I worked as a carpenter for over 35 years and while in the trades, I always did my own maintenance on cutting tools whenever possible. I learned how to file a handsaw as an apprentice and how to grind and hone my chisels, plane irons and various other hand tools. For things like carbide saw blades, router bits and chains, I sent them to a sharpening service, the same one my employer used for all the professional shop equipment. When the owner of that sharpening shop died, my employer (and me) sent dull blades to another service but the results were less than satisfactory. I decided that I would try my hand at sharpening tools and invested in an all purpose grinder made by a manufacturer in Kansas City.
That was in 1986 and I still use that original grinder for a multitude of tasks but have added many more machines since then. As a retired carpenter, I know and appreciate the importance of keeping tools sharp because sharp tools produce a quality job and are much safer to use. I’m still small potatoes as far as shop size and customer base, but I keep customers coming back because I always strive for a high quality job when I return a sharpened tool. I try to stress the importance of keeping woodworking tools at peak sharpness, and customers appreciate that fact which generates more work for me.
In this day and age of disposable everything, cutting tools are becoming cheaper and more abundant than ever. But the high quality tools used by many hobbyists and professionals are more cost effective in the long run, to resharpen and use. Most sharpening shops are specialists in their field and can keep your tools in tip-top condition. Don’t settle for low quality disposable cutting blades, the best tools are sharp tools.