5 Best Wood Lathe Tool Sharpening Systems in 2024

Last Updated on January 8, 2024 by Muhammad Tariq

There’s nothing more frustrating than a dull lathe tool. It slows down your work, affects the quality of your projects, and can even lead to dangerous situations. You’ve probably found yourself wrestling with a piece of wood, trying to get that perfect cut, only to end up with a rough, uneven finish. It’s a problem that plagues even the most experienced woodworkers.

This is where a high-quality lathe tool sharpening system comes into play.

A lathe tool sharpening system is a game-changer. It’s the secret weapon that many professional woodworkers use to keep their tools in top shape. But with so many options on the market, finding the best one can be a daunting task.

So which is the best lathe tool sharpening system? That’s what you’ll discover in this article. We’ve done the hard work for you, researching and testing to find the best system available. And the answer may surprise you. What if I told you that the best system isn’t necessarily the most expensive one?

If you’re in a hurry, here are our top 5 picks. Otherwise, keep reading and we’ll reveal why we think the Work Sharp – WS3000 Wood Tool Sharpener is your best bet.

Tormek T-8 Original – Water Cooled Sharpening System
RIKON Slow Speed Bench Grinder
**Our Top Pick** Work Sharp - WS3000 Wood Tool Sharpener
BUCKTOOL 10-Inch Variable Speed Sharpening System
WEN BG4270T Wet/Dry Sharpening System
Speed
Slow speed
Slow speed
Variable
Variable
Variable
Sharpening Wheel Diameter
10 inches
8 inches
6 inches
10 inches
10 inches
Sharpening Wheel Material
Stone
Stone
Glass
Stone
Stone
Cooling System
Water-cooled
Air-cooled
Air-cooled
Water-cooled
Water-cooled
Special Features
Comes with a handbook and DVD
Anti-vibration rubber feet
Dry sharpening system, no jigs required
Two-direction motor
Two-direction motor
Tormek T-8 Original – Water Cooled Sharpening System
Speed
Slow speed
Sharpening Wheel Diameter
10 inches
Sharpening Wheel Material
Stone
Cooling System
Water-cooled
Special Features
Comes with a handbook and DVD
RIKON Slow Speed Bench Grinder
Speed
Slow speed
Sharpening Wheel Diameter
8 inches
Sharpening Wheel Material
Stone
Cooling System
Air-cooled
Special Features
Anti-vibration rubber feet
**Our Top Pick** Work Sharp - WS3000 Wood Tool Sharpener
Speed
Variable
Sharpening Wheel Diameter
6 inches
Sharpening Wheel Material
Glass
Cooling System
Air-cooled
Special Features
Dry sharpening system, no jigs required
BUCKTOOL 10-Inch Variable Speed Sharpening System
Speed
Variable
Sharpening Wheel Diameter
10 inches
Sharpening Wheel Material
Stone
Cooling System
Water-cooled
Special Features
Two-direction motor
WEN BG4270T Wet/Dry Sharpening System
Speed
Variable
Sharpening Wheel Diameter
10 inches
Sharpening Wheel Material
Stone
Cooling System
Water-cooled
Special Features
Two-direction motor

Last update on 2024-02-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Best Lathe Tool Sharpening System – Our Top Pick

When it comes to maintaining the sharpness and precision of your lathe tools, nothing beats the Work Sharp WS3000 Wood Tool Sharpener. This system is a game-changer for anyone who values efficiency, accuracy, and the longevity of their tools.

