What is the best sharpening system

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by ezgnann posted 12-27-2013 08:08 PM 1121 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ezgnann's profile


26 posts in 1413 days

12-27-2013 08:08 PM

I am considering upgrading from my Lansky and wet stones to a powered sharpening system. I mainly would need to sharpen picket knives, chisels, kitchen knives, and planes. Tormek, Grizzly, Worksharp, Sorby, modified bench grinder, etc. all look to do the same job, but what do you find is the best system for sharpening? I want some advise from fellow crafters that are using them!

-- Woodworking is cheaper than psychotherapy and better for me than whiskey

8 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3632 posts in 2750 days

#1 posted 12-27-2013 08:31 PM

I have had a Makita wet system for years. Don’t know why this system is overlooked ‘cause it has served me well for ALL sharpening (except some lathe tools).
I can remember when it was the go-to system at Highland Woodworking.
Stupid simple, and accurate as you need.


View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 828 days

#2 posted 12-27-2013 08:44 PM

I’ve got a team of three trained monkeys and one gorilla that do all my sharpening. They use an oilstone, a slow speed grinder – sometimes with a wolverine jig – some waterstones, my surface grinder, a large diamond stone, a pile of slips and cones, sandpaper on glass, a veritas jig for holding the angle, and a worksharp WS3000. Whatever floats their boat that day is what they play with. Before I got the trained monkeys I had a team of octopi and starfish that did my sharpening for me. They had the Delta Sharpening Center, the Grizzly knockoff of the Tormek, an even bigger pile of oil and waterstones, diamond files, a big 10” grinder, a smaller 6” grinder, a leather strop, a big wooden spindle they’d turned on the lathe with various shapes on the edge and some rouge impregnated into the MDF. They even used a belt sander every now and then. They were good guys, but they tried to go union so I let them go and went with the monkeys.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View brtech's profile


729 posts in 1712 days

#3 posted 12-27-2013 09:11 PM

I think you need to tell us what kind of budget seems reasonable to you. If you can easily afford a Tormek with all the accessories for the edges you want to sharpen, then go for it.

If you would rather trade your time for your dollars, scary sharp (sandpaper on glass or granite) is the best.

The “masters” seem to be freehand sharpening on diamond plates

A Worksharp is in between, I have a 3000, purchased dirt cheap or I probably wouldn’t have bought it. It’s kind of a motorized scary sharp system, using a motor driven glass wheel with sandpaper.

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


5461 posts in 1366 days

#4 posted 12-27-2013 09:17 PM

Tormek 7 with all the attachments will sharpen anything.

View Loren's profile


7942 posts in 2437 days

#5 posted 12-27-2013 09:40 PM

The “best” is hard to assess.

Budget is one factor, speed of getting ready to sharpen
is another, mess is a factor, and how much time it
takes to do the actual sharpening is another.

I have a Makita I get out when I have a lot of honing to do,
but it is messy and it takes a while to get the stone saturated
with water.

For everyday sharpening I use the Burns system and a white
grinding wheel on a $40 bench grinder. I sharpened
freehand on water stones for years, which has the
advantage allowing one to spread wear over the stone
so they don’t need flattening as often. The drawback
is when freehanding on water stones, it’s pretty easy to
take a divot out of a finishing stone. The Burns system
is divot proof and since the honing guide does not run on
the stone it is possible to use the whole surface.

A pair of 3×8” coarse and fine EZE-Lap stones will set
you back about $80 and an 8000 grit water stone is
about another $80. One can accomplish back bevels
with the system, which are otherwise difficult to get
right. I don’t use them very often but they will solve
some particular problems that come up when using
hand planes.

Some people are using diamond stones and finishing
with a strop these days.


View ezgnann's profile


26 posts in 1413 days

#6 posted 12-29-2013 04:38 AM

Thanks for the informAtion. My budget has not been determined because I am still researching.

Belt sanding versus wheel sanding- what are you thought?

-- Woodworking is cheaper than psychotherapy and better for me than whiskey

View lepelerin's profile


346 posts in 1114 days

#7 posted 12-29-2013 05:46 PM

Best sharpening system is practice with one you like and stick with it. DMT and a good stone will save you a lot of money and you won’t have to constantly buy sandpaper for your motorized device. my 2 cents.
How much sharpening do you do?

View JAY Made's profile

JAY Made

171 posts in 834 days

#8 posted 12-29-2013 08:28 PM

I have the grizzly t10010anv I absolutely love it, my knives chisels, and plane irons have never been sharper. The Tormek jigs work on the grizzly. Got mine from Grizzly on ebay for $159.

-- We all should push ourselves to learn new skills.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase