I learned sharpening of planes and chisels by reading books, searching the web, and emailing with Brent Beach. It wasn’t until I started following Brent’s methods that I got consistent success.

I want you to enjoy hand tools like I do. You can’t enjoy hand tools if you can’t sharpen. I hope I can help you learn to sharpen. Sharp tools make a big difference!

Please feel free to contact me with questions.

Sharpening Step by Step (10)

Hand tools must be sharp to work. This guide is an attempt to get you over the sharpening hump by describing my process to sharpen a plane blade in as much detail as possible.

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Single Point Honing Jig
homemade scary sharp single point honing guide jig
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Sharpening with a Bible

Page 3 of Richard Foster’s book Life with God says,

The average “Bible consumer,” publishing research tells us, owns nine Bibles and is looking for more. This is mute but powerful testimony to a deep and abiding sense of lack – a sense that we have not really achieved a grasp of the Bible that is adequate to our needs.

I know this longing.

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Grinding a Plane Iron with a Belt Sander

This tutorial explains how to grind a plane blade using a Viel Tools S5 Belt Grinder.

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How to test the sharpness of a plane or chisel

Here is how I determine if my plane or chisel edge is sharp. I have a high degree of confidence that this method is accurate and easy to replicate.

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Review: Viel Tools S5 Belt Grinder
viel s5 belt grinder
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Teaching yourself to sharpen

I learned to sharpen by reading books, magazine articles, and internet posts. It was a long road. Actually, I should say “it is a long road” because I’m still learning, but I can consistently produce sharp edges.

Below is my advice if you are trying to teach yourself to sharpen through reading.

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Why is sharpening hard?

Why is sharpening planes and chisels hard, especially for beginners?

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Requirements for a sharpening system

Every year or so a new wiz bang sharpening system for chisels and planes comes on the market. Below are four criteria for evaluating whether a sharpening system will work or not.

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