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Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

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  • Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

    This is a review of the Toycen Tradesman Tool Grinder, which I purchased 3 months ago.

    The Tradesman is a bench top tool grinder that looks like a traditional bench grinder.

    Instead of using stone wheels, it uses plated diamond and cubic boron nitride (CBN) steel wheels. The diamond is for carbide tools, and the CBN for High Speed Steel. A normal bench grinder has an AC motor turning at around 3,600 rpm, and the Tormek T-7 (which I have) runs at about 90 RPM.

    The Tradesman operates from app 400 to 4,000 rpm and uses a DC motor with a variable speed controller. The motor is built in Wisconsin.

    The upshot of this is a very controllable grinding and sharpening environment which creates little heat or dust. The wheels remove the material, so the only residue is the what you take off...not wheel dust. Heat is carried away by the ground material and you can operate this without water baths for quenching or cooling.

    The wheels show no sign of any wear after 3 months, and the machine is used regularly. I never thought I could beat the precision I could obtain on the Tormek, but the Tradesman is so smooth and so controllable that it really outshines the Tormek. I think the biggest difference is the overall smoothness (virtually no vibration), and the wheels run true in all dimensions, so no wobble and no bumpiness.

    Was recommended to me by a carver in California who replaced his T-7 with a Tradesman; said it was the best thing he ever did for his shop.

    Pros:

    Smooth, powerful, controllable, very little heat or dust, very quiet...can barely hear it running, virtually no vibration, 10 year warranty, can use my Tormek attachements and jigs, made in North America.

    Cons: More expensive than the Tormek, but having used both, the Tradesman is worth every penny.

    I would repeat the purchase without hesitation.

    I've included a pic of my Tradesman. The manufacturer has come out with a smaller (shorter) tool bar for the Tormek attachments and is sending me one at no charge.

    I personally spoke to the designer and manufacturer of the Tradesman and he said it was simple, he just wanted the best bench mounted tool grinder in the world, and nothing fit his specifications so he designed his own.

    The company website is www.cuttermasters.com, and the owner is Jeff Toycen.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Tool Grinder; 09-22-2012, 07:02 AM.
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  • #2

    Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

    Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

    And I thought the tormek machines were rediculously priced. Does it sharpen your tools that much better to be worth 2-3 times the cost?
    I'm only responsible for what i say, not for what you understand.

    If you can't fix it with a hammer, You have an electrical problem.

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    • #3

      Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

      Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

      Its the diamond wheels.

      Case in point a diamond wheel for my chainsaw sharpener is $300. The whole sharpener complete with traditional abrasive wheels was $300

      Looking in their (poorly designed) catalog it looks like the grinder is $1175. I imagine that's without wheels which could be $200 + depending on profile. Yeah.. its a pricey machine for sure
      Last edited by scooby074; 09-19-2012, 01:59 PM.

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      • #4

        Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

        Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

        I paid just over $1,500, and that's a big decision since we don't tend to think of something bench mounted as a capital purchase for our shops. But in the case of this machine it is well worth it, at least for me. I expect (hope) to be around for a very long time, so looked at this as a one-time deal. If I look at this as a $1,500 purchase that could potentially last me for the rest of my life, with wheels that I really don't expect to wear out for many years, then it's not an expensive purchase for what could arguably be the best bench mounted tool grinder in the world. At the end of the day it comes down to what's important to the user, and what this does makes it worth it to me. Also, it was recommended to me by someone I trust and I wouldn't have made the purchase without his recommendation. The machine is amazingly well built, and feels and operates like a well made piece of Swiss or German equipment. I don't regret the decision, so yes, to answer the comment....it does the job so much better than my T-7 that's it's worth the $1,500 price of entry....easily.

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        • #5

          Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

          Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

          Originally posted by scooby074 View Post
          Its the diamond wheels.

          Case in point a diamond wheel for my chainsaw sharpener is $300. The whole sharpener complete with traditional abrasive wheels was $300

          Looking in their (poorly designed) catalog it looks like the grinder is $1175. I imagine that's without wheels which could be $200 + depending on profile. Yeah.. its a pricey machine for sure

          scooby074.

