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It" you don't mind getting a bit wet, most sharpening machines are good replacements tor high-speed grinders. But only a few machines can replace all your stones, and they cost almost S400.

What Will Work for You!

• If you've got a high-speed grinder and hate overheating your edges. You're in the market for any wet machine. It's impossible to burn an edge with one.

• If you don't haw a grinder. Look for a sharpening machine that has one, byt count on upgrading the tool rest.

• If you don't sharpen often or need a super edge. Look at the least expensive horizontal-wheel machines.

• If you prefer honing on a stone without a jig. Pick a vertical-wheel machine. It creates a hollow-ground bevel which is easy to balance on a stone.

• If you use Japanese tools. Go with a horizontal-wheel machine. Japanese laminated blades should be ground with a flat bevel only.

• If you use carving tools. Go for the wet Tormek and its jigs. It's possible to burn a very thin edge on the dry Veritas.

• If you want to sharpen nicked planer and jointer knives. You better have some patience. Setting up the jig and removing a lot of steel takes time.

Do You Need One At All!

Not really. Here's a complete, low-cost alternative sharpening system:

Lapping

A piece of 1/4-in. plate glass, sandpaper and a low-tack spray adhesive. Cost: about SI0.

Coarse and Medium Grinding

A slow-speed grinder with white wheels, an aftermarkei tool rest and a diamond dresser. Cost: about $ 155.

Honing

A combination 1,000/6,000 waterstone and a honing jig. Cost: about $40.

Sources

Accusharp tool rests, grinding jigs and wheel-dressing kits to fit Delta. Reliant and Grizzly grinders are available through Pcnn State Industries. (800) 377-7297. www.pennstateind.com

2 In I honing jig. #02.26.01: $ 15 is available through Highland

Hardware. (800) 241-6748. www.highlandhardware.com

Venus Tool Rest. #05M23.01; $33 and the Veritas Grinding Jig, ft05M06.01; $ 16 are available through Lee Valley Tools. (800) 871-8158. www.lccvalley.com

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Wheel Grit

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