As many of the sharpeners we review are ideal for kitchen knives, we haven’t covered too many tool sharpeners in our posts. But keeping a sharp edge on your tools is just as important as maintaining the edge on your knives. To that end, we’re reviewing the Work Sharp WS3000. Considered by some to be the best wood tool sharpener on the market, this piece offers both high quality and great functionality.
Our Work Sharp WS3000 Review
This sharpener is loaded with features for the serious woodworker. Here’s a quick rundown. By utilizing a sharpening port, this tool eliminates the need for jigs. It allows for a consistent 20°, 25°, 30°, and 35° angle on whatever tool you’re sharpening. The sharpening port can handle blades from 1/8″ up to 2″ in width. This tool also allows you to quickly and easily re-hone tools with a consistent 5° micro-bevel. As you remove the tool from the port, a ceramic abrasive automatically removes the bur from the blade, ensuring a both a razor sharp edge and a smooth finish.
If you need to sharpen tools larger than 2″, there is a separate that can be purchased. This enables you to sharpen tools that are up to 3″ in width.
The WS3000 really shines when it comes to sharpening curved edges. Utilizing a feature they call the Edge-Vision wheel, you can clearly see where the edge is making contact with the sharpener. This allows for a consistent edge all along the blade of the tool. It works extremely well for both curved or ‘v’ shaped blades.
Rather than using a standard grinding wheel the WS3000 uses tempered glass wheels to which you attached adhesive backed abrasive pads. This ensures that the wheels are always true and don’t wear down in heavily utilized areas. Each wheel can accept two abrasive pads and the product ships with 2 wheels. This allows you to have 4 grits available at all times. The abrasive pads are 6″ and are standard sizes.
The dry sharpening system is also pretty innovative. Rather than using oils, the machine uses the airflow from the 1/5 horsepower motor to remove material from the wheel as you sharpen. There is also an integrated heat sink that helps to ensure that your tools won’t overheat.
Our only real complaint has to do with the sandpaper. For one, it clogs relatively easily on the lower grit papers. This can make repairing an edge somewhat difficult. The higher grit papers tend to bubble up the longer their used. We did manage to find a very simple workaround though. Simply puncture the paper in a few places using a needle or similar point. This keeps the air from becoming trapped beneath the surface in the first place.
Keeping the metal cool is crucial to ensure the temper of the blade isn’t damage during the sharpening process. This can lead to inconsistencies in the hardness of the steel making it brittle right along the cutting edge. You can read more about tempering and why you should be careful when sharpening here.
In reviewing the WS3000 we were very pleased with it’s performance. It was able to restore a phenomenal edge to all of the woodworking tools we threw at it. If you’re looking for a tool sharpener that is fast, efficient, and affordable, this is a great unit.
If you are more interested in an electric knife sharpener, check out our Chefs Choice M120 review. If you’re looking for a more professional type device we recommend the Tormek. It has a higher price, but it is can be used on just about any tool and knives as well. Read more here.