Submitted 15 years ago by Charley
The Tormek 2005 is a water-cooled grinding and sharpening system, aimed to allow anyone to produce a razor sharp, accurate cutting edge on chisels, plane irons, complex turning tools, curving tools, planer blades, knives, scissors and even axes.
It’s powered by a 200w induction motor, which is rated for continuous use. The motor turns a 10” grinding wheel at 90rpm, which is cooled by water as it turns through a removable plastic water trough. On the other end of the motor there’s a leather-honing wheel. When used with a special honing compound it will remove any burrs and leave the cutting edge polished and razor sharp.
The leather-honing wheel needs preparing with mineral oil to soften the leather. I found that it also helped the honing compound to soak in more. I bought the oil from a local chemist.
An essential accessory that improves the cutting edge is the stone grader (which isn’t included). The stone has two sides, when you press and hold the smooth side on the grinding wheel for a few seconds it converts the wheel from 220grit to 1000grit (and vice versa).
To set the angle of the cutting edge you move the universal support up or down and to get the angle you use a nifty & clever accessory called the Pro Angle Master, which lets you set the Tormek up easily to any angle from 15° to 75° in a matter of seconds. It also has a series of grooves to let you find out the angle of a tool’s cutting edge…
At £299 the Tormek is expensive – and that just gets you the grinder and the plane iron jig. You might want to buy the stone grader, stone truing tool and any other jigs you may need to sharpen your tools, which will build up the total price quite a bit.
Okay, so for £299 you get the Tormek grinder itself, a video, a handbook, plane iron & wood chisel jig, honing compound, universal support and a pro angle master.
It’s relatively fast at grinding – it took just over a minute (69 seconds to be precise) to remove a ding from an old plane iron and if you just want to re-hone an edge it takes a matter of seconds. If you’re planning to do a lot of heavy grinding, it might be best to use a cheap grinder to do the bulk of the work & then finish up on the Tormek.
As I’m not a wood turner or carver I haven’t even touched the surface of what the Tormek can do, but I’m very impressed with it even just for sharpening plane irons and chisels. The things I like best about it are:- it’s clean/safe to use, there are no sparks when used, it’s easy to use and best of all its leaves the cutting edge razor sharp.
The Tormek is an excellent machine and can sharpen anything with a blade. I’ve been using it for 4 months and I can’t find any faults with it. If you’re looking for the down side of the Tormek, then it’s no way near as fast at grinding as a dry grinder, so if you get any dings in your tool blades its just going to take a tiny bit longer. But of course it’s much safer, as you don’t get the sparks or the heat with the Tormek (and lets face it you’re supposed to look after your tools, so there shouldn’t be any dings!!)
So, apart from that one small fault on speed of use against a dry grinder – the only other small problem is the price!! It is an expensive tool, but it’s a quality tool and can earn its place in any workshop. I am sure it will become one of your most used tools, especially for wood turners and carvers as it allows you to sharpen difficult shapes as easy as pie!!
I’m giving it the thumbs up with a full five out of five rating even though it’s expensive – I think it’s worth every penny!!