Veritas - Mk.II Sharpening System (Rating: 2)

Overall, the Veritas MKII leaves something to be desired and is not worth the price.

There are three main issues that I found with the system:

1. Not so big of an issue: The time sacrifice it takes to setup is time better spent woodworking. It is isn't terribly painful to set up, but it does take a few minutes to get going with it.

2. A little bit bigger issue: It is very difficult to get the chisel or plane iron in the jig at 90 degrees perfectly. Even using the equipment that comes with the set, it is not an easy chore to get the blade held in at the exact correct angle. I always found that my blades were at 91 or 89 degrees, which ends in establishing a new bevel that is crooked on your tools, NOT OK.

3. The big problem: The honing guide does not hold onto plane irons and chisels well at all. Once you put any significant pressure on the assembly and the tool held in it, it comes out of the alignment that was already bad in the first place. The two-knob clamping system does not work effectively.

I know there might be some guys out there who love this thing, but it was definitely not for me. I tried it for about a year or so and finally got frustrated enough to put it on the shelf (where it rusted even though I dried it and oiled it, how hard is it to use stainless?). I went to the cheapo $10 one and it works great, though I now do most of my sharpening by hand. If the cheap $10 is good enough for Lie-Nielsen at their traveling shows, then it is good enough for me.

All in all, this tool isn't worth it. If you are a beginner and looking for a honing guide, get the cheap one, or learn to do it by hand, you won't ruin your blades. I thought this would be good for a beginner because it took all of the stupid out of the equation, well not really. If you are familiar with car dependability, this ought to sum it up: I thought I was getting a toyota camry, but I got a jaguar instead.