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Topics - tgbto

General Tormek Questions / Tool Marking
April 02, 2024, 11:55:47 AM
Hey everyone,

I thought I'd share with you my findinds pertaining to laser engraving. I started with a 5W output 455 nm, and I managed to get sub-par results by coating the blade beforehand (sharpie, mustard, painter's tape...).

I recently acquired a USD 400ish 2W 1064nm IR head, and the results are amazing. I can engrave knife blades with the sharpening angle or with their owner's name. I can also put a straight mark on a chisel right where I want. It can also mark plastics (preferably light or dark as the result is kind of greyish), so handles can be marked too.

It might be a nice addition to a premium sharpener's toolset. Mine is an open-frame one, so quite bulky, but there are also portable versions that will engrave up to 70x70 mm.


Knife Sharpening / Polished edge for knives
May 31, 2023, 06:52:02 PM
When I began sharpening, I had that conception that a polished edge was better. It also looked damn cool.

Before I bought my T-8, I had #4000 Chosera benchstones, then #6000 EP stones for stick&rod sharpening systems, etc. etc. And I purchased the SJ with my Tormek, a few days before I saw many posts on this forum urging to learn the SG first and decide later.

I still think a polished edge looks better. Yet what I now aim for when sharpening is more of a compromise between sharpness, edge retention, and sharpening time. I consider the conclusions of the late Wootz - namely that edge retention depends mostly on edge angle and steel, not on initial sharpness - a valid basis.

Wootz also recommended to polish the sides - but not the apex - to increase initial sharpness, which requires time and effort, but mostly to obtain a very low initial BESS score.

My experience is that for multipurpose knives (chef/gyutos/santokus) or vegetable knives (nakiri or paring knives), a knife that has been polished to the apex feels less sharp earlier than one that hasn't. For meat-only knives, that don't hit bones, I feel this is less true.

Quite frankly, aside from the neat looks of a SJ-polished edge, I see little interest for kitchen knives sharpening. Quite the opposite. My standard process is ungraded SG and PA-70 honing compound on the leather honing wheel, with the FVB. My BESS scores have dropped consistently over the last two years, and now I hit 70-85 BESS on Global or similar knives, @15dps. And I feel that I have to sharpen them less often.

So I guess my question to you guys would be: do you have similar experiences ? Is there something I might be doing wrong when going SG graded fine -> SJ -> honing wheel ?

Here's my setup for quick reprofiling of heavily damaged knives, or for convexing. The BGM-100 + FVB combo is admittedly more expensive than the cheap, small belt sander, but it does the job. For large knives, I use the larger USB.

You cannot view this attachment.


Hand Tool Woodworking / Occasional Gouge sharpening
October 10, 2022, 09:36:30 AM

I have none of the jigs dedicated to woodworking. A close friend of mine saw my sharpening workshop and asked me if I could resharpen her gouges, for which she doesn't seem to be able to find a suitable sharpener in the area.

It's only going to be like 5 gouges  a year, maybe twice a year (she works on some very long and complex projects for which gouges are used for only a tiny fraction ofd the work, but she needs them sharp still). So here's my question: is there any chance I can do something decent just by using the USB and going freehand, or do I need the whole SVD/TTS/LA shebang ?

Thanks for your insight,

Tormek T-1 and T-2 / Blade tips with T1/T2
May 06, 2022, 10:42:11 AM

Has anyone out here used a T-1 or T-2 for a long time with standard chef knives ? I am wondering if the edge comes off wider at the tip overtime ?

That would weem logical as it is what happens often on a T8 if you pivot towards the tip, keeping the angle more or less constant when the blade width increases close to the edge. I am thinking of buying a T-1 for my mother, but if that interferes with the sharpening I do on the T-8, I'm not so sure...


Knife Sharpening / Long knives
February 01, 2022, 04:26:59 PM
Hello !

For the first time, I've sharpened a salmon slicing knife. It was a cheap one and I wasn't expecting wonderful results, but there's one thing that bugged me...

It is a very long knife, with a blade around 36cm long. I had installed both the Tormek drip tray extender on the water trough, but also a 3D-printed drip catcher on the horizontal support bar mount. I had mounted no leather wheel on the honing side.

