sharpening equipment

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by OkieGene, Feb 14, 2004.

  1. OkieGene

    OkieGene New Member

    May 10, 2002
    I was wondering about sharpening equipment and making a little extra money. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge about this? I was thinking about something to do on weekends to make some extra money, possibly at flea markets or even while traveling while retired, etc.

  2. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    East TN
    I beleive the only way you can make any money is buying the equipment used. There is a demand but it is a small demand. Most people throw things out instead of sharpening (usually because they buy junk). I remember a truck coming to our neighborhood when I was young. He would ring a bell as he drove slow and people would bring their scissors and knives out for him to sharpen. I wprked at a small shop in the 70's and we sharpened lawn mower blades, knives, scissors, many other things including ice skates. It was a sideline as we were a locksmith/glass shop but it kept a small cashflow and filled slow time.

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    May 12, 2002
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    There is a possibility of sharpening drill bits if you are near a large industrial area, a man here, near Orlando does just that. His machine is mounted in a raised roof van, the elecrtical system can be self contained or pluged in at the site. He charges a dollar a bit and can sharpen up to 1 inch diameter at the shop site. This makes it convient for the shop owners to have good useable bits without haveing to send them out. The Blackhawk (brand) machine cost him $2,000.00 at auction but he recovered that in a couple of months.
  4. I don't think flea market sharpening would work. People wouldn't expect a sharpening agent and wouldn't have item to be sharpened with them. Also, can you sharpen while they wait, or would you need time to get all of the items done if there is a demand?

    I think the money in sharpening today would be for saw blades for contractors and craftsmen. Some people sharpen, but not worth a hoot. To get repeat business you would have to do an EXCELLENT job producing factory like sharpness.

    As an example, I purchased a high dollar anti-vibration table saw blade a few years ago.
    It leaves the cut smoother than a jointer would. When it is sharpened, if one tooth is not sharpened properly, it will destroy the usability of this blade for sawing and joining without further steps. The tip of every third tooth is rounded. Can you even sharpen the blade?
  5. Sharpening things is truly an art form. Most people that need sharp tools learn to sharpen the tools themselves. Knives, scissors, chisels etc. are actually pretty easy to sharpen. A cord wood saw is much more difficult as you not only need to sharpen the saw, you need to learn how to set the teeth.
    Most of the industry has moved away from sharpening. It is very hard to duplicate the factory edge without using the same (expensive) equipment the manufacture used. Everything from planer blades to saws has become throwaway. As an example, you can now buy single use disposable straight razors (if you happen to still shave with a straight razor)!
    There will always be a small market for someone who knows how to sharpen. Getting involved with several local restaurant kitchens might be a good source of a small steady income. If you are interested, there is a machine call a tormec that will get you into the game, although most people I know who do a lot of sharpening use small thin sanding belts as they are available in numerous grit sizes and are much cheaper to replace than a grinding wheel. If you intend to sharpen things like mower blades you will need to learn how to balance them. Chainsaw blades can be an excellent source of income but they are a science in themselves. Good Luck.
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 9, 2002
    I make a few extra bucks sharpening clipper blades. I won't say it's easy but its not that hard either. Helps if you use them to see what works and won't. There's some money in it, the blades are too expensive to not sharpen! Skate sharpening is another enterprise that pays in the right location. Chainsaw chains will pay too but you have to have good tools and be able to rivet them as well. I got my machine from a fellow who was a huge success in clipper blade sharpening, he makes them for sale now. I'll dig out the info if you like. Best part of his design is he used off the shelf parts for most and he makes the actual grinding plate himself.
  7. bumpus

    bumpus Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2003
    Right Here
    I tried a saw sharpening business 15 years ago and most people have stopped using hansaws not much business and not much profit.

    Handsaws also need a machine to set the teeth with correctly. More money !

    If you do not know how to sharpen you will ruine the saws.

    Equipment is not cheap even used.
    If you buy used equip. make sure it is not to old and out of date, so you can get replacement parts.

    Circular blades are cheaper to buy than to sharpen. Many are throw away blades which you can not sharpen with a file
    because of the temper in the metal. They can be dressed on a the right kind of grinding machine if you have one for $2.00 and you can buy them new for $3.00.

    Carbide sharpening equipment is not cheap $2500.00 and up. You will need a lot of business just to pay for the grinding wheels which start about $100.00 and up a piece.

    You can buy carbide blades for a hand power circular saw for $3.00- $4.00 a piece and throw them away because it cost more than that to sharpen them.