Skew Chisel

Closed Seat on SVS-50

Guidelines shown below are for use with the Tormek SVS-50 Multi Jig using the Closed Seat. The method for measuring the projection is shown below.

There is a separate page in this handbook for Lacer-style Skew Chisels.

General Guidelines
Edge (Included) Angle () Skew Angle
Profile Tormek
Range Range JS P Hole
40° 25° - 55° 20° 20° - 35° Straight Edge
30° 20° 65 mm B For tight spots, detail work and finest finish. However, this is harder to control and is not recommended for starter-level turners.
45° 55 mm B For broad application. Easier to control than a 30° edge angle.
40° 25° - 55° n/a Radius Edge
30° 30° 75 mm B For tight spots, detail work and finest finish. However, this is harder to control and is not recommended for starter-level turners.
45° 20° 65 mm B For broad application. Easier to control than a 30° edge angle.

Notes & Comments

  • This tool is one where reshaping the cutting surface can be onerous, and the Tormek BGM-100 Bench Grinding Mounting Set can be quite useful. When grinding on a high speed grinder, all the settings remain the same. (For more information on Shaping vs. Sharpening, see also, Grindstones and Other Sharpening Media.)

  • Allan Batty stated that you can have an up to 55° for hardwoods, and down to 25° for softwoods, but he usually worked with an up to 40°. (A video guide, featuring Allan Batty, on using the skew is at the bottom of this page.)

    Another rule often cited is that the length of the bevel should be 1.5 - 2 x the thickness of the skew (equates to 30° - 39°).

  • If grinding this on a high speed grinder or sander, be sure to manage the temperature so that the temper is not lost due to overheating.

  • High Carbon Steel Temperature control is critical for high carbon steel. Tempering will be lost in the steel if heated until it is blue (~550°F / 300°C). Cool by dipping as needed in water.

    High Speed Steel

    Cool by dipping as needed in water.

    Steel with Carbide Insert DO NOT cool by dipping in water. This will cause the carbide to crack due to shocks.

    It is also recommended to use a high grit wheel for sharpening carbide as lower grits can cause cracks in the edge leading to it being far more crack-ridden and brittle. (Lower grits can be used for shaping the edge -- see also, Grindstones and Other Sharpening Media - Quick Selection Guide.)

  • Some information presented is from the Tormek handbook, Water Cooled Sharpening of Edge Tools, ©Tormek AB.

Tormek Sharpening Classes: Part 5 - Woodturning Tools

Want to learn how you get your woodturning tools razor-sharp? In this week's sharpening class we take a closer look at the tools for the woodturner; Gouges, skews, parting tools, scrapers, cutters and more. Sebastien and Wolfgang will show you the methods for sharpening all these turning tools and how you achieve repeatable edges every time. Stay tuned and hit us with your questions during the stream!

How to sharpen roughing gouges, skews & parting tools - Tormek SVS-50 Multi Jig - with Nick Agar

In this third episode, Nick Agar shows how to sharpen a roughing gouge with a few simple steps using the open seat of Tormek's Multi Jig SVS-50. Further, he shows how to sharpen a parting tool and a skew using the closed seat of the SVS-50. Nick also demonstrates how to use the Tormek Marker Method when setting the angle and how to sharpen a custom skew shape on the side of Tormek's Diamond Wheel using MB-100 Multi Base.

The part about skews starts around 4:17.

Jeff Farris - Sharpening with the Tormek SVS-50 Multi-Jig
Tormek Multi jig SVS-50
Tormek Turning Tool Setter TTS-100
Tormek AngleMaster WM-200
The Skew Chisel with Allan Batty (Woodturning How-to)

This is one of the best videos on how to use the skew chisel, by a master in its use

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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