Sharpening Resources

Books, Videos, & Web Sites
Title Type Author Comments
Accu-Finish Sharpening Video Aaron McMichael Aaron McMichael demonstrates how to use the Accu-Finish machine to achieve precise and polished cutting edges on a variety of cutting tools. Presented during Pecha Kucha sessions at the 2018 Ornamental Turners International biennial symposium in Seattle, WA.
The Complete Guide to Sharpening (1996) Book
Leonard Lee This is the bible for sharpening woodworking and general tools. Very good reference about how to sharpen a boat load of tools.
Drill Bit Geometry PDF Document Joseph Mazoff This document really outlines how drill bits work and the various parts of the geometry of a drill bit work for cutting.
Design and Use of Cutting Tools (1952) Book Leo J. St. Clair This is the definitive source for sharpening metal lathe tools, especially carbide ones. St. Clair was working in the industry as it was changing from HSS to carbide, so both are covered well. His experimental data helps validate or disprove many theories.

Unfortunately, this book is very hard to find. I recommend the sharpener borrow it from their local library via an inter-library loan for reading. Universities which teach mechanical engineering usually have a copy, and it is easiest to read that way. (The publisher has no more copies : I asked.)

Experiments on Knife Sharpening (2004) PDF Document John D. Verhoeven This document shows very closeup (10 micron wide) views of sharpened blades (starting with razor blades). He also shows how differing techniques affect blades as shown in his pictures.
Fine Tune a Back Iron Video Christopher Schwarz Nicely done document on back irons for planes.
Fundamentals of Sharpening Video American Association of Woodturners AAW Skill Building Series, this 90 minute DVD features some of the best talent in woodturning today:
Grinding Angle Adjustment for the Tormek (2014) PDF Document Ton Nillesen This guide is very useful on the Tormek for setting very precise angles on knife blades, and adjusting as the grinding wheel depletes over time.
Grinding of Tool Steel PDF Document Böhler Uddeholm This guide is good guide for grinding wheels and their use for tool steel grinding.
A Guide to Honing and Sharpening Web Site Museum of Woodworking Tools The approach given here is by Maurice Fraser, and deals with the sharpening of tools using flat stones, not any powered methods.
Influence of the Cap-iron on Hand Plane Video Prof. Yasunori Kawai
Prof. Chutaro Kato
Educational Video from the faculty of Education, Art and Science, at the Yamagata University. Really shows the effect of cap iron angles.
Japanese Woodworking Tools : Their Tradition, Spirit, and Use (1998) Book Toshio Odate Great reference about Japanese carpentry tools. Toshio includes a number of tools, taking out the confusion we Westerners often have.
John Lucas Sharpening Video American Association of Woodturners John Lucas shows how he sharpens gouges.
Knife Deburring: Science Behind the Lasting Razor Edge Book Dr. Vadim Kraichuk Dr. Kraichuk's book is based on the sharpening method developed by his company. And unlike other sharpeners, Dr. Kraichuk has researched the results from using this method, and has proof that it works. His company's work, sharpening the knives of butchers, has repeatedly shown that his method is sound.

If you are wanting to get your tools really sharp, you should read this book … and make it a part of your library.

Knife Maintenance and Sharpening Web Forum (Single Topic) Society for Culinary Arts and Letters Nice overview of knife sharpening. Web Link Sabin Mathew was founded in 2012 by Sabin Mathew, a post graduate student at Indian Institutes of Technology in Delhi. This is a great web site to begin your understanding of the geometry of metal lathe cutting tools. They have nice videos showing what is meant by things like rake and relief angles.
TM 9-867 Maintenance and Care of Hand Tools Book (PDF) U.S. War Department Chief Warrent Officer (ret) Rick Laws sent this to me. His email noted that he "... used this manual for soldier training and information. It is a little dated, but so are most tools used by most people." He is right: I have tools I've interited from both my grandfathers.
The Perfect Edge : The Ultimate Guide to Sharpening for Wood Workers (2009) Book Ron Hock Hock blades are considered superior. This book is in the same category of greatness.
Science of Sharp Web Link This site focuses on the science behind sharpening, and is primarily focused on knives (particularly, straight razors). The site's focus is on usage of electron microscopy (EM) to physically observe the geometry and polish of the edge, and to quantify the edge width and bevel angle. The goal is to provide an understanding of what is happening a the blade's edge.

The EM scans and experimental data helps validate or disprove many theories.

Sharpening Made Easy Web Link Steve Bottorff Steve has gathered from many years of expert sharpening experience. This site contains information that could be useful, including instructional videos and manuals.
Sharpening Made Easy: A Primer on Sharpening Knives and Other Edged Tools (2010) Book Steve Bottorff Steve is a practitioner who has written a very practical guide.
Tormek Handbook Web Link Tormek If you have a Tormek, you will reference this fairly often.
Woodturning Notes PDF Document Alan Batty Mr. Batty was a very accomplished turner, and excellent teacher (his son, Stuart Batty has taken on this legacy).