          You are right, the cost of the diamond and CBN wheels is a big part of the price of the machine. It's hanging about 15lbs and a good $400 in just wheels, and the wheels are trued at the factory. Jeff Toycen explained to me that when they build the machines and hang the wheels for testing, if they are not perfectly true they are rejected and returned to the factory, so the factory that makes their wheels now knows that any varience over a few ten thousandths is a cause for a reject. That may sound extreme, but when you use the machine and it's running so quiet that you can barely hear it, and there's no vibration, and zero bump in the wheel then you don't think about the cost, just the results. At the end of the day you get what you pay for...

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          • #6

            Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

            Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

            I would be intrested to know what tools you grind on the machine and where you use the grinder in your tool sharpening process. Rough to Medium to Final finish ect. Also have you ever used a true industrial quality grinder to compare it to?
            Cheers, Mark
            sigpicToday's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut, that held its ground.

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            • #7

              Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

              Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

              TG, I absolutely agree you get what you pay for in most instances. My post was more informational about my experiences with CBN and why they add so much to the cost. I noticed in the catalog, that this company seems to carry more products for sharpening machine tooling, is the Tradesman a new addition?

              As an aside, are the machines and wheels of Canadian origin?

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              • #8

                Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

                Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

                Originally posted by Mark in Burlington View Post
                I would be intrested to know what tools you grind on the machine and where you use the grinder in your tool sharpening process. Rough to Medium to Final finish ect. Also have you ever used a true industrial quality grinder to compare it to?
                Cheers, Mark
                Hi Mark,

                I’ve used the Tradesman to sharpen my chisels (regular and firmer), and gouges. All that I could do on the Tormek I can do on the Tradesman since it has a Tormek compatible bar. I use good quality tools, generally Henry Taylor. I also use the Tradesman to grind/sharpen my metalworking lathe tools, plus all the usual stuff you need to grind in a mixed wood/metal shop.
                I use the Tradesman to go from rough to finish, and to-date have not gone back to the T-7 to use the leather. I’ve used a big Baldor diamond wheeled machine, but it ran at 3,600 rpm and you couldn’t slow it down, so I don’t think it’s a fair comparison. It was a buddy’s shop machine and I loved the wheels but couldn’t stand the machine….just ran way too fast. I think the Tradesman machine is just a simple combination being able to vary the speed to match the work being done, the quality and composition of the wheels which deals with any heat/dust issues, and just the overall high quality of the machine.

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                • #9

                  Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

                  Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

                  Originally posted by scooby074 View Post
                  TG, I absolutely agree you get what you pay for in most instances. My post was more informational about my experiences with CBN and why they add so much to the cost. I noticed in the catalog, that this company seems to carry more products for sharpening machine tooling, is the Tradesman a new addition?

                  As an aside, are the machines and wheels of Canadian origin?

                  Hi scooby074....I know the machine is made in Ottawa and the motor comes out of Wisconsin. I looked at their website before I called and then purchased, and yes it looks like mostly machine tool sharpening. I think the Tradesman has been in the market about 6 months, at least that's when my buddy in California got his and he's an "early adoptor" of new equipment. Since I have a mixed shop of course I was like a kid in an expensive candy store, and if the Tradesman works out (so far so good), then I'm going to take a look at their end mill sharpening system (Cuttermaster Professional) which uses the same motor and variable speed control's as the Tradesman.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

                    Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

                    Ottawa eh... hmm.... what woodworking retailer has a machine shop and assembly plant in Ottawa.. hmmm

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                    • #11

                      Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

                      Re: Toycen Tradesman Benchtop Tool Grinder Review

                      Folks. Just wanted to give some additional feedback on my Tradesman.

                      Still running strong and still no wear on the plated wheels. Used daily, sometimes hard use. By now I would have already gone through at least one conventional wheel. The plated wheels are 100% the way to go...

                      Scooby074 mentioned the catalog was poorly done, and I agree, but I just received a new catalog in my e-mail and it's much better. They have also added a belt attachment, and the price of the machine I bought is down about $300 (economies of scale?).

                      The site is www.cuttermasters.com

                      After almost 6 months of almost daily use I'm still very pleased with the Tradesman. Will give more feedback in a few months.

                      Happy Holidays,

                      Tool Grinder

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