Books, Videos, & Web Sites


Title Type Author Comments
Accu-Finish Sharpening Video Aaron McMichael Aaron McMichael demonstrates how to use the Accu-Finish machine to achieve precise and polished cutting edges on a variety of cutting tools. Presented during Pecha Kucha sessions at the 2018 Ornamental Turners International biennial symposium in Seattle, WA.
The Complete Guide to Sharpening (1996) Book
eBook
Leonard Lee This is the bible for sharpening woodworking and general tools. Very good reference about how to sharpen a boat load of tools.
Drill Bit Geometry PDF Document Joseph Mazoff This document really outlines how drill bits work and the various parts of the geometry of a drill bit work for cutting.
Design and Use of Cutting Tools (1952) Book Leo J. St. Clair This is the definitive source for sharpening metal lathe tools, especially carbide ones. St. Clair was working in the industry as it was changing from HSS to carbide, so both are covered well. His experimental data helps validate or disprove many theories.

Unfortunately, this book is very hard to find. I recommend the sharpener borrow it from their local library via an inter-library loan for reading. Universities which teach mechanical engineering usually have a copy, and it is easiest to read that way. (The publisher has no more copies : I asked.)

Experiments on Knife Sharpening (2004) PDF Document John D. Verhoeven This document shows very closeup (10 micron wide) views of sharpened blades (starting with razor blades). He also shows how differing techniques affect blades as shown in his pictures.
Fine Tune a Back Iron Video Christopher Schwarz Nicely done document on back irons for planes.
Fundamentals of Sharpening Video American Association of Woodturners AAW Skill Building Series, this 90 minute DVD features some of the best talent in woodturning today:
Grinding Angle Adjustment for the Tormek (2014) PDF Document Ton Nillesen This guide is very useful on the Tormek for setting very precise angles on knife blades, and adjusting as the grinding wheel depletes over time.
Grinding of Tool Steel PDF Document Böhler Uddeholm This guide is good guide for grinding wheels and their use for tool steel grinding.
A Guide to Honing and Sharpening Web Site Museum of Woodworking Tools The approach given here is by Maurice Fraser, and deals with the sharpening of tools using flat stones, not any powered methods.
Influence of the Cap-iron on Hand Plane Video Prof. Yasunori Kawai
Prof. Chutaro Kato
Educational Video from the faculty of Education, Art and Science, at the Yamagata University. Really shows the effect of cap iron angles.
Japanese Woodworking Tools : Their Tradition, Spirit, and Use (1998) Book Toshio Odate Great reference about Japanese carpentry tools. Toshio includes a number of tools, taking out the confusion we Westerners often have.
John Lucas Sharpening Video American Association of Woodturners John Lucas shows how he sharpens gouges.
Knife Deburring: Science behind the lasting razor edge Book Dr. Vadim Kraichuk Dr. Kraichuk's book is based on the sharpening method developed by his company. And unlike other sharpeners, Dr. Kraichuk has researched the results from using this method, and has proof that it works. His company's work, sharpening the knives of butchers, has repeatedly shown that his method is sound.

If you are wanting to get your tools really sharp, you should read this book and make it a part of your library.

Knife Maintenance and Sharpening Web Forum (Single Topic) Society for Culinary Arts and Letters Nice overview of knife sharpening.
LearnEngineering.org Web Link Sabin Mathew LearnEngineering.org was founded in 2012 by Sabin Mathew, a post graduate student at Indian Institutes of Technology in Delhi. This is a great web site to begin your understanding of the geometry of metal lathe cutting tools. They have nice videos showing what is meant by things like rake and relief angles.
Maintenance and Care of Hand Tools (1945 Edition) Book (PDF) U.S. War Department
U.S. Dept. of Defense
Chief Warrant Officer (ret) Rick Laws sent this to me. His email noted that he "... used this manual for soldier training and information. It is a little dated, but so are most tools used by most people." He is right: I have tools I've inherited from both my grandfathers.