The problem was the following: as I was sharpening with the handle on the right side, water would drip directly onto the ruber wheel, and make it slippery to the point that the bare weight of the blade on the SG would stop it. Have any of you thought of a solution for this ? Fitting a honing wheel would for sure catch the water before it dripped on the rubber wheel, but I'm not too sure about mixing water with the honing compound and steel particles on the leather...


Hello all,

As mentioned a few times, it would be nice if newcomers and oldtimers alike could have a shared reference for many terms we use.

The idea would be to make this a sticky thread, that would be completed/amended as often as necessary.

It would include several sections, one with common abbreviations, one with the list of tormek references as compiled by Rick and others, and possibly if Wolfgang/Sebastien authorize it, a reproduction of the drawing shown during the Advanced Sharpening youtube class, with all blade shapes and terms (bevel, choil, etc.).
It also seems to me it wouldn't be complete without a link to Rich Colvin's sharpening handbook and the Tormek Youtube channel.

What do you think ? Ken, if you think this is inappropriate, feel free to delete ! If not, feel free to reply and I will try to add the to the original post.


dpsDegrees Per SideHalf the total bevel angle, or angle between one side of the bevel and the plane of symmetry of the blade
HRCHardness on Rockwell Scale CIndicates the toughness of the blade, its resistance to indentation
BESSBrubacher Edge Sharpness ScaleMeasures the sharpness of the blade at a given point along the blade, at a given instant.
CBNCubic Boron NitrideA synthetic crystal with a hardness second only to diamond

Tormek Jigs/Parts

US-105universal support for T-7 & T-8
XB-100Support base (plate and knobs only)
USBUniversal support bracket
BGM-100Bench grinder mounting set
SVM-45Knife jig
SVM-140Long (and flexible) knife jig
SVM-00Small knife jig
SVA-170Axe jig
SVS-38Short tool jig
SVD-185Gouge jig (old)
SVD-186Gouge jig
SVS-50Multi jig
SE-76Square edge jig (old)
SE-77Square edge jig
SVX-150Scissors jig
SVD-110Tool rest
SVH-320Planer blade attachment
SVP-80Moulding knife attachment
DBS-22Drill bit sharpening attachment
TT-50Truing tool
SP-650Stone grader
TTS-100Turning tool setter
LA-120Profiled leather honing wheels
LA-124Narrow profiled "discs" (leather honing wheels)
RB-180Rotating base
RM-533 Rubber work mat
PA-70Honing Compound
ACC-150Anti-Corrosion Concentrate

Tormek Stones

SG-200/250Original grindstone
SB-250Blackstone silicon grindstone
SJ-200/250Japanese waterstone
DC-200/250Diamond Coarse
DF-250Diamond Fine
DE-250Diamond Extra-fine

Picture with blade shapes/blade terms
To be added ?


Knife Sharpening / SJ-250 and deburring
January 22, 2022, 07:05:13 PM
Hello all,

I already mentioned having a different experience than what's advertised by Tormek when it comes to the SJ-250. Namely, here's what they write on their website :

QuoteSince the surface left by the Japanese Waterstone is so fine, we do not recommend honing afterwards on the leather honing wheel.

I had a bit of time this afternoon so I decided to explore this a bit more. I had to touch up a Wusthof classic chef knife and a Chroma Haiku Santoku (both given for ca. 58 HRC CrMoV steels, with the Chroma having 0.8% carbon vs 0.5% for the Wüsthof). They were initially 180 and 195 BESS.

I used jvh's TormekCalc spreadsheet which is so convenient as I have everything I need to know on the screen at once.

I first ground them edge leading on the "in between" SG, ie not graded coarse nor fine with a substantial pressure (see SG std.jpg). Then a few passes with light pressure (see SG light pressure.jpg)

I then graded the SG stone fine with a diamond plate, then gave them a second pass (see SG fine.jpg). It may not show on the pictures as the ocular quality is poor and lighting is not much better, but the burr is clearly visible, both by its ragedness and the fact that it doesn't reflect light like the bevel does.

