|Review by coloradoclimber||posted 09-23-2008 05:25 PM||18160 views||0 times favorited||17 comments|
Well, it was sharpening time again this weekend, chisels, plane irons, kitchen knives, pocket knives, scissors, turning gouges and chisels, anything else I could find that had an edge that needed sharpening.
I’ve hand sharpened all of my knives and tools using wet, dry, oil, and diamond stones for the last 20 years. Bench stones works pretty well and I’m able to get shaving quality edges every time.
So why change? Well, because hand sharpening takes a long time. I keep adding to my list of things that need sharpening and it’s gone from a couple hours to an entire weekend to sharpen a dozen chisels, a dozen plane irons, 30 or more knives, half a dozen turning tools, a few pair of scissors, and whatever else is laying around, all by hand. And of course the bevels are never perfectly the same between each sharpening or between the different tools.
I decided it was time for a change. I needed a powered sharpening system. First thing I tried was the Worksharp 3000. The WS has been reviewed numerous times here on LJ so I wont talk about it too much except to say I liked the WS well enough but in the end I decided it was too limited and bit too under constructed to suit my needs.
So the next place to look was a wet sharpener. Read any review and the Tormek always comes out on top for quality and performance. BUT, and this is a big but, the Tormek, reasonably configured with jigs is double to triple the price of the competitors. So I needed to look around. I studied every review I could find, I looked at the various units side by side. I talked to people who own and use them. In the end it was clear the Tormek really is that much better. Put a Tormek next to a Jet and just look at them. There really isnt any comparison. The visible quality of construction and the fit and finish are clearly superior on the Tormek. Review after review consistently ranks the power, performance, and quality of results for the Tormek head and shoulders above the competition.
So I bit the bullet and bought one. Like the old saying, buy the best and buy once, or buy junk and end up spending more buying it again.
This machine works well, really well. I can sharpen a full set of chisels and irons in a couple hours, kitchen knives still take longer but I’m pretty persnickety about my knives. The grinding honing process will leave an actual mirror finish, not an almost mirror finish, not a marketing-ese mirror finish, an actual see your reflection clearly mirror finish. The whole paring end grain like butter, shaving the hair off your arm, paper thin shavings, whatever other criteria is in popular use, this machine will get your edges that sharp and sharper. That is what this machine does, it produces sharp edges, very sharp edges.
It is pretty easy to use, it comes with a 160 page hard back book about using the machine and jigs and a demonstration / marketing dvd. There are videos online demonstrating the setup and use. The jigs make it kind of foolproof. You clamp the tool in the jig, set the angles, grind away. Once you get a burr you switch to the honing wheel and hone and polish the final edge.
For a wet grinder it’s not very messy at all. I keep a hand towel next to it near the wheel to sop up any minor spills but it’s not bad at all.
Quality of construction – 5 stars – it is rated and warrantied for continuous commercial use with a 7 year warranty
Quality of results – 5 stars – this thing gets your tools sharp, very sharp
Ease of use – 4 stars – for a wet grinder it’s neither better or worse than other wet grinder, but it is more trouble and setup than just grabbing your stones and freehanding some edges.
Cost – YOWCH – it is pricey, you can easily get $500, $600, $700 or more with the base unit and jigs.
I bought it, I’m glad I have it, it sure makes sharpening up a whole house full of tools and knives a lot faster and easier.