Friday, February 26, 2021

Rotary Blade Sharpener Review

This post is about my personal, unsponsored and uncompensated review of the Colonial brand "Turn-Sharp" Rotary Blade Sharpener I purchased from my local quilt shop - Sew Together - for $35.99 plus tax. Polly special-ordered it for me.

After asking blog readers and Instagrammers for rotary blade sharpener opinions last December (see that blog post here), this is my own unbiased review of the product I bought to try.

I have dozens of used 45 mm rotary blades to sharpen.

I followed the instructions. 

The first thing to do is identify the parts. Then, with water on your fingertip wet both sides of the inner ring of the whetstone. The light-colored center is the coarse whetstone. The opposite side has a darker-colored ring that is the fine side of the whetstone. Also note that the sharpener comes only with a whetstone for 45 mm blades. Size 28 mm and 60 mm whetstones are available separately.

The blue part inside the sharpener is the whetstone ring with the coarse side up. The handle assembly is what I'm holding in my hand. It has two parts into which the used blade is nested, and then screwed into place.

The handle assembly is set into the whetstone ring, and the turner/crank is snapped into place. Slowly crank the handle - one second per rotation - 10 to 15 times. Turn over the rotary blade in the handle assembly and repeat to sharpen the other side of the blade. 

Then, turn over the whetstone, to the fine side, and repeat the process, cranking 10-15 rotations on both sides of the rotary blade. At this point, I wanted to handle it carefully, and used needle nose pliers to put the blade in my rotary cutter.

After wiping the metal dust off the blade, I put it in a rotary cutter to... 

... test the blade on an old t-shirt.

I found more than one blade still had a burr. 

So, I repeated the entire blade-sharpening process... mostly with success! 

The whetstone collected metal dust, so I used an old rag to wipe it off.

After sharpening ten blades, repeating the sharpening process on four of them, I saved eight of the ten blades! The refreshed blades are now stored in a specially-marked container, ready to use.

The two rotary blades that are definitely goners are in their own special case.

To me, this Turn-Sharp is worth the money because I expect to return most of my 45mm blades to a reusable condition. And even if I can't save them all, I will have saved enough of them to make the investment in the sharpener worth the price. 

Here's a 2½ minute video I made of the entire blade-sharpening process that I hope you find helpful!

If you use the Turn-Sharp Rotary Blade Sharpener, I'd love to hear about your experience with it. Linda

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this, I've always wondered how well they work!

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  2. I have an old Dritz Dual Rotary Blade sharpener that I forgot all about until your post! I don't have the fancy holder you have but do have the 'blue' turn thingy! Guess I should check out sharpening my blades again. I don't remember wetting the stone part but heck that makes sense! They do that for sharpening knives! Thanks for the post!

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  3. $36 seems like a good investment. It will be interesting to see how long the resharpened blades last and if they can be resharpened again.

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  4. Makes me sorry I have thrown away so many blades.

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  5. This should pay off given that you've rescued 8 of 10 blades. New blades are expensive, and I know I don't change mine as often as I should!

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  6. You just may have convinced me to buy one! In the end, I think the savings would be significant. Thank you for making it your mission to test and tease out all the possibilities!

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  7. I never knew such a thing existed. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. SEW happy to hear there's a blade-sharpening device that actually works, Linda! Thanks for the review (and video, too.)

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  9. I appreciate your honest review. Don't know that I'll buy one but I will certainly keep this all in mind. Thanks for going to the trouble of writing up this post complete with video.

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  10. I'm so glad you found something that works! Thanks for the review!

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  11. As a RRR person I appreciate learning of a way to increase the use of my blades. I'll have to look for this device. Thanks for the review.

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    Replies
    1. Hi! I am unable to reply to you because your Google profile setting is "no-reply commenter," but I wanted you to know that I'm glad you found this review helpful. I embarked on this journey as a way to be more frugal - to save myself the expense of frequently buying new blades. I will blog again in the future about: 1) how long resharpened blades last; and 2) how long the whetstone lasts until it needs replacing. I appreciate your interest!

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