Pros: Cheap and easy to use
Cons: Not for fine tool sharpening.
Everyone I can think of has things that need sharpening from time to time. If you are a homemaker you have kitchen knives that get dull and scissors that wont cut warm butter. If you are the Do-it-yourself type you can add drill bits that wont drill, masonry bits that wont go in that brick wall where your spouse wants a hanger put and your handy dandy all-in-one pocket knife. Then you can add those slotted screwdrivers with rounded tips that drive you crazy. Or how about when you need to put a new hinge on and have to chisel out a mortise for the hinge leaf with the chisel you have been using to open paint cans.
What you need, my friend, is something that will quickly and accurately make those tools you use have sharp edges again, or maybe for the first time ever. Well, Plasplugs has something for you. I have two of them and they work just fine for my routine sharpening needs.
Plasplugs 4-In-1 Power Sharpener Kit DSF425BX
I found the first one of these nifty corded sharpening stations at Home Depot a few years ago. At that time it only had the drill bit sharpener as an attachment and I brought it home. The second one was wrapped and under the Christmas tree a couple of years later. It was this kit with all four modules included. Since then I have bought a couple of spare wheels but havent had to use them yet.
When you open the package covered with a clear hard plastic overlay, you will have the main pod with a cord for 115 volt services and a small grinding wheel attached. In addition there are four sharpening modules to handle different sharpening tasks. Each module snaps onto the main pod so that they are all stored together. One module, the one you are going to use, should be placed over the grinding wheel. Setup is minimal, each module has slopes, holes, or slots appropriate to the tool it is intended to sharpen. Also included is a second grinding wheel for finer sharpening. The installed wheel is 60 grit aluminum oxide; the second is 80 grit silicon carbide. There is a small toggle switch on top of the module that starts the grinding wheel spinning. You place the tool in the appropriate place and the grinding wheel sharpens it. It couldnt be easier.
The Drill Bit Module
This is the first one I used and that machine still sits near my drill press. It is designed to sharpen standard metal working drill bits, the kind most anyone with a drill has some of. It easily handles sizes from 1/8 to 3/8. After placing it over the grinding wheel, you dial the correct hole to the front where there is a pointer. It looks like one of those pencil sharpeners that can sharpen various sizes of pencils. You slide the bit down into the hole, letting it turn as it contacts a guide so that the proper part is presented to the grinding wheel. You rotate it back and forth to the limits that the module lets you, then lift it out, spin it approximately 180 degrees and repeat. Its ready to be used. Each time I grab a high speed drill in that size range I run it quickly through this cycle before chucking it in the drill press. It just plain works.
The Masonry Drill Bit Module
I dont use masonry bits very often. The few I have are cheap. I couldnt believe the difference in drilling ability after running them over the Plasplugs with its masonry bit module in place. Now I sharpen a bit right after I use it and before I store it away. This module sits with the one for drill bits and is easy to put into use.
The Knife and Scissors Sharpener Module
This module will sharpen most knives easily and well. It will sharpen scissors, perhaps to a sharpness you never knew was available on your store-bought pair. I recommend you use the finer grinding wheel with this module. Changing wheels is easily accomplished and worth the extra trouble. In my case, the second Plasplugs has this wheel installed so I dont have to swap. Whenever my honey hands me her scissors or kitchen knives, they go on here. A couple of swipes are all it takes to make her happy with them again. My pocket knife sometimes gets this treatment too, although my better knives get treated to diamond hones and water stones for that polished edge.
The Chisel Sharpener
Many people who buy a set of wood chisels at their local hardware store have never understood why anyone would use chisels. That is because chisels usually dont come tuned and ready to use. This chisel sharpening module is for those folks. It doesnt tune a chisel but it will get the edge sharper than new and will resharpen it. I actually do use this on a cheap set of chisels I got as a gift and use for rough work in softwoods. I did tune them first, though by flattening the backs. I wouldnt let my good wood chisels near this tool, but then, Im a tool snob. For the handyman, its still better than nothing.
I have a lot of ways to sharpen edge tools. Some are used mainly for carving tools, some for lathe tools, and some for plane blades and chisels. For general purpose sharpening I still keep my Plasplugs handy. The tool is simple to set up and simple to use. No muss, no fuss, just sharper tools.