I then moved to the SJ stone, still edge leading. It starts being interesting as one can no longer feel a burr, nor is any visible under the microscope (see SJ-r.jpg). So, what would the BESS score be ?

Well... 320 and 295.

I had marked the place where I performed the BESS test with a sharpie, and the dent left by the test media is clearly visible on the pic (SG dent.jpg)

So I honed both on the leather wheel with the standard issue Tormek compound and they ended up at 105 and 125 BESS. And the edge was no longer damaged by the wire (final.jpg).

This looks to me like a confirmation that the SJ does indeed require honing afterwards, at least on these standard knives. I'm no metallurgy specialist, but it looks like while it polishes the bevel, it also somehow creates a tiny wedge of nicely polished yet very soft metal. Maybe that's not the case with much harder steels... I'll try and see if the results change much. Until then, the SJ really is just for looks.

Sorry for the picture quality, that's the best I can do with my setup.


Knife Sharpening / Stranger Things
January 17, 2022, 02:15:04 PM

There's something I'd like your feedback on : as mentioned on several other posts, I find that honing with the PA-77 on the leather wheel is what gives me the best results. I decided to make sure about that this morning, as I needed to sharpen two almost identically shaped gyutos (a global and a suisin).

Both were sharpened back to back, @15dps with a projection distance of 134mm. I had just retrued the SG-250, then after I raised the burr on both knives, I graded the stone fine, then honed on the leather wheel with PA-77 @17dps, 6x2 passes each. They came out at 125 and 135 BESS. I then honed them further on the rock hard felt with 1µm diamonds @15.5 dps, and they came out very shiny... and at 285 and 260 BESS.

So I gave them 3x2 more passes each on the leather wheel and PA-77 and they ended up @105 and110 BESS, which is my usual score for these knives. Any idea what happens here ?
General Tormek Questions / Old machines, new videos
January 17, 2022, 10:25:04 AM
Hey all, I just received an email announcing that Tormek's new live stream will be about updating older Tormek models...

Stay tuned!
Knife Sharpening / A beginner's feedback.
November 03, 2021, 09:56:31 AM

This post is clearly not to pretend to give advice on how to use the Tormek, just to give food for thoughts to potential other time-constrained, tech nerds who might come across this excellent forum. I will never say enough how much this community has given me to think about, and it was probably the single most critical tool in geeting hold of my beloved Tormek(s).

I've had the Tormek for a year now. I've binge read the forums before I got the T8 and I chose to mostly skip the holy chisel sharpening part, because I mostly use knives and because I had spent hundred of hours sharpening them on other jigs as well as freehand on whetstones. This was my reference both for time consumption and for the result I was expecting. I also tried to watch wootz's videos, bought his book and ordered a FVB from him, as the physics of controlling the angle made sense to me.

My goal was to get at least the same sharpness I got from my jigs in much less time. I sharpen my own kitchen knives as well as my friends/family/neighbours' so I'd say about 300 knives per year.

Then I trained (a lot) on basic knives and once I was satisfied with the process I moved to my precious ones... My initial setup was a T-8 with SG and SJ (The mirror polished edge does look awfully good for lack of a better purpose). I'm also a tech junkie, so I got the DBS and the SB, with the result of getting the best holes out of standard bits I've ever seen. I included the spreadsheet by Jan in my process as it allows me to save the trial-and-error stage of the sharpie trick, and I then found I had cut my sharpening time by roughly 50% on the Tormek and got comparable sharpness. Still there were a few things that were bothering me : I found it painful to have to remove the stone for honing long knives. The piece of plastic pipe that came with the Tormek was fiddly and seemed to have a will of its own to hide beneath other stuff. I also found that some knives didn't feel quite right when cutting actual food and just rehoning them with ten passes changed them completely.

So, still as part of experimenting to try and find what best suited me, I bought the BESS scale which gives me a *relative* indication of sharpness, because of the tensioning issue. I also have a binocular microscope which I use to look at the burr and correlate with BESS results. I also wanted to see for myself what actual difference the steel made, and if there was such an increase in sharpness if you went full monty, so I ordered the felt wheel from schleifjunkies, along with a diamond spray and the sturdy piece of plastic to replace the wheel when honing. And I experimented also a lot with the forward/backward pivoting / lifting.

