Marking Knives

Guidelines shown below are for Included Angles (α).

Japanese marking knives are sharpened only one side. For those,

α = β

The Projection Calculator is available for calculating setup for Tormek knife jigs. This one is web-based and does not require Excel.)

General Guidelines
Type α Micro
Notes Recommended
Tormek Jigs
Marking Knife 25°

When looking at the blade from the side, generally it has a 120° angle. Some chose to round off the pointed tip.

A micro bevel is not usually used on this as the sharpened surface area is so small that this is not needed to make re-sharpening easier and faster.

Setting a small nose radius of 0.007 in. (0.2 mm) is a good idea. If it is too pointy, the blade's tip can rip at the wood fibers.

The Tormek SVM-45 Knife Jig works well for these, and the Tormek SVM-00 Small Knife Holder may be needed, depending on the blade and the blade's handle.




Notes & Comments
  • The shape of the grind used is a call best made by the tool's use, based on their own experience. Additional notes are available on separate web pages for:

  • Notes are also available on a different web page for Micro / Secondary Bevels.

  • A great general reference is the U.S. War Department's TM 9-867 Maintenance and Care of Hand Tools.

  • Online Calculators that can be used for sharpening knives.

  • Jigs, Fixtures, & Modifications

  • Research Articles, Other Information, and some Final Thoughts. Two of the key ones for this topic are below.

    • If you want to get truly sharp, Dr. Vadim Kraichuk with KnifeGrinders has a really good method and has adapted the Tormek system to these wheels. The KnifeGrinder method is one that is proven, and has great tools to assist with making it easy.

    • Click on either image for bigger size.
      Images courtesy Todd Simpson via Dr. Vadim Kraichuk of KnifeGrinders
    • It is a common, but quite bad, practice of drawing the newly sharpened knife edge through a piece of wood or some other media to "rip off" the remnants of the burr. When this is done, the ripped off metal builds up on the front of the slice, and you then drag the rest of the edge through this crud. This crud, together with breaking off of ledges of material along the edge, will roughen the edge and worsen sharpness.

      The scanning electron microscope (SEM) images to the right show the burr on a knife in the 1st image, that was then "ripped off" by cutting cross-grain into a piece of redwood in the 2nd image - loss of the sharp edge is obvious.

      Key take-away from these photos : don't skip the honing step.

Good videos showing the use of the Tormek Knife Jigs : SVM-45, SVM-100 (no longer sold), SVM-140, and SVM-00:

Dave Jeske Sharpens a Marking Knife

Dave Jeske, the founder of Blue Spruce Toolworks, shows the simple way to sharpen a spear-point marking knife. Plus, he shows two simple tricks you can do on the sharpening stone that will make you knife work even better.

Tormek Live Sharpening Class - Part 1. Knife sharpening

Wolfgang and Sèbastian from Tormek talk about different techniques for knife sharpening.

Tormek Live Sharpening Class - Part 9 - Sharpen a flat bevel with Tormek MB-100 on a diamond wheel

In this episode we learn how to use the Tormek MB-100 Multi Base to sharpen a completely flat bevel ▼, on the side of Tormek's diamond wheels DC-250, DF-250 and DE-250. For some tools, such as 🎻 luthier knives,🔪 Kiridashi knives, v-tools, chip carving knives and Japanese plane irons, a completely flat surface on the bevel is preferred over a slightly concave, which you get when you sharpen on the rounded part of the grinding wheel. For some people this is more of a personal preference.

Regardless of what might be the reason to want a flat bevel, Sèbastian and Wolfgang show how to achieve it with your Tormek wet sharpening system, They will also touch upon the differences between the different types of bevels.

Tormek Live Sharpening Class - Part 15. Repair a damaged knife

Wolfgang and Sèbastian from Tormek show you how you can repair damaged knife on your Tormek sharpening system If your knife has a chipped edge, a broken tip, or if it has started rusting, you can often repair the knife and make it as good as new.

Demonstrating Tormek's Centering Knife Jigs KJ-45 & KJ-140
Jeff Farris - Knife Sharpening with Tormek
Steve Bottorff - Using Tormek Knife Jigs
Tormek Knife Jig SVM-45
Tormek Long Knife Jig SVM-140
Tormek Small Knife Holder SVM-00
Tormek AngleMaster WM-200
Herman Trivilino showing the use of a platform jig
Knife Grinders showing common Tormek mistakes in knife sharpening
Knife Grinders showing sharpening of knives with convex curves
Knife Grinders showing sharpening of knives with concave curves
Knife Grinders showing how to mounting the pin pivot collar on your knife jig

Pin Pivot Jig

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About this site
Remember : The goal of sharpening is to produce sharp tools, and these tools can injure you if mishandled. Safety measures should be followed to protect yourself and those in your shop. Be sure to read and follow all instructions from the manufacturer, and and utilize proper safety equipment. Never consume alcohol or anything that could impair your judgement before sharpening tools, or using sharp tools. Comments can be sent via eMail to me at