Video: Work Sharp WS3000

I've often heard woodworkers say that they don't want to take the time to sharpen tools while they're working because it interrupts their workflow. My opinion is that using dull tools is a bigger problem than interrupting workflow. And there is an extremely easy, fast and effective way to sharpen tools; it's called the Work Sharp WS3000.

The WS3000 has been around for several years, so this We Tried It review is based on my experience with this tool well past the initial glow that new tools seem to have. You can sharpen chisels and plane irons as well as turning and carving tools. Compared with any other sharpening system, its flaws and disadvantages are minimal. What I like most about it are its speed, consistency and razor-sharp results.

Unlike oil-stone and water-stone systems, the Work Sharp WS3000 uses standard 6-in.-dia. self-adhesive sanding discs that you apply to a thick, tempered-glass plate. There's no lubrication, so to prevent burning, the plate spins at a relatively slow speed. Just like sanding wood, you use progressively finer grits to achieve the desired finish (or in this case, sharpness). You have the option to sharpen using the built-in air-cooled jig with angle adjustments or to freehand sharpen on the top surface, or you can use the innovative, slotted see-through wheel to hone irregular-shape tools (gouges, etc.) on the underside.

If you want sharpening to be a near-religious transcendental experience, the Work Sharp system may not be for you. But if you're results-oriented, this system is a very affordable (about $200) must-have tool for your shop.

Check out the We Tried It video featuring the Work Sharp WS3000: