Through my work, I got the opportunity to test the new WorkSharp 3000. Being a big fan of hand tools, I'm always a skeptic when a new power tool hits the market. Although after a few tests, I feel that this tool is certainly worth a good look.
The price was the first thing to impress me. At around $199.95 it offers a good value. At that price it is about half of what other good quality tool sharpening products cost. And who canít use a little extra cash at the end of the day.
Ease of Use
Unlike a traditional grinder, the WorkSharp has a built in guide on the front port for chisels and planes. The you can adjust the angle in increments of 5 degrees between 20 and 35 degrees for just about any chisel or plane iron. The main difference compared with other tools is the sharpening happens on the bottom side of the wheel. This may appear a bit unnerving but the guide keeps your tool straight for you so you pull out your tool every few seconds to check the progress.
Keeping Your Tools Cool
One of the most common mistakes with traditional grinders is burning your tools. With a high-speed grinder running at 3600 RPM or even a low speed running at 1750, burning your tools is always a threat. The WorkSharp 3000 runs at 500 RPM so your tool doesnít see nearly the speed as a grinder. Since it works fast, you grind your tool for just a few seconds, check the progress then repeat as necessary. It does have built in air-cooling but I still suggest a few seconds at a time to be on the safe side. A few seconds is probably worth a few minutes on the bench stone.
Replaceable PSA Abrasive Discs
For those you like sandpaper abrasive sharpening methods, the PSA abrasives will be very familiar. The kit comes with abrasives from 120 to 3600 grit. The 120 grinds through metal quickly while the 3600 will put a very nice polish on your tools.
Edge Vision Wheels
The truly innovative part of this system is the Edge Vision Wheels. These wheels have slots to allow you to see through the wheel while it is running. This allows you to use a port on the side to sharpen your tools while actually looking at the edge being sharpened. For straight edge tools like chisels and plane irons this is unnecessary but for carving tools and other hard to sharpen tools this turns novice sharpeners into pros in no time. I tried it on two hard to sharpen tools, my hook knife and a spoon gouge. I had no trouble sharpening these tools with the Edge Vision Wheel.