Advice on wet bench grinders

Hi there,

I am having problems with my regular DRY bench grinder. No matter how carefully I sharp my gravers, applying only short contacts with the stone and cooling them in water quickly, the smallest ones are very difficult to sharp without softening or burning them. Now I am considering purchasing a wet grinder. 
Since the difference of price between a regular wet grinder and the finest (and expensive!) Tormek is huge, I would like to know if it's possible to use a standard model like the one in the picture.

Thanks in advance.


  • Tudor NoirTudor Noir Posts: 5
    Hi Ramiro,

    You should never use a dry bench grinder on any of your gravers this will take the temper out of the steel and render it useless for cutting.
    The wet stone grinder that you have shown is good, but you may want to change the stone to a finer grit, these are normally white in colour, once you have honed your graver you just need to keep the edge on them with your oil stone, it should take quiet a while before you use the wet stone again to take some of the top angle off, the idea of this is so you can see the cutting tip better.

  • One can buy a black silicon carbide in a fine grit. The issue is the white stones are friable and do not build the heat as much. One can use a highly-friable dry stone and not overheat the fine edges. It takes a brief, light touch. Color the tip with a permanent marker, leave the slightest of a flat on the edge and hone it to the desired edge. I use Shapton stones beginning at a coarse to 8000 grit on my chisels, knives, etc.

    I have several bench and large floor-standing grinders, including a 14" wet grinder (a converted AMMCO brake lathe). The Tormek really is all that if you have more than just a handful of tools to grind. I use it on everything from carving to turning tools, chisels, redoing of kitchen knives and much more. The Tormek clones are hardly worth the time unless one has only a few tools to grind.

  • Thanks for the advice. Yes, I had to re harden and temper several of my gravers after my dry grinder made them lose their hard. 
    I am also considering to purchase a Scheppach wet grinder. Of all Tormek alternatives, this seems to be the one with better reviews. Any opinion?

  • Wes AdamsWes Adams Posts: 49
    edited June 29
    With carbide chisels I usually forgo the bench grinder for a few passes on a Dia-sharp whetstone. Not sure if you're needing to reshape the graver too, our application varies. I typically only need to sharpen, square a corner, or correct an angle.
  • Ramiro EspinozaRamiro Espinoza Posts: 564
    edited June 29
    @Wes Adams Thanks for the advice, but please notice that tiny steel gravers are way more fragile and prone to lose their hard than carbide chisels. The turn red in a matter of seconds if you use a dry grinder.
  • Wes AdamsWes Adams Posts: 49
    edited June 29
    That's why using a bench grinder seems too much. Even with hard chisels I usually sharpen by hand instead.

    Regardless of the sharpening surface, your variables are speed and grit. 
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