No this is not another attempt to stir the pot. Basically, I need
to keep kitchen knives sharp. I have tried the proven method of sharpening
stones and have proven I do not use them well. And yes I have read all the
books on this the library has to offer. I just stink at it. It seems at
first glance that the Tormek will do what I need, help me keep a reasonable
edge on my kitchen knives. The question is, have any of you actually used
the Tormek for this purpose? Like most of you, I part with my money
carefully. Note, I am not looking to perform surgery or shave razor thin
slices of chicken, just looking for a decently sharp knife when I am done.
And one note of particular worth, the biggest pain to keep sharp is my 12
inch thin carving knife, blade is thin and bends easily. Thanks
For the money if you want to sharpen cutlery and other tools a 1x42 or
even a 1x30 belt sander is the way to go.
a selection of belts from 320 to 180 will handle most any cutlery job
and a worn out 320 can be charged with rouge and used as a strop.
The whole kit in 1x42 can be done for les than $200
Thanks for the tip. Grizzly sells a 1 x 72 belt sander made for ....Knives..
Found a source of belts that they can supply up to 600 grit. I know I can
use a shorter belt sander. Now it is time to figger out which way to go.
For years I've sharpened knives, not always easily or successfully but once
I tried a 1 inch belt sander I'm a bonifide expert<G>......I have a cheap
1X30 model (works fine) but next time around I think I'd do a 42 incher....
I like the slack above the backer plate. I dabbled with belts up to the 1000
grit micron or so but probably the 320 with a leather strop finish is most
effective for me. Rod
Butchers rent knives from a sharpening service.
Use a sharpening service to properly sharpen your knives, then buy a good
sharpening steel and using it to maintain them.
BTW, I'm referring to forged blades, not starmped.
Trying to maintain a stamped blade is more work than it is worth except for
a paring knife and a wavy blade slicing blade.
A knife sharpening jig.
I have a sharpening jig that is at least 40 years old that clamps the back
of the blade providing an angle reference for sharpening. It was designed
and built by a guy in the neighborhood in his garage.
Lots of ways to skin this cat that don't require the investment in a Tormek.
Yes. Tormek good! Unlike the other suggestions, the Tormek gives you
a consistent cut angle (no skill required), so if you care about those
things (always the perfect angle), Tormek is for you. I've used it
for filet and carving knives, scissors (my wife's previous hairdresser
had me sharpen hers, the Tormek did better than the pros their salon
uses), pocket knives, and non-serrated steak knives. Plus the full
range of shop things - planer and jointer knives, plane irons,
chisels, turning tools, axes, awls, scrapers, etc.
We did Thanksgiving dinner at my parent's house one year, my dad asked
me to bring a "sharp, I mean really sharp" knife. We used that knife
for pretty much all the carving and cutting, and one of the last
things we cut up with it was a tomato. Paper thin, too.
The slow speed lets you keep track of what you're doing. I use the
"color the edge with a marker" trick so I know what's been sharpened
and what hasn't, and when I've sharpened all the way to the edge.
Since the Tormek holds the blade at the right angle, even a flexible
knife is ground consistently, just don't press so hard that it twists.
Since it's all jig-based, you can even move the jig to a different
part of the knife if the knife is too big, without messing up the
Note: There's a Tormek knock-off on the market too. I don't have any
experience with it, but if it does the same things as a Tormek, that
would work for you also.
I have not used the Jet, but I own most of the Tormek jigs. Some of
the jigs also have patents (which probably haven't expired) and these
jigs have advantages that may not be obvious to a casual shopper.
i.e. The flat plate used for chisels, etc - does not have a round
hole. It's "egg" shapped, which have a much stronger holding power
over a simple circle.
The Tormek is really well thought out, and the book is very thorough.
Some of the users have has problems, and the first rule is " check the
book to make sure you are doing the steps in the right order and in
the right way.
I highly recomend the Lansky Sharpening system. I've been able to sharpen
everything from 14" butcher knives to 2" pen knife blades. It doesn't take
much practive to be able to put a razor sharp edge on almost any blade.
Once you get the blade sharp, a couple of strokes with a hone steel before
each use will keep the blades sharp. The Lansky system is a "manual" (not
powered like the Tormek) consisting of a clamp with guide slots that holds
the blade, guide rods that attach to the stones, and a set of various grit
stones or diamond hones. You can choose a variety of angles on the guide
depending upon the type of blade and the intended use. More here:
I have a Lansky and Tormek. The Lansky isn't bad (and inexpensive). I
used it for years. The Tormek is faster, and I suspect more accurate
for long knives. You don't need to change stones.
On the Lansky, the clamp is fixed. On the Tormek, the guide bar
extends for the length of the knife blade, allowing a consistent bevel.
As an example, if I had a Chinese-style cleaver, the Lansky would have
to add a curved profile to the blade edge, (arcing around the point ot
the clamp) while the Tormek would be consistent in bevel for the
lengthof the blade.
(snip and piggyback)
If you're sharpening only kitchen knives, the Tormek is overkill and
more complicated than you may like. An almost dedicated tool for
is the Edgepro, worth some research on your part. I'm not affiliated in
I've been using Spyderco's Triangle Sharpmaker
(http://spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?productw ) for over 20 years and
given a handful as gifts during that same period of time. And while their
website shows a $75 price tag, there are any number of sites, many in the
I have not used the Tormek. I use the
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
on my kitchen knives and am very pleased with the results. I am not a pro
at sharpening, nor do I want to learn on my kitchen knives. I also would
not go near a belt sander for sharpening knives. I do agree though, if you
do lots of sharpening, a belt sander is invaluable if used correctly.
I have a Tormek and think it is overkill for kitchen knives. Here's
what I use on the kitchen knives and considering I don't use them as
shaving utensils, this gadget works fine for me:
Leon, what you say is absolutely correct and I should have mentioned
the need for the edge restoration capabilities of the Tormek. I can
usually get somewhere around 15 - 20 ceramic rod honings before it
becomes time for the Tormek to do its edge thing.
I was thinking and not to discount what you mentioned, as the way things
usually turn out, typically when I sharpen my knives I normally get my
sister, parents and neighbors to climb on board while I am in that mode.
;~) They are always waiting for me to do this the next time I sharpen
My knives are usually not too bad but my neighbor was almost at my house
before I hung up the phone to tell her that I was going to sharpen knives
again. She had 3 knives that would have been hard to tell which edge to
sharpen had I been blind folded. Her knives were more similar to a butter
I bought one used for my woodworking tools, but t does a great job on
kitchen knives. Normally you can re-sharpen and match the same angle
for repeatability. IN kitchen knives, the curve at the tip is a little
tricky. You need to clamp the jig onto the knife at the proper point.
Move it closer to and farther away from the point, and the curve will
change. I've only sharpened our $200 set of kitchen knives a couple of
times. Perhaps I should make a mark on the back of the knives to
indicate when the jig clamps on.
You will probably need both knife jigs.
My wife used to run a sharpening service out of the house and did knives for
I don't have an opinion of the Tormek, but she used a 1" belt grinder from Foley
to do both knives and saw blades..
For your purpose, you don't need Foley quality, any 1" sander will do the job..
I can't remember where it was (senior moment) but someone was selling a 2" setup
that used two 1" belts... So you could have 2 grits without belt changes..
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