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  • Product Review: Tormek SJ-250 Waterstone

Product Review: Tormek SJ-250 Waterstone

When I recently saw the SJ 250 4000 grit Japanese Waterstone, I was immediately interested. I like to achieve premium sharpness and I would sharpen my tools on the 220 standard grit wheel, then use the stone grader SP-650 accessory to achieve a more refined edge, then move to a translucent white Arkansas stone to finish the blade before finally honing on the leather wheel. So for me, the SJ-250 was a positive step forward.

I have now been using the SJ -250 waterstone for a couple of months and would like to make the following comments;

Most recent Tormek models have the Ezylock MSK-250 as a standard fitting, if you have an older version it would be helpful to retro-fit it to enable a quick changeover.

One can then smoothly progress with a tool from the standard 220 stone to the SJ- 250 waterstone. I was dubious about the quick-change tag and envisaged a lot of fiddling about, but this was not the case and I found it very easy to fit.

When using an accessory on your 220 grit wheel and moving to the SJ-250 the accessories work perfectly and with precision, but check your angles with the Pro Angle Master as your wheels may differ in diameter.

For very fine or small tools use magnifiers. If you can’t see what is happening, you may not get the best result. One of the advantages of the Tormek is that they operate at a safe speed and you can get close to the stone and see exactly what’s happening. Of course as with any moving machinery take appropriate care with long hair and loose clothing.

I’ve been delighted with the results I have had on a large range of knives and carving tools.

The stone is of a hard consistency and has shown no surface change after the use I have subjected it to When using the stone it moves smoothly and precisely and definitely has a “feel good” sensation which I think can give the user a feeling of confidence. I have also sharpened tools on the SJ-250 that I haven’t previously sharpened on the Tormek. I have been doing quite a lot of miniature carving in boxwood, Pearwood, old ivory and some in gold.

I use engraving tools, gravers, burins fine dental tools, ground to suit and micro carving chisels and scrapers.

Previously, I used a black Arkansas stone to keep them sharp, but the SJ-250 works so well and quickly I will move it right alongside my miniature carving bench.

There are misconceptions about what is sharp. If you brush a blade across your thumbnail and you feel a sticky touch, it is sharp.
Premium sharpness can be easily obtained on the SJ-250. A quick test of this is slicing soft cheap black and white newspaper, not colour supplement, but the black printed page. This cheap soft, flimsy newspaper will bend or crumble if the blade is not very sharp. If it slices effortlessly, you have succeeded if you don’t get the newspaper use very cheap toilet paper.

In conclusion the SJ-250 definitely lives up to high expectations and is certainly a pleasure to use.

Click on the link below for more information and pricing:

Tormek Japanese Waterstone