We bought the Lansky Deluxe sharpening kit on Amazon US for $50 in October 2021. Before we got the Work Sharp Ken Onion, the Lansky was used to regenerate the edges of knives used in our tests of pull-through sharpeners. It has sharpened and honed a fair share of knives over the past few months.
We liked that the system has a nice set of stones that is effective, compact, and easy to store. However, it’s also cumbersome and can even be dangerous to use. It’s one case where the execution doesn’t quite live up to the concept.
The Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening Kit: The Specs
- Item weight: 1.1 pounds
- Dimensions: 0.25 x 9.75 x 1.5 inches
- Type: Oilstone
- Sharpening Mechanism: Guided sharpening
- Sharpening angle: 17, 20, 25, 30
- Bevel type: Single bevel, dual bevel
- Levels of Sharpening: Extra Coarse (grit 70), Coarse (120), Medium (280), Fine (600), Extra Fine (1000)
- Warranty: —
Inside the Box
Lansky’s sharpening kits come in several versions, featuring different materials (diamond or aluminum oxide) and numbers of stones. This Deluxe kit has five aluminum oxide stones, each housed in a color-coded plastic holder.
The kit also includes a clamp with angle slots, five metal rods, a 1 fl oz.bottle of honing oil, a spare stone screw, and a spare clamp screw. All of these clip neatly into the plastic case.
Versatility: Best for Medium-size Kitchen Knives
The Lansky Deluxe system is designed to work on various types of knives and tools.
Its clamp has four slots on each end, allowing you to sharpen both single bevel and double bevel knives at four different edge angles: 17, 20, 25, and 30 degrees. That should cover most of your kitchen blades, save perhaps the 13-degree fillet knives.
The five stones, ranging from extra coarse to extra fine in abrasiveness, are meant to cater to a wide range of sharpening needs: from fixing small chips to giving a thorough polishing session.
In practice, however, the stones are a bit too fine and too small for heavy-duty tasks such as fixing large chips or dents.
Also, it takes quite a bit of time to go through any blade that’s longer than 8 inches — and that’s not taking into account the time you spend moving the clamp along the blade and fastening it.
Meanwhile, if you want to sharpen a particularly small blade, such as a paring knife, at a small edge angle, the cutout on the clamp may not allow the stones to reach the edge.
These limitations mean that the Lansky system works best on pocket knives, hunting knives, and medium-sized kitchen knives.
If you can sharpen without the guides, however, the stones are great on small blades. You can use them on a plethora of tools, such as peelers, kitchen shears, and garden trowels.
Sharpness: Smooth, Shiny Edges
The Lansky stones are very effective for both serious sharpening and regular maintenance of kitchen knives. The grade of sharpness they bring about is well on par with other stones with similar abrasive levels. The time it takes is, unfortunately, also a close match.
For the test, we ran the edge of an 8-inch chef’s knife across coarse sandpaper until it became dull, then used the Lansky kit to redefine its edge.
It took about 15 minutes against all the stones for the knife to be able to cut through a lemon in one draw. It took another 23 minutes to sharpen it enough to cut through beef tendon in one draw, which had not been possible when the knife was brand new. The small size of the stones really doesn’t help with the speed.
Sharpening Times As Tested
|Level||1. Tofu||2. Scallion||3. Celery||4. Carrot||5. Apple||6. Lemon||7. Ripe tomato||8. Raw chicken breast with skin||9. Raw beef tendon|
|20° knife||20 secs||30 secs||4 mins||6 mins||9 mins||15 mins||18 mins||26 mins||38 mins|
* Knife sharpened from can’t-cut-paper dullness
For this task, we went for the Extra Coarse, Coarse, Medium, and Fine stones. In fact, we never had to reach for the Extra Fine stone – the Fine one was enough to bring a mirror-like finish to the edge.
As mentioned, we used the Lansky Deluxe system to regenerate knives that had gone through sharpening with other manual sharpeners. It did a fine job, and depending on the device that the knife was previously sharpened with, it took 15 to 20 minutes for the edge to feel fine and smooth again.
Monthly touch-ups on the Coarse, Medium, and Fine stones take about the same amount of time. A quick honing session using just the latter two, which you should do every week if you use your knives daily, takes only 5 - 6 minutes.
After about a week of rigorous sharpening, we noticed that the same sharpening tasks took significantly longer. This is due to metal dust filling up the pores on the stones, making them less abrasive and thus less effective. We’ll discuss this in the Maintenance section down below.
