My first impression of the Lansky Blade Medic was a little cynical. Another knife sharpening gadget? No thanks. As a professional woodworker I have sharpened hundreds, if not thousands, of blades, chisels, knives etc. over the years. I’ve shown a couple of hundred Scouts how to use and sharpen a pocket knife and I’ve tried out many different sharpening methods. The Lansky Blade medic features two ‘crotch stick’ sharpening tools, one in ceramic, one in carbide. They are two pieces of material configured in a ‘v’ shape that forms the proper cutting angle on just about any knife. In addition to these there’s a cone-shaped diamond rod and a profiled strip of ceramic for serrated blades. In the video I sharpen three different blades, a pocketknife, a serrated multi-tool blade and a sheath or kitchen knife blade. The pocket knife blade was not entirely dull but it got considerably sharper after several passes through the ceramic tool. Touching up a blade with the ceramic tool every once in a while is a quick and effective way to keep it sharp. Sharpening serrated blades has always been a bit of a puzzle, but the Lansky Blade Medic makes the process simple. The tapered diamond sharpening stick will quickly sharpen nearly any size or shape serration, and the ceramic strip dresses them up. As the video shows a couple of swipes across the back of a serrated blade will remove the burr sharpening the serrations creates. My utility kitchen/sheath knife was pretty dull. I used the carbide tool to form the edge, followed up with the ceramic tool and this resulted in a good sharp edge in less than a minute. As the video shows there was one rough spot in the blade that I used the ceramic strip to smooth out, so this part of the tool works for more than just serrated blades, you can use it much like any sharpening stone. It’s important to use moderate pressure when sharpening with the carbide or ceramic crotch stick tools. Start with about as much pressure as you’d use to peel a potato, check the edge after a couple of strokes and see if you are getting anywhere. It’s better to start out with lighter pressure and increase it if need be, then finish with one or two light strokes. Lansky recommends using the carbide tool sparingly and I concur. If you have a very dull blade the carbide tool will shape a good edge, then you’ll want to refine it with the ceramic tool. Nine times out of ten a well-maintained edge will only need a few passes over the ceramic tool to keep it sharp. I’d think anyone willing to spend a little time practicing will be able to sharpen just about every knife blade they own with the Lansky Blade Medic. It’s not just another gimmicky gadget, it’s a serious tool. It’s perfect for Scouts – simple, effective and quick with a much shorter learning curve than the traditional sharpening stone. Also available at Amazon
About Clarke Green
Clarke has worked with thousands of Scouts and Scouters as a director at his local Scout Camp (Camp Horseshoe), and as a Scoutmaster for 30 years. He is the recipient of a number of awards recognizing his service to Scouting, including the B.S.A.’s Silver Beaver, District Award of Merit, and is a Vigil Honor member of Octoraro Lodge 22. He is author of the blog and podcast at Scoutmastercg.com, The Scouting Journey, and Thoughts on Scouting. An avid outdoorsman and amateur actor, he lives in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania with his wife Teddi.