher end stones as well: they give you excellent finishes.
 
I'm trying to free hand knives exclusively now, and have a bunch of different hones to do the job.

Having said that, I used the Spyderco system for years, and found it easy and effective, providing you didn't need to reprofile the bevel too much. It's important to clean the hones regularly for best results.

But for the price of a Lansky or spyderco system I would have thought you might be able to get a soft and hard Arkansas bench stone, so that might be an option if you decided to free hand the knives.
 
I do like the look of the Lansky system and reviews of it are by and large very positive. The main thing putting me off is that I have a number of Victorinox SAKs and I'm not sure how well the Lansky clamp would work with the blades on these, which are quite thin and also narrow. Some reviewers claim this is not a problem, but others say otherwise. I wonder if any B&B members can comment on this.
The Spyderco Sharpmaker looks very expensive for what you get, and there seems to be a good bit of freehand work involved in its use.
I wouldn't mind a go with some Arkansas stones, but they're not that common here in the UK and I wouldn't know the good from the bad.
 
I own the Lansky and Spyderco. They are both fine for pocket knives, but I stopped using them both when I got a Chefschoice. The Lansky system will mark knives with the clamping system, so keep that in mind.

They are not well regarded in fancy knife groups, but they sharpen them ultra sharp, quick, reprofile, touchup and can do large kitchen knifes. I'm mainly using it for Victorinox kitchen knives, so nothing high end, but it makes them cut like it.

One of these years, I'll get around to learning how to freehand on stones. I've tried it, but never stick with it.

That said, if I was only going to buy 1 system, I'd buy an Edge Pro system. It seems to be a decent balance between freehand and mechanical and has the ability to do larger knives (from what I can tell): Edge Pro Apex Model Sharpening System Kits | Edge Pro Inc. - https://www.edgeproinc.com/sharpening-kits/apex-kits/?gclid=CjwKCAiA55mPBhBOEiwANmzoQhaKhDLbpqkWCH3WUucBa_LUfs5r1BaTNrTKsjA-afbDTPFRV1J4NBoCSycQAvD_BwE
 
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I have the Edge Pro, it's a good system and I used it a lot a few years ago.
I found that I can get a good enough edge freehand these days so don't get the Edge Pro out very often.
I use a straight to shave with so get my sharpening fix from that now.
 
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