Sale
Work Sharp Benchtop Woodworking Tool Sharpener
1,002 Reviews
Work Sharp Benchtop Woodworking Tool Sharpener
  • Sharpen Chisels, lathe tools, plane irons, spoke shaves and carving tools to razor sharp edges. The WS3000 uses a true flat glass wheel for incredibly sharp tools and perfectly flat backs. Includes (2) glass wheels, (1) slotted Edge-Vision wheel, (2) P120 abrasive discs, (4) P400 abrasive discs, (4) P1000 abrasive discs, (1) 3600 abrasive disc, (1) P80 slotted abrasive discs, (2) P400 slotted abrasive discs, (2) P1200 slotted abrasive discs, (1) tool rest, (1) crepe stick.
  • No jigs required - sharpening port has precise and repeatable bevel angle settings of 20°, 25°, 30° and 35° for chisels and plane irons up to 2" Wide. Achieve a perfect 5° micro-bevel for fast re-honing.
  • Powerful 1/5 HP motor - with 580 rpm speed has routed air flow and a heat sink cooling system to sharpen blades fast without blade damaging heat. This low-rpm wheel maintains speed regardless of load for improved consistency, so whether your specialty is custom furniture, cabinetry, or old-fashioned wooden toys
  • Accessories available - you can attach a wide variety of standard six-inch, adhesive-backed abrasive disks to these wheels, making it easy to select the grit you need for rough grinding or fine honing. And with two glass wheels, you can always have four different grits ready to go (one on each wheel surface), making it easy to move from task to task.
  • Proud to be an American company - Work Sharp is part of Darex, a 4th-generation family owned company in Ashland, Oregon. For over 40 years We have been engineering industry-leading sharpening tools here in the USA.

Last update on 2024-02-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Work Sharp WS3000 stands out for its versatility and ease of use. It’s designed to sharpen a wide range of wood cutting tools, from flat chisels to planer irons, and even wood lathe chisels of various shapes. The system is electrically operated and bench-mounted, making it a convenient addition to any workshop.

One of the key features of the Work Sharp WS3000 is its adjustable sharpening port. This port holds the tool at the correct angle relative to the abrasive surface, ensuring a consistent and precise sharpening process. The port’s angle can be adjusted to four different positions, allowing you to customize the sharpening process to the specific needs of your tool.

The system comes with two glass wheels and one slotted plastic “Edge-View” wheel, along with a set of abrasive disks for the wheels. This variety allows you to start with a coarse grit for damaged or very dull tools, and progress to finer grits for honing and touch-ups.

Users have praised the Work Sharp WS3000 for its solid build and effective performance. It’s been credited with rescuing several badly abused wood chisels and bringing them back to life. The system is also noted for its cooling features, which prevent overheating during the sharpening process.

While the Work Sharp WS3000 is a standout choice, it’s not without its minor drawbacks. Some users have noted that the adhesive on the abrasive disks is not overly strong, meaning worn-out disks may need to be replaced more frequently. However, this is a minor inconvenience compared to the overall performance and value of the system.

In comparison, the Tormek T8 Original – Water Cooled Sharpening System is a high-end option that comes at a significantly higher price point. While the Tormek T8 is praised for its precision and versatility, it’s also noted for being somewhat messy due to its water-cooled operation. Additionally, the Tormek T8 requires a larger investment in accessories to operate at its full potential.

In conclusion, the Work Sharp WS3000 offers an excellent balance of performance, versatility, and value. It’s a reliable choice for anyone looking to maintain their lathe tools in top condition. My recommendation is to stop reading and go buy it now (you won’t regret it).

But if you want more options, here are some others we loved.

Other Top Wood Lathe Tool Sharpening Systems

While the Work Sharp WS3000 is our top pick, we understand that different woodworkers have different needs and preferences. That’s why we’ve also explored other high-quality sharpening systems that have impressed us with their performance and features. Let’s dive into our first alternative pick.

Tormek T8 Original – Water Cooled Sharpening System

The Tormek T8 Original – Water Cooled Sharpening System is a premium option that offers a unique approach to tool sharpening. This system uses a water-cooled grinding wheel to prevent overheating and preserve the temper of your tools, ensuring they stay sharp for longer.

