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Review by Badabing posted 2375 days ago 2613 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Great Results for One Low Price! Great Results for One Low Price! Great Results for One Low Price! Click the pictures to enlarge them

Introduction:
The WorkSharp WS3000 is a powered sharpening system that uses a horizontal spinning surface. It uses PSA sandpaper on tempered glass disks or slotted wheels as the abrasive surfaces. It has a unique angled port under the disk to set the bevel angle of tools such as chisels and plane blades. There is also a tool rest above the wheel for top surface sharpening. The adjustable port provides the ability to set precise bevel angles with perfect repeatability. The slotted wheel allows the user to actually see the edge that is being sharpened against the bottom surface of the wheel.

Let me first say that I am a total novice when it comes to sharpening. I tried using oil stones and an angle fixture but could not seem to get the hang of it. My results were horrible, probably because I was starting with some very dull blades that needed a lot of material removed before they’d be considered even close to sharp.

I started to look at my options and thought it best to go for a motorized sharpening solution. The WorkSharp 3000 caught my eye immediately. The competition is very expensive when you consider the initial cost and then the price of attachments to sharpen different tools. Even some of the manual methods would cost a lot when you figure in the different grades of stones needed to get the best results. With the WorkSharp, the price is very reasonable for what you get. The unit itself seems well made even though there is a good bit of hard plastic. The included accessories are well thought out and cover most of what the average user will need to use. I’m sure I’ll find the need for some extras but for now it appears fairly complete for chisels and plane irons. The instructions are straight forward and well laid out.

Setup:
Aside from the motorized sharpener itself, the box includes two 6” tempered glass disks, one slotted wheel, a top tool rest, a crepe stick, and a good assortment of PSA abrasives to get started with. Setup is not very difficult if you follow the instructions. One of the first things you have to do is adhere the PSA abrasives to the tempered glass disks. Each glass disk gets two abrasives; one on each side. First you must clean the glass to ensure the surface is free of any dirt or oils (I used Isopropyl alcohol, commonly called ISA). Next you have to peel the backing off of the abrasive sheets and apply them to the glass disk. This is where it can get a little tricky. Here is a good tip: I had a brainstorm and used a socket wrench extension rod to line up the holes. This made it very easy to align the abrasive with the glass disk.

Another tip is to use a roller of some kind to roll out the air bubbles that may be trapped between the glass and the abrasive. I used a roller top from a glue bottle I had lying around. It is easy to tell when there are no bubbles. By the way, I had no trouble with air bubbles on any of the abrasives (although the 3600 MicroMesh did have a couple but they rolled out easily).

Usage:
Once it was all setup, I had to test it out. I selected one of my most worn chisels. A 5/8” chisel where the edge was very dull and even rounded over slightly on the back side. I soon realized that it would take way too long to clean up this edge, even using the WorkSharp’s coarsest grit (P120). So I took the chisel over to my bench grinder and squared the edge of the bevel. This took off the rounded over part of the back as well so I had a flat square edge on the end instead of a sharp beveled edge. I then set to work on the WorkSharp and took the chisel’s bevel and back plane through all the grits.

This is where the WorkSharp really shines (literally)! The ability to use progressively finer grits one after the other is a definite advantage over the competition. I lapped the back of the chisel on the top of the wheel with the P120 side up. Then I flipped the wheel over and with the P120 side down, I ground the bevel to 25 degrees in the angled port underneath. I took both sides of the chisel through all the grits in this same way, lapping the back first and then sanding the bevel. I then set the port to 30 degrees and put a micro bevel on the edge as suggested in the directions by a “Master Tip” section they included.

Results:
The WorkSharp put a mirror finish on the old chisel and made it as sharp as a scalpel. While it took over 10 minutes to get to this level of sharp, it only takes a fraction of the time to simply maintain an edge like this once you have it on your tools already. In fact, once you get to this point you only have to use the last two grits to keep this edge super sharp and mirror finished.

