I've been using a slow speed grinder to sharpen chisels and planer
blades. I took it off to a job site and it got stolen. Now I need a
replacement. A friend gave me a 3600RPM grinder that I was thinking
about throwing an aluminum oxide wheel on. Would 3600 be too fast?
Is it work buying the wheel? Anybody use a full speed grinder for
First of all, as a contractor I feel your pain about job site theft.
No matter who took your grinder, I hope you find out who it was and
beat him to death with the same grinder.
For a grinder used as a sharpener or reprofiler, I think slower is
better. A less aggressive machine is always a good idea on a cutter
as you can easily burn the metal or take too much off.
Most of the guys in the woodturning group I know use this one,
or same link if the wrap munges:
I have two, and one I have had for about 10 years. The wheels are
good, not great, but certainly serviceable. Be aware; they aren't
Norton type wheels. You will need to true them up.
The good news is the oldest grinder still runs like the day I bought
it, and the original wheels last a really long time. Some of the guys
in the club still have the same wheels that came with the grinder
after years of moderate use.
This one is easy on the pocket book, too.
If you are used to using a grinder for your particular tasks dayvo and
want to continue to do so, have at it.
But Lew is 110% correct. For cutting implements that require flat
surfaces, a sander is VASTLY superior to a grinder in just about every
When I tangle with a really hard door in a hardware retrofit, it isn't
unusual for me to roll back the edge (or chip an edge) on a hard oak
door. Not to mention an errant nail or screw you find from a previous
I always resurface and reshape the edge with my sander unless my
chisel looks like Alfred E. Neumann's teeth. Then it is grinder
first, sander second.
Beware though. Grinding on the sander generated MORE heat than the
grinder, but cuts much cleaner. Just sharpen a bit more slowly.
Of course, just my 0.02.
You can use 3600 rpm for mower blades and such, but for a gouge or
chisel you can still use it but you need to develop a light touch. I
think Woodcraft has a slow-speed grinder for less than $100. If you
take it on site, paint it bright pink so nobody will think about
On Sat, 29 Aug 2009 20:02:08 -0400, Phisherman wrote:
The Woodcraft grinder is especially good if you catch it on sale. Not
much more than the price of the two wheels that come with it.
As far as speed, I like the slow speed, but the instructions that come
with my Wolverine sharpening jig say high speed is fine. I would think
their experience trumps mine.
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
FWIW, the Harbor Fright Tormek clone works quite well--it's not as
convenient as a Tormek and the blade needs a few strokes on a stone
afterward to get a surgical edge, but for 80 bucks it's a bargain, and using
a wet stone it presents no risk at all of burning.
I'm Very happy with my Woodcraft grinder.. and like you said, when it was on
sale for $65 with free shipping, I bought it instead of replacement wheels for
my high speed grinder..
The biggest sharpening breakthrough for me was realizing the difference between
grinding and sharpening.. My tools last a lot longer now.. lol
Please remove splinters before emailing
Sharpening chisels and planer blades is a whole different department
than sharping/touching up turning tools. I say slow speed ,white A/O
wheel for chisels and plane blades , touching up turning tools, high
speed/gray wheel is fine.
OTOH I do remember our wood shop teacher using the 6" belt sander to
touch up turning tools.
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