Basics of Tool Sharpening

Keeping you tools sharp and ready to wood is an extremely important procedure overlook by many new to woodworking.    A sharp tool will increase the accuracy of any cutting tool, but also will increase the speed at which the tool cuts.  Learning the right way of keeping tools sharp will increase your efficiency and increase the life of the tool.

Tool Sharpening Doesn't Have To Be Mysterious

Many woodworkers are intimidated by the very idea of sharpening their tools. There's often a fear of doing more harm than good. This task really isn't as difficult as it might seem. Approached with some patience, and armed with some back round information, it's really a matter of practicing.

Hand Sharpening Chisels and Plane Blades

This is the method I use to sharpen both chisels and plane blades. This sharpening guide holds all my plane blades, although it has trouble with very narrow or short chisels. A simple wooden fixture sets the distance between the chisel tip and front of the guide so it is always exactly the same.


There is nothing quite like a finely-sharpened edge. Many newcomers to the craft assume they are doing something wrong with their technique and quickly get discouraged because they just picked up grandpa’s old plane and started hacking away at some poor piece of wood.

Basic Sharpening Tutorial

I don’t use water-stones, but I did spend years using composite stones that also hollowed badly. There are a couple basic techniques you can use to minimize the hollowing. The first is to use the entire surface of both sides of the stone wherever you can....not just the center...and the other is to do more on the grinder and less on the stone.

Sharpening Handsaws

The problem with written, rather than hands-on, instruction is that it sounds a lot more complicated that it is, making it intimidating for the beginner. That's a shame, because sending your saws out to commercial sharpening services shortens their life.

Saw Filing - A Beginner's Primer

Most people think that sharpening a saw with a file is a skill that is just too complicated to undertake. In reality it is not, although there are some details that you must pay attention to at all times. The satisfaction coming from taking a dirty saw that you just bought at a flea market for $5, and then restoring it to perfect working order can't be described.

Sharpen Planes And Chisels Without Going Broke

Many woodworkers dread sharpening and consider it onerous – a time consuming chore to be put off as long as possible. Only when a chisel is so dull its blunted edge resembles a hammer’s head are they forced to exhume their only oilstone from that seldom explored drawer in which it lies – entombed in a mass of greasy sawdust.  I felt that way myself until I realized I had to make peace with necessity of sharpening. Only then could I improve as a woodworker.

Sharpening Woodturning Tools

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