Work Sharp

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Review by Phil53 posted 12-29-2011 04:52 PM 13033 views 2 times favorited 38 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Work Sharp No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I have owned my Work Sharp for a little over two years. I don’t mean to be critical but I have seen too many reviews that are done by someone who has played with their new tool over the weekend and give it 5 stars. I would like to see more reviews after they have had their tool for a while (30 days or more).

When I first got my Work Sharp I was disappointed in it because it is a free hand machine, so it is like sharpening on a stone free hand you have to get a feel for it, you have to get past that learning curve. They do have jigs for the machine now at an extra cost.

Pros: The Work Sharp will put a nice polished edge on your tools once you get a feel for it.

1. They only give you two slotted wheels, so if you want to go to the finer grits you have to peel off the course abrasive or go buy more wheels.
2. The price of $20 a piece for the slotted plastic wheels I believe is too much for something that is produced in a mold.
3. You cannot go to any of the woodworking stores and get individual abrasive grits you have to get the multi-packs. You can get the singles from Work Sharp but then you have to pay for shipping at $5 and up.

I give it 3 stars because this is a major part of the machine.

If I had it to do over I would take a good hard look at some of the other sharpening devices out there and look at the cost of maintenance. I would also look at the cost of the jigs that you will need to make your device perform the task that you want to do.

View Phil53's profile


90 posts in 4393 days

38 comments so far

View StumpyNubs's profile


7806 posts in 3571 days

#1 posted 12-29-2011 05:05 PM

My comments on the other review on this (posted yesterday) cover this already, but I will repeat them here…

Throw out the expensive slotted wheels, glass discs and sandpaper. Cut yourself some 6 inch MDF discs and use buffing compound instead of sandpaper. Make a stand that includes a shelf that is level with the disc top and use a cheap honing jig just like you would with a stone or scary sharp setup.

It makes all the difference and you’ll be LOVING this machine in no time…

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View rance's profile


4273 posts in 3931 days

#2 posted 12-29-2011 05:14 PM

I agree Phil, but it looks like you are having a problem counting to 3. :) You gave it 4 stars.

I saw that platform Stumpy. That’s a great solution. It doesn’t solve the slotted disk problem though. They have another purpose. But those can be duplicated too with mdf.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View StumpyNubs's profile


7806 posts in 3571 days

#3 posted 12-29-2011 05:26 PM

It does solve the slotted disc problem if you also use the Tormek jig for gouges and other such turning tools instead of the slotted discs. Mounting the bar is cheap, but the jig is expensive. However I’m working on making a jig for it. I already came up with a knife sharpening jig similar to the Tormek that only costs a few dollars to make and works great with the Worksharp.

If you like using the slotted sharpening technique, that can be sloved too. If you are using MDF discs for the sandpaper and buffing compounds, that frees up your glass discs. Use them with the slotted paper, along with the slotted disc and you can then do five grits without switching paper. (One on each side of the two included glass discs, a fifth on the included slotted disc.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View woodmaker's profile


321 posts in 3462 days

#4 posted 12-29-2011 07:24 PM

Well when I got mine for Christmas and used it over the week-end it was worth all 5 stars I gave it because it works for me.
In 30 days it will still have 5 stars.
This is a tool I can shrapen with.
I can’t seem to get the hang of sharpening on stones wet or dry; never could, never will apparently. This tool solves that problem. So 5 stars it is.

-- Mike

View Phil53's profile


90 posts in 4393 days

#5 posted 12-29-2011 08:59 PM

Did not mean to upset anyone it’s just my opinion. I apologize for that.

I know that in my own experience that after the new wears off and you have worked any tool for awhile you find the quirks ether good or bad.

StumpyNubs, I like the idea of making the MDF disc. That’s a project I’ll have to put on the list.

