How to Use the Lansky Clamp: Clamping Smaller Blades
November 22, 2013
Since we published our last post, How to Use the Lansky Clamp: Clamping Thicker Blades, I’ve been receiving requests to do a post on clamping tiny blades found on small keychain knives. Just this past year, we (Lansky Sharpeners) decided to remove the small notch at the front of the clamp that was intended to be used when sharpening small blades. We made this decision in part, because we noticed many people were using the notch for all their blades (large and small alike). The notch was not intended to hold normal sized blades and created a hazard for people trying to use it to sharpen large kitchen knives and hunting knives. But we are in luck, clamping smaller blades using the Lansky Controlled Angle Sharpening Systems new ‘notch-less clamp’ is very easy and doesn’t differ too much from clamping normal size blades.
Just like in our last post, How to Use the Lansky Clamp: The Basics, we want to start with the clamp as it came in the original kit box, fully tightened.
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. Make sure that the front (Phillips) screw is loose enough to accept the blade you are going to sharpen.
3. Attach clamp to the back, or spine of the small 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 the torque that clamps the blade.
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. For smaller blades, try to have about ¼” of the blade extended from the end of the clamp for the best results.
As you can see, even without the notch in the clamp, a small knife can be secured safety in the clamp with just normal manipulation. The same rule will always apply when using the clamp:
“ …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 should be nonexistent when sharpening but some blade play may happen if you are handling the knife or even sharpening too hard. Remember, you don’t need too much force when sharpening, the weight of your hand on the hone is more than enough for most sharpening jobs.
Be Smart, Be Safe and Stay an Edge Above the Rest
Dec 6th, 2013
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