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I am looking at buying a Tormek I am just not sure if the T7 is worth the extra $300+.
I will be using it to sharpen a few knifes occasionaly, Hand plane blades, normal Chisels, turning chisels.
I am not sure if it can sharpen a marking knife ??
Most of the reviews I have read say it is great for the newbies who can not sharpen by hand (I have tried a few times and I just can not seem to get a good edge (I might have more luck with a Jig, but as a good one is ~$90 and limited to what it can do I think I would be better off buying a Tormek
There have been lots of posts on sharpening and sharpening machines and lots of guru's advocating one or another. Best do do a search for it and make up your own mind what is best for your use.
Just bear in mind that with any machine the jigs are necessary for a newbie in sharpening, especially with the Tormeks. The Tormek jigs are the best but also the most expensive and is in addition to the machine. The jigs can also be used with cheaper wetginders.
The immediate differences are due totheir differnce in size. The larger, wider wheel of the T7 creates a shallower hollow and is more stable in use. Of course, the wheel lasts longer too. the shallower hollow means one can grind thinner blades, and that the process is faster. There is also a distant memory that the T7 has the greater tank-like built, which would be understandable as it is an industrial tool.
It comes down to how much you plan to grind and how much you are prepared to spend. The T7 is expensive but will last forever. I have had the 2000 model (same but in green) for several years without a hint of problem.
With the forthcoming Perth Wood Show, there is the opportunity to try them out for yourself.
Just one more thing: while Tormek refer to their machines as sharpening systems, I prefer to think of them as grinders. I create a hollow, then hone on waterstones. This creates a far better edge.
Regards from Perth
Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, many handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.
I bought the T7, mainly because I didn't like the plastic casing but also because of the extra accessories.
I have never been able to sharpen even a knife by hand but last week I sharpened my first chisel.
It was MANGLED, I think it has been used as a screwdriver
Took some time but I got rid of all the "sawteeth" on the edge and is now as sharp as a razorblade.
I was tickled pink
Every day is better than yesterday
If you've got the extra $ then the T7 is worth it, a more robust machine and better for the reasons Derek has outlined.
I have a love/hate relationship with my T7, don't expect to get perfect straight away. I remember spending two whole weekends re-grinding all my edges, especially the wood turning tools. You MUST read the documentation and watch the video's it comes with. One of the reasons I have a love/hate relationship with the Tormek is that it takes FOREVER to regrind, it is sloowwwww and tedious. Tormek pride themselves in repeatability and while this is the case, you'll find out that it's difficult with skew chisels. In the end though, you'll save a great deal of steel, notice a nice edge on your tools and enjoy your woodworking just that little bit more
Unless you have spare money or the need to sharpen very large tools eg skews or planer blades I would buy the T3. I have the early 1200 Supergrind model and find it brilliant.
As others have already highlighted the jigs are the most important.
I have the T7, beautiful machine, the accessories that I have came in foam cut-out boxes that are grouped for various things, this is the cheapest way to purchase the general run of the mill accessories.
Derek is correct regarding the heavier build, The T7 is designed with a 100% duty cycle, in other words it can be run from the start of the day to the end of the day, the lesser machines cannot do that, but I cannot see that being an issue for anybody except a professional sharpener.
There is one thing the T7 has that the lesser models don't have (or didn't when I was looking) is a rare earth magnet secreted in the bottom of the water holder. The idea is that the magnet attracts the metal filings and keeps them from contaminating the water and being re-ground with whatever you are grinding. I know that at the end of a session I sometimes am surprised at what is stuck to that magnet.
If you go for the cheaper model, then you could affix a strong rare earth magnet to the outside, it would do exactly the same job. If I had a lesser model, it would probably be the first thing I did.
I bought mine at the Melbourne show a couple (3?) of years ago, as a special with the purchase of a T7 they were selling various accessory kits reasonably cheaper than RRP..
Something I had been thinking about, was the Drill sharpening accessory. By looking online for the best price prior to last years Melbourne show, I noted that they were about 38% cheaper landed and delivered to my front door than RRP in Australia. At the show they had that accessory matched to the best online price, give or take $5.00.
I bought a T7 recently as I picked up $500 ( rare thing I know) in the lotto and wanted to spend it on something to last.
It's a great tool and I'm pretty much a beginner and have sharpened knives and tools with great results. But as sjt says read the books and watch the video first, I know this is against us blokes natural instinct but its really worth it.
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