Let’s be honest I wanted a Tormek but just couldn’t justify the price. That can sometimes be a dangerous game because if I have learned one thing in life it is that you generally get what you pay for.
So, let’s be clear what I wanted this for. The main role would be to re-grind a primary bevel on plane and chisel blades when the secondary bevel had become to large. I was looking for a machine that was capable of fairly accurate angle measurement for the bevel and of course a good square grind on a nice concentric wheel.
After a bit of price research, I ordered from www.datapowertools.com. Not a company I had used before but have to say I was very impressed, low delivery charge compared with competitors who had it at the same price and it arrived the next day by DPD in good condition.
I wasn’t expecting too much on the quality front but actually for the price I think it is good value. I quite like the fact that it has a sealed plastic body as it should mean that corrosion or potential for water and electricity to mix should not be a problem. As mine was the starter pack it comes with a number of jigs that seem to be of reasonable quality.
First step is to grind the stone using the included diamond dressing jig. Firstly, you add the support arm extension which slides in nicely and has a nut that you can use for precise movement up and down. Once you tighten the two holding screws it is nice and firm with no noticeable movement.
The diamond dresser slides onto the extension arm and by using the nut on the extension arm for precise movement you can get it sitting just where you want to dress the stone. My stone was not true but only needed a bit of dressing to get it there.
Once you think the stone is true you dress the stone with the included dressing stone. At this point you will immediately tell if the stone isn’t true (as I found first time around) as you will feel slight movement in the dressing stone when it sits on the rotating wheel.
Chisel blade – using the straight edge jig it was now time to regrind a blade. The supplied angle finder to check the angle of the original primary bevel is not great but I knew my Ashley Illes were at 25 degrees so not a huge issue. The angle setting gauge is better and once you work out what you are doing you can get the chisel blade sitting nicely on the stone at the right angle. You must ensure your blade is sitting against the registration marks in the jig to ensure it is at 90 degrees to the stone. You must also ensure you tighten the jig on that side first as well or there is a tendency to tilt the blade which will not give you a square edge.
Once you are grinding then it is very smooth and does what it should. The adjustable torque is handy and just the weight of the machine is enough to stop it moving about on your worksurface. The resulting reground bevel was perfectly square. I also have done a plane blade which requires you to move the jig from side to side but the action was smooth and the end resulting was again perfectly square.
So overall, I am very pleased with the purchase. When you remember the price you are paying in comparison to something like a Tormek, then for me it is a no-brainer to recommend this. But remember, I am only using this to regrind blades, not as a sharpening system which is what it is marketed as. I will apply my secondary bevel using scary sharp.
I hope this review helps anyone else that is thinking of purchasing the WG200. Fell free to comment if you have any questions.