I also bought the DF stone to skip the stone diameter measurement issue, but I'm not sure it's even broken in as I really don't like the feeling at all compared to good "old" grinding stones. And I was getting crazy with having to mount/unmount stones for honing, so I decided to by a T-8 custom just to hold the honing wheel and the FVB. I'd probably get around to freehand honing after a while, but having a demanding job, kids, and an addiction to sports, spending hundreds of hours perfecting it is not really an option. I know the buying spree might be shocking to some, and I apologize, but compared to other leisures, it still remains reasonably priced overall.

So as of today, I have devised the following processes:

A. For standard kitchen knives, blunt from careless use or prolonged use without sharpening or use of ceramics freehand to restore the edge, but not badly damaged, and sharpened at the target angle already :
  A1. SG Stone measurement if it has just been trued or if more than 10 knives since last measurement. I found trueing removes about .2 millimeters, and a standard knife sharpening about .01 millimeter on average over 100 knives. It doesn't matter that much but takes about 30 seconds, input to TormekCalc included.
  A2. Set-up USB to stone distance on SG and leather wheel.
  A2. Grind over ungraded SG stone @15 to 18dps
  A3. Hone @+2dps on leather wheel with PA compound about 15 times each side

The usual result is about 100 (15dps) to 140 (18dps) BESS, with around 5 to 7 minutes per knife.

A+ For badly damaged knives or knives or knives with an unknown but obviously different angle, grade the SG stone coarse first. The scratches allow to judge the effect same as with the sharpie trick, and get the burr raised on each side, then proceed with process A. The SG will soon settle back to its in-between grit which is fine.

B. For my dear knives, or those of my friend who is a cook and loves what I do with his high-end knives, and only when I feel like it (if in a hurry, process A works damn well)
  B1 measure the SG and SJ stone, and place the SG stone on the T-8 with the leather wheel, so I remove (and risk) the SG stone rather than the SJ when removing it. Place the SJ stone on the T-8 with the felt wheel.
  B2 setup USB to stone distances on all 4 wheels
  B3 grind on ungraded SG stone
  B4 (optional) polish on SJ stone (again, just for looks, and I don't like stopping there because the cutting quality is not so great and edge retention is bad. I disagree you can leave it un-honed, expect maybe after reduced-pressure passes and a skill I will not possess with my abilities and my available time).
  B5 hone on leather wheel with PA Compound @+2 dps, 15 times per side, or 5 times if the SJ was used.
  B6 hone on felt wheel with 1 micron diamond @+2 dps (I found honing @+.5 dps was way too slow to see the slightest change in BESS score)
  B7 (optional, for hard steels only) hone on leather wheel with Chromox, @+1 dps to maybe improve BESS, and improve looks if

This gives me 70 to 80 BESS with my knives, which are around 62 HRC, in roughly 15 to 20 minutes per knife.

Overall the edge retention is much improved, but I think it comes more from reading KG's book and could have been obtained with the other methods I used. The sharpening time has been cut 50 to 70%.

Now a few ideas, that probably aren't universally true :
- The SG is indeed a great stone, to be used to one's heart content
- The SJ is purely for looks and may even degrade the result compared to honing if left untouched
- The T-8 should be sold with the long USBs. I don't really see the advantage of preferring the short ones, except from a commercial standpoint. It seems to me akin to selling a crippled machine, not suitable for long knives, knowing that users having invested 800+ bucks in their intial setup will spend a few more to have a usable machine. Replace a bending step with a welding step and boom.
- The AngleMaster is useless with knives. Sure, you can use it to measure the wrong bevel angle, then correct it with the sharpie, but then either use the sharpie from scratch or use TormekCalc to do it in a pinch. When I'm satisfied with the angle, having tried both higher and lower angles, I not only save it in TormekCalc as the best angle, but I also laser etch it on the blade. The AngleMaster would shine with traditional japanese knifes angle measurment, for sure (usuba, deba, yanagiba and the likes) but then you'd have to perform hara-kiri for having abused your knife in such a way. Even Wootz's demo on how to sharpen such a blade yields a very sharp blade, no question there, but one which is totally out of the question for a japanese chef, both lookswise and feelingwise.
- The additional sharpness you get from the additional 500 bucks of felt wheel, compounds, second leather wheel, chromox is nice, but can certainly be done without. Standard leather wheel and standard PA-70 compound work a charm.
- The FVB is an absolute must, even if you're an expert at honing freehand, it will make honing faster.
- Could there be a way to have a wider T-8, maybe with additional sleeves and a wider body, to avoid the need to remove the stone for long knives ?
- The sharpie trick (or the scratches from coarse SG) is (are) very useful for determing what action wrt pivoting/lifting is necessary to get the tip you want. There is no universal answer to that because it varies according to the shape of the blade. This is where finesse and training cannot be replaced by the assistance of a jig. The audible and visual (water flow) feedback from the SG help me a lot with reproducing the optimal action for this.



