How to Use the Lansky Clamp: The Basics

November 8, 2013


We’ve noticed a lot of questions and opinions on how to use the Lansky Controlled Angle Clamp online lately. It seems like everybody has different tips and tricks for using the clamp and some people are just having a hard time getting the clamp to accept different size and shapes of various blades. This blog post will attempt to show you how we intended the clamp to be used. We’ll go through two key points on using the clamp the best way possible; they are:

  1. Setting up the clamp
  2. Best practices when using the clamp


Setting up the Clamp


We want to start with the clamp as it came in the original kit box, fully tightened, then follow these steps.


1. Loosen front (Phillips) screw 3-4 turns. This will relieve tension so we can manipulate the thumb screw.


  2. Tighten the back, red thumb screw all the way. Then loosen the red thumb screw 1-2 turns.


  3. Now, loosen the front (Phillips) screw enough to accept the thickness of the blade you are going to sharpen.


4. Attach clamp to the back, or spine of the knife blade at the center of the blade and then tighten the front screw to tighten the clamp onto the blade. You can use a screwdriver to tighten the front screw, but be careful to not over tighten the screw; you can strip the threading on the clamp. The purpose of the front screw is to hold the blade, not to apply torque to clamp it.


5. To lock the blade in place, tighten the back red thumb screw all the way. This will create torque on the end of the jaws to hold your knife blade in place. We do not recommend using pliers or any other tool to tighten the red thumb screw; you can break or strip the screw.


  6. Try to have about ¼”- ½” of the blade extended from the end of the clamp for the best results.

Best practices when using the clamp



As you can see in the picture above, using the clamp is really about geometry. If the distance between the back ends of the clamp is greater than distance between the jaws of the clamp, (i.e. thickness of the blade) then you will be applying much more torque on the knife blade and it should have no play. If the distance between the back ends of the clamp is less than that of the thickness of the blade you are sharpening then the blade will not be secured properly.

Blade play may happen in the clamp regardless of how tight the blade is screwed down. This is the first indication that you are using too much pressure when sharpening. Generally, you’ll only need the weight of your hand on the hone to sharpen your blades. If you are applying extra force not only are you risking moving the blade around in the clamp but also rolling your edge, making it very difficult to get an extremely sharp edge.

To learn more about how to use the Lansky Controlled Angle Clamp, keep checking out the Lansky Blog. We’ll go through how to adjust the clamp to accept thicker blades, small blades and blades with a finish. If you have any questions makes sure to leave a comment below.

Be Smart, Be Safe and Stay and Edge Above the Rest!  



Category: General


Dec 19th, 2013
hello everybody
i'm a beginner and would like to know how far the clamp must go on the blade because that will have an influence on the sharpening angle. Otherwise if the clamp goes to far on the blade and I use a 17° angle then I will sharpen the clamp !!!
thank you for helping me
thank you for this good blog
Dec 27th, 2013
Hello Gérard!

We've designed the clamp so that the angle will be just right if the edge of the blade is .5"(12.7mm) from the mouth of the clamp. Knowing this, you can play around with the angle just by moving the blade in and out of the clamp. 17.5 degree angle anybody?! I hope this helps you, Gérard.

-Alex @ Lansky
Feb 3rd, 2014
thanks for this usefull blog - please continue to help
question : some people told me that after sharpening i should go with my blade on a leather belt coated with polishing paste - is it true ? which polishing paste ? (red or blue or grey ?)
thanks for helping
Feb 21st, 2014
Hey, Gerard! Thanks again for your comment. There's many different types of stropping compounds available to enhance your stropping needs. Keep in mind, the compounds ("paste") isn't necessary for stropping. Do a Google search and you'll see many options!

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