Tormek T-8 Original – Water Cooled Sharpening System for Edge Tools – US Version – English Handbook
283 Reviews
Tormek T-8 Original – Water Cooled Sharpening System for Edge Tools – US Version – English Handbook
  • Sharpen all your edge tools.
  • Water cooled sharpening with no risk of overheating the steel and exact replication – sharpen your tools with unbeatable precision.
  • Includes: SG-250 Tormek Original Grindstone, LA-220 Leather Honing Wheel, SE-77 Square Edge Jig, TT-50 Truing Tool, SP-650 Stone Grader, WM-200 AngleMaster, PA-70 Honing Compound, US-105 Universal Support, T8-00 Storage Tray, EM-15 Edge Marker and the Tormek Handbook HB-10.
  • Efficient grindstone with adjustable characteristics equivalent to 220 to 1000 grit.
  • Solid zinc frame and integrated mounts for controllable and accurate sharpening.

Last update on 2024-02-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Tormek T8 is praised for its precision and versatility. It’s particularly adept at handling a wide range of lathe tools, from gouges to skews, ensuring they’re always in top condition for your woodworking projects. But the versatility doesn’t stop there. The system can also handle other tools, from knives to axes, making it a comprehensive solution for all your sharpening needs.

Users have commended the Tormek T8 for its ability to produce a razor-sharp edge. One user even mentioned that they were able to sharpen over 200 knives in just a couple of hours, highlighting the system’s efficiency.

However, the Tormek T8 does come with a few caveats. The water-cooled operation can be a bit messy, and the system requires a significant investment in accessories to operate at its full potential. Additionally, the high price point may be a barrier for some.

Despite these minor drawbacks, the Tormek T8 is a fantastic sharpening system that delivers professional-grade results. If you’re willing to invest in a high-end system and don’t mind the extra maintenance, the Tormek T8 could be a great fit for you.

But the Tormek T8 isn’t the only alternative worth considering. Let’s move on to another sharpening system that has caught our attention.

Rikon Professional Power Tools, 80-805, 8” Slow Speed Bench Grinder

The Rikon Professional Power Tools, 80-805, 8” Slow Speed Bench Grinder is a robust and reliable option for those who need a dependable sharpening system for their lathe tools.

RIKON Professional Power Tools, 80-805, 8†Slow Speed Bench Grinder, Powerful Shop Table Tool, Perfect for Sharpening, With Anti-Vibration Rubber Feet
809 Reviews
RIKON Professional Power Tools, 80-805, 8†Slow Speed Bench Grinder, Powerful Shop Table Tool, Perfect for Sharpening, With Anti-Vibration Rubber Feet
  • HIGH QUALITY - This durable bench grinder includes 1” x8” 60 grit and 120 grit white aluminum oxide wheels.
  • POWERFUL - With powerful ½ HP Motor with 1750 RPM this slow speed grinder has more than enough power for small workshops and for carpenters, turners, carvers, and other crafts people working with hand tools.
  • STURDY AND SAFE - This grinders base is made of Cast Iron and features anti-vibration rubber feet. No mistakes will be made because of vibrations.
  • ADJUSTABLE - The adjustable safety eye shield and spark resistors allow you to feel safe while using the slowspeed grinder. Also, this bench grinder includes a groove in its design for the sharpening of drill bits.
  • KEEP IT COOL - This grinder is fully equipped with a diamond wheel sharpener and is ideal for sharpening operations since it reduces heat build-up.

Last update on 2024-02-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This slow-speed bench grinder spins at 1750 RPM, ideal for sharpening lathe tools without overheating them. Users have praised its consistent speed and minimal vibration, which are crucial for precision sharpening.

One user noted that they use the Rikon grinder with a jig to sharpen their lathe tools and have found it to be highly effective. The grinder’s power doesn’t falter even under heavy grinding, making it a reliable choice for maintaining your tools.

However, some users have pointed out that the wheels that come with the grinder can be a bit rough and may require dressing to balance them properly. Despite this, the grinder’s performance remains unaffected, and the issue can be easily resolved by investing in higher-quality wheels.

The Rikon 80-805 is a solid choice if you’re looking for a grinder that offers consistent performance and durability. Its slow speed and powerful motor make it an excellent tool for sharpening lathe tools and other woodworking tools.

But our exploration doesn’t stop here. Let’s move on to another sharpening system that might just be the perfect fit for your workshop.

