What is the best sharpening system

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Forum topic by ezgnann posted 12-27-2013 08:08 PM 7086 views 1 time favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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30 posts in 4120 days

12-27-2013 08:08 PM

I am considering upgrading from my Lansky and wet stones to a powered sharpening system. I mainly would need to sharpen picket knives, chisels, kitchen knives, and planes. Tormek, Grizzly, Worksharp, Sorby, modified bench grinder, etc. all look to do the same job, but what do you find is the best system for sharpening? I want some advise from fellow crafters that are using them!

-- Woodworking is cheaper than psychotherapy and better for me than whiskey

16 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5369 posts in 5457 days

#1 posted 12-27-2013 08:31 PM

I have had a Makita wet system for years. Don’t know why this system is overlooked ‘cause it has served me well for ALL sharpening (except some lathe tools).
I can remember when it was the go-to system at Highland Woodworking.
Stupid simple, and accurate as you need.

-- [email protected]

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 3535 days

#2 posted 12-27-2013 08:44 PM

I’ve got a team of three trained monkeys and one gorilla that do all my sharpening. They use an oilstone, a slow speed grinder – sometimes with a wolverine jig – some waterstones, my surface grinder, a large diamond stone, a pile of slips and cones, sandpaper on glass, a veritas jig for holding the angle, and a worksharp WS3000. Whatever floats their boat that day is what they play with. Before I got the trained monkeys I had a team of octopi and starfish that did my sharpening for me. They had the Delta Sharpening Center, the Grizzly knockoff of the Tormek, an even bigger pile of oil and waterstones, diamond files, a big 10” grinder, a smaller 6” grinder, a leather strop, a big wooden spindle they’d turned on the lathe with various shapes on the edge and some rouge impregnated into the MDF. They even used a belt sander every now and then. They were good guys, but they tried to go union so I let them go and went with the monkeys.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View brtech's profile


1222 posts in 4419 days

#3 posted 12-27-2013 09:11 PM

I think you need to tell us what kind of budget seems reasonable to you. If you can easily afford a Tormek with all the accessories for the edges you want to sharpen, then go for it.

If you would rather trade your time for your dollars, scary sharp (sandpaper on glass or granite) is the best.

The “masters” seem to be freehand sharpening on diamond plates

A Worksharp is in between, I have a 3000, purchased dirt cheap or I probably wouldn’t have bought it. It’s kind of a motorized scary sharp system, using a motor driven glass wheel with sandpaper.

View waho6o9's profile


9200 posts in 4073 days

#4 posted 12-27-2013 09:17 PM

Tormek 7 with all the attachments will sharpen anything.

View Loren's profile


11550 posts in 5144 days

#5 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.

View ezgnann's profile


30 posts in 4120 days

#6 posted 12-29-2013 04:38 AM

Thanks for the informAtion. My budget has not been determined because I am still researching.

Belt sanding versus wheel sanding- what are you thought?

-- Woodworking is cheaper than psychotherapy and better for me than whiskey

View lepelerin's profile


498 posts in 3821 days

#7 posted 12-29-2013 05:46 PM

Best sharpening system is practice with one you like and stick with it. DMT and a good stone will save you a lot of money and you won’t have to constantly buy sandpaper for your motorized device. my 2 cents.
How much sharpening do you do?

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JAY Made

202 posts in 3541 days

#8 posted 12-29-2013 08:28 PM

I have the grizzly t10010anv I absolutely love it, my knives chisels, and plane irons have never been sharper. The Tormek jigs work on the grizzly. Got mine from Grizzly on ebay for $159.

-- We all should push ourselves to learn new skills.

View Sanderguy777's profile


283 posts in 2698 days

#9 posted 02-12-2015 09:04 AM

I have a 1×30” Harbor Freight sander with a 6000 grit belt fro Klingspor. I can take nice shavings after I’m done with that.

I have been thinking about the Grizzly but until now I didn’t know I could use the Tormek jigs with it. Guess what I’m getting….

-- Marc Spagnuolo (standing in front of clamp wall): I think I need a few more . Me (owner of at least 8 clamps):.....?

View OSU55's profile


3050 posts in 3486 days

#10 posted 02-12-2015 12:51 PM

Depends on what you are sharpening. Here’s what I use:

Rough grinding bevels for plane blades, chisels, lathe tools – 6” bench grinder with a friable wheel, Tormek BGM-100 tool rest, Tormek jigs. Thin O1 Stanley plane blades are done on the Grizzly wet grinder.

