Rotary Cutters  


To be creative is to let little pieces of your heart go and place them into each project you make.

Pat Bravo

Wheels on Rotary Cutters are sharpened according to the angles shown below. The calculation of is measured according to the drawing to the right.

These are sharpened using the Tormek SVD-186 or SVD-185 jig, but with the thumb nut replaced by a hand wheel. The use of a hand wheel is critical to ensure it is rotated with a constant and even rotational velocity. This constant rotational speed helps assure even sharpening around the circumference of the cutting edge.

I made my hand wheel on a metal lathe (pictures are at the bottom of this page), but these are also available from sources like McMaster-Carr. This jig is used from the horizontal position, with the blade positioned as shown, and the grindstone rotating towards the blade.

General Guidelines
α Notes Recommended
Tormek Jig
30° This is a best estimate; it is best to match the existing edge if possible.

For the final sharpening, I've found it best to use the Tormek SJ-250 wheel, and use this for sharpening the cutting wheel as a micro-bevel (i.e., 2° - 5° greater than ). That is shown on the top right drawing as the hazy area at the tip of the edge. (For more information on this, see the Pocket Knives page.)

SVD-186 R

Notes & Comments

Information regarding Grindstones
The assembled jig is shown below, as are the exploded pieces (the flat disks are fender washers drilled to 8mm to fit best on the Tormek SVD-186 jig).

More Information

Videos & Presentations

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About this site
Remember : The goal of sharpening is to produce sharp tools, and these tools can injure you if mishandled. Safety measures should be followed to protect yourself and those in your shop. Be sure to read and follow all instructions from the manufacturer, and and utilize proper safety equipment. Never consume alcohol or anything that could impair your judgement before sharpening tools, or using sharp tools. Comments can be sent via eMail to me at