How to Choose a Sharpening System You Will Actually Use

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This is How to Choose a Sharpening System You Will Actually Use. In this quick guide to sharpening systems, I’ll show you everything you need to know to pick out one that will work perfectly for you. Enjoy.

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Sharpening Edged Tools

How-to-Choose-a-Sharpening-System-You-Will-Actually-UseThere are a lot of different ways to sharpen your edge tools. They range from simple stones all the way up to extremely elaborate sharpening systems. There’s also a lot of steps in between that could keep you wondering which one you really need.

Thankfully you’ve already surrendered to the idea that you do need some way of sharpening your edged tools.

You are one step ahead of the game when it comes to a lot of woodworkers who view sharpening as an afterthought.

Not only will the sharpening system make you a better woodworker, it will also relieve a lot of the discomfort associated with sharpening your tools. It will be a lot more fun, a lot easier, and that means you’ll actually do it a lot more often.

See Also: Sharp Tools and My Odd Discovery

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Know Your Talents and Abilities

The first part of discovering which type of edge tool sharpening system you really need is to be honest with yourself. Be honest with yourself, and know your talents and abilities. Also, be honest as to whether or not you are a patient person.

The more honest you are with yourself, the better the chances that you will buy a sharpening system that will actually serve you well. This means if you are the type of person that is not very patient, then I don’t recommend buying a sharpening stone by itself.

However, if you’re the type of person that doesn’t like a whole lot of gadgets, and just wants to do it the old-fashioned way, then you are a prime candidate for sharpening stone. There are again a lot of steps in between, so even if you don’t fall for an extreme, there still a right answer for you.

The moral of the story is to make sure that you’re putting yourself in the best position to buy something that you’ll actually use. That’s the biggest part of the sharpening system. Buy something that you’ll actually use.

See Also: 19 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Woodworking

Buy Something Easy

The next step for buying a way to sharpen your tools is to buy something easy. Most of the time, the burden that’s associated the sharpening is associated with the time and effort that it takes to perform the activity.

Instead of working with something that requires a lot of time or effort, buy a system that’s really easy to use and something that performs the job quickly. This way, when you know you have to sharpen your tools, there won’t be an additional burden preventing you from doing it.

There are a number of easy systems out there, and so they may be a few more dollars then the old fashioned sharpening stone. However, if it gets you to sharpen your tools more often and use them better, then it’s definitely worth it.

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If you haven’t used a well sharpened edged tool before as a woodworker, you’re definitely missing out. It’s a wonderful tool when it’s well sharpened, and giving yourself the ability to do that quickly is a huge benefit.

See Also: 13 Great Tips for Using a Wood Scraper

Buy What Excites You

Another way to choose a great sharpening system is to just buy what excites you. If there’s a new gadget that just got onto the market that promises to sharpen all your chisels to a point where you can shave with them in just three seconds, and that excites you, just buy it!

So many times we waffle around and vacillate between this thing in that thing and wanting something and then wanting something else. It’s a waste of time, energy, and it’s unnecessary stress that you just don’t need.

If there’s a system that excites you, get that one. Excitement is such a wonderful motivator, and it will get you in the spirit of sharpening your tools a lot more often. Again sharp tools make better woodworkers, and better woodworkers make better projects.

See Also: Printable Woodworking Tips Cards

The Book Store is Now Open!   Happy Building!

Go Old Fashioned

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, if fancy sharpening systems are just not your thing, and an old sharpening stone is good enough for your grandfather so it’s good enough for you, then I recommend the same.

Even in sharpening stones, if your grandfather and great grandfather were still around to see all of the different varieties that are available today, they would love it. You can do so much more with a sharpening stone than you ever could do before.

Most old fashioned sharpening stones were natural, or they were made of compressed material but they weren’t very good. Modern sharpening stones are made in laboratories that rival computer chip and semiconductor facilities.

The stones that come out of these places are incredible sharpening devices. The grit levels are nearly perfect, and they power through your edged steel quickly. It’s all the romance of the past, with technology from the future.

If you’re interested in a sharpening stone, pick up a good honing guide while you’re at it, and invest a few dollars in a higher end sharpening stone. You may have that thing for decades, so when you divide out the cost it might be a penny a day.

See Also: How to be a Modern Renaissance Woodworker

Modern Sharpening Systems

Modern sharpening systems are where most people end up going with their sharpening budget. There are a number of different systems that are very popular, and they are fairly self-contained when you buy a kit.

The nice thing about this modern set up is that it’s a one stop shop. In most cases all you have to do is buy the box with all the stuff in it, then go home and read the instructions and start using it. Of course there are accessories and add-ons but that’s a story for another time.

If the box simplicity is your goal, then pick up a sharpening system that’s a bit more modern, and start using it. You’ll be happy that you did, and it will save you quite a bit of a learning curve.

See Also: 50 Awesome Reasons to be a Woodworker

Your Action Assignment

Now that you know a whole lot of great ways to pick out the perfect sharpening system for yourself, it’s time to take action. Hop on Amazon and take a look around at some of the different systems that are available.

Be honest with yourself, and pick out a system that you know you will use, and that makes you happy. Only through having a system that you’re excited about will you actually put in the time that you need in order to successfully use it.

Whatever system you buy, when you get it into the shop set up a practice session. Grab a couple of edged tools that you plan on sharpening, and give the tool a try. Know that it’s going to take you at least a little bit of time to get the skill down, but keep practicing.

Once you are confident with your new sharpening system, you will love to use it. Make sure to keep it in a spot where it’s easy to use often, and you’ll always have freshly edged tools that are ready to slice through wood for you.

If you have any questions about how to choose a sharpening system, please Post a Question in the Q&A Forum and I’ll be glad to help. Happy building.

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brian forbes westfarthing woodworks llc owner

  • 20 Years Experience in Woodworking
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