Tormek 2000 Vs Robert Sorby pro edge

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

bp122

Expert at Jibber-Jabber
Joined
20 Aug 2019
Messages
1,127
Reaction score
665
Location
Haddenham
Hi all

I know, this is a stale topic, but would really appreciate the advice.

I'm looking for a used Tormek 2000 or Robert Sorby Pro edge for sharpening plane irons, chisels and knives.

Reason for used?
Can't afford brand new of either of these.

Can someone please recommend which one is better suited for a hobbyist?

I don't tend to have a lot of "restore tool" projects, but mainly to stay on top of the sharpening of the planes and the chisels I use.

And no, I have given plenty of time to sharpen things by hand using jigs - results were good but too much faf. I also tried free hand for a while, but now all my chisels and planes have a convex bulge, don't know what the angle on them is and its taking an awful long time to get them to a straight bevel(s) using jigs.

That's why I'm in the market for a sharpening solution.

What I want to know is, if the sharpener is setup permanently in an accessible way and I only need to sharpen and things as I'm using the tools, which of these is a better buy in terms of ease, result, noise, mess (water or dust), repeatability and value for money.

Thanks in advance.
Bp
 
Download the instructions for both, read through and see which has the method you like best.

I'd say go for the ProEdge;
Belts are quickly changed so when you need to remove a lot of material a coarse belt is a quick solution.
The tool platform angle can be quickly changed with no measuring or faff. Totally repeatable angles.

The downsides are buying replacement belts when they wear out and some metal dust generated, but no messy water or risk of freezing if stored in unheated workshops.
 
Download the instructions for both, read through and see which has the method you like best.

I'd say go for the ProEdge;
Belts are quickly changed so when you need to remove a lot of material a coarse belt is a quick solution.
The tool platform angle can be quickly changed with no measuring or faff. Totally repeatable angles.

The downsides are buying replacement belts when they wear out and some metal dust generated, but no messy water or risk of freezing if stored in unheated workshops.
This 100% love my pro edge
 
Difficult choice. The Pro Edge and other belt grinders are very good for turning tools. For flatwork tools though a wet grinder may be a better choice? The only downside is the water. Early versions of the Tormek had rust problems and I suspect some of the clones still do. Belt grinders do have a distinct advantage in that you can swap belts from 40 grit to anything up to 3000 grit. For carbon steel tools wet grinders won’t draw the temper of the blade like a belt grinder could if you’re not careful. Good luck with your choice! 😉

Edit: If you do decide to go the belt grinder route take a look at the Axminster Ultimate Edge. Unlike the Pro Edge this machine has been designed to accept the multitude of jigs available for the Tormek and other wet grinders. It also has forward and reverse, variable speed and a more powerful motor. More expensive but well worth the extra in my opinion, and I’ve used both machines.

https://www.axminstertools.com/axmi...7658?queryID=eaf98a4ee273d6eda3f8e3aa238bed64
 
Last edited:
I have both. If given the choice I would go for the tormek, especially if keeping tools sharp, if renovating then maybe the pro edge, as the coarse belts are far faster than the tormek. The pro edge is a fantastically made and engineered machine, but for those fine repeatable edges on woodworking tools it's the tormek for me. I don't like running the fine belts at full speed on the pro edge as heating and bluing of the edge can happen in a blink of the eye. I also have a 50x2000mm viable speed belt grinder so the pro edge seems like a slow snail in comparison
 
I have a Pro Edge for sale if your looking, so being bias i would say Pro edge is the best!
 
If you’re looking secondhand on a budget you will get a Tomak with a ‘standard’ abrasive wheel. This is great for water or oil quenched standard tool steel, but it doesn’t do well with the more exotic stuff like PMV that say Veritas offer.
I personally wouldn’t use a chisel straight off a belt sharpener without first running it over a fine stone and strop. From a Tomak I can just strop. The belt sharpener can with different belts handle all types of steel. However, a belt sharpener creates a flat grind as opposed to a concave grind off a wheel. This makes touching up a blade on a stone much more long winded as your cutting the entire length of the blade as opposed the heel and toe of a concave grind.
On balance the benefits of a wheel grind IMO far out weight that of the belt sharpener.
The cheapest solution is what Derek suggested a 6 or 8” wheel dry grinder followed by a quick touch up on a stone. If you keep the wheels from getting clogged and don’t press on the tool into the wheel you won’t over heat the steel. This would be then both the quickest and cheapest solution.
 
