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I sharpen all of my plane irons and chisels at 35°.

Here’s why: I do this to keep my sharpening regimen as simple as possible. I don’t want to pick up a tool and wonder: What angle is this sharpened to? I also don’t want to sharpen a tool, discover that I used the wrong angle and have to resharpen it immediately. And I don’t want to have multiple jigs to set my tools. Or be forced to engrave my sharpening angle on every tool.

I know that lots of woodworkers will call this a wrong-headed approach. But here is why I have been doing this for the last six years.

  1. I find that keeness is more important than small differences in cutting geometry. With a 35° cutting edge I can cleanly pare the end grain of white pine, and that’s all I need to know. If your tool can do that operation, it is wicked sharp and can handle anything.
  2. Higher


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