Bucktool 10-inch Variable Speed Sharpening System

The Bucktool 10-inch Variable Speed Sharpening System is another excellent option for lathe tool sharpening. This system is particularly popular among woodworkers who appreciate its variable speed control and two-direction water-cooled wet stone grinder.

BUCKTOOL 10-Inch Variable Speed Sharpening System 1.2-Amp Two-Direction Water Cooled Wet Stone Grinder 90-160RPM, SCM8103
593 Reviews
BUCKTOOL 10-Inch Variable Speed Sharpening System 1.2-Amp Two-Direction Water Cooled Wet Stone Grinder 90-160RPM, SCM8103
  • VARIABLE SPEED: Powerful 1.2-amp motor, rotated with 90~160 RPM variable speed for maximum precision during sharpening, control it at your preferred speed
  • COOLING ACTION: 10-inch aluminum oxide sharpening wheel and 8-inch leather stropping wheel to polish and finish your sharpened tool. The water tray can keep tools cool while sharpening and prevent residue buildup, making woodworkers efficiently remove steel and sharpening tools without any overheating
  • UNIVERSAL JIG: Two-position jig support adjusts to both horizontal and vertical positions and ensures that your tools are consistently cut at the right angle on tools easy and consistently
  • REVERSE SWITCH: The rotational direction can be reversed by pushing the power switch up and down. Ideal for wood turners, wood workers and knife makers to sharpen dull blades, wood chisels, and carving tools. Enjoy using sharp cutting tools like never before with Bucktool SCM8103 sharpener!
  • PRODUCT WARRANTY: Bucktool provides 2-year warranty for all products, and lifetime customer service, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through Amazon

Last update on 2024-02-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

One of the standout features of this system is its ability to sharpen lathe gouges and other woodworking blades effectively. Users have praised its compatibility with pro-grind sharpening systems and its ability to replace slow-speed wet grinders. The Bucktool system is also appreciated for its quick and efficient sharpening capabilities, making it a favorite among those who enjoy spending many hours in their home shops.

However, like any product, it’s not without its drawbacks. Some users have mentioned that the stone wheel can arrive with minor chips and that the wheel isn’t perfectly square to the wheel face. But these issues are often downplayed by the fact that the Bucktool system is a fraction of the price of a T-8, making it a cost-effective choice for many.

WEN BG4270T 10-Inch Two-Direction Sharpening System

The WEN BG4270T 10-Inch Two-Direction Sharpening System is another great option for sharpening lathe tools. This system is praised for its quick and easy setup and its ability to correct damaged chisels in a short amount of time.

WEN BG4270T 10-Inch Two-Direction Water Cooled Wet/Dry Sharpening System
775 Reviews
WEN BG4270T 10-Inch Two-Direction Water Cooled Wet/Dry Sharpening System
  • Features a 10-inch 220 grit sharpening stone and an 8-inch leather-stropping wheel
  • Reverse the rotational direction with the simple flip of a switch
  • 115 RPM provides maximum precision during sharpening
  • Universal jig support allows for compatibility with a wide variety of accessories, including the WEN 42704B Sharpening Kit
  • Includes an onboard carrying handle, an angle guide, a honing compound, an adjustable water reservoir, and a jig for sharpening chisels and planer blades

Last update on 2024-02-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Users have highlighted the system’s ability to keep the chisel cool during the sharpening process, thanks to the water that lubricates the stone. The WEN BG4270T also comes with a chisel jig that, while not as accurate as high-end ones, does a decent job of squaring up the tips of chisels.

However, some users have noted that the motor could be a bit more powerful, especially when it comes to larger tools like hatchets. But considering its price point, these minor issues are often overlooked in favor of the overall value and performance it offers.

Now that we’ve covered some of the best lathe tool sharpening systems on the market, let’s address some of the frequently asked questions about these tools.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to sharpen woodturning tools?

The most effective way to sharpen woodturning tools involves a combination of the right equipment and technique. A dedicated sharpening system, such as the Work Sharp WS3000 Wood Tool Sharpener or the Tormek T8 Original, is ideal. These systems are designed to maintain the correct angle and consistent pressure, which are crucial for effective sharpening.