Conclusion:
It works as advertised and is very easy to use. All in all, I am very happy with the WorkSharp. I use it all the time and the convenience is well worth the cost. There’s nothing like getting paper thin shavings from a hand plane every time you use it because you can keep it extremely sharp with very little effort. The WorkSharp is definitely a valuable asset in my shop!

Note: For a more detailed review with additional information and pictures, please see my website here. It includes details about the slotted wheel and curved tools as well as valuable information about customer support!

-- - Joe http://www.joeswoodstuff.ecrater.com




View Badabing's profile

Badabing

1 post in 2375 days



12 comments so far

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 2471 days


#1 posted 2375 days ago

I love mine. I echo the 5 star rating.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2418 days


#2 posted 2375 days ago

Hi Joe,

Good review on the WorkSharp. I have posted several comments on this subject and could have written this one word for word. Like you I tried angle jigs, sandpaper and waterstones but could not get a sharp edge on my chisels and plane irons. Out of frustration with using dull tools I took the plunge and bought the 3000. Out of the box it produced a mirror edge on the chisels and irons hat would shave the hair off my arm.

I agree with you 100%.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View ShannonRogers's profile

ShannonRogers

540 posts in 2384 days


#3 posted 2375 days ago

Ditto to everything above. I got mine for Christmas and have been busy ever since sharpening my chisels and irons.. I haven’t tried it on my lathe tools yet. I still struggle with the top guide for irons larger than 2” because the movement of the wheel wants to pull the iron off square. I have read that use a honing guide can steady the iron against the guide. Great review and love your site as well.

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at www.renaissancewoodworker.com

View John's profile

John

341 posts in 2394 days


#4 posted 2375 days ago

Great review – thanks. Your website is great too!

-- John - Central PA - http://affyx.wordpress.com

View dalec's profile

dalec

613 posts in 2484 days


#5 posted 2374 days ago

Thanks for the review. Having a way to sharpen hand tools so they work as they should is something I need to do. I have never learned how to really get something sharp. Does the Worksharp 3000 get the tool to razor sharp?

Dalec

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 2471 days


#6 posted 2374 days ago

Does the Worksharp 3000 get the tool to razor sharp?

In a word, yes.

View CutNRun's profile

CutNRun

122 posts in 2442 days


#7 posted 2367 days ago

I received my Worksharp on Friday and spent much of the evening and part of Saturday morning going through the sorry collection of chisels and few plane irons that I have. The system was extremely simple to use. Most of the chisels were ground at the wrong angle and I spent an extra amount of time bringing things to proper angle. Future sharpening will be much quicker. The system was simple to set up, easy to use and completely repeatable. Definite five star rating from me. Next up are some neglected turning tools. I am interested to see how easy the slotted wheel is to use.

-- CutNRun - So much wood, so many trails, so little time

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1140 posts in 2587 days


#8 posted 2354 days ago

Got mine on Saturday and love it, for the first time ever I got a mirror finish on my blades and the exceptional cuts very sharp tools can accomplish. Five stars.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2618 days


#9 posted 2354 days ago

It takes a while to get all you tools up to snuff but after that touchups are pretty much limited to the 2 finest grits. This make it a lot easier to keep sharp tools on the bench.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View dalec's profile

dalec

613 posts in 2484 days


#10 posted 2345 days ago

Thinking about buying the work sharp ws3000. Has anyone tried sharpening kitchen knife blade using the WS3000?

Dalec

View bayspt's profile

bayspt

292 posts in 2300 days


#11 posted 2252 days ago

I ditto the 5 stars just got mine yesterday. Dalec I just sharpened a pocket knife to razor sharp. It took a steady hand but I goter done

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6114 posts in 1397 days


#12 posted 935 days ago

Thought you may like to see my video of the Upgrades I made to the Work Sharp including one that allows you to use Tormek jigs AND how to use cheap buffing compound instead of sandpaper instead of diamond wheels and compounds:

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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