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Upgrade to Tormek from a TSProf?

Started by BCM, December 03, 2022, 11:29:59 PM

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Hi Everyone, first post here but was hoping I could get some insight from people who have (or had) a guided system like a TSProf and have moved to a Tormek, I am considering a T8.  I currently have a TSProf K03 setup, but the honest answer is I've never really "bonded" with it, and it probably doesn't get used as much as it should.  I have a Ken Onion Worksharp too that I should probably sell as it hasn't been out of it's box since I got the TSProf.

You can probably guess, but knife sharpening is my primary use case, although the ability to do chisels, other flat tools, grinder plates / blades, plus things like my axes/hatchets, machete, even if I have to free hand some of the stuff like the machete would be appealing too (or, maybe just keep the worksharp for that).   I have general Kitchen Knives, Long chef's knifes, hunting and butchering knives (I'm a hunter and do all my own processing), fillet knives, EDC knives, etc.  Currently have SV35VN, 154CM, 420HC, A2 Tool Steel (2 x A2 Hunting Knives for use in the field), Sandvik 12c27 MOD Stainless on hand right now plus whatever my Dexter Sani-safe butchering stuff is, and I'm sure some others.  If I could find a way to do broadheads for my archery gear using the rest and not free hand them, that'd be another bonus.

I do have a dedicated space I could leave the Tormek set up, with wheels and accessories readily accessible.   And, I probably wouldn't keep both.  If I bought the Tormek, I'd end up selling the K03 so the the cost to buy the Tormek and the accessories I'd need honestly wouldn't be a blocker .   If I feel after getting used to it I could do an as good or better job faster for most sharpening jobs, I think I'd be sold. 

So with that said, any thoughts for me?  Once you learn to use it, do you feel the Tormek is faster?  Do you feel you can get as good of an edge?   Hopefully better and faster?

Thanks for the insight!

Sir Amwell

Faster? Yes
As good of an edge? Yes
Better and faster? Yes
All those yeses have caveats though.
I bought a T8 thinking that all those potential questions would be answered: YES!
It will take you some time to get proficient using Tormek. There is a learning curve so be prepared to invest time and clear thinking and practice before getting your anticipated results. Once you do crack it, and it may be a long journey, you won't look back and all those yeses will fall in to place.
I expect it took a while to get used to the TS Prof?
Same with Tormek.
Only the diversity will ultimately pay off the time getting used to it,because chisels, axes, planer blades, scissors and of course knives become accessible to you.
Some specific tips. Some of the harder steels you mention will require diamond or CBN wheels to set your edges. Having said that the original SG wheel is adequate for most and you should start with it to familiarise yourself with the system. But note that SG will need periodic truing. Diamond and CBN do not.
I primarily use Tormek to 'set' edges and then use a variety of honing techniques. This process is the secret to sharpness and you will over look it at your peril.
Using the standard Tormek leather wheel free hand is ok, again you should get used to using it.
For more precise honing an FVB is pretty essential so you can 'dial in' an exact angle.
One last thing. Don't sell your WSKO just yet. I along with others ( 3D Anvil for one) have found it a great honing tool with leather belts and various compounds. Ultimately that will save you time at no loss of sharpness.
Good luck on your journey. There are lots of people on this forum who are a mine of information and want to help, so keep posting.


I would definitely keep the WSKTS-KO *AND* the TSPROF .

With the KO you'll be able to reprofile more easily, as well as hone using the latest honing belts which work a charm. The TSPROF will help for very small knives (much easier to set up than actually build your own platform jig and fiddle with it) as well as recurves for which the Tormek is not intended. For serrated blades, you're also better off with a TSPROF. I also have a thin and flexible and narrow fillet knife sharpened at a low angle that I cannot sharpen on the Tormek.

With the newer jig, the Tormek is less suited to sharpening in batches. And it really takes some time to master the movement to get nicely ground tips.

So overall I'd say go for the T8 if money really isn't a concern and you like heavy, well-built tools. The Tormek is very versatile and will do much more than knives. But its primary focus is not knives, so it won't be the only tool you need if you're a knife enthusiast.


Ok, I'm sold.   Have a T8 Standard Kit on the way with the SG250 wheel, and they were doing a special on the hand tool kit as well so have that coming with it.

I will hold off on additional CBN Wheels, Felt Wheel, FVB, etc. until I've had a chance to use it some as is.

