Anything wrong with sharpening with a dremel tool?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by BIG45-70, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. BIG45-70


    Aug 29, 2010
    So I took an old hatchet to my new dremel tool 4000 (Christmas present) today and got a pretty nice edge on it. I was thinking about taking to some older beater knives also, is there any problem using a dremel to sharpen? I'm using the grinding bit.
  2. HoosierQ


    Feb 9, 2010
    Well a Dremel is going to generate a lot of heat and can get out of control. I would save the Dremel for lawnmower blades and the like really. Hard core grinders (like a Dremel can be) are not a good way to go on knives.
  3. RevDevil


    Nov 9, 2009
    When it comes to sharpening pocket knives I would advise against it. It's not so much a problem of heat generated, but more of angle consistency and pressure. You are not likely to maintain the same angle throughout the entire blade length. The end result would be less than useful. For large machete, khukuri, axes, chisels, etc. it would be perfect.
  4. SusAntigoon


    Oct 13, 2007
    Doesn't take all that much to ruin the heat treat on a blade..
    I would advise against it.
  5. ohen cepel

    ohen cepel Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Like the others have said. Too fast, too much heat. I have tried it in the past myself on some rough edges and was never happy with the results. Took more time to fix it than I "saved" using the Dremel.

    It's a great too but not for sharpening, at least not in my mind.
  6. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I could see using a Dremel on a machete or axe, but that is about it. I used to have a terrible time sharpening machetes, hatchets, and axes until I started using a hand held diamond sharpener (Smith brand I believe). No problem now.
  7. Jd4003


    Apr 13, 2009
    Even at slow speed and with a very steady hand it would be too easy to royally screw up a blade. I know how much fun a new Dremel can be, and how tempting it is to use on everything :p, but as everyone else has said, I would advise against using it on a knife blade. Axes, and other similar blades would probably be fine though. Enjoy the new Dremel!
  8. Toyz


    Nov 2, 2006
    I tried this on the false edge on a cheap dagger like folder and the results were not good. Even with steady hands, I could not get any consistency with the grind. I did eventually sharpen the edge, but boy did it look like crap. For the record, the steel was 154CM.

    If you like the knife I would advise against it, or practice on beaters to get the feel.
  9. Steve_Holt


    Dec 21, 2008
    I did it once on an Okapi ratchet knife. These are inexpensive knives. I wouldn't recommend it on a knife that costs very much.

    This knife was literally the dullest knife I've ever seen. It couldn't even really be classified as a knife the way I received it. I think they totally skipped the sharpening stage at the factory.

    I carefully ground a preliminary bevel on both sides of the blade with a Dremel, then went to work with stones to get an edge. If you decide to give it a try, I would recomend going very slow, using a very light touch, and checking often to make sure there is no heat building up. It is easy to let a Dremel slip and mar your blade. I managed to only have one slip that put a small stripe near the tip
  10. Zuchus

    Zuchus Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 27, 2005
    I used a Dremel on a nice Benchmade knife with 154CM steel. I wanted to reshape the blade a little bit, take some of the recurve out of it, and now it no longer holds an edge. I ruined the tempering, so beware!

    On a side note, can a blade be re-tempered after this bone-headed move, and if so, does anyone know a person/place I can contact for this? Thanks!
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010
  11. proguide


    Mar 26, 2004
    Oh....I thought this was a joke!
    NO! DON'T DO THAT. It will ruin the temper
  12. bada61265


    Oct 16, 2010
    you should get a good smiths or dmt course bench diamond hone for this kind of stuff. i like my dremel too but imo its not for sharpening knives. theres a safety issue doing this as well.
  13. Joshua J.

    Joshua J.

    Feb 27, 2005
    I screwed up a lot of blades that way, not advised.

    You can get a small belt sander, which will be faster if you are doing some major re-profiling, but heat is also a big problem there.

    If you aren't adjusting the primary bevel on the blade, I would just use a coarse utility stone.
  14. ono724


    Jul 17, 2010
    There are so many tried and true methods for sharpening knives. Why use a dremel? :confused:
  15. kingsqueak


    Oct 21, 2010
    Just in general with a joke, don't use one without safety glasses.

    They are small, the work you use them on is generally small and it's very easy to discount what 30k RPM will do with shavings or shattered bits. Also almost a matter of practice, you wind up down close to the work with your face to keep an eye on it.

    I've had one for years and years, I've had cutoff discs shatter and cut my face but had glasses on at least. I simply never use one without glasses on.

    Also agreed, horrible to sharpen anything with, particularly anything thin bladed. The temper issue, the fact that a small slip will ruin a blade and it's very hard to keep an even grind with one. You could maybe use one for things like a mower blade that don't matter much and are large surfaces but an actual grinder would be far more efficient for that.

    I did use mine to put a nice lanyard hole in a Mora the other day though ;-).
  16. RevDevil


    Nov 9, 2009
    That is what horrifies me personally. I was working in a shop once where a guy was using a 6" table top grinder incorrectly and that wheel exploded. Needless to say the user was seriously injured, no eye protection at all - he lost the use of his right eye, lost a tooth and was cut up on his face and hands.
  17. KeithAM


    Dec 15, 2003
    If you want to use a power tool to sharpen get a Harbor Freight 1" belt sander. I just checked the site and they are still about $40. Safer and easier to control than a Dremel.

    I used mine yesterday to sharpen a half dozen kitchen knives to use to prepare Christmas dinner. Took about 10 minutes.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010
    idanp likes this.

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