I've got a few blunt chisels, so I'm looking for something to sharpen
them. I was thinking of getting a bench grinder.
Can someone tell me if I have understood what I have read here. I
think the advice is that wood chisels should be sharpened on a wet
stone (whet stone?) or not on a grinder at all (oil stone or diamond
For cold chisels, bolster chisels, and the like, dry grinding wheels
would be ok. There are a lot of models with two wheels: coarse and
fine, but at what point do you move the chisel from one to the other?
If I bought a whetstone model, I would lose the fine wheel. Would that
be a great loss?
I'm not sure about sds chisels. Some old threads mentioned something
about green discs being necessary to sharpen them or have I
"misremembered" that? Are they a harder material that needs a special
I've got a number of them, but rarely use them. Really only for tools
on the metalworking lathe.
The one I do use, and that only for tools for the wood lathe, is a
combination with a small fast wheel and a large wet wheel. I only use
the wet wheel.
For woodworking tools, I use another grinder a Record / Scan wet wheel
grinder with a better stone (Like a Tormek, but cheaper). I might buy
another of these, so as to have two stones handy. I use this a lot for
resurrecting old and damaged woodworking tools, but my actual
sharpening is done by hand on a range of Japanese water stones.
If you want a big cheap wet wheel, get a combination machine. I
wouldn't advise a double ender, as it's just not that much use (I
prefer an angle grinder).
Broadly yes. If in doubt, get hold of Leonard Lee's book "Sharpening".
They''re OK, but I don't use mine for this, I clamp the chisel in a
vice, then take an angle grinder to it. For most purposes with
chisels, especially curved gouges, this is easier.
If you have an angle grinder, you already have a grinder. If you don't
have an angle grinder, get one first.
Usually by never using the poor quality coarse wheel at all. Cheap
grinders have some very nasty wheels on them. Cheap wheels also tend
to be "hot" compositions that burn steel. Better grades of wheel run
cooler and are much more useful. Look for pink or white wheels.
No - but get one where the dry wheel is usefully fine.
"Green" wheels are needed for carbide tools. It's not often you need
to put an edge on a carbide tool, most of the chisels will still run
fairly blunt. Many carbide tools that look like they need it are
actually damaged beyond repair. You can also sharpen tungsten carbide
on a silicon carbide angle grinder flap wheel, although the wear rate
On Wed, 20 Oct 2010 12:40:39 -0700 (PDT), Andy Dingley
Thanks. At the moment I don't think I'll be sharpening any drill bits,
just the chisels. Mine have got blunted from making back boxes for
sockets, and chiseling concrete floors etc.
A useful tool, I only have a cheap double ended coarse/fine one. The
only chisels I sharpen on it are cold or bolsters. Wood working
chisels are sharpened by hand on an oil stone, they only need
grinding if you've taken a great hunk out of the cutting edge by
hitting a nail or somthing.
Axes get sharpened on it and other general grinding. Want a scriber,
grind a large nail, worn out screwdriver grind it to a bradall, head
too large ona screw or bolt grind it smaller.
I think you will find this is incorrect.
Woodworking tools like chisels or plane blades are ground on a grinder, be
it bench, floorstanding, circular or horizontal.
A bench stone is then used to hone it to a fine edge. In use, the tool is
frequently refreshed on the bench stone.
Eventually the tool will lose its edge and regrinding is required. So the
It pays to ensure that any foreign objects, such as a nail, have been
I won't even start on about a strop and crocus powder :))
A tricky one this, you need to know the geometry at the tip. There are two
cutting edges, each with a flute in front to clear swarf. the angle between
is 120 degrees from memory. BUT you must not sharpen like a "cone", this
prevents penetration into work, just rubbing/friction. Now think in
direction you push drill...Cutting angle is needed, this is provided by
flute in front of cutting edge. Then clearance angle is needed, this is
provided by face following cutting edge, it must "fall away". ie. the
leading edge of face(cutting edge) is closer to workpiece than trailing
You can sharpen by lining up twist drill with wheel (30 degrees off centre),
cutting edge touching wheel, push in gently whilst rotating clockwise, AND
with slightly increasing pressure. Takes some practice. Too much pressure
will produce lop sided angle.
You do need to see what you are producing, so drills smaller than 5mm I
chuck when blunt!
On Fri, 15 Oct 2010 23:59:11 +0100, Frank Erskine wrote:
I have a Martek drill sharpener thingy... bought a long time ago well
before I got a bench grinder. Not sure I'd want to attempt to sharpen
a drill on the bench grinder but pretty much any new drill will be
sharpened before use. 'Cause out of the packet they ain't sharp, I
was quite surprised how much sharper my ordinary HSS drills were
after a trip through the Martek.
Probably not the answer you are seeking, but it may be worth learning the
basics of sharpening before investing in any machinery.
There are many items that require sharpening, there are many ways of doing
so and many different, and differing, friction materials.
After many years I can put a reasonable edge on most common cutting tools,
but twist drills still baffle me.
Amongst quite a few books I have, I would recommend one by Jim Kingshott ~
'Sharpening. The complete guide'.
(Amazon.com product link shortened) is not complete but gives a good insight and has served me very well. The
focus is mainly on woodworking tools.
No connection with the author, I just like the book.
If/when you get a bench grinder- buy a good one that will suit your needs.
Decent quality stones to match your requirements are essential.
Wet stone - (whetstone is a CPU benchmarking program!).
I have a machine like this, and use it for things like cold chisels, SDS
chisels, or any other coarse grinding. I would not take wood chisel near
unless it was badly out of shape - and even then only vary carefully to
save overheating it. So all in all it has its uses, but its not a
woodworkers sharpening machine.
Probably not. Depends on what you go for. Things like the Tormek or the
Jet have a wet end and a leather stropping wheel on the other. I am
tempted by one of these machines myself, but keep reading conflicting
arguments as to which are better. There is also a more sensibly priced
axminster wet machine, that would probably do - although it lacks the
My Armeg and QDS ones seem to sharpen just fine on the traditional dry
As it happens, it was the axminster I was looking at. They sell this
which is ten pounds cheaper than the one at machine mart and they seem
so similar in spec that I wonder whether it is the same machine
painted in a different colour:
Machine mart put the "h" in wet, which is why I wasn't sure of the
Axminster also sell this one:
Which I think is the same model but with a clamp to hold your chisel
at the right angle, which sounds a good idea but it adds a lot to the
I have heard great things about axminster here but never bought from
I have looked into the two books mentioned in earlier replies but both
seem out of print but are available second hand.
Thanks to everyone who has replied so far.
Similar - but a little different in casework and switching judging by
If I were getting one then I would say the bar attachment is important,
since it ought to take the jigs designed for the Jet and Tormek
sharpeners. These greatly extend the range of things you can sharpen.
Yup, good people to deal with generally, and reports from those who have
discussed tools with them, suggest they know their stock well.
On Wed, 27 Oct 2010 15:42:13 +0100, John Rumm
Thanks. Sadly the reviews on the site complain about the bar: poor
welding and not being straight.
Are these attachments available separately and can be fitted to any
One last question: I see many places sell a metal stand for grinders,
in the region of thirty-forty pounds. Why is the stand almost as much
as the grinder? Is it just that it is heavy so expensive to transport?
Is the stand worth having or do you bolt yours to your bench?
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