How to Start Grinding and Sharpening
Grinding and sharpening are skills that’ll come in handy in most DIY projects. Whether you want to shape bathroom tiles to fit, sharpen your hedge shears in time for spring or smooth protruding screws, you’ll finish the job to a tee with your Dremel Multi-Tool and its grinding and sharpening accessories. This basic beginner’s guide will tell you all you need to know to get going. Each tip will take you through a vital step, from choosing the right accessories to clamping objects securely while you work. Let’s get started.
KNOW THE BASICS OF GRINDING AND SHARPENING
When grinding, you’re smoothing over rough areas or sharp edges, aiming to get a sleek finish. When sharpening, you’re doing the exact opposite: your aim is to create a thin point or a sharp edge. Dremel’s grinding and sharpening tools help you with both activities, whether you’re deburring metal after cutting it, smoothing welded joints or sharpening secateurs. You can use these tools on glass, ceramics, stone and porcelain too.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT GRINDING AND SHARPENING ACCESSORIES
Get your grinding or sharpening accessories right and you’re off to a good start. For hard, non-ferrous materials such as glass, stone, ceramics and porcelain, Dremel’s green silicon carbide grinding stones are the way to go. They’re highly durable and perfect for removing stilt marks on ceramics or engraving glass.
Dremel’s orange aluminium oxide grinding stones cover virtually all your grinding needs, from sharpening screwdrivers to removing flash from metal castings. They can be used on most materials, including stainless steel.
HOW TO WORK SAFELY WHILE GRINDING AND SHARPENING
It’s a law of nature: when you hold ferrous metals like steel or cast iron to a grinding stone, sparks and dust come flying. Luckily, it’s easy to protect yourself from these tiny particles. Protective glasses will shield your eyes, while gloves will safeguard your hands and a dust mask will keep you from breathing in any tiny bits. Many Dremel toolkits have a Comfort Guard Attachment for deflecting sparks and dust. If you have one, make sure to connect it as an extra precaution.
TURN UP THE RPM
For easy handling and sleek results, here’s a top tip for you: set the speed on your Dremel tool to a minimum of 15,000 RPM when using grinding or sharpening tools. When the rotation speed is too slow, these accessories may start ‘bumping’, causing unevenness or dents in your object or material. So this is the ideal time to put your Dremel’s speed to the test. The grinding stones and points can take speeds of up to 20,000 and sometimes even 30,000 RPM. Check the instructions for the individual accessories so you stay within the safety limits.
GO FOR A GOLF GRIP
Control is key when you’re grinding or sharpening. A one- or two-handed golf grip offers stability and support, ensuring you keep your sharpening tools level and your grinding attachments firm. Not into golf? Don’t worry, it’s easy. For a one-handed golf grip, hold your Dremel Multi-Tool in your dominant hand with the thumb on top, pointing towards the shaft of the tool. For a two-handed grip, hold the tool as described before, only in your ‘weak’ hand. Now overlay your dominant hand so that its thumb overlaps the ‘weak’ thumb. Both thumbs are pointing towards the shaft. That’s all there is to it.
SECURE EITHER THE OBJECT OR YOUR TOOL
In order to work on your object safely and precisely while grinding or sharpening, you can either:
- Secure the object safely to the workbench, for instance with a clamp or vice. Bring the tool to the object using the golf grip (see tip 5).
- Attach the Multi-Tool securely to your work surface using a DREMEL MULTI-VISE (2500) and bring the object to the tool with both hands.
A Dremel Multi-Vise functions both as a clamp and as a tool holder. Its 360° rotation allows you to rotate it any which way you like, so you can approach your object from a comfortable angle. Make sure your hands stay well away from any moving accessories or sharp objects.
WORK WITH THE RIGHT ATTACHMENTS
These handy tools and attachments will make your first grinding and sharpening project run even more smoothly:
- Comfort Guard Attachment (550) – protects you from flyaway particles, rust and dirt.
- MULTI-VISE (2500) – offers optimal stability; can be used as stationary vice, stand-alone clamp and tool holder. Rotates and tilts, so you can work from a comfortable angle.
- SHAPING PLATFORM ATTACHMENT (576) – enables grinding at perfect 45° and 90° angles. Includes a grinding stone.
- CHAINSAW SHARPENING ATTACHMENT (1453) – for quick and easy sharpening, whatever size chainsaw you’ve got. Includes grinding stones in three sizes.
PICK YOUR FIRST PROJECT
Well done, you’re now ready for your first project. Pick one of these foolproof beginner’s activities to get the hang of grinding and sharpening with your Dremel tool:
- shaping bathroom tiles
- deburring a copper tube after cutting it
- smoothing welded joints
- smoothing protruding screws
- smoothing mosaic tiles after cutting them
- sharpening an axe
- SHARPENING HEDGE SHEARS
- sharpening DIY items such as scissors or slotted screwdriver tips