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At left, Sorby TurnMaster, Easy Wood "Finisher" tool at right.

At left, Sorby TurnMaster, Easy Wood “Finisher” tool at right.

I learned to turn a number of years before Easy Wood Tools introduced its line of turning tools in 2010. These tools were different from more traditional turning tools – they were designed to make turning easier to learn for the beginner by greatly simplifying the techniques of how turning tools cut wood. Easy Wood tools have carbide-tipped insert tooling attached to the business end, which eliminates the need to learn how to sharpen. The tools work well and have been a hit with newbie turners; they offer an accessible way to get results without a long and sometimes-scary learning curve.

Recently, long-time turning toolmaker Robert Sorby introduced a tool called the TurnMaster that’s no doubt aimed at the same novice market. It applies the same scraping technique and insert tooling. In Sorby’s case, insert options include carbide, high-speed steel and titanium-nitride-coated high-speed steel. Like the Easy Wood tools, the Sorby TurnMaster has a flat bottom shaft designed to place on the lathe’s tool rest at all times while turning, which eliminates the need to learn how to present the proper cutting angle of the tool to the work.

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