Reviews :

Tormek 2005 Sharpening System

Submitted 17 years ago by Charley

Product Model: 2005
Product Price: £299
Build Quality:
Value for Money:
I’ve tried many methods of sharpening this past year – oilstones, Japanese water stones and the Scary Sharp Method. While all of these methods work well, they’re messy and time-consuming. I’d heard and read about Tormek 2005 grinder so I was happy to try it out for my self to see if it was as good as everyone said.

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!!

2 Responses to Tormek 2005 Sharpening System

  1. custard says:

    I’ve used the Tormek for quite a few years. Overall I like it very much, but I found the standard wheel cuts too slowly with A2 steel and with HSS turning tools. Changing to Tormek’s new Blackstone Silicone SB250 significantly speeds up the sharpening process. The only downside is the price, the SB250 replacement wheel (which is the same approx 200 grit as the standard stone) costs about £160-170! Incidentally, Tormek sell a resurfacing bar that allows you to change the surface of the standard stone (not the SB250) from about 200 grit to about 1000 grit. It’s a nice idea, and for some highly cambered tools it works pretty well, but on any straight ground edge using the resurfacing stone changes the geometry of the grinding wheel by an appreciable amount, so I’d strongly advise against using this accesory with a straight edged tool.

    The final point I’d make is to say that the most important accessory with the Tormek is the diamond truing tool. And if you want repeatability and accuracy you should use it to skim the wheel regularly, and certainly every time you change the tool rest settings. The Tormek basically registers from the tool rest, so any change here throws everything else out, I use a brass block to reset the tool rest back to a standard setting above the wheel, but I find a light skim with the diamond truing tool still shows up tiny setting differences every time the tool rest gets moved. Consequently I avoid changing the tool rest wherever possible, and have a second tool rest fitted for the honing wheel.

  2. paganwarrior says:

    I’ve been using one of these for the last 10 years and wouldn’t be without it. Puts a razor sharp edge on chisels, plane irons, knives etc. and re-sharpening takes seconds.
    With the woodturning chisel jig all the guesswork is taken out of grinding. However, because of the curved shape of spindle/bowl gouges you do tend to create slight grooves in the stone no matter how much you spread the grind across the stone. It just means that when you want to sharpen plane irons etc again you need to true up the stone with the diamond truing jig.

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