Vortex Tool

The Vortex's cutting edge is kept sharp by honing the upper edge (β1). A slip stone (or something similar) is recommended.

Side View


When it comes to buying tools I use the approach my father taught me. “It's easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission” my wife hates it, but it works every time ... well almost.


Perspective View

Top View

General Guidelines
Edge Edge Angle Relief Angle Comments
β1 10° n/a

For the top bevel:

  • It is not critical that the angle be exactly this value, but the overall angle (β1 + β2) should be 25°.

  • This surface does need to intersect with the bottom bevel in a way which forms a sharp edge along the entire intersection.

  • There is a relief ground into the center of the top bevel (the area colored red in the picture to the right).
    • The purpose for this relief is to reduce the surface area which must be honed, speeding the sharpening process (as with the back face of Japanese chisels).
    • The shape of this is not critical, but be sure that at least 1/16" (2mm) of face remains for the cutting (the area colored blue in the picture to the right).
β2 15° +5°

For the bottom bevel:

  • This is circular grind much like if you had used a pencil sharpener to perform the work.

  • A relief can be ground on this heel of the tool (as is done on Single Point Cutting Tools on the metal lathe). If added, +5° is recommended.
  • Be sure that at least 1/8" (3mm) of primary bevel remains.

Notes & Comments

Information regarding Grindstones

If grinding this on a high speed grinder or sander, be sure to manage the temperature so that the temper is not lost due to overheating.

High Carbon Steel Temperature control is critical for high carbon steel. Tempering will be lost in the steel if heated until it is blue (~550°F / 300°C). Cool by dipping in water as needed.

High Speed Steel

Cool by dipping in water as needed.

More Information

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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 SharpeningHandbook@Gmail.com.