After World War II, this became also known by these designations:

  • Air Force TO 32-1-101
  • Army TM 9-243
  • Navy M6290-AJ-MAN-1010
  • Marine Corps TM 10209-10/1
(No Space Force designation is known at this time ...)
Use and Care of Hand Tools and Measuring Tools (2004 Edition)
Use and Care of Hand Tools and Measuring Tools (2020 Edition)
The Perfect Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Sharpening for Wood Workers (2009) Book Ron Hock Hock blades are considered superior. This book is in the same category of greatness.
Science of Sharp Web Link This site focuses on the science behind sharpening, and is primarily focused on knives (particularly, straight razors). The site's focus is on usage of electron microscopy (EM) to physically observe the geometry and polish of the edge, and to quantify the edge width and bevel angle. The goal is to provide an understanding of what is happening a the blade's edge.

The EM scans and experimental data helps validate or disprove many theories.

Sharpening Made Easy Web Link Steve Bottorff Steve has gathered from many years of expert sharpening experience. This site contains information that could be useful, including instructional videos and manuals.
Sharpening Made Easy: A Primer on Sharpening Knives and Other Edged Tools (2010) Book Steve Bottorff Steve is a practitioner who has written a very practical guide.
Tormek Handbook Web Link Tormek If you have a Tormek, you will reference this fairly often.
Turning and Mechanical Manipulation, Vol. 2 - Construction, Action, and Application of Cutting Tools (1846) Book / eBook Holtzapffel, Charles
Turning and Mechanical Manipulation, Vol. 3 - Abrasive and Other Processes not Accomplished with Cutting Tools (1850) Book / eBook Holtzapffel, Charles Great historical knowledge, especially about honing and sharpening abrasives.
Woodturning Notes PDF Document Alan Batty Mr. Batty was a very accomplished turner, and excellent teacher (his son, Stuart Batty has taken on this legacy).

Tormek Sharpening Classes - Excellent videos to get the basics, and some useful tips for even the most experienced sharpener.
Title Comments
Tormek Sharpening Innovation Tormek's YouTube channel.
Part 1 - Knife sharpening Wolfgang and Sèbastian from Tormek talk about different techniques for knife sharpening.
Part 2 - Axes & scissors sharpening Wolfgang and Sèbastian from Tormek talk about sharpening of axes and scissors.
Part 3 - Chisels, plane irons & Tormek grinding wheels Sèbastian and Wolfgang show the sharpening of chisels and plane irons. They also go through Tormek's different grinding wheels; SG-250 Original Grindstone, SB-250 Blackstone Silicion, SJ-250 Japanese Waterstone and Tormek's three Diamond Wheels DC-250, DF-250 and DE-250. They give you their recommendations for usage and tools.
Part 4 - Carving Knife & Carving Tools Wolfgang and Sèbastian from Tormek go through the sharpening of carving knives and various carving tools such as v-tools, carving gouges and short wood chisels.

Sharpen knives and hatchets for hunting & outdoor | Tormek T-4 Bushcraft

For everyone who hunts, fish or just spend time outdoors, it’s vital to have sharp tools. A sharp knife or axe is easier to use, more fun to work with, and reduces the risk of injuries. In this sharpening class we show you how to sharpen a wide variety of outdoor and hunting knives, such as the skinner's knife, the hook knife and the pocket knife. We also show the sharpening of a small hatchet.
Part 5 - Woodturning Tools Want to learn how you get your woodturning tools razor-sharp? In this week's sharpening class we take a closer look at the tools for the woodturner; Gouges, skews, parting tools, scrapers, cutters and more. Sèbastian and Wolfgang will show you the methods for sharpening all these turning tools and how you achieve repeatable edges every time. Stay tuned and hit us with your questions during the stream!
Part 6 - Drill bit sharpening It's time for drill bit sharpening! Learn how to sharpen your drill bits with maximum precision, to the greatest sharpness. We will show you how to create a 4-facet point which gives the ideal cutting performance.
Part 7 - Planer blade sharpening & TT-50 Truing Tool We're back again with a new episode of Tormek's Live Sharpening Class. This time we will guide you on how to sharpen HSS planer blades and also show you how to use the TT-50 Truing Tool to make your stone flat again. Like always, we will answer all your questions on this topic during the stream. Stay tuned!
Part 8 - Tips and tricks for Tormek’s water cooled sharpening system In this jam-packed episode, we share our (not so secret 🤫) secrets for you to get the most out of your Tormek sharpening machine. We will go through tips and tricks that make your sharpening both easier and better! Do you have any secret tricks up your sleeve that we missed? Write them in the live chat or the comments below and we will all share our knowledge!
Gardening tools The summer is finally here (at least in Sweden)! Wolfgang and Sèbastian from Tormek did a special episode of their sharpening class, focusing on the gardening tools. Learn how to sharpen secateurs, lawn mower blades, a scythe, hedge shears and other tools that you use in the garden!