And, I think I'm also sold that I'll keep both the TSProf and Worksharp for the time being anyways.   At the very least that allows me to get a process down and learn the T8 before making any decision.

Thanks for the input!


Ok, T8 Standard showed up yesterday with the hand tool kit.   Went to the store and bought a $10 chef knife to practice on first today, and am going to follow this up with some cheaper kitchen knives and outdoors knives for practice.

My first try I definitely left some inconsistencies in the bevel, likely was getting used to it and having trouble keeping the blade level on the stone I think.    Second try was much better, I actually found that if I looked under the blade it made it very easy to see light and keep the blade level.  The hardest part is how much to "tip" the blade to sharpen the tip correctly and consistently.

Honed the knife free-hand on the leather wheel, I now see the benefit of the FVB and would rather use the guide rail if I continue to hone that way.  But, I could also play around with honing on my worksharp too as you both mentioned above.

Wasn't perfect, but the knife came out very sharp.   I'm happy so far, even when I'm really just learning the machine and probably far from perfect.   Not ready to start sharpening my nice knives yet, but have plenty less expensive ones to practice on first.

I'm sold enough based on my first try coming out as good as it did that I'll add some CBN wheels, FVB, etc. next.

Thanks for the advice! 

Ken S

Welcome to the forum, Brendan.

I basically agree with the advice offered by the other members. I certainly recommend keeping your other sharpening systems, at least until you are very fluent with your Tormek. Tools and knives to be sharpened come in so many different shapes and sizes; no one system is ideal for everything. I totally agree with mastering the SG-250 before adding other grinding wheels. (This advice is echoed by the Tormek staff in the online classes.)

You mention eventually getting an FVB and CBN wheels. Traditional Tormek technique uses handheld honing. I think this is worth learning, although I also realize the popularity of the FVB. Full confession: I have two FVBs. I worked out a method of bypassing the need for an FVB; however, the FVB is much more comvenient.

When you get to the point of thinking about more grinding wheels, I hope you will keep an open mind. Yes, the SG, SB and SJ wheels do require occasional truing. This is just part of sharpening and really not a big deal. What can potentially be a big deal is dealing with a CBN wheel which has gone out of true. Forum member Wootz, the late Vadim of Knife Grinders, was the first member to post about cbn wheels on this forum. He experienced the grinding surface sagging in the center. to be fair, I must point out two things: 1) His vendor treated him very fairly by replacing his wheel. (When the second wheel developed the same problem, Wootz decided just to live with it.) 2) This occurred several years ago. I have not heard of the problem since then. It may have been resolved. My point is that while regular grinding wheels may need occasional truing, they can at least be trued.

When you consider CBN wheels, please also consider diamond wheels. I have both. Both have advantages. Both will do the job. You do not need to match the wheels by using the same material or brand. While I have no complaints with my CBN wheels, I do admit a preference for diamond wheels. My preference for diamond wheels is most probably biased by my preference for Tormek. Make your own choices.

Think of learning how to use your Tormek like learning to play the piano or violin. Do not expect quick success. Enjoy watching your skill increase with study and practice. Enjoy the journey and keep us posted.



I would like to echo what other members said.  If possible keep both K03 and the Tormek.  Like you, I have had a KO3.  I have used this for a number of years and added a Tormek T8 because of its versatility and purely because it is such a nice tool to use.  I sharpen most knives on the Tormek.  With some of my knives I use the KO3 to sharpen and then the FVB and Vadim's angle tool to hone.  I have been very happy with the result.  Much better than trying to hone on the K03.

3D Anvil

Another vote for keeping both systems.  I don't have a K03, but I do have a Hapstone R1 fixed angle system that serves the same purpose.  It doesn't get used very often these days because the Tormek is so much faster, but there are specific cases where the fixed-angle system is preferable. 

One is recurve blades, which are challenging with the Tormek.  I have a set of 6" convex diamond stones that make sharpening recurves quite simple. 

Another case is knives with big bellies, which are doable with the Tormek, but again challenging, because you either have to accept a significantly steeper angle towards the tip, or else use the pivot method which involves a bit of freehand.  A fixed-angle system provides less variation in edge angle.

Ken S

Good thoughts, JCB and 3D. As much as I like the Tormek, I don't expect any sharpening tool to be ideal in any situation. Since you already have a TSProf, you incur no additional expense keeping it. You can always sell it later if you do not end up using it.