Of all the sharpeners we tested — manual, electric, and stone — the Lansky Deluxe system is easily the most dangerous to use.
Following the instructions, you sharpen your knife with its edge facing you at your chest or abdominal level. Meanwhile, one of your hands — the one holding the stone — will keep sliding right over the edge. It doesn’t take much for an accident to happen while you’re sharpening your knives.
We tested the system without the stand, but we’re not sure if it would have made a difference. This kit belongs in a garage and should not be used in the presence of young children, pets, or anyone who might push the knife toward you or vice versa.
Nor should it be used without a support surface, like a table or countertop, underneath. The clamp can and did become loose during our testing, even when we applied very light pressure on the stones. While it didn’t happen to us, there’s a real chance it could cause one of your knives to fall – possibly onto your feet.
Taping the clamp up is an effective workaround to secure and stabilize the knife. This prevents potential scratches on the blade too. We just wish the set was designed to be safer out of the box..
Ease of Use: A Mild Learning Curve
Using the Lansky Deluxe system could be fun for hobbyists or those who see sharpening as an art form. On the other hand, if you’re results-driven, you’re likely to find it cumbersome.
Setup is a little complicated, but not overly difficult. First, you need to oil the stones (interestingly, this step isn’t in the instructions), then hook the stones to the rods, attach the knife to the clamp, put the rod into the right angle slot, and you’re ready to go. The whole process took us 3 - 4 minutes.
If you’re sharpening knives longer than 7 inches, you’ll have to learn how to move the clamp along the blade. This operation is thankfully covered in the user’s guide.
Unfortunately, a knife has only one balance point. Move past this point and the imbalance will immediately be noticeable, especially if the knife is long and thick. The small clamp is not designed to handle this. It repeatedly became loose during our tests, as mentioned, and we frequently needed to reattach the blade.
The actual sharpening process is straightforward. Its angle guide offers great support for newbies, who often face difficulty getting the right angle and/or even bevels when sharpening with whetstones. If you love whetstones but struggle with them, you’ll appreciate this system.
Simple Storage, Complicated Maintenance
There are no clear instructions from Lansky on how to maintain this system.
After sharpening the first three for four knives, the metal dust started to fill the pores on the stones. About seven knives in, and the stones became very smooth. Sharpening became messier too, with the dust and oil combining to form grease.
We found a guide on cleaning the stones by “massaging” the surface of the stones with your fingers using the oil. Unfortunately, that didn’t help much. Dish soap and a toothbrush finally did the trick for us. However, it may weaken the glue that keeps the stones in their plastic housings.
The Medium, Fine, and Extra Fine stones are prone to dipping in the middle and require a coarse flattening stone to renew the surface.
We didn’t have the rod problem that some Amazon customers mentioned in their reviews. While the rods are small, they’re stiff enough, and none of them bent after multiple times being pulled out from the storage clips.
The stones and included accessories fit in a closed case the size of a hand clutch or a thin sandwich loaf, so storage is simple. The case can easily stay in a drawer, on a shelf, or in your bag.
The Verdict: Should You Buy the Lansky Deluxe Sharpening Kit?
The Lansky Deluxe sharpening kit is effective for sharpening and maintenance of kitchen knives. However, its small size makes it inefficient for heavy duty tasks. It’s a nice starter kit for those who’d like to go the whetstone way, though you will need to be extra alert and careful while using it.
Buy It If
- You’re the DIY type
- You love sharp blades and don’t mind the time and effort
- Your kitchen knives are of small or medium sizes
- Working with your hands is fun
- You like using stones but want guidance on the angles
|Not Your Best Choice If||Try instead|
|You’re looking for a quick solution||Kitchellence
Chef’s Choice Trizor XV
|You can’t stand grease from dust and oil|
|The work involves fixing major damage||Chef’s Choice Trizor XV
Work Sharp Ken Onion
|You’re clumsy or have weak hands||Cubikook Chef’ Sharpener|
We hope this Lansky sharpening kit review has been useful to you. Write to us if you have questions regarding the system, or to share your experience with us!
As the editor-in-chief, Anh Ngo works across different departments at Healthy Kitchen 101, communicating closely with its network of writers, editors, and health, tech, and search engine experts to provide a meaningful and pleasant reading experience for visitors. She's responsible for reviewing the content published on Healthy Kitchen 101, ensuring it is accurate, relevant, and helpful.Anh has a master’s degree in Journalism from the Chinese Culture University (Taiwan). Before joining Healthy Kitchen 101, she was a contributing reporter for Taiwan News and a speech data evaluator at Google.