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Item 03A21
Model MJ-817A

WoodRiver - Honing Guide


You can hone edged tools between grindings with this unique self-centering guide. Chisels and plane irons from 1/16" to 2-5/8" wide can be held securely in one of the two sets of stepped jaws. The...

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You can hone edged tools between grindings with this unique self-centering guide. Chisels and plane irons from 1/16" to 2-5/8" wide can be held securely in one of the two sets of stepped jaws. The accurately ground hardened steel roller glides across the surface of the stone to allow for a consistently fine edge.

  • Hone edge tools between grindings with this unique self-centering guide
  • Chisels and plane irons from 1/16" to 2-5/8" wide can be held securely
  • Two sets of stepped jaws
  • Hardened steel roller glides
What's Included:
  • (1) WoodRiver® Honing Guide
  • (1) Complete instructions

Articles & Blogs


The Rob Cosman workshop training program was held at the Mike Smrek Ontario, Canada workshop during the fourth week of July, 2014.  Woodcraft product manager (router bits, benches, vises, ect.), Brian Renner, was in attendance to increase his woodworking skills from Rob’s proficient instruction of hand tools. 

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Tools every woodworker can use, whether they’re starting out or stepping up.

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Honing guide yt thumb

The WoodRiver Honing Guide is a great way to get consistent angles when sharpening your chisels or plane blades. 

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3.14 out of 5 stars
77 Reviews
  1. 1.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Good for plane blades, not for some chisels

    The grooves for chisels are not designed for chisels that don't have significant bevels on the sides, or are thicker. It will not grip the chisel positively, because the chisel will not fit into the undersized groove. I can likely machine the grooves to a larger dimension, but since one side is curved, that will be difficult. I received this guide as a gift; otherwise, I would return it.

  2. 1.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Won’t hold the smaller Double Cherry.

    Works wonders on the wider chisels, but the alignment grooves are a bit small until the chisel is smaller than 1/2”. Then holding and alignment becomes a major problem.

  3. 1.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Not good

    You will never get a square edge. The irons do not sit flush or square. I should have gone for the expensive one. You get what you pay for!

  4. 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    woodriver- honing guide

    If you cant get a sharp ….and I mean SHARP...edge on a chisel with this guide......don't give up your day works great.

  5. 2.0 out of 5 stars
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    Ok but design seems odd

    For the price it's ok. One side of the tool where the chisel fits in is rounded not straight, so the chisel is not held very firmly. I thought this was a defect but when I went back to the store I saw they all had this issue. They are ether all defective or this is part on an odd design for an unknown purpose.

  6. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Good for plane irons, terrible for chisels.

    The wider set of jaws on top for plane irons works great and is easy to use. The lower set of jaws for chisels is crap. The angle on the side of the chisels and the angle on the side of the jaws work against each other and one side of the jaws is slightly curved (I'm assuming on purpose , although not sure why) so it doesn't have full contact. If both sides of the jaws were straight it would be vastly improved.

  7. 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Woodriver honing guide

    I read all the reviews, more importantly I needed a cost effective method to sharpen my chisels. I can say a few things. One, if you have a problem with the chisel slipping... find a different hoppy you are a wimp! If you can’t get your chisel sharp... what are you doing in a “hands on hobby”?! A little bit of common sense goes a long way! This tool is perfect!!!! Disregard all negative reviews, unless you are a wuss! Great product!

  8. 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Solid Honing Guide

    Have always free handed with excellent results, but decided to give a guide a try. Was impressed with the weight and solid build of this guide. This type (not brand) of guide has a mediocre reputation because the blade can reportedly rock while clamped in the unit. The fix for that issue is a simple one and can be achieved with only a file in just a few minutes. Used this guide tonight to sharpen a 2 3/8" iron for a No. 7 and it worked flawlessly. It held the iron securely, and I liked that I didn't have to think about holding the iron at the correct angle. Made repairing the cutting edge a breeze. Probably won't use this unit for on the fly sharpening, but definitely a nice tool to have in the my shop for repairing edges on chisels and irons. Highly recommended for newer woodworkers to get them used to the right angle.

  9. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Very good honing Guide

    I have read all of the poor reviews on this site, but I figured it was only $14. For me, this exceeded all of my expectations. I sharpened a 6mm chisel and a 2" plane blade in a matter of minutes. I have not been able to get consistent results with free hand sharpening. This jig gives me the consistency I have been looking for. Is this as good as the Lie Neilsen? I'm sure it isn't. But it is also 10x less expensive than the Lie-Neilsen. The jaws were flat and co-planer. I just used a large screwdriver to ensure the blade was tightly gripped and I had no slippage at all. One recommendation... Build a little wooden jig to help set your distances. I spent 10 minutes building one with the specified distances on the back of the package and now I can set any angle in about 5 seconds. It's worth the time spent.

