Best Book About Sharpening

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Forum topic by parttimer posted 01-01-2012 05:39 AM 1929 views 2 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 2896 days

01-01-2012 05:39 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sharpening book schwarz

Hello All,

I recently read Wearing’s ‘Essentials of Woodworking’ and really enjoyed it. I’m a self-taught woodworker, so it’s nice to be able to read a book like that which assumes no prior knowledge and allows for an easy reference at the bench or on the nightstand.

I’m a firm believer in the theory that using books makes learning techniques significantly easier than reading about it on the internet. I just put in an order for ‘The Anarchist’s Tool Chest’ and ‘The Joiner and Cabinetmaker’. I’m hoping that by reading these books, I’ll be able to develop much better hand tool skills.

This brings me to my next point: I would really like a good book about sharpening hand tools. Specifically planes, chisels, and saws. I’m more interested in sharpening planes and chisels for the time being. It seems like sharpening saws is a whole different ball game that requires it’s own time and place.

I enjoy Schwarz’ writing style; I’ve been following his blog for a long time and am intrigued by the few writing samples I’ve read from The Anarchist’s Tool Chest. Some people don’t like Schwarz, but I do, and I would like to find a sharpening book written in a style similar to his.

One other note is that I’m primarily interested in using water stones. I don’t know much about them, but I do know they seem to be the preferred method over grindstones and sandpaper (I don’t have a bench grinder anyway…).

If you have read a book about sharpening planes and chisels with stones, please let me know what you thought of it, and if you would recommend buying it over any other book.

Thanks for your time, and Happy New Year!

6 replies so far

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3155 days

#1 posted 01-01-2012 05:53 AM

Hey parttimer, I have this book by Ron Hock. The link is below. This book is excellent and even gets a little into metallurgy to help you understand properties of steel better. Great book. I have others, but would not have bought the others if I had bought this one first.

-- Mike

View wingate_52's profile


226 posts in 2773 days

#2 posted 01-01-2012 12:03 PM

I have the Ron Hock book. Not only is it a good text book, it is also a great read. I now have 2 microscopes to look at surface and edge details.

View mvflaim's profile


189 posts in 3294 days

#3 posted 01-02-2012 01:21 AM

The Perfect Edge by Pop Wood and Complete Illustrated Guide to Sharpening by Taunton Press are the two books I have. Each is worth owning. Taunton is more of a tutorial on how to sharpen tools where as The Perfect Edge goes more into detail about metalurgy.

View NateX's profile


98 posts in 3199 days

#4 posted 01-02-2012 08:05 AM

I heard The Complete Guide To Sharpening was good, I am also looking for a book like this, I’ll be watching this thread as well.

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 2836 days

#5 posted 01-02-2012 09:01 PM

Thomas Lie Neilsen wrote a great book that covered all facets of sharpening. I checked it out from the library several months ago and have been meaning to buy my own copy. I can’t remember the title, but I’m pretty sure Tauton was the publisher.

View NJWiliam's profile


32 posts in 2770 days

#6 posted 01-03-2012 08:15 PM

+1 for “The Perfect Edge” by Ron Hock.
And for shaped irons and tools, Larry Williams DVD “Sharpening Profiled Hand Tools” is truly great.

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