What Grit CBN Wheel for Lathe Tools? (Wood Surfacing)

When it comes to sharpening lathe tools, few can match the efficiency of CBN grinding wheels. But people often find it confusing to pick the right grit variation for their tools.

So, what grit CBN wheel for lathe tools?

Woodworkers mostly prefer 180grit CBN wheels for their everyday sharpening. If you’re someone who occasionally uses small scrapers, an 80grit CBN wheel should be enough. You can aim for better precision with 350 grits or even higher grits.

Looking for more insight into this topic? We’ve got you covered! Take a minute to learn more about the grit variations of CBN wheels.

What are CBN Wheels?

CBN grinding wheels are made of abrasives that were used for industrial applications for many years. With the rise of individual woodworkers and toolmakers, the grinding wheel adapted a smaller form.

What sets it apart from a regular grinding wheel is its faster grinding and durable body. You’ll require less time to grind a tool using CBN wheels than a standard grinding wheel.

Regular grinding wheels can’t provide a consistent density around the wheel. This makes it hard to balance the tool against it. They also wear down with regular usage pretty quickly, making them less precise. 

Proper dressing can improve the balance of a grinding wheel. Try these quality grinding wheel dressers for your wheels-

Dressing new grinding wheels will make the rough edges smoother and get a better balance.

Unlike regular wheels, CBN wheels have a constant roundness and have perfect balance. It doesn’t wear down thanks to its nearly diamond-like hard surface particles. They are highly resistant to abrasion and maintain their sharp edges for efficient sharpening.

Such consistent smoothness around the CBN wheel helps it sharpen tools without overheating them.

CBN Wheel Grits for Different Lathe Tools

what grit cbn wheel for lathe tools

Due to their compact foundation and durable build, CBN grinding wheels are popular among woodworkers.

The CBN grinding wheel is available in different grits for specific uses. This includes 80,180, 350,600, and even 1000 grits. We don’t need the 1000 grits for cutting lathe tools. Those are for heavy industrial uses.

However, we do have to work with the other grits for shaping different tools. Let’s understand how each grit works for different lathe tools-

80 Grit 

When it comes to sharpening turners and scrapers, the best CDN wheel for you should be the 80grit. It’s well suited for lightweight lathe tools that don’t require sharp edges. You can shape your scrapers and turners using the 80grits.

Looking for sturdy wood scrapers? Here are some wood scrapers that we recommend you to use-

These wood scrapers are lightweight, making them easy to use and scrape faster.

The 80 grit is used for rough-shaping tools. It’s perfect for forming a profile as well as raising a burr on scrapers. 80 grit CDN wheel is very handy for making your own sets of tools. 

180 Grit

Perhaps the most common among the rest, the 180-grit CDN wheel is perfect for everyday use.

Not only does it grind faster, but it also has a rounded edge, offering more functionality. The round edges around the wheel help the user get a better sharpening angle.

For standard grinding wheels, the user has to pivot the tool to adjust to the wheel. But with the rounded edge of the 180 grit CDN wheel will push the tool itself. You can perfectly sharpen round-nosed scapers and other tools with rounded ends with this.

Its consistency makes it a great tool for smoothing files for sharpening ripping chains.

The 180 grit is primarily used for sharpening tools to give it a smooth edge. It cuts fast and smoothly thanks to its uniform ‘’teeth’’ around the wheel. They are good for moderate reshaping and smoothing the edges of lathe tools.

350 Grit Or Above

We’re now moving into sharp object territory with this. Previously, we talked about 80 and 180grit CDN wheels that were good for shaping light tools. However, they are not good enough for shaping tools that require stark outlines.

Here’s where the 350-grit or higher grit wheels come into play. They possess a much better and uniform exterior. The 350 and 600grit grinds significantly faster than their predecessors.

350-grit wheels are mostly used for sharpening gouges for rough-shaping platters and shoulder planes. On the other hand, the  600 grit wheel is the perfect tool for giving finishing cuts.

There are some tools that need to have a smooth surface with no tear-out. The 600grit comes with a protruded flat side. This helps a lot when smoothening the flat side of a skew chisel.

There are many brands that make chisels that are designed to withstand long usage. We’ve put a list of some top-quality chisels you might want to pick for woodworking-

Pick up your favorite chisel and enhance your woodworking experience!

4-in-1 CBN Wheels

This is the top pick for most professional woodworkers. Thanks to its massive versatility. The 4-in-1 CBN comes in a quite similar outline as the 600grit CBN wheels. But it also has a rounded edge that can be found in 180-grit CDN wheels. 

If you’re a woodworker who shifts between sharpening and smoothing tools regularly, you need the 4-in-1.

CBN wheels provide proper sharpening for your lathe tools. Thanks to that, you can now have sharp tools to cut an equilateral triangle off wood!

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is it possible to grind carbide with CBN wheels?

Answer: Yes, CBN wheels can grind carbide tools thanks to their compact and durable build. Doing this can wear out the CBN wheel to some extent. But it’s capable enough to slice through carbide.

Question: Do CBN wheels last long?

Answer: Depends on the workload. A CBN wheel can last a lifetime compared to other wheels. They are durable and fall a little short behind diamonds when it comes to being durable.

Question: Can you sharpen knives with CBN wheels?

Answer: You can sharpen your knives as well as other similar tools with CBN wheels. CBN wheels will provide a superior edge to your knives as well as top-notch sharpening.

Final Words

We now have a clear understanding of what grit CBN wheel for lather tools to pick. To get the best value, choose the grit based on your regular needs. 

That brings us to the end of this article. Have a great day!

Kevin Smith

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