|Review by ThorinOakenshield||posted 04-02-2014 04:48 AM||6480 views||0 times favorited||15 comments|
So, this machine is a glorified belt sander. Said glorification is however, not unmerited. I’ve been turning for less than a year, I purchased all my turning tools used, none of them had a consistent profile on them… until I purchased the ProEdge. I found myself hunting for other tools to sharpen.
Cost: This unit is expensive and if I hadn’t had a gift card to knock a nice chunk of the cost down, I probably wouldn’t have bought it. The cheapest I've seen it is here. They even take off an extra $5 for signing up on the site.
Performance: The machine has a good motor that does not bog down. The presets are very strait forward and can be modified rapidly. The deluxe model came with 3 belts (60, 120, and 240 grit). I also purchase the 3 Trizact belts (600, 1200, and 3000 grit). The 60 grit zirconium belt really remove material fast and still looks new after all my tools (8-10) being re-profiled. The 120 and 240 aluminum oxide belts do a great job of putting an acceptable edge on the tools but show some wear. The 3 Trizact belt are very durable and are not used long to get a near mirror finish on my tools. While not entirely necessary for turning tools the polish makes for a better cut, especially on my oval skew. Here’s a quick photo:
Tweaking: Out of the box the standard gouge jig was not square to the belt. It was easy to square it up quick. The tracking was slightly off… also very easy to adjust. The skew and gouge jigs didn’t slide easy but that was fixed by running on the ProEdge and applying a little paste wax.
I also re-profiled some old plane and chisel blades I had. For serious use I would still need to hone them on a stone or higher grit sand paper.
I’ve run my pocket knife over the 1200 and 3000 Trizact free hand which put a nice edge on it really quick.
Cons: Nothing major enough to dock it a star, but here they are.
1. The side guard needs to be rethought. Twisting the two hand nuts is the slowest part of this whole machine. How about a hinge and a quick latch Mr. Sorby? My guard mostly stays off.
2. The motor on the left can sometimes get in the way a tad with larger handled tools that have a low angled grind, minor annoyance.
3. The finish on tool support is a bit rough for this price range. Hand to use the ProEdge to flatten out and clean up the skew and standard gouge guides so they would slide better. At least I had the tool to do it right ;)
Pros: 1. Belt width is a nice 2 inches wide. Way better than my old grinding wheel.
2. Quick belt changes with side guard off.
3. Quick setting of angles and jigs.
4. Cutting edge of my tools has never been better.
5. Relatively quiet.
6. On-board instructions: see 2nd photo at top.
7. Don’t have to think hard about sharpening and spend more time turning.
8. Adjusting the angle of the belt makes working at any angle convenient.
Would I recommend it? Yes… buy cheaper chisels and get this sharpener. Using it is a pleasure.
-- -Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain