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How Do I Choose the Best Chisel Sharpener?

The more wear a chisel gets, the more sharpening it will need.
Choosing a chisel sharpener depends on a person's budget and timeframe.
After continued use, chisels must be sharpened for efficiency and safety.
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  • Written By: Kristie Lorette
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2014
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After using a chisel over and over again, the chisel blade gets dull and somewhat useless for projects. This leads many tool owners to look for the best chisel sharpener to restore the tool to usefulness. When you’re considering which sharpener to buy, you should first consider the material of the sharpener, the price and the time you want to spend sharpening your tools.

The three primary types of sharpeners to choose from include water stone sharpeners, oilstone sharpeners and diamond stone sharpeners. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages. Using a bench stone method of sharpening your chisel, however, also requires that you put some muscle into the sharpening process.

Oil stone chisel sharpening tools tend to be favored in the U.S. The oil base of the sharpener makes it easier to sharpen the chisel blade than without oil. Water stone sharpeners are also popular overseas because the water base also makes it a faster and easier sharpening process because the water also acts as a lubricant, as does the oil. Water stone sharpeners do cut faster than the oil stone sharpeners.

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The second consideration is the cost to purchase a chisel sharpener. The most frugal of methods is an old fashioned manual method known as the “scary sharp” method. You simply need some fine-grit sandpaper and a lubricant to sharpen the blade of the chisel. Diamond stone sharpeners tend to be in the next price level, while water and oil stone sharpeners are in the most expensive category.

After considering the material, which also correlates with how much manual labor goes into sharpening the chisel, and the cost, you should consider the time for sharpening the chisel. There are both manual and automated chisel sharpening tools from which to choose. While manual sharpeners require you to use some elbow grease to sharpen the blade, this also means that it will take you longer to sharpen the blade than by using an electric sharpener.

Using an electric chisel sharpener cuts down on the time it takes to sharpen the blade of the chisel. Additionally, an electric sharpener can also create a sharper chisel than one you sharpen by hand. The force and strength of the electric sharpener does make it possible to create a sharper blade than what you can do by hand. Finding the best chisel sharpener comes down to finding balance in all three of these elements. Once you find a sharpening tool that fits your material and strength requirements, your budget and time frame, then you have found the best chisel sharpener.

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