Ever used one of those eclipse style sharpening guides? Usually they’re cheesy imports that require serious fine-tuning and modification to be effective. What if a fine tool company like Starrett or the like were to make a honing guide? Well, that’s basically what you have here.
I’ve used a couple different honing guides in my day. The eclipse was a waste. Good luck setting various blades and chisels straight in that one. The Veritas MKII is a very nice guide, but eventually I set it aside because I grew weary of the time it took to set the blade/chisel each session. I resigned to freehand honing, and I’ve gotten pretty good at it. That said, a guide will always be more consistent than my wrists, I just had to find the right one.
Ol’ Mr. Lie-Nielsen takes his sweet time developing a new tool, but it always pays off. Here’s the qualities that set this guide apart.
Speed. If you build a little registration jig, it’s literally a few seconds to set the guide at precisely the correct angle. There is a flat-head screw slot on the brass nut, but it’s not necessary. The guide holds firmly with finger tightening.
Lie-Nielsen even provides the information to make such setup.
Ease. This guide is low profile on the top side (a weakness of other guides). Makes it possible to lap the back while still in the guide.
Versatility. Interchangeable jaws. Not sure I would justify special jaws for skew chisels and such. However, I plan to order the long jaws. Those would be very handy for short irons such as spokeshaves.
Any issues with slop on the removable jaws is addressed with aligning pins and captive screws. (Long jaws pic from LN site below).
I suspect the only fault folks will find with this guide is the price tag. At $ 125, it is pricier than most other guides on the market. However, many woodworkers could add up much more than that sum on various sharpening gizmos. Made in the US, parts and service will always be accessible from its maker.
Like everything else Lie-Nielsen makes, buy one and be done. Shoot, your grandkids will use it.Read more