Tormek Sharpening Classes - Excellent videos to get the basics, and some useful tips for even the most experienced sharpener.
Title Comments
Part 1 - Knife sharpening Wolfgang and Sèbastian from Tormek talk about different techniques for knife sharpening.
Part 2 - Axes & scissors sharpening Wolfgang and Sèbastian from Tormek talk about sharpening of axes and scissors.
Part 3 - Chisels, plane irons & Tormek grinding wheels Sèbastien and Wolfgang show the sharpening of chisels and plane irons. They also go through Tormek's different grinding wheels; SG-250 Original Grindstone, SB-250 Blackstone Silicion, SJ-250 Japanese Waterstone and Tormek's three Diamond Wheels DC-250, DF-250 and DE-250. They give you their recommendations for usage and tools.
  • At 00:46, there is a great explanation of sharpening a tool with a radiused end using the SE-77 Square Edge Jig.

  • At 00:52, there is a great explanation of how to use the MB-100 Multi Base.
Part 4 - Carving Knife & Carving Tools Wolfgang and Sèbastian from Tormek go through the sharpening of carving knives and various carving tools such as v-tools, carving gouges and short wood chisels.
Part 5 - Woodturning Tools Want to learn how you get your woodturning tools razor-sharp? In this week's sharpening class we take a closer look at the tools for the woodturner; gouges, skews, parting tools, scrapers, cutters and more. Sèbastian and Wolfgang will show you the methods for sharpening all these turning tools and how you achieve repeatable edges every time. Stay tuned and hit us with your questions during the stream!
Part 6 - Drill Bit Sharpening It's time for drill bit sharpening! Learn how to sharpen your drill bits with maximum precision, to the greatest sharpness. We will show you how to create a 4-facet point which gives the ideal cutting performance.
Part 7 - Planer blade sharpening & TT-50 Truing Tool We're back again with a new episode of Tormek's Live Sharpening Class. This time we will guide you on how to sharpen HSS planer blades and also show you how to use the TT-50 Truing Tool to make your stone flat again. Like always, we will answer all your questions on this topic during the stream. Stay tuned!
Special - Gardening tools The summer is finally here (at least in Sweden)! Wolfgang and Sèbastian from Tormek did a special episode of their sharpening class, focusing on the gardening tools. Learn how to sharpen secateurs, lawn mower blades, a scythe, hedge shears and other tools that you use in the garden! 🌳🌿

Videos on Tormek Sharpening Jigs
Title Author Comments

Tormek DBS-22 Drill Bit Sharpening Jig
Tormek DBS-22 Jeff Fischer YouTube video showing use of the DBS-22 Drill Bit Sharpening Jig on the Tormek. This one was recommended by one user of the DBS-22 jig due to Jeff's demonstration of sharpening bits where significant grinding is needed (e.g., highly worn bits).
Tormek DBS-22 Drill Bit Sharpening Attachment Alan Holtham YouTube video showing use of the DBS-22 Drill Bit Sharpening Jig on the Tormek
Drill Bit Sharpening Attachment DBS-22 Tormek YouTube video showing use of the DBS-22 Drill Bit Sharpening Jig on the Tormek

Tormek KVM-45, KVM-100, and KVM-140 Knife Jigs, and the SVM-00 Small Knife Holder
Knife Sharpening with Tormek Jeff Farris YouTube video showing use of the knife jigs on the Tormek
Using Tormek Knife Jigs Steve Bottorff YouTube video showing use of the knife jigs on the Tormek
Tormek Knife Jig SVM-45 Tormek YouTube video showing use of the knife jig on the Tormek
Tormek Long Knife Jig SVM-140 Tormek YouTube video showing use of the long knife jig on the Tormek
Tormek Small Knife Holder SVM-00 Tormek YouTube video showing use of the small knife holder on the Tormek

Tormek SVD-186 Gouge Jig
Tormek SVD186 Gouge Jig Alan Holtham YouTube video showing use of the SVD-186 Gouge Jig on the Tormek

Tormek SVS-32 and SVS-38 Short Tool Jig
Tormek Short Tool Jig SVS-32 Tormek YouTube video showing use of the SVS-32 Short Tool Jig on the Tormek

Tormek SVS-50 Multi-Jig
Sharpening with the Tormek SVS-50 Multi-Jig Jeff Farris YouTube video showing use of the SVS-50 Multi-Jig on the Tormek
Tormek Multi jig SVS-50 Tormek YouTube video showing use of the SVS-50 Multi-Jig on the Tormek

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