While many woodworkers have been worked up about the long-awaited honing guide from Lie-Nielsen, there is another new honing guide on the market this year that has been flying under the radar.
The Veritas Mk. II Narrow-blade Honing Guide offers up a major change in the way the company builds its guides. Until now, all of the Veritas guides have clamped the tool to be sharpened from top and bottom. The disadvantage to every top-clamping guide (regardless of maker) is that it can be difficult to prevent the tool from skewing while sharpening – particularly narrow blades.
But the new narrow-blade guide clamps from the sides, which ensures the tool won’t skew during sharpening. With the side-clamps and the company’s innovative way of setting the angle of the tool, this guide is a total winner – if the tool is 1-1/2” wide or less.
Today I spent a couple hours sharpening up all my narrow tools with the guide and could find no fault with the robust side-clamps or the angle-setting mechanism (which is already bulletproof). My concern was that tools would slip out of the jaws of the clamps if you pressed the tool hard to the stone during sharpening.
Because of the slight dovetail shape of the jaws, this is impossible. The harder you press the tighter the tool is held.
My second concern was that the side clamps would loosen up while sharpening – a common problem with cheap honing guides. Even though this guide clamps with finger pressure only, it held tight.
The only downside to the guide is its capacity of 1-1/2”.
The Veritas Mk. II Narrow-blade Honing Guide is completely compatible with the company’s other honing guides. All the rollers and angle-setting devices are swappable. You can buy the guide as part of a kit or separately for $84.50.
I really like this guide and will be interested to see if the side-clamp technology spreads to other honing guides in the Veritas family.
— Christopher Schwarz
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