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Topics - BeSharp

I dedicate one of my T7s for deburring with a 250mm felt wheel and a Frontal Vertical Base. A couple of months ago I built a DRO to read the FVB bar height. This allows me to quickly set the deburring height for most knives (+ 2 degree), for Global (15 + 1.6 = 16.6 degrees), for c!eavers, etc.

Parts List

IGaging DRO $50 CAD
Tormek XB-100 base $40 CAD
Drawer slide $10 CAD
1.5" x .75" aluminum bar stock
Knife Sharpening / Great Technical Video on Knife Steels
February 22, 2022, 06:44:24 PM
Dr. Larrin Thomas, author of "Knife Engineering: Steel, Heat Treatment, and Geometry" has uploaded a new video. His website is

This video discusses balancing hardness, toughness, and edge retention with Magnacut, a knife steel he invented. However, the video also has charts with many other knife steel alloys:
Looks like all Tormek dealers are including a free rotating base with T8 bundles until end of the year.

For those with only one machine, the rotating base is a very useful accessory!
I was at Canada's Tormek distributor today (Big Bear Tools). Looks like they're all stocked up in case there's a zombie apocalypse.

Repelling zombies could require sharp objects.

Tormeks sharpen dull objects.

Never mind... 😀
I built a 1,500 Watt power station for sharpening at farmers' market and other places with no power.

All my equipment fits into Tanos / Festool Systainers. Therefore, I wanted my power station to be inside a Systainer too!

Festool just introduced their SYS-PowerStation, but 1) it's not in North America yet, 2) It's 2,610 Euros / $3,750 CAD / $3,030 USD, 3) I don't need that much power, since a Tormek only uses 200 Watts, a Twice-As-Sharp scissors sharpener uses 375 Watts, and my Rikon buffer, 300 Watts (and I hardly use more than one machine on at a time).

Some Tormek retailers have started selling the new Tormek 200mm diamond wheels - do an internet search. Still not available in Canada though 😠.
Vadim from is at it again - he is posting on YouTube a 10-video series, "Overheating in Sharpening". 7 videos are up so far.

Most telling is that Tormeks, with their water baths as coolant, do not even merit testing : )

Larrin Thomas, of fame (and has a CATRA sharpness tester in his garage!), wrote about steel softening from overheating:

(BTW, I highly recommend his book, Knife Engineering: Steel, Heat Treating, and Geometry)

I have ordered some honing coolant and look forward to trying it on my two Viel belt grinders (for repairs only; not for sharpening!)

Someone asked a few days ago how much to sharpen a knife. Yes, Tormeks are slower than a bench or belt grinder. With a Tormek, sell quality and value, not price. 
Scissors Sharpening / Sharpening Kett Power Shear Blades
September 17, 2021, 01:26:22 AM
Customer asked if I can sharpen the double scissor blades on a Kett KD-400 power shear, used for cutting sheet metal for ventilation ducts.

The double shears consists of a curved center blade and a left and right blade. The curves makes sharpening the centre blade difficult. However, the left and right blades should be sharpenable.

The blades are A2 tool steel. The flat sides of Tormek diamond wheels, or some CBN wheels, are ideal for this job.
Tormek T-1 and T-2 / Revised, New Edition Tormek T2
September 07, 2021, 04:42:52 PM
"New! Revised Guide Clip, 8 Year Warranty

The new Edition of the Tormek T-2 Pro Kitchen Knife Sharpener has a redesign guide clip that is lined so it won't mar knives, and it will accept larger knives than the original model too! Tormek has also given the T-2 an 8 year warranty, 5 years on purchase plus 3 years on registration.

The T2 can accommodate knives 14 - 60 mm (5/16" - 2-3/8") wide, and up to 3.5 mm (3/32") thick and it includes a removable magnet for capturing swarf. And now the guide clip is lined to prevent scratching knife blades!

Not on Tormek's site yet, but the above description is here:
Had a request to sharpen a sword with a 38.5" (1 meter) blade:

Blade is EN-45 high carbon spring steel.

Fortunately my "rig" has two T-7's side by side, each with a 25" / 65cm long double-sided aftermarket universal support bars.

To take advantage of that, I used two Tormek SVM-140 long knife jigs.
It was announced yesterday. April 1st....  ;D

Local Artisanal Farm-To-Table Barrel-Aged Spring Fed Alkaline Honing Water

Steve Bottorff's Sharpening School Video is now only $50 USD. If memory serves me, it was $150. Steve kindly emailed me to tell me. I, of course, immediately ordered a copy.