  10. 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Looks Like The Manufacturer Has Improved Quality

    I was hesitant to purchase this honing guide based on the reviews here but the price was reasonable and I was ready to take a file to it, if necessary, to straighten it out. I didn't see any raised area on the jaws and my straightedge confirmed that the clamp surfaces were dead flat under where the plane blade would be. I have a new #33 bench plane that I will sharpen tomorrow. Today, I used the honing guide to sharpen a 1" Marples chisel that I have had for many years but still had the "factory edge" on it, which meant no edge at all. Using the included measurements, I put a 25 degree main bevel and approximately a 28 degree microbevel on it. I used 180, 220, 320, 500, 1000, 2000 grit wet/dry paper on plate glass as well as a 600/2000 combination waterstone. I now have the sharpest chisel I have ever had, with a mirror finish. I ran out of time tonight so stropping will be tomorrow. The honing guide worked great on both glass with sandpaper and on the waterstone. I don't see any shortcomings with this honing guide. Best $15.75 I ever spent. Thanks Woodcraft!

  11. 1.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Poorly made- worthless w/o milling jaws

    Because two jaws are not flat the blade rocks up/down when "locked in." Also the chisel blade must be more than 3" long to be gripped and still obtain the correct angle. I may try to mill the jaws flat and take out the convex curve on the one jaw. Taiwanese junk.

  12. 1.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Just buy one of the Veritas jigs

    The price is appealing but the jaws are so poorly designed and machined that you are not likely to ever get a square edge. The adjustment screw is so difficult to tighten that the blade will have moved by the time you get it snug. The wheel is too narrow and the jig will rock from side to side no matter how caredul you are, which produces a slant edge. Either of the Veritas jigs are better if you care about accurate honing. Might be a useful jig if you are sharpening a utility chisel that you don't care about but otherwise avoid it.

  13. 1.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    don't buy this!!!!

    This will not work at all, you cannot adjust it tight enough to hold your chisel without moving the angle setting, even then the chisel pops out. Totally non functioning, don't even think of spending any money on it.

  14. 1.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Not worth buying

    This is the first tool I've ever had to return and woodcraft gave me no problem in doing so! For $9.99 I figured it was a good buy and it would of been if it wasn't complete junk. I tried sharpening several chisels from 1/4" to over 1" and it doesn't hold the chisels tight enough so they move and mess up your angle. Also with the narrower chisels its hard to keep them flat because the guide roller is too narrow. I exchanged it for the Veritas and it is definitely worth 6X the price!

  15. 1.0 out of 5 stars
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    Not what I expected

    I bought this on sale. It has one 'square side' and one 'convex side' to hold the blade in. The square side is not square and thus the tool cuts the bevel that is not square. I took it back and they said it was a common problem. I worked it over with a file and got the difference to within a 64th of an inch, which my plane can correct, so I chalked it up to getting what I paid for....Buy the better quality won't regret it.

  16. 2.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Chisels don't stay in guide

    Chisels very easily pop out of the guide no matter how tight you make it. I'm regretting not spending the money for the Veritas. This guide is very frustrating to use.

  17. 1.0 out of 5 stars
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    cheap and it shows

    Use the product for small chesile and this a joke,even at the price.

  18. 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    good choice!

    very good guide.. but I think that a wider roller will be better for narrow chisels, like 1/4, 1/8...

  19. 1.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Not a well disigned honing guide.

    The guide wheel needs to be much wider. The narrow wheel makes it difficult to keep the chisel edge flat on the abrasive. It's very difficult to mount a chisel in the honing guide. This tool needs to be completly redesigned.

  20. 5.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Great guide made better

    Bought this guide on the recommendation of several pros. A little bit of filing helps improve the grip of this guide. There are several videos on the filing improvements...follow these steps and the guide really sings.

  21. 3.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    It's the right idea, but ...

    Basic design is OK, but with a few simple modifications it works perfectly. The two problems it has is holding chisels firmly, and its tendency to rock side-to-side on narrow chisels. I've attached a PNG to show the mods I made to it to correct for these deficiencies.

  22. 2.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Cheap honing guide

    I bought this honing guide because the General Tools honing guide (#03E42)I have couldn't hold my butt chisels. This honing guide was very poorly milled so that it is impossible to hold chisels. It does work well for honing plane blades. I should have saved the money on both and sprung for the Veritas MK II (#833173)

  23. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Good value

    Well built and heavy enough to withstand long use.

