A wide range of sharpening equipment is available and a collection of some of the most useful tools and accessories is pictured here. Select what you need according to your requirements and your budget. Sharpening stones fall into two main categories – natural and man made. Both types are available as
benchstones and slipstones, and come in a variety of different grades. A medium grade is ideal for the benchstone whereas a finer grade is more suitable for the slipstone. Man made ceramic stones are just as fine as natural Arkansas stones which can be used to produce a very keen final cutting edge.
All stones require the same techniques though the recommended carrier may vary from oil to water. Follow the instructions supplied by the manufacturer in each case.
Some machines such as the Tormec wet-wheeled grinding machine are fitted with a water trough which means that as the wheel turns it carries water to the blade to prevent the metal from overheating. Those without this facility, such as a dry bench grinding machine, require the blade being ground to be dipped in water to keep it cool.
The Creusen-Koch honing machine looks exactly the same as a dry grinding machine, but it has a very important difference. The direction in which the wheel turns is away from the cutting edge rather than towards it. This means that softer wheels, of fibrous material such as felt, can be fitted to the machine to produce a much finer cut. The material wheels should be impregnated with abrasive soap which is similar to strop compound. It is possible, therefore, to achieve a razor finish straight from the machine using the techniques described in grinding.