On The Edge Mar. 3, 2011

Keep Your Blades Sharp!

When I was about 8, my Grandpa gave me my first pocket knife, a three-blade Old Timer.  He also gave me a whetstone, and showed me how to use it.  One thing I remember from him all these years later, is that a dull knife is much more dangerous than a sharp one.  You need to use more pressure on a dull blade, and it is more likely to slip.  My Grandma's kitchen knives were all razor sharp, and worn to about half the width they started at from decades and decades of faithful sharpening.

Today, the true experts will still use a stone, but it takes skill and talent to do it right.  I recently refound my Lansky Deluxe Sharpening System that I bought before Y2K.  It is easy to use, and pretty darned effective for those of us who have not perfected the art of the stone.  I also have the "C" clamp mount which I think makes it even easier to use.I had to relearn the technique it had been so long since I used it, but it came back pretty quick. 

The Lansky system works on everything from small pocket knives to large hunting or combat knives.  If you move the blade mount a few times, you can even use it on a machete or other large knife.

Now that I've refound this great tool, I really need to touch up most of my knives.

To give you an idea of how it works, here's a video I found on You Tube.

Knives are like any other tool, you need to take care of them, so they'll take care of you.


  1. I have one of the lansky sharpeners in a box somewhere, looks like I need to go find it and start using it again. Great post.

  2. Thanks BVDD. As I become more organized in my life and my storage, I find a lot of great things that got boxed up in one move or another.

  3. Blade sharpening (knives, chisels, axes,drill bits, swords?) will be a skill high in demand after the crash. Aquiring the tools of the trade now and PRACTICING deserves a prominent place in one's survival preparation plans. Human powered tools and techniques have largely fallen into disuse or disdain. Their importance will become obvious quickly should the just-in-time supply chain be interupted.

  4. You speak wise words, Michael. Chainsaw and manual saw sharpening are two other skills that could be crucial or profitable in a new economy.


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