View Full Version : question about ceramic sharpening

Ed Tipton
10-14-2007, 08:33 AM
Can anyone tell me if ceramic is a good medium for sharpening carbide tooling? I am considering making a device for sharpening and I have a piece of ceramic tube that I am thinking would work well. I have used it to sharpen knives, but I don't know if ceramic will sharpen carbide or not. It is extremely fine grained, and I'm thinking it should work for carbide but was looking for some feedback. I know that most "sharpeners" work on pretty slow speeds to avoid overheating the edge of the blade, but since this ceramic is so fine grained, my thinking is that I should be able to speed things up. Does this sound right, or do you guys think this is a bad idea? Thx for any response.

10-14-2007, 10:26 AM
Hey Ed. I have one of the Accu Finish Series One grinders. I use either a 180grit roughing wheel or a 600 grit fine finishing wheel. They work very well and spin at about 240 rpm. Even with the 180 grit "gator" roughing wheel that they sell grinding can still be a bit slow if you have to do any forming at all. They are generally intended for touch up work. The 600 grit wheel leaves a very slick finish on the part and it is all I need for my work even though they sell up to a 1200 grit wheel. Accu Finish sells a ceramic wheel they call a lap. It is advertised as being for ultra polishing and it has to be "charged" with diamond spray to get it to cut any at all.

I said all of that to say that I wouldn't think the ceramic wheel you have would be a very efficient means of grinding carbide. I don't know what effect speeding it up would do other than heat up your work. I would think that if the ceramic was a good medium for grinding carbide then Accu Finish would recommend it for such use. I'll paste a link to their website so you can get some more ideas if you still want to build a grinder. You could probably build one cheaper than their selling price if you had the parts and time. I have no connection with them other than being a happy customer. If you decide to build one be sure and take lots of pics. We love pictures.


10-14-2007, 11:27 AM
The ceramic "tube" you have isn't for sharpening exactly. It serves the same purpose as a steel. It breaks off the feathered burr on the edge after sharpening and also cold flows the very edge to a finer thickness.

About the fine grained vs coarse grain assumption. The finer the grain or grit the hotter it runs. Coarse grain wheels etc run cooler. The finer the grain the slower it should be run and/or coolant used.

Ed Tipton
10-14-2007, 10:08 PM
Thanks for the response. The tube that I have is extremely fine grained, and when I said that I have used it for sharpening knives, that is true, but to be honest, they were already pretty sharp and I used it to do the "final" sharpening. It did work well for knocking the final burr off the edge and honing the edge, much as a steel would do, only it did seem faster and easier to control. Just a thought I had about building a grinder, but maybe I'll reconsider, or at least reconsider using the ceramic. The type of grinder I had envisioned would not lend itself readily to changing the wheel, but maybe I should think in terms of making something a little more versatile, where I could change mediums quickly and easily. Obviously more "headwork" needed before the shop work begins.:)