Last edited:
Download the instructions for both, read through and see which has the method you like best.

I'd say go for the ProEdge;
Belts are quickly changed so when you need to remove a lot of material a coarse belt is a quick solution.
The tool platform angle can be quickly changed with no measuring or faff. Totally repeatable angles.

The downsides are buying replacement belts when they wear out and some metal dust generated, but no messy water or risk of freezing if stored in unheated workshops.
Did exactly what you said. Also watched specific videos as well.

Liked the versatility of the Pro Edge. But as sometimes who works mostly at night (9pm till midnight) in the workshop, I liked the Tormek to be a lot quieter. May be a non-issue, not sure.

I'm also contemplating what @Derek Cohen (Perth Oz) said and get an Alox wheel for my grinder that I'm bought at a local auction but have never used till date. I don't know why, I'm terrified of the grinder. In my head, it is going to explode as soon as I make contact between the tool.and the wheel 🤣

Any recommendations for a good brand of Alox wheels?
 
It's always down to personal choice so you're going to get very differing opinions and of course it depends on what work you are doing.

I have a double end 6" grinder, a pro-edge and until recently a Tormek T8 which I sold a few months ago but I also have oil, water and diamond stones.
I sold the Tormek because I didn't like the mess and how slow it was so tended not to use it though it does produce a good edge, I use the pro-edge a lot but then I have a lathe and I also occasionally do a bit of metalwork so it's quick, accurate and repeatable but I only use it on bench chisels and plane irons if they need to be ground and honing is done freehand these days on a couple of largish diamond plates which weren't expensive.

I wouldn't part with the pro-edge and belts can be sourced a much cheaper especially if buying a quantity, they do last well however.
If you buy a Tormek or clone then as suggested make sure it has a stainless steel shaft as they're prone to rust otherwise.
 
I much prefer the tormek on precise edges like planes. The belt ones are not precise enough.once it's ground on the tormek it's a minute or 2 on the waterstones for a serious edge that's easy to hone again and again.
 
If you want a fast, cool grind, use a CBN wheel on a half- or full speed bench grinder. The slow speed of a Tormek is going frustrate you eventually.

If you want an easy-to-maintain set up, use a CBN wheel, not a vitreous wheel, as the CBN does not require dressing and does not wear.

If you want a straight (not wavy) edge, as this means less honing time (no initial step of straightening the edge), use the Tormek guides.

Speed + clean grinding = Tormek BGM-100 guides on bench grinder sporting a 80 or 180 grit CBN wheel. I was possibly the first to do this 8 or 9 years ago, and this set up remains unchanged. Write up below ...

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/WoodworkTechniques/UltimateGrindingSharpeningSetUp.htmlThe bench grinder on the right ...



Regards from Perth

Derek
 
Last edited:
Tormeks wheels need to be cared for and maintained. Always drop or empty the water reservoir, and both add a magnet stuck into it to catch most of the slurry, and periodically clean it out properly. This prevents gunk building up, which when it covers the wheel makes it grind incredibly slowly.
The wheel dressing stone, or cleaning is not enough most of the time, you need the wheel truing tool, to take off the top layer of stone.
Full primary bevel regrind, which is usually every 10 or more secondary bevel re “hones” should take 2 minutes at most on a clean stone. I secondary freehand on whatever is available, a 300/1000 diamond stone, lapping film etc. always finishing with a strop, preferably 2 sided (one impregnated with iron honing paste, final strop on just leather)
After some stropping I run the full width of the blade over small cut slicing the corner off a waste bit of timber, then final strop. Makes sure to remove the last bit of folded metal.
I’m not arguing there aren’t better methods, (for example haven’t tried a pro edge) but unless you can create your own really solid (and true !) holding jig I wouldnt recommend a bench grinder.

So anyway - a clean and maintained stone on a tormek is quick enough imho.
 
Back
Top