I know it's been reviewed here before, but that was by someone who knows
how to sharpen (charlieb i think it was). I don't. I've tried and tried,
but the sad truth of it is I'm completely and irreconcilably a
sharpening idiot. My grinding wheel is where good tools go to die - it
has claimed the lives of a couple of hundred dollars worth of expensive
steel this year alone.
So when I was working in Jacksonville, FL yesterday I took the
opportunity to visit the Woodcraft there.
I looked the Worksharp over, and it seemed so simple that I had visions
of dozens of super sharp chisels in my head. So I bought their last one,
and brought it home last night.
This morning, after a quick skim through the manual, I applied the PSA
abrasive disks to the glass wheels and found my worst chisel - a
craftsman 1/4" chisel that was horribly misshapen from my previous efforts.
First to flatten the back. Starting with the 120 grit side, it took only
a minute to get a nice even back surface. Then I pushed down a bit
crooked and abraded away one of the back corners of the sharp end.
Two minutes of careful work later I had the back flat again. Smoothing
up the back on the 400 grit, then the 1000 took no time at all. Mirror
smooth in just a couple of minutes.
Moving to the sharpening port I set it to a 25 degree angle. From my
previous attempts, the existing chisel bevel had angles varying from 5
to 90 degrees I think, so there was a good bit of material to remove.
Still, in less than a minute using the 120 grit side I had a nice even
25 degree bevel.
A few seconds on each of the progressively finer grits produced a nice
sharp edge. Per the instructions, if you grind for a second or two then
pull the chisel back along the abrasive on the port it removes any burr
that may have developed. I found this an important bit of advice and
followed it closely once I understood how important it was to getting
I shaved a bit of my arm hair, then chopped and pared on some oak,
maple, and pine. It worked pretty well, but I have used sharper tools.
So I went back to the Worksharp, set the sharpening port to 30 degrees
and created a 5 degree micro bevel with the 3600 grit side.
Then I put on the leather hone wheel (optional accessory) and applied
the aluminum oxide grit to the leather. I honed the chisel for two or
three seconds, then went back to the wood.
It cut like buttah. I've never used a sharper chisel.
I've spent the remainder of the morning sharpening a couple of dozen
chisel and plane blades. All are sharper than they've ever been, and are
the first tools ever to come out of my sharpening efforts that are
better off for it.
I found that the wider chisels were even easier to sharpen since they
have more surface to hold them to the sharpening port.
This was worth every penny of the $200 price tag for me. Those of you
without my "sharpening idiot" affliction can likely get similar results
via scary sharp or stones, but for me, putting glass and sandpaper
together with a motor and sharpening port is like magic.
This afternoon I'll try the slotted disk on some curved carving and
turning tools. For the first time ever, I'm confident that I'll come out
with sharp tools.