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3879 days

#6 posted 12-29-2011 10:34 PM

No offense taken Phil. I have been one of the guilty parties that have too eagerly expressed my joy over a new tool and posted a review before the product was really broken in. On this particular product, however, I still stand behind my five star review :)

I think what you might want to take into consideration is that sharpening is one of those skills that used to be taught to young’uns, probably before one was allowed to even use a knife/chisel/plane and that art has kind of died out for new woodworkers. Most lower quality chisels and planes don’t even mention that the blades will have to be sharpened or honed on the packaging and newbies (like I used to be) never even give it a thought and believe that the bad cuts from these hand tools are caused by lack of talent more so than poor edge quality. So you have to imagine the elation that one feels when they use a really sharp chisel the first time. As well as the knowledge that this edge can be maintained with little effort on the hobbyist’s part.

Expectations vary by woodworker, some like edges that are so sharp you cut yourself looking at the tool. Other’s don’t find that it fits their particular style. All a matter of perspective. Cost is a factor on these machines and many of us find work arounds and cheaper alternatives to what the company offers based on our abilities and personal frugalness. This device helps me with my turning tools as well as my chisels and my personal gratification as a woodworker has greatly intensified since using these.

At any rate, always good to hear a different impression and criticism of a product should be as welcome as the positives. The feedback helps the manufacturer take care of some quirks and produce an even better product.

Thanks for posting,


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4458 days

#7 posted 12-30-2011 12:03 AM

Phil53 , I agree 100% with your “wait and see” before reviewing , thoughts : )
Actually USED the tool for 30 or more days , not just owning it for that long !! LOL

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 3731 days

#8 posted 12-30-2011 12:19 AM

30 days? i would rather say no review within 6 months to a year after purchase. Unless there is something major wrong with a tool, then we are usually euphoric about them initially and can’t re hold from posting a review and i was guilty of this as well in the past!

View BigFoot Products Canada's profile

BigFoot Products Canada

711 posts in 4163 days

#9 posted 12-30-2011 12:54 AM

Hey Phil.. I’ve had mine a couple of years and love it.. If you happen to know anyone with a LASER they can cut you as many wheels as you want both the slotted and the regular out of Acrylic.. They work GREAT> Also the same Laser Guy can cut whatever grits you want for the slotted and regular wheel.. I own a LASER so that’s how I know..:) I also cut the slotted wheels to accept a madrell.. that way you can just chuck them into a drill press… no Worksharp even necessary.. “Check my page” I have some pics posted.. I also just posted some info on how to use the diamond grits now available and where to get them from.. in this previous discussion just scroll down..

View StumpyNubs's profile


7806 posts in 3571 days

#10 posted 12-30-2011 01:12 AM

Hey Dave, one question… Why cut slots in clear acrylic wheels? The reason for the slots is so you can see through it, but you can see through a clear wheel anyway… Actually, the slotted discs would work fine on the class wheels, and if you line the paper up, you can use one on each side.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Guss's profile


94 posts in 3211 days

#11 posted 12-30-2011 07:19 AM

I think that there tools are good tools I like there concepts have any of you guys put a square on your tools off the sharpener When i used my grandpas i got a lot of disk deflection and it made the tools out of square on the wider stuff as much as a 1/6th it does give the tools a nice edge and it makes the back of your tools flat and smooth other then that i really wasn’t that impressed

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3872 days

#12 posted 12-30-2011 09:54 AM

”I would like to see more reviews after they have had their tool for a while (30 days or more)”.

Amen brother.
The perfect tool reviews always scare me…...........

-- mike...............

View StumpyNubs's profile


7806 posts in 3571 days

#13 posted 12-30-2011 02:33 PM

Guss- I get very little deflection, but it is easily compensated for by adjusting the angle of the port, which is done by loosening a screw under the disc and moving a small lever. And deflecction caused by sharpening from the top is easily negated by using a honing guide with a single wheel in the center rather than the one they supply with the wide blade attachment accessory.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View ChuckC's profile


844 posts in 3705 days

#14 posted 12-30-2011 06:35 PM

It should be mentioned that you don’t have to use their sandpaper. I get mine from the box store and the instructions even advocate it.

With the Tormek bar and jigs you shouldn’t even have to use the slotted wheel to freehand.

I love the reviews on tools that aren’t even used yet or that comment on the customer service and it hasn’t even arrived yet! How about we wait until we actually get it, use it, and then review the entire experience.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7806 posts in 3571 days

#15 posted 12-31-2011 03:37 PM

OK- my video of the Upgrades I made:

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

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