Knife Sharpening / nth fixed angle knife jig ?
September 26, 2021, 05:15:02 PM
Hello !

I had been thinking for a while that maybe one could use both the horizontal and vertical USBs as support for a fixed angle knife jig.

Obviously this is a rough first prototype, it wouldn't make sense to have it made of wood but I don't have a CNC to shape metal, it needs to be clamped to the vertical USB so it doesn't slide...

Plus the sides could be made thinner to get the heel of the blade closer to the stone, it could even be open on one side to get as close to the stone as desired : with two pairs of bearings instead of the rough stops shown here, you could slide the jig along the USB instead of the knife AND flip it to work on the other side...

Well you get the idea. Maybe it has already been thought of and discarded, but I couldn't find it.


Knife Sharpening / Polyhedral Tungsten Carbide
September 03, 2021, 11:57:33 AM
Guys, I must confess I've fallen for it out of curiosity again.
I was looking for a nice pocket knife and stumbled across this one. It's supposed to be 71 HRC and "flexible", and pure polyhedral tungsten carbide... I wanted to see for myself how sharp it really is and if I would be able to improve sharpness with the Tormek Diamond stones... I'll keep you posted!


Knife Sharpening / Collar Jigs
March 31, 2021, 04:56:05 PM
I encountered a few jig ideas on this forum. The kenjig/hanjig seemed brilliant and simple, and each time I use them I find them even more so.

There is another category which initially I found appealing, to the point of doing a bit of welding and dremeling and the like : the collar jigs such as the one where wootz adapted a collar around the shaft to prevent lifting, or the pivot collar jig described on I put the latter together and installed it onto my T8. And then I realized that if I used it edge leading, and for whatever reason the blade caught on the wheel, it would be a recipe for disaster : broken knife in any event, and probably bent universal support, shattered jig or blade shards all over the place.

Do you still use such jigs ? Do you only use them edge trailing (on the FVB) ?


Knife Sharpening / Forza Corsica
March 19, 2021, 03:46:56 PM
Hello all,

I'm still getting to grips with my new T8. Today's target is a corsican knife made in the hills around Ajaccio by a renowned knifemaker (Biancucci). I have no idea what the steel is, I just know it is NOT stainless and the forging process involves tempering in ice. I'm not sure what happened to this knife, but close to the heel the bevel was shorter and the blade ground in an akward fashion.

As you can see (C1.jpg), it is a thick and bulky blade, with a high curvature in the tip area. It also has a very thick heel. I used the setup template from Jan to have a reproducible setup, and it curves upward much more quickly than the template. I also used a reference line on the stone with a laser pointer.

To make sure I didn't miss anything, I tried to first lift (airplane roll) the handle only. As expected, the edge would quickly run higher up the stone, with a very high angle (C2.jpg). I then tried to pivot (airplane yaw) the handle rather than just lift it. However, the blade being very short, and because of the flat handle on the SVM-45 jig, the distance between the blade would also increase quickly (albeit not as quickly as when only lifting). (C3.jpg)

Back to the paper template, but this time with the triangular-shaped pivot jig (C4.jpg). With a lot of pivoting and a bit of lifting, this improved dramatically. It would still get further up the wheel, but much less than before (C5.jpg). I had to reverse course at some point over the US, because the pivoting action would bring the tip closer to the edge of the wheel. And boy it ended up sharp after honing on felt/1µ diamond spray.

