Knife Sharpening Made Easy

Knife Sharpening Information and Equipment


S5 belt  sander

  We recommend the Viel S-5-M Sander-Grinder

  This machine will sharpen almost anything - knives, chisels, planes irons, garden tools, scissors, etc.
  This is the only belt sander we have found that can be used vertically or horizontally without modification.
  Heavy Duty construction of steel and aluminum (no plastic). Includes 1/4 or 1/3 HP, 1750 rpm motor,
  power cord and switch.
  - 4" x 6-1/2" table
  - Takes standard 1" x 42" abrasive belts
  - Automatic belt tension
  - Two year guarantee

  Viel S-5 Sander-Grinder

    As above, but you supply the motor.  We recommend a 1/4 or 1/3 HP, 1750 rpm motor. These are commonly used as furnace blower motors. No belts included.

Viel for grinder

  Viel S-5-B Sander-Grinder for 6" Bench Grinder

   This will allow you to use all the accessories from the S-5 and S5-M except the S-23.

- Fits on most 6" bench grinder with 1/2" shaft
- Includes a 1" x 30" gr. 120 belt


These attachments fit Viel Sander-Grinder S-5, S-5-M and S-5-B 
knife guide 

  S-9 Knife sharpening guide

scissor  guide  

  S-10 Scissor Sharpening Guide


- New holder! More precise and stronger, great for smaller scissors
- New articulated arms now with sealed ball bearings

- Sharpens any kind of scissors: barber, tailor, surgical, grass, etc.
- Easy to follow instructions.
- 2 years guarantee.

drill jig

 S-12 Drill Sharpening Guide

Drill grinding attachment S-12 for Viel sander-grinder.

Sharpen your drill bits in less than 30 seconds! This drill grinding attachment is the fastest, the most precise and the easiest to use on the market. This industrial quality tool has a capacity of 1/16" up to 3/4" with a precise concentricity within 0.001". It aligns the drill bit automatically, you just have to:
1-Insert the drill bit into the holder
2-Sharpen one lip
3-Sharpen the other lip
Handwheel with screw included.

blade holder

 S-7 Blade Holder

The perfect accessory for fine sharpening of all kind of planer knifes up to 6" long.
Precision hand wheel included.

chisel jig

 S-19 Chisel Sharpening Guide

For wood chisels with 25 degree bevel or more. Fits on grooved sander-grinder tables. Smooth motion on Teflon slides.

Accessories are shipped free if ordered with the sander.  Your order may show additional shipping which we will refund when we receive your order. 


There are several good reasons for a knife sharpener to use a belt sander even if you do not it to sharpen knives.  This description is for a Viel Tools S-5 sander/grinder but can be adapted to any belt sander:

1. Reduce the bolster of a chefs knife that has been sharpened in a pull through sharpener and developed a swale or low spot.
Lay the sander down so the belt is horizontal and moving away from you. Hold the blade across the belt just as if you were sharpening, but only grind the bolster. You can improve the appearance by rocking the blade from about 20 to about 50 degrees, or by using the short slack belt section between the platen and the idler wheel. Grind until the bolster is no longer higher than the edge.

2. Reshape a chopping knife with a swale or low spot so it racks against the cutting board. (Santoku, unbolstered chefs knife or bolstered chefs knife after the above operation)

Lay sander horizontal as above. Hold the blade parallel to the belt, spine up, edge down. Rock the cutting edge on a belt until the swale is gone. This requires a platen as long as the blade. Of course you dull the edge in the process, but you CANNOT create negative curvature against a flat platen. If you hold the blade about 45 deg. to either side for the last two passes you start the resharpening process.

3. Grind a strong convex edge on a chopping tool. (Axe or camp knife)

Lay sander horizontal as above, edge across the belt. Sharpen the edge on the short slack section between the platen and the idler wheel. Angle will control how far up the side of the blade you sharpen. Position closer to the platen for stronger edges (axes) and a little further back for a sharper edge (knives)

4. Garden tools that do not open 90 degrees (anvil pruners and grass shears).

Set the sander up so the belt is vertical. Work on the long slack section on the back opposite the platen. Bring the belt between the blades (or blade and anvil) at the sharpening angle. Practice with the sander off to see how it fits and if you can move it the full length of the blade. Careful, the belt is moving UP.

This is a relatively safe operation if the blade and the anvil form a V with a flat bottom (pruner) and relatively dangerous if the blades form a V with a sharp bottom (grass shears). The sharp V will pinch the belt, shred it ($5 gone) and possibly throw the tool. If anyone asks, I do not recommend this.  Do as I say and not as I do. Be careful and WEAR YOUR SAFETY GLASSES!

BZ 120 belts are perfect for sharpening scissors and garden tools and for knife repairs.

For belts of different types and grits we recommend: or or

If you need to save some money and are able to build your own belt sharpener, go to this page.

Updated April 6, 2017

e-mail steve at bottorff dot com

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