Honing – Lathe tools a Grizzly wet grinder with Tormek jigs; Plane blades and chisels – diamond stones, lapping film, shop made jigs see here

The Grizzly wet grinder stone (and from what I’ve read the same is true for the Tormek stones) doesn’t like the harder tool steels like A2 and HSS. My thick A2 and HSS plane blades take forever on the Grizzly, but the bench grinder does them quickly. The Grizzly stone does fine with the small 2nd bevel I use for HSS lathe tools, and the Tormek gouge jig is great – any shape of grind desired and very repeatable. I end up doing a lot of stuff around the shop with the wet grinder because it is slow and controllable. I can’t think of any reason to spend the $ for a Tormek. I already had the 6” bench grinder, if I had to get one it would be 8” slow speed.

View Kentucky's profile


10 posts in 2699 days

#11 posted 02-12-2015 09:45 PM

Best is what works for you best..I have a full set of DMT dia sharp plates for high alloy steels (like cpm3v) and I have waterstones for everything else..Also have two different belt grinders we occasionally sharpen on or at least set the bevels on in the shop..I prefer free hand..It just takes practice,practice and then more practice..

View DrDirt's profile


4615 posts in 5239 days

#12 posted 02-12-2015 10:56 PM

Not intended to sound snarky.

But the best one is the one you will use.

Tons of methods to get tools sharp, and they all work well.

Some are more messy and a PITA… so we put off sharpening.
To me regardless what stunning mirror sharp finish it might give, that isn’t the Best, if I ‘avoid it’ until things are unbearably dull.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View SandraEric's profile


6 posts in 1894 days

#13 posted 05-01-2017 01:01 AM

1. DMT WM8EF-WB 8-Inch Duo Sharp Plus Bench Stone
2. King Two Sided Sharpening Stone with Base – #1000 & #6000
3. ​Lansky Dual Grit Sharpener
4. ​Smith’s 50008 8-Inch Diamond Tri-Hone Bench Stone
5. Norton Waterstone Starter Kit: 220/1000 grit stone
Wusthof 10-Inch Sharpening Steel Review
WINCO Sharpening Steel, 12-Inch Review
J.A. Henckels 9-Inch Poly Sharpening Steel
Messermeister Ceramic Rod Knife Sharpener, 12-Inch
DMT DS2E 12-Inch Diamond Steel Sharpening Rod, Extra Grit
Smith’s DFPK Diamond Precision Knife Sharpening Kit

KME Sharpeners KFS Knife Sharpening System – Standard Stone Kit

AGPtek Professional Kitchen Knife Sharpening System

-- Sandra

View SandraEric's profile


6 posts in 1894 days

#14 posted 05-09-2017 02:29 PM

here are my Top 5 Knife Sharpening Systems – In a Nutshell. Let’s see all of these.

Smith’s DFPK Diamond Precision Knife Sharpening Kit
KME Sharpeners KFS Knife Sharpening System – Standard Stone Kit
AGPtek Professional Kitchen Knife Sharpening System
Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening System
Edge Pro Apex 4 Knife Sharpening System ​
Work Sharp WSKTS Knife and Tool Sharpener
Lansky LKDMD 4-Stone Deluxe Diamond System Precision Knife Sharpening Kit
Work Sharp WSSA0002009 Knife Sharpening System
Wicked Edge Knife Sharpener – With Quartz Stone Base
Warthog V-Sharp Classic II Orange

-- Sandra

View SandraEric's profile


6 posts in 1894 days

#15 posted 05-12-2017 08:36 PM

How seriously should you take keeping your tools sharp? Ask around and you’ll get a range of opinions. For some woodworkers, sharpening is at best a necessary evil – to be taken up only when a tool will no longer successfully cut wood. For others, the practice of keeping every chisel, plane iron, gouge, saw blade and pencil in the shop in absolute razor-sharp condition carries an almost spiritual significance. Most, however, would take a more moderate position. They’d say – as so many professional woodworkers have – that reasonably-to-very sharp tools, and a system for keeping them that way, are prerequisites for enjoyable, accurate and safe work.

Settling in with a best knife sharpening system that offers the results you want, and that you actually use, can mark a real turning point in your woodworking. Sharp tools cut faster and with less resistance, leave a smoother surface, and are simply more fun to use. Having consistently sharp tools is likely to improve your accuracy and your attitude toward using hand tools. You’ll get things done faster and have a better time doing it.

-- Sandra

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