Lansky Sharpeners is undoubtedly the most recognized name in knife sharpening tools. Founder Arthur Lansky invented the controlled-angle sharpening system in 1979. The Lansky Sharpening System® continues to be the company’s most popular item today. It is an excellent product but absolutely of no use to maintain your blade while in the field.
Enter the Lansky BladeMedic®. The BladeMedic has been around for a while, so some of you may be familiar with it; The BladeMedic was developed to provide a simple way to quickly sharpen knives in the field. Lansky refers to as “First Aid for Your Blade!®.”
The BladeMedic features four different sharpeners in one tool, allowing you to sharpen almost any knife, including serrated blades and rescue hooks/ gut hooks. It is not the only field sharpener of its type on the market, but it is one of the most versatile.
Smaller than many pocket knives at 3.9 x 1.25 x 0.45 inches (closed) and with a weight of 3.3 ounces, it is an entire sharpening kit that fits conveniently in your pocket.
The BladeMedic features two V-notch pull-through sharpeners (coarse tungsten carbide and fine ceramic), a medium grit ceramic sharpening element, and a fold-out fine diamond tapered rod.
The pull-through sharpeners feature sharpening angles that are preset to 22.5 degrees to reach an inclusive angle of 45 degrees. This produces a durable edge well-suited for field use, although it is not razor sharp. The latter requires a more acute (and weaker) angled edge (although you may not notice any real difference in cutting ability in field applications).
The sharpening tools are housed in a rugged, black powder coat-finished stainless steel housing with a lanyard hole. When not in use, the diamond rod is held securely closed by a strong magnet.
The tungsten carbide pull through sharpener is extremely aggressive at around 200-300 grit. It removes a lot of metal and does so unevenly, so it should not be used often if at all. Lansky recommends it be used to only restore an extremely dull blade or for “super-quick sharpening.” Only three to four strokes are necessary. If you maintain your knife it is unlikely that you will ever need it. I would stay clear of it, with a few exceptions. The diamond tapered rod is much better for this purpose in any case.
The ceramic pull-through sharpener is used as a finishing step to the carbide sharpener to finely hone the blade. It can also be used on its own to “touch up” relatively sharp blades. Again, only three to four strokes are necessary.
The ceramic pull through sharpener rods are not very aggressive and can be used on your blade often. It is always much better to keep your blade sharp than having to resharpen a dull blade.
The pull-through sharpeners are simple to use. You simply place the blade in the sharpener and pull it through with a little downward pressure applied.
The BladeMedic should be set on a flat stable surface and held in place as you carefully pull the blade through with a slow, controlled stroke. As with any pull-through sharpener, you must be careful so as not to scratch the blade.
That being said, I would not recommend using any V-notch pull-through sharpener for sharpening any hard steel blades, such as VG10, S30V or S35VN for example.
The serrated ceramic element (1000 grit) should be used for general blade maintenance. The serrated ceramic element is designed to get inside even the smallest serrations. It can also be used on its own like a benchstone or like a butcher’s steel. It is harder than steel and will never wear out. It should be used as the primary sharpening element of the BladeMedic.
Metal shavings will eventually accumulate (appearing as streaks) and slow the effectiveness of the ceramic. They can be easily removed by using a pliable, abrasive-type eraser, such as the Lansky EraserBlock™.
The diamond tapered rod is designed for fast reconditioning and maintenance of both plain-edge and serrated blades, as well as rescue cutters and gut hooks. Lansky recommends its use only where speed is absolutely essential or with hard to sharpen items, such as the aforementioned rescue cutters and gut hooks. The diamond tapered rod is attached to a plastic pivot bushing but it seems unlikely to break.
To sum it all up. The BladeMedic is an inexpensive, practical knife sharpener that groups several different knife sharpening tools into one. It is convenient to carry and easy to use so you never need to make do with a dull knife in the field.
Although it is a bit heavier than some of the competition due to its stainless steel body, the additional weight is more than offset by the increased ruggedness in my opinion. It is not a replacement for bench sharpeners (nor is it intended to be), but they are of no use while in the field. It is well-made, albeit made in China.
MSRP of the Lansky BladeMedic is only $15.99. For its intended purpose and within its limitations, it is a great piece of kit.
Functionality: 4/5 for intended purpose and within its limitations
Overall Rating: 18/20
I was provided with this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.
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