Maybe you’ve thought about a wet grinder to sharpen your tools. Having used one for over 15 years, I can tell you they’re a wonderful way to put edges on carbon steel chisels and plane blades. You just can’t burn the steel, no matter how ham-handed your grinding. That means you can grind to a feather edge—something you can’t do with a dry grinder without overheating the edge and drawing the temper. Once you see some heat coloring, it’s already too late!
Cost is what keeps most people from using these grinders. Tormek, grandaddy of the category, sells their T-7 system for $600. Then there are the accessories… But competition is bringing prices down. Jet sells their version of the tool, the JSSG-10, for $320 (at Amazon, who also sells the Tormek). In a smart move, Jet made their machine accept all the Tormek accessories, so they had a full line of fixtures available before they got all their own on the market.
Now Grizzly has joined the party with the T10010, its version of the same tool. At less than $200, it’s a new low price point. But how good is it?
Woodworking friend and Sawdust Shop regular Julien Lecomte wrote me about his experiences with the Grizzly. With his permission, I’ve published his message:
“Since you teach the sharpening class at the Sawdust Shop, I thought I would report on my experience with the Grizzly wet grinder.
I use it solely to shape the primary bevel on my chisels and plane irons. I haven’t tried the leather strop yet.
One thing I noticed immediately after unpacking the unit was that the wheel was not true at all! I purchased the Tormek jig to true the wheel (almost all the Tormek jigs fit the Grizzly unit) and was back in business in no time.
Overall, I am very happy with this wet grinder. It misses a few nice features of the Tormek, such as the fine adjustment of the guide rod, but for only $180 (vs $400 for the Tormek), I warmly recommend it.