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Honing Guides are a very useful accessory if you are not used to sharpening your plane blades and chisels by hand. They can also be an expensive device to add to your toolbox. If you favour either diamond or glass sharpening stones, Japanese Waterstones or even the aptly named “Scary Sharp” technique (using sandpaper and honing film), a honing guide can be a worthwhile investment. But it doesn’t have to be all that expensive…
Top Tip – Using a honing guide gives you a guaranteed set angle as you sharpen your plane blade or chisel, moving from the coarser grits through to your finishing grit. If you add some marks on your blade with a permanent marker, while it is clamped in the honing guide, this will give you a reference point to line your blade back up to next time you come to sharpen it.
The cheapest way to get your hands on a reliable honing guide, is to purchase one of the standard types you see in most hardware or tool shops and then follow this useful video guide to tuning it to be reliable and true.
The next option up on the cost scale, would be a better built honing guide with a wide roller. These are helpful for two reasons, they make the whole honing guide and sharpening experience a more stable one and they reduce the wear to softer sharpening stones, that can be caused by the small wheel of the very cheap honing guides. Here is a link to the best priced honing guide I have found in this “better” category…