I imagine Steve is moving closer to full retirement as he no longer sells Tormek or other powered sharpening machines either. He deserves it.

This is a classic. I urge others to get a copy while they still can.
General Tormek Questions / Tormek Price Increases
January 06, 2021, 04:36:40 PM
Looks like Tormek prices just went up in Canada. The distributor, Big Bear Tools, now has the T-8 package at $999 CAD. It used to be $899 CAD. Wheels have gone up too.

A method of running one Tormek with two grinding wheels with both in water saves money, space, time, and electricity. This setup ideally uses wheels that maintain the same diameter, such as Tormek's diamond wheels, or other constant-diameter wheels (diamond or CBN). In fact, not having to buy a second Tormek almost pays for two Tormek diamond wheels!

I have four used Tormek T-7s, but only one has the "distance spring for the motor" (part number 61). I'm asking T-7 owners whether their machines have the spring, or no spring?

SUMMARY: A $50 investment could be a faster, more repeatable way to set Tormek Universal Support Bar ("USB") height. It may not result in "bragging rights" BESS numbers, but I consistently get BESS numbers below 100. 


Computer software has taken Tormeks into the 21st Century. I use calipers to set the USB height. However, I was not happy because:

1) Regular calipers are poor depth calipers. The caliper end is barely wide enough to go over the 12mm diameter USB. That is why both my calipers have depth gauge adapters on the ends. However, even after setting them up using a flat reference surface, I found one caliper measuring .1mm short and the other measuring .1mm long.
2) Parallax error. Unless the extended leg is absolutely vertical, the measurement will be too long.
3) Speed - moving the caliper to the desired measurement takes time. My iGaging calipers have what they call "Absolute Origin" - they remember where they are even after shutting off. This helps, but I wanted better.
4) Poor repeatability due to the above three things.
5) Longer USB means larger errors the farther one is away from the two vertical legs. Tormek's new US-430 is 34% longer than the US-105.
Some after-market USB legs are smaller (11.83 mm diameter vs. 12 mm diameter).  Such bars could result in not being parallel with the Tormek's top surface due to play inside the 12mm diameter Tormek leg sleeves.
Knife Sharpening / Balancing Buffer Felt Wheels
October 20, 2020, 06:05:58 PM
I have a half-speed buffer running at 2,000 rpm with an 8" diameter felt wheel with Autosol. The buffer is mounted on a piece of plywood so I can take it to farmers markets. The wheel is so out of balance that the buffer moves when placed on a table.

I got a Oneway grinder wheel balancing kit. Oneway is the company that also makes the Wolverine sharpening jig for lathe chisels. For some reason Lee Valley Tools seems to be no longer carrying it, so I ordered directly from Oneway - another small family business in Ontario.

It works great. You start with the three balancing weights 120 degrees from each other. If the wheel was perfectly balanced, you wouldn't need to move them.

The picture shows the final setting - which also shows how badly balanced the rock hard felt wheel was. My buffer no longer walks across the table.

Obviously, you don't need this for felt wheels mounted on Tormeks running at 90 rpm.. Running at 2,000 rpm is a different matter.

Knife Sharpening / Movable 4-Tormek Sharpening Station
October 18, 2020, 04:42:28 AM
I call it "the rig": a 4 - machine sharpening station (for speed - no changing stones) that rolls away at a moment's notice (I use the space for other work), at the right height, stores the machines, and usable as work tables at farmers markets - for $190 CAD ( $145 USD / 120 Euros).

Retired telephone linesmen may notice the machines are colour coded using electronic resistor colour codes  ;D. It helps when storing or setting up the machines.
General Tormek Questions / Low Cost Spacer
October 17, 2020, 06:34:20 PM
As most regulars here know, it's best to transport Tormeks without the grinding wheel. This means a spacer is needed to hold the drive wheel and main axle in place during transport.

A plastic CPVC plumbing connector for 3/4" pipes works. It could be a little bit shorter, but I've never had one fall off. Cost me $.71 CAD ($.54 USD / .46 Euros).
Knife Sharpening / Why Felt is Best for Deburring
October 07, 2020, 05:10:27 AM
Vadim has posted to YouTube a video on why felt is best for deburring, as well as what kind, and what density, works best: