Which Grinder for Sharpening Lathe Tools

Sharpening suggestions from satisfied sharpeners. March 28, 2012

I've been looking for a grinder for sharpening lathe tools. Which one do you like? I don't have a lot of time on a lathe, but am learning. I definitely need sharper tools.

Forum Responses
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor N:
I just use a shop built slow speed grinder with an 8" wheel on one side and a hard green felt wheel on the other side.

From contributor D:
About 6 years ago, a carver friend suggested the Razor Sharp Edgemaking wheels for a slow speed grinder. Two hard cardboard discs with a coating. Once the edge is ground to the angle you need, these two discs - one fine and one finer - will polish the edge to mirror finish. Much like a hard buffing wheel but with no give, so the edge does not round. About 1-1/2 minutes, and you can shave with the edge. The wheels occasionally have to be recoated with the abrasives, but it only takes two minutes. And the whole thing is cheap to buy.

These will work for lathe tools, even shaper cutters or jointer knives - anything in HSS.

All my Arkansas stones, Norton stones, Japanese water stones, Delta wet wheel, etc. are stored under the bench, collecting dust. I now have an 8" grinder with a 3/4" medium gray wheel, and a 1/4" white wheel, the slow grinder (1750 rpm) with the Razor System on it, and a two head buffer for general burr removal.

As suggested, a good buffing wheel with the right compound is great to have, but these discs take it so much further and faster it is hard to believe. This is so far above everything else, I can't believe everyone is not using the process. In a word, I'm sold.

From contributor R:
It's not the grinder you should be asking about, it's the wheels. Then secondly, the holding fixtures. Any bench grinder will work. Some wheels are meant for 3450 rpm, others for 1750. In my woodturning club and my experience, Oneway Manufacturing is the gold standard. With their equipment, a $60 bench grinder will put on the perfect edge, in seconds.