As you can see (C6.jpg), I did not completely correct the area where the bevel is much thinner (I'd have to remove a lot of steel, and probably reshape the heel). You will probably also notice that in the first part of the curvature, the bevel is wider. At the beginning of the pivoting action, the edge would drop for a short while below the laser line, so no surprise here.

And that had me thinking that maybe a pivot jig with a variable flat area  (if this is not clear i'll sketch something) might help. Or maybe the SVM-45 with just the handle upside-down, who knows. Or the one sold by wootz. Or maybe somehow bringing the svm-45 backwards to keep the edge on the line, no longer resting over the US, but that would be detrimental to consistency.

Well, your feedback is welcome. The tormek is not even a month old and I got kids, so we're talking a few hours of experience on it. Still, I think the compromise between speed and quality is very promising.

Good day to you all.

First of all, let me say how impressed and thankful I am to all those of you who contributed to this forum. I'm still overwhelmed by the quantity of information, the neat ideas, and the strife for constant improvement.

I'm mainly a knife sharpener. I've been using wetstones and (let's not give names) some sliding-rod jigs that have given me more than satisfactory results for many years. Of course there's the issue with the sharpening of the tip on those jigs, but one of the most prolific topic on here has been with whether/how to pivot to achieve satisfactory results with the tormek.

To be honest, I don't need a Tormek but I like well engineered stuff and I'm very curious. So I went for the T-8 + SJ-250, SB250 (probably should have gone with the DC250 but hey, I had not read enough of the forum) DF 250, DE-250, just received my FVB, purchased the KG angle setter for windows (should have waited till I ordered the FVB but again, I've been too hasty), and use the TormekCalc2 with delight. It's a brilliant piece of Excel file and not only does it fulfill my needs, it gave me ideas I was able to apply at once.

So I'm obviously very early in the learning curve. I've sharpened some junk knives a LOT before I moved on to higher-quality ones and those have come out cutting better and longer than ever before. Probably not the level you guys would expect but in terms of time spent and result, still the best compromise yet.

I've even tried sharpening a ginsan-ko yo-deba with the FVB as per the KG video, and it came out scary sharp. I've sticked to the wetstone for the backside though, which saved a lot of time as I *only* have one machine ^^. I still think the wetstones are better suited to maintain the original shape for that kind of knife but it was worth trying. In the same spirit, I'll probably stick to the sliding-rod style jigs with narrow stones for whatever few recurve blades I sharpen.

But all-in-all, my usual job being putting a bulk friends' or family's knives back in shape quickly, and those guys usually have standard kitchen knives, I think the Tormek will serve me well, and most importantly... I'll be having fun. I couldn't thank enough Ken, Wootz, jvh and many others who have saved me tremendous time spent in trial and errors, although I still have my share of those ahead of me. I've seldom seen a forum where collective creative thinking was so pervasive.

Now I hope I won't discover this issue has been discussed numerous time, if so I sincerely apologize but I couldn't seem to find any topic on this: How do you guys store your stones ? I've seen (I think of KG youtube videos) that some used stainless steel drainer-style racks. I also saw the Tormek guys with their nifty cart and stones hanging on the side. I bought a cart for my T8 to sit on top of, and I padded the drawers with shadowfoam to hold the tools and some stones. I've also seen some stone holders on thingiverse ready for 3D-printing. Still none seems completely satisfactory:
- The stainless steel racks look that I would easily nick the stones, or should I say nick the SJ-250, which seems like it would chip if I glared at it a bit to openly.
- I wouldn't dare hang a stone on the side of the cart for fear it would drop one way or another
- Storing the stones flat in the drawers takes up a lot of space, and I'm wondering if I won't end up with a wet and/or rusty mess at some point.
- The 3D-printed ones I would have to secure on some countertop to avoid dropping. And as they seem quite bulky, and I don't personally own a 3D-printer, I don't want to end up costing my friend $100+ in filament.

I also briefly thought of a thick, non-vertical wooden board with 10mm bolts protruding, but the drainage will probably be an issue, along with the overall size of the thingamajig. So...