The process typically involves a slow-speed grinder, which reduces the risk of overheating and damaging the tool. A jig is also used to hold the tool at the correct angle during the sharpening process. This ensures a consistent edge across the entire tool, enhancing its performance and longevity.

Remember, sharpening is not just about grinding away material. It’s about refining the edge of the tool to a sharp point, which requires a careful and methodical approach. For a more comprehensive answer, please refer to this article on sharpening a lathe tool.

How often should you sharpen wood turning tools?

The frequency of sharpening your woodturning tools depends on how often you use them and the type of wood you’re working with. However, as a general rule, it’s best to sharpen your tools every time you notice a decrease in performance or when the tool starts to produce rough cuts. For a more detailed explanation, check out this link.

How do you sharpen wood lathe tools without a grinder?

While a grinder is the most common tool for sharpening lathe tools, you can also use a file or a sharpening stone. The key is to maintain the correct angle and to apply consistent pressure. Remember, it’s important to keep your tools sharp, as dull tools can be dangerous and produce poor results.

Conclusion

Choosing the right lathe tool sharpening system can significantly impact the quality of your woodworking projects and the longevity of your tools. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a woodworking enthusiast, investing in a high-quality sharpening system is a decision you won’t regret.

In this guide, we’ve explored some of the best lathe tool sharpening systems available on the market. From the top-rated Work Sharp WS3000 Wood Tool Sharpener to the premium Tormek T8 Original and the cost-effective alternatives like the Bucktool 10-inch Variable Speed Sharpening System and the WEN BG4270T 10-Inch Two-Direction Sharpening System, there’s a solution for every need and budget.

Remember, the best sharpening system for you depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the type of tools you frequently use. Take the time to consider what features are most important to you and how they align with the systems we’ve discussed.

We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights and has made your decision-making process easier. Happy woodworking!

Tormek T-8 Original – Water Cooled Sharpening System
RIKON Slow Speed Bench Grinder
**Our Top Pick** Work Sharp - WS3000 Wood Tool Sharpener
BUCKTOOL 10-Inch Variable Speed Sharpening System
WEN BG4270T Wet/Dry Sharpening System
Speed
Slow speed
Slow speed
Variable
Variable
Variable
Sharpening Wheel Diameter
10 inches
8 inches
6 inches
10 inches
10 inches
Sharpening Wheel Material
Stone
Stone
Glass
Stone
Stone
Cooling System
Water-cooled
Air-cooled
Air-cooled
Water-cooled
Water-cooled
Special Features
Comes with a handbook and DVD
Anti-vibration rubber feet
Dry sharpening system, no jigs required
Two-direction motor
Two-direction motor
Tormek T-8 Original – Water Cooled Sharpening System
Speed
Slow speed
Sharpening Wheel Diameter
10 inches
Sharpening Wheel Material
Stone
Cooling System
Water-cooled
Special Features
Comes with a handbook and DVD
RIKON Slow Speed Bench Grinder
Speed
Slow speed
Sharpening Wheel Diameter
8 inches
Sharpening Wheel Material
Stone
Cooling System
Air-cooled
Special Features
Anti-vibration rubber feet
**Our Top Pick** Work Sharp - WS3000 Wood Tool Sharpener
Speed
Variable
Sharpening Wheel Diameter
6 inches
Sharpening Wheel Material
Glass
Cooling System
Air-cooled
Special Features
Dry sharpening system, no jigs required
BUCKTOOL 10-Inch Variable Speed Sharpening System
Speed
Variable
Sharpening Wheel Diameter
10 inches
Sharpening Wheel Material
Stone
Cooling System
Water-cooled
Special Features
Two-direction motor
WEN BG4270T Wet/Dry Sharpening System
Speed
Variable
Sharpening Wheel Diameter
10 inches
Sharpening Wheel Material
Stone
Cooling System
Water-cooled
Special Features
Two-direction motor

Last update on 2024-02-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API