Sharpening Carbide Lathe Tools – A Complete Tutorial

Sharpening Carbide Lathe Tools

Last Updated on March 1, 2023 by Charles Wilson

Carbide lathe tools are a staple in a woodturning shop because they are sharp. 

But there will be times the carbide cutters will chip on the ends, and they are, at that point, useless.

This is a step-by-step process of how to sharpen your carbide lathe tools using my own experiences and tips.

Let’s get started in getting a grip on your woodturning projects!

Key Takeaways

  • It is important to understand the different types of carbide tools and their specific uses to ensure that you are using the right one for each step of the woodturning process.
  • Proper grip is essential when using a turning tool. Cutting tools are crucial for producing clean, sharp cuts and avoiding burn or rough cuts.
  • The angle of the carbide is critical for producing a smooth cut on the surface.
  • Understanding how to adjust the angle when turning on one side of the wood is a key element in every project.



Woodturning is where skills in refining come in with your cutting tools & carbide lathe tools to work with wood properly.

A proper wood grip is essential to achieve optimal results when using your turning tool.

When practicing, search for videos that can help you with techniques on the proper grip and as well to help you master woodturning.

Emphasis on having the proper grip for it is an important aspect of woodturning.

When gripping the turning tool, it should move horizontally in both the left and right directions when it comes into contact with the grinding wheel.

It is a good idea to experiment with different grips to find the grip best for you, as it can lead to better results.

It is essential to control the speed of the grinder for a successful turning experience.

Safety Precautions to Remember

However, it’s important to remember that woodturning can be DANGEROUS if the necessary safety precautions are not taken.

Always wear eye protection, a dust mask, and the correct grip while turning.

It’s also essential to tailor your clothing to protect yourself from potential hazards. Preparing the wood before turning is crucial for a successful outcome.

Woodturning is a skill that takes time and practice to develop, so be patient and search for instructional videos to shape your learning process.

What Are Carbide Cutters?

What are Carbide Cutters

As a person who works with wood, we know the importance of having sharp, fine, well-maintained tools.

Throughout my life, we have been using a carbide cutter for all of our woodturning projects.

A carbide cutter is made from a tungsten and carbon alloy, and because of their extreme hardness and durability, they are perfect for various cutting applications.

The carbide cutter won’t let you down. You can use it for metallurgy and woodworking.

Additionally, they always generate accurate and clean cuts, which makes your turning and other related tasks much easier.

How to Sharpen Carbide Cutter Woodturning Tools

How to Sharpen Carbide Cutter Woodturning Tools

Let’s go over the steps you need to follow to properly sharpen your essential cutting tools.

  • Check to see whether your cutters need to be sharpened: If there is a lot of clatter or vibration when making a cut, that is the simplest method to tell.
  • Get everything ready: Traditional oil and water stones don’t work very well with carbide since it is so hard. We advise using a diamond stone. Sharpen the topmost layer. You don’t want to modify the cutter’s form by sharpening the bevel. This is true for all cutter shapes, including square, diamond, and radiused.
  • Clean up the cutters: Rub a few drops of lapping fluid after laying the stone flat. Place the cutters on the stone. They are circularly turning the cutter while applying mild pressure.

Why Do Carbide Cutters Need to Sharpen?

Why Do Carbide Cutters Need to Sharpen

As someone who works with carbide cutter woodturning tools, you know how important they are for achieving accurate and precise cuts.

However, like all tools, eventually, it can become dull from repeated use and exposure to heat.

When this happens, you may notice that the wood products no longer match and are as precise as they once were.

When the steel edge is inefficient, which can lead to problems such as chipping, cracking, and other defects in your workpiece.

Sharpening helps to restore their cutting edge and ensures that they continue to produce high-quality cuts.

By regularly maintaining a diamond stone, you can extend its lifespan, save time and money by avoiding replacing them, and produce work you can be proud of.


In conclusion, sharpening carbide cutters is an essential step to dramatically improve the performance and lengthen the lifespan of your carbide cutters.

Your carbide cutters will always be sharp and prepared for usage if you follow the essential lessons from this article. It doesn’t matter what brand the carbide cutters are.

While sharpening carbide cutters may seem simple, it is important to invest in quality tools, such as a diamond wheel.

Make this a regular part of your tool maintenance schedule. Your work and tools will both appreciate it.