Alright guys, I got sick and tired of using the cheap "swipe your knife" sharpeners and was looking for something I could have for a while and get good use out of. I bought a Lansky on ebay and love the thing.
It comes with five different stones and you can adjust for four different angles. It takes a bit to get used to but its great to sit down and mess with it. I have a number of my knives scary sharp now and they seem like theyre holding their edges.
Lansky and systems like it operate on a very simple concept. The clamp for the blade and guide rods for the stones ensures a perfect and identical angle each and every stroke.
They offer an idiot-proof system for those of us (most of us) that can't achieve that level of precision free handing it.
For those that can get satisfactory edges by hand, there is really no need for the Lansky. It does take a bit longer to sharpen with a Lansky than it does to just whip out your knife and stone and have at it.
i can sharpen a blade well with a stone but it takes me a while. i prefer the ease of the lansky. i wont lose any sleep because i'm not an old-world knife sharpening fool like some of the elders here at HPA. lol
Since I originally made this post, I think I've sharpened every knife in the house. Paring knives, butcher knives, my deer skinning knives, pocket knives, and even the older ones that I never use. This thing is amazing. The only thing that I still have problems with is determining which angle some of these blades are at right now.
I started sharpening my one pocket knife and it seems like it is "between" two of the four options. I just sharpened it really well and made it an angle that I have. Maybe not the best thing but now I know I can just clamp it in and go!