Tormek's Sharpening Techniques for Woodturners - with Nick Agar

In this series of 8 episodes, Nick Agar, professional woodturner, will show you the special sharpening techniques for all the common woodturning tools. This includes what jigs you should use, how to create different shapes, best practice on sharpening, what grinding wheels you should have as a woodturner, tips, tricks and much more.

Title Comments
Tormek Sharpening Innovation Tormek's YouTube channel.
1. Sharpening Techniques for Woodturners - with Nick Agar - Introduction In the first episode Nick will give you an introduction to Tormek's sharpening system and what jigs you're using when you sharpen woodturning tools. He also goes through how to make the stone flat with the TT-50 Truing Tool, a smart tip when using the SP-650 Stone Grader and finally the perfect grinding wheels for the woodturner.
2. How to sharpen bowl and spindle gouges - Tormek SVD-186 Gouge Jig - with Nick Agar In this episode Nick Agar shows how you create a fingernail grind on your woodturning gouge and to replicate this grind every time. Nick goes through the procedure step by step using Tormek's TTS-100 Turning Tool Setter, the SVD-186 Gouge Jig, the SB-250 Blackstone Silicon and the LA-120 Profiled Leather Honing Wheel.
3. How to sharpen roughing gouges, skews & parting tools - Tormek SVS-50 Multi Jig - with Nick Agar In this third episode, Nick Agar shows how to sharpen a roughing gouge with a few simple steps using the open seat of Tormek's Multi Jig SVS-50. Further, he shows how to sharpen a parting tool and a skew using the closed seat of the SVS-50. Nick also demonstrates how to use the Tormek Marker Method when setting the angle and how to sharpen a custom skew shape on the side of Tormek's Diamond Wheel using MB-100 Multi Base.
4. How to sharpen scrapers and cutters - Tormek SVD-110 Tool Rest - with Nick Agar In this episode, Nick Agar shows how to sharpen a woodturning scraper creating a large burr and a small burr depending on the material you're working in. He uses the Tormek SVD-110 Tool Rest and the DF-250 Diamond Wheel Fine. In addition, Nick demonstrates how to sharpen small hollowing cutters and ordinary cutters using SVD-110 and SVD-186.
5. How to sharpen on the side of the Diamond Wheels - Tormek MB-100 Multi Base - with Nick Agar Nick Agar, will in this episode show you how to sharpen a custom skew on the side of Tormek's Diamond Wheel create a completely flat bevel. He is using the SVS-50 Multi Jig and sharpens on the DF-250 Diamond Wheel Fine with the MB-100 Multibase.
6. Tormek's Grinding Wheels for the Woodturner - with Nick Agar Nick Agar, professional woodturner, goes through the different grinding wheels available for the woodturner and what advantages they have. He's showing the Tormek Grinding Wheels; SG-250 Original Grindstone, SB-250 Blackstone Silicon, DC-250 Diamond Wheel Coarse, DF-250 Diamond Wheel Fine and DE-250 Diamond Wheel Extra Fine.
7. Tips & Tricks - Sharpening Techniques for Woodturners - with Nick Agar Nick Agar, professional woodturner, gives you his best tips and tricks when sharpening woodturning tools with Tormek's sharpening system. Amongst the tips are how you find the correct bevel angle on your tool, how to make the edges of the grindstone smother, how to remove steel particles from the Leather Honing Wheel and how to clean the rubber drive wheel.
Woodturning from Inside of the Bowl - Unique Shot Never Seen Before - with Nick Agar Together with professional woodturner, Nick Agar, we can now show you how it looks from inside of the bowl when woodturning. This angle has, as far as we know, never been filmed before. Enjoy!

About this site
Remember : The goal of sharpening is to produce sharp tools, and these tools can injure you if mishandled. Safety measures should be followed to protect yourself and those in your shop. Be sure to read and follow all instructions from the manufacturer, and and utilize proper safety equipment. Never consume alcohol or anything that could impair your judgement before sharpening tools, or using sharp tools. Comments can be sent via eMail to me at SharpeningHandbook@Gmail.com.