SuperGrind 2006 - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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SuperGrind 2006

Tormek AB - SuperGrind 2006

The Tormek system offers a variety of optional jigs and excellent instructions for precise sharpening of just about any tool.

$400 (As of 4/14/2006)

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Editor's Review: Sharpening Machines

by Tim Albers

review date: April 14, 2006

The Tormek employs a 90-rpm, 10-in.-dia. grinding wheel that runs through a water trough. The system offers a variety of optional jigs and excellent instructions for precise sharpening of just about any tool, including planer and jointer knives, axes, and scissors.

The heart of the system is the micro-adjustable steel rest, which supports the jigs solidly in different positions. The straight-edge jig is included with the basic machine. A bevel-setting guide quickly registers the tool against the grinding wheel at almost any angle. After establishing the bevel, the tool rest can be moved to the honing wheel or honing can be done freehand. It takes a couple of minutes to grind and hone an edge-just a little slower than the Veritas.

The basic machine is $400; a deluxe system with all 13 accessories is priced at more than $900.

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Editor Test Results:

Flattening/Lapping Backs Good
Grinding Bevels Excellent
Honing Very Good

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Tormek AB
Manufacturer's Web Site
Manufacturer's Phone Number
Wheel Size 10 in. dia.
Speed 90 rpm
Horsepower N/A
Amps N/A
Watts 200w
Volts 110v
Materials Aluminum oxide wheel

I have owned and used this sharpening system for four years and it is an excellent tool. I use the tool and the jigs to sharpen my turning tools, plane irons, chisels and many other bladed tools. I use the tool in conjunction with a set of Japanese water stone and this combination works extremely well. I prefer my tools in A2 steel or the Veritas PM-V11 steel because they are harder and more durable. I do use the leather stop wheel with a rouge after I use the stone and before the water stones. I know some woodworkers think this is not a good idea but they must not understand steel and how the grain takes an edge. I am an Engineer and I know that using all parts of this tool will help your ability to sharpen your tools, but you must learn how to use it properly. Make sure you read the material that comes with the Tormek and it is a good idea to read about steel and how it takes an edge. I do not use a high speed grinder to sharpen anything because it can damage the steel but the slow rotation of the stone and strop of the Tormek will sharpen your tools and not damage the steel. I use the Tormek and the strop with a rouge to get the initial grind and shape on the tools and then I use my water stones and a good honing guide like the Veritas Mark II Honing Guide to put the final edge and micro bevel on the blades. I also flatten the backs of the blades on the water stones and not on the side on the Tormek wheel. I then update the edge of the tools using the water stones, except my turning tools and I use the Tormek to keep these edges keen as I turn. The water stones will keep the tools sharp for a time but I will return to the Tormek and reset the shape when I feel the time is right. This is a personal preference and will be evident with time using the sharpened tools. This is a superb sharpening system and it is used by many professional woodworkers. It might be a little expensive but when you burn-up a few expensive plane irons and chisels using high speed grinders you will see that having this sharpening system is well worth the expense.

Never used one better grinder.

Very good machine, with a few minor reservations.1. The water trough is too small. This does not make a big difference when grinding small chisels and small plane blades. When doing 2 inch and larger blades the water runs off past the trough and onto the table. I built a plywood base with a drip edge to eliminate that problem.2. When grinding large blades the water will invariably spill onto the body of the Tormek. So far water getting into the motor has not been an issue, however the nut holding the grinding wheel in place has rusted in place. Be sure and put grease on the nut/threads when you put the grinding wheel nut on.3. The instructions state you can flatten the back by using the side of the wheel. You can, but you get inconsistent results and there is no method of attaching a fence or support bracket of some kind to reference on the side of the wheel.4. The accessories are very good and the machine is very good, but all are VERY Expensive!As I said, these are minor reservations. This tool sharpens very well and does not burn the tool steel. I have had mine for well over 8 years and have been very pleased with it.

All I can say is this makes sharpening easy and accurate. I like it so much I have two of them with all of the accessories.

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