  24. 2.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Okay but poor design implementation

    Given the inexpensive price, I wasn't expecting much, but I was still disappointed that the guide wouldn't grip my chisels well (my Craftsman chisels were too thick). Since there is only one roller in the center, it is easy to rock side to side (a two roller system, while more expensive, would be much better). So, the guide is better than just guessing the angle (and so still worth a few dollars), but for just a little bit better design of the grip and the rollers it could be much more useful.

  25. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Guide review

    I have had a cheap plane and chisels for a while and new that sharp was always better. I noticed that I don't have the steadiest hand when honing or sharpening and have a hard time keeping the bevel so this jig has helped me out quite a bit. Plus I just got a better set of chisels and I wanted to practice on the cheap chisels to see if it would work. My plan iron is so sharp I took a chunk of thumb. Worth it though because it was sharp and not dull.

  26. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Honnn Guide

    Something I have wanted to use for a long time. Happy to finally have one,

  27. 5.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Does the job!

    Works great, holds the blade tight, doesn't brake the bank!

  28. 3.0 out of 5 stars
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    A good item for casual use.

    A good item for casual use.

  29. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    I would buy again

    Excellent for sharpening chisels, plane blades, etc.

  30. 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    I'm happy with it

    Having never owned a chisel guide before when this went on sale I bought it in the local store, since my chisels have not really had a sharp edge since the day they were new. Having never used one before it took a bit to figure out how to get it set up to put a proper edge on the chisels. While my first attempt was not a perfectly square point. The edges have never been sharper. For a beginner on a budget this tool is much better then guessing at free hand sharpening!

  31. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Sharp my tools

    It's very hard to make a good sharp edge without a tool like that.

  32. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    easy to use ,not fussy

    very simple to use

  33. 1.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Doesn't hold chisel straight

    Some of my chisels don't fit in the slots that clamp onto the chisel. The slots are too narrow for some chisels so the it's not held securely on not clamped straight which is pretty important when trying to sharpen.

  34. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Great and easy to use!

    I use this flat marble surface with multiple grades of sandpaper.

  35. 1.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    poor fit

    Does not fit straight sided chisels as the internal jaw surfaces are in line with the upper surface edges, no place to register the back of the chisel. Had to spend a couple of hours filing the internal surfaces back. Unfortunately reducing the grooves for beveled edged chisels.

  36. 1.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Very disappointed in the design.

    I was not happy at all trying to sharpen my chisels, the jaws would not hold the chisels properly which in turn gave inconsistent angles. It works ok for plainer blades but not chisels.

  37. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    An Accurate Honing Guide

    Just measure the hypotnuse of the set the blade to that length. I use 80 grit, 120 grit, 600 grit and polishing grits from 1500 and up. depends on the tool.

  38. 3.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Good product

    Sharppening Chisels

  39. 3.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    A good start for a honing guide

    works well without slipping, grooves to hold chisels seem too small and so chisels are hard to align and hold

  40. 2.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Will not hold small chisels

    I bought this to sharpen plane blades and it does that just fine. Works ok on a 1" chisel, but I had no luck with anything smaller because the small clamp area is not the right shape to clamp a chisel with square sides and tapered edges. The slot for clamping is for something with tapered but not square edges at all. Also the wheel does allow it to rock a bit with chisels.

  41. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    I own three of these guides, the best.

    I use this so much that I own three, one for shop, one in tool bag and one in work truck. Takes the guess work out of sharpening chisels plane irons and is a great time saver. Cheers/ Mike

  42. 3.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Not the best, good enough.

    It's somewhat inexpensive and works ok, the roller is too narrow so it rocks easily from side to side.It's a little hard to make the chisels parallel to the honing guide. Once you get it right, it works well.

  43. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    I would buy this product again

    Practic to use.

  44. 1.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    You get what you pay for ......

    Poor quality control results in two machined halves being out of plane with each other. Unit will not produce a chisel with a square edge if the device is out of square itself. Roller not wide enough to prevent rolling side to side. Great design but needs a few changes and it could be best guide on market for the money.

  45. 1.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Does not work with chisels

    This tool is very hard to use with chisels. I was very frustrated. Works fine with plane irons. I wish I would have found one guide that worked on both.

  46. 1.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    you get what you pay for

    Tried for an hour to get this thing to hold a 1/4" chisel and the only thing I accomplished was learning how far I could throw it. Several other reviews describe the same problem, noting that it does seem to work well with wider chisels and plane irons, but what's the point? I just have to buy another jig anyway if I want to use one for my 1/4" chisel. Oh well, I think I'll just practice my free-hand technique.

