Tool Maintenance: Dressing Sharpening Wheel

Print this Page [print this page]

Buffing-sharpening wheels, also known as deburring wheels, are becoming ever more popular for sharpening and preparing to hone hoof knives. The FPD brand, or certain grit Scotch-Brite™ (a 3M product) wheels, provide an excellent method for sharpening or preparing a blade for final honing. The wheels are also useful for polishing and cleaning tools like hoof nippers.

In order to get the maximum efficiency and best results, plus extend the useful life of your wheels, the following good operation practices should be followed.

1. Mount your wheel in the correct direction as indicated by the arrow.

2. Never exceed the recommended operation speed of the wheel. 1800 rpm is ideal for working with knives.

3. Dress your wheel as soon as you see an irregular surface, damaged or flat spots or notice poor cutting performance.

Whenever you are using sharpening wheels or other grinding equipment it is important to wear a face shield or safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself.


1/4 HP Buffer with Sharpening Wheel on Right and Felt Wheel on Left
Sharpening Wheel has damage and uneven wear
Compare damage and wear to newer wheel
An old rasp is the only tool needed

With the wheel rotating at operating speed, use a hand held dressing tool. A used rasp works well. Slowly work back and forth across the wheel using flat, short strokes. It is important to keep the dressing tool in motion. Don’t allow it to stay in one place on the wheel for an extended length of time.

If you are using a rasp, you can start with the rasp side if the wheel is severely damaged or has excessively uneven wear. Apply light pressure only. Once you have come close to where you want the finish, you should switch to the file side.

Begin motion across wheel
Continue with process until wheel is even and damaged area is taken out
You can bevel edges if desired
Wheel restored to good working condition

When the wheel appears round again, go across the face with long sweeping strokes to ensure the level is correct.

Once you have restored a level, round finish, you can bevel the edge or edges if this works for your use of the wheel.

Please go to to see FPD educational videos.

Or click here to watch a video of this method.

[back to top]