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Honing Guides

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Nick Gibbs

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Can anyone tell me which is their favourite honing guide and why?

Thanks

Nick
 

Pete Maddex

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Eclipse or clone, easy to use, cheap, and you can camber the blade with one due to the narrow roller.

Pete
 

El Barto

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Haha oh man... a can of worms.

Honestly they all do the exact same job so any will serve you well. I use a Veritas or Eclipse copy depending on where I am, both give me the same results.
 

lurker

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I have a couple of clones, they were both overpainted and unusable “out of box”, but very easy to fettle into a good tool.
Only use these for primary, hand held for secondary.
 

AndyT

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Hi Nick I think your responses will be slewed to the Eclipse for a simple reason. Many of us will be 60+ and will have bought a guide when beginning woodworking. What was the guide we were most likely to find in our friendly local toolshop? The Eclipse. So we bought one, used it for a bit then switched to freehand. Or used it and carried on using it.
So, if you only own one, that's the favourite. (Helped by it being a sound design, with no loose bits to lose, and not needing a separate instruction booklet.)

I know others have been developed since the 1970s but have never felt the need to explore them.
 

Eric The Viking

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Eclipse for everything with parallel sides (plane irons, chisels), and an odd little Axminster one ([edit] see below) for skews - basically a surface above the roller with a rubber-faced clamping bar. It's wide enough to do my 1/4" skews and the irons for my side rebate plane. The Axminster one has a slightly crowned roller, also handy.

Everything kitchenish is freehanded.

I also have a Record 161 (big ball-bearing underneath), but tend to ignore it because of the possibility of putting grooves in the stone. I daresay it's wonderful, but still...

E.

*It's actually one of these: https://www.tomaco.co.uk/product/narex-honing-guide/ but it wasn't that absurd price when Axminster sold it. One edge of the plate lends itself to being a reference, so I just use a bevel gauge and pencil-in the angle I want, then align the iron or chisel accordingly. It works very well, even with the side rebate iron where the geometry is rather awkward.
 

Bm101

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If you want a well engineered guide that sets you out stage by stage from angles, to how far to to seat your blade then look at the Veritas. It's expensive but
 

billw

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Bm101":2ksymxst said:
If you want a well engineered guide that sets you out stage by stage from angles, to how far to to seat your blade then look at the Veritas. It's expensive but
As a novice I found the Veritas to be invaluable because it's pretty much silly person-proof.
 
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It seems you really can't beat the old style Eclipse honing guide in terms of simplicity in construction, ease of use, and cost.

But don't listen to anyone that says the the newer copies are all they same. They certainly are not! ... I have a £10 one, and one I bought from Axminster. They're very different! The Axminster has much better casting, the cheaper one looks like it has had 20 coats of paint, resulting in the casting losing all it's definition (it's not extra paint, just bad casting).

I also have the Vertias. It's alright. Perhaps a little over engineered.

Someone needs to come out with a really good copy of the Eclipse honing guide, with a slightly wider wheel, and better casting, that isn't the cost of the Lie-Nielson.

When you consider the Axminster Rider Honing Guide is £12, what could they do for £25?
 

thetyreman

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I use the veritas one and a couple of old eclipse ones but most of my sharpening is freehand.
 

Dr Al

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I've got the Veritas one (that I bought) and an old Eclipse one (that I inherited).

I've used them both a fair bit to compare them, but now I only use the Eclipse one for really narrow things like 6 mm chisels (which can be a bit of a pain to clamp in the Veritas one). For anything else, the Veritas one is far superior. It would be good to be able to clamp the narrow things in the Veritas tool as that's where the wide wheel really helps.

The wide wheel keeps the tool flat on the stone, the setting guide makes it trivial to get the tool at exactly the same angle you used last time and the eccentric adjuster makes the secondary bevel easy to cut consistently.

It takes me less about a minute to fit the tool to the honing guide, sharpen the edge, take it back out, do the back of the tool and finally strop it by hand on some leather. Maybe I could do that all in 45 seconds if I were doing it by hand, but the difference in time doesn't seem worth it considering the consistency I get with the guide.

The only problem I've had with it is that it can be a bit of a pain holding really short tools like spokeshave blades. There's *just* enough blade to go into the holder, but you really have to take your time putting it in place.

There's an attachment available for skew chisels now I think. I haven't bought or tried that though.
 

Doug B

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Veritas for me too, I like the fact it’s a complete tool, it doesn’t involve making jigs to set angle & length of projection.
I have the straight roller on the side clamping guide for chisels & small straight side blades & the cambered roller on the top clamping guide for plane blades, simple, quick & efficient, best I’ve used so far
 

Argus

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For what it's worth......

I started sharpening by hand, not doing it correctly, in my teens and only using one composite carborundum stone of limited quality.

Then, over the next decade or two, I probably used all of the guides, starting with the Eclipse, then a Stanley-useless-whatever-it-was, next a Veritas (I had two of those, the original one plus the elaborate one). Most of the time using Japanese water-stones. The slurry was excellent at wearing the wheels prematurely.

I spent as much time chasing an effective flat surface on the stones as I did wrestling with the guides and reconciling my new-found belief in micro-bevels with the inordinate amount of time I was spending away from the bench.

Finally, after experimenting with diamond plates, that's all I now use for sharpening in a succession of grits, then a strop, all done by hand.
(As a total heresy, I use my own secret mix of water, fairy liquid and meths to wet the plates).

So, instead of chasing an elusive bevel-edged-ruler-assisted-back-bevelled-nirvana, the real break-through was a examination of free hand-technique, (which has existed for centuries) and the one useful invention - diamond plates that don't break, chip or wear.

It only took about 30 years of evenings and weekends...... meanwhile, I earned my living at other things.
Now, I'm happily retired, locked-down and banged-up in Wild Wales with some of the finest cutting edges known to man - each one uniquely individual to the others.

.
 

TheTiddles

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Pedantry alert!

Do you mean a grinding guide?

Anyway, Kell 2 with big wheels. I don’t get on with the Kell 3, I have a confusticated pinnacle one I bought in the USA but never use and I have an eclipse in there too.

A custom made angle guide to set projects is a must for them I think

Aidan
 

D_W

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I don't use honing guides at this point, but when I did, the somax eclipse copy. Not sure if it's still made.

Reason being it was cheap (you don't feel the need to be precious with it), it worked, and it gives you more ability to do feel type things at the edge of the iron, which will bring you closer to freehand sharpening faster.
 

sundaytrucker

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I use the Lie Nielsen. When I use a guide. I previously owned the Veritas MK2 set but found it a bit of a faff use and drifted toward using my eclipse clone. The clone was great, I got a good edge but the magpie in me listed after the Lie Nielsen, so I bought it. It’s great, however I only really used for the irons from my Lie Nielsen 62 as I am too lazy to bother putting my chisels in to when the hollow grind makes it easy enough to freehand sharpen.
 

Jarno

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Eclipse no.36, works better than most of the chinese clones I tried.
Bought a Eclipse 161, figuring it would help me with a consistent angle on skewed chisels, but that one sucks.
The ball doesn't rotate smoothly enough, even though mine is still properly round (as opposed to riddled with flat spots).
 
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