  47. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    good tool

    worked great

  48. 1.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Not a precision instrument

    I bought this guide at a Woodcraft Store and should have paid more attention to the quality of the guide. The halves are not square to each other or coplaner. The guide will not position a small width chisel for precise honing. Worked OK on a wider chisel (1 inch), but any chisel narrower than 1 inch was difficult to get square.

  49. 3.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    simple design, works OK

    hard to get square to jig

  50. 3.0 out of 5 stars
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    sometimes not as easy to use as i had hoped

  51. 5.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    It made my honing simple and accurate

    I used to sharpen my plane blades and chisels freehand using the existing bevel. Now I can sharpen them using the recommended bevel.

  52. 3.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Yes, but....

    "Complete instructions are included" means, in Taiwanese English, 6 sentences plus 3 small diagrams on back of packaging. I consider the marketing deceptive Takes awhile to learn to use so that roller does not work a furrow on a waterstone. I use it now as a jig to confirm my angle while hand holding chisels and blades.

  53. 5.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Very handy tool

    Easily sharpened 5 chisels

  54. 3.0 out of 5 stars
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    Don't judge a book by its cover

    It looks cheap, but works fine.

  55. 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Made the difference

    I always had difficulty getting a sharp edge on my chisels. With this guide, honing is finally doable by mere mortals.

  56. 5.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Great tool for sharpening planing blades

    Great for sharpening blades on Stanley planes using the sand paper method. It was really easy to set it for the angle that I needed for planing bamboo fly rod blanks. Made of strong materials and holds the blade tight while sharpening.

  57. 3.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Ok...but not great

    Doesn't hold chisels well. But does work once you get things clamped down. Easy rolling. Cleans easily.

  58. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Just in time!

    Good price, well made.

  59. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    It's a good buy for the $.

    I had some old, never before resharpened chisels, that I first worked on to see what results I could obtain. I was able to sharpen those chisels with little effort and great results. So, I am confident that I will have the same results on a newer better set that I just bought.

  60. 5.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Easy to use and works great

    Very simple to set up and easy to use. good price too.

  61. 3.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Hard to set chisel at right angle

    Difficult to get chisel positioned properly in jig.

  62. 1.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Poor Design

    The design of the clamp would not hold my standard Stanley wood chisels securely.

  63. 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    High quality, decent price

    Doesn't hold 1/4 inch chisels very well. Does great with plane irons however.

  64. 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Just works!

    The blade doesn't slip once its clamped. Makes sharpening much easier.

  65. 2.0 out of 5 stars
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    would hold alot of my chisel

    No comment

  66. 3.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Efficient product

    Trustable honing guide!

  67. 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    what I was looking for,inexpensive quide

    I have sandpaper glued to a piece of glass,80 grit to 1200, I use the guide for small hand held plane blades

  68. 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    This tool is great for helping students learn how to sharpen. They do have a hard time holding the chisel in the correct position while tightening the clamping screw. Other than that great for someone learning to sharpen.

  69. 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    this honing guide works great, its easy to use and cost a lot less than other honing guides. You will not be disappointed.

  70. 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Works as intended

    Works as it is supposed to, but it has a hard time holding a 1/4" chisel.

  71. 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    "This really works and is easy to use."

    The angle is easy to set up and puts a sharp edge on wood chisels and plane irons. I also use it to hold my 1" Oval Skew Chisel at the proper angle for sharpening. Works great and the price is right.

  72. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Great tool to have!

    Boy, this gadget works great. I have recently set up a scary sharp system and this is the final addition that helps me keep the angle just right. On narrow chisels (under 3/4") I found that if I put my first 2 fingers on top of the blade, touching the sandpaper, I can keep the edges perfect. On wider blades, I don't need to do this. In any case, this thing is really sturdy and super simple to use.

  73. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Good tool.

    The narrow wheel is a plus for honing the radius on scrub-plane irons. The chisel clamp dovetail should be deeper to allow narrow, fat (read HWI) chisels to clamp square. The weight and size is great for lapping the back of iron/chisel on the final lap while still in the jig.

  74. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    Works as advertised!

    I envy those that can sharpen chisels efforts have always fallen short. This honing guide has been a great help. I have been able to achieve good sharpening results that are adequate for my modest projects. [...] Woodcraft rocks!!

  75. 2.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    you ger what you pay for

    does not hold chisels right the clamping action makes it twist very hard to get flat on stone works pretty well on planes

  76. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    by on

    works on most chisels

    It is great for chisels that have the right form. Stanley chisels don't fit right. Marples fit perfect. Don't know about the rest.

  77. 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    A helping hand for

    in my home wood workshop

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