I’ve tried a number of solutions looking to keep my lino-cutting tools sharp. I use a variety of tools including Pfeil cutters as well as less expensive variations such as ABIG Lino-Cutting-Tools. I have done some damage in the past to tools using traditional ‘slip stones’. Lino carving tools are so much finer and require a finer sharpening method. So recently in my search for a good sharpening system I came across the Slip Strop made by Flexcut (US made) which, they state, is ‘an easy way for creating and maintaining carving tool’s razor edge‘. I bought the set on Amazon and it arrived a few days later. It is light weight, small and easy to carry and most importantly won’t break the bank. I paid around 16 Euro for mine. I always take my tools on holiday with me, just in case I have time to do a little carving on the side. This makes a perfect companion to my travelling set.
This is not a paid endorsement or anything like that, but purely a note of thanks to the makers of the Slip Strop and a tip for those of you looking for a great way to sharpen your tools. I hope this helps those of you looking for a solution to blunt tools. Sharpened tools make such a difference to the amount of effort required to cut lino and the accuracy with which your final plate, prints.
Here are a few images of the tool kit.
Here you can quite clearly see the profile of the wooden form used to assist in sharpening a variety of different blades. The block is made of wood and has been specially molded to enable polishing and de-burring the difficult to reach places on V-tools and gouges in addition to the outside edge bevel.
This is looking at it from above along with the Gold polishing compound. On the left-hand-side of the block is a piece of hide on which the tools are sharpened.
Below is a Youtube clip of how it works.
Hope this helps out those of you with blunt tools.