Reply by Loren

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Posted on What is the best sharpening system

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10477 posts in 4248 days

#1 posted 12-27-2013 09:40 PM

The “best” is hard to assess.

Budget is one factor, speed of getting ready to sharpen
is another, mess is a factor, and how much time it
takes to do the actual sharpening is another.

I have a Makita I get out when I have a lot of honing to do,
but it is messy and it takes a while to get the stone saturated
with water.

For everyday sharpening I use the Burns system and a white
grinding wheel on a $40 bench grinder. I sharpened
freehand on water stones for years, which has the
advantage allowing one to spread wear over the stone
so they don’t need flattening as often. The drawback
is when freehanding on water stones, it’s pretty easy to
take a divot out of a finishing stone. The Burns system
is divot proof and since the honing guide does not run on
the stone it is possible to use the whole surface.

A pair of 3×8” coarse and fine EZE-Lap stones will set
you back about $80 and an 8000 grit water stone is
about another $80. One can accomplish back bevels
with the system, which are otherwise difficult to get
right. I don’t use them very often but they will solve
some particular problems that come up when using
hand planes.

Some people are using diamond stones and finishing
with a strop these days.

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