Tormek – A different breed
In the 1970's, Torgny Jansson struggled to get the market to believe in his innovative new sharpening machine. No stockist in Sweden was interested, so Tormek came early to seek its market abroad, thus beginning the journey of what was to become a global brand.
A few years earlier, Torgny, a mechanical design engineer and keen hobby woodworker was frustrated because he could not find a good method to sharpen his tools. Where was the modern version of the Swedish water cooled grindstone that gave such a fine and durable edge? It turned out Torgny was the one to create it. Only for his own need at first, but being the rational man that he was, he thought that he might as well make a few more whilst he was at it. The extra ones quickly sold out among his friends.
The first model
The very first model was driven with an electric hand drill, which had a shaft mounted in the chuck. It could be attached to the grindstone in just a few seconds. The power drill was supported by a cleverly designed holder. The high rpm of the power drill was reduced by a rubber drive wheel to suit the low rpm required for a grindstone. Thanks to the innovative solution, the shaft could not slip and the design proved to be very user friendly and reliable. The patent application was approved! Now, what had been a hobby project had turned into a company along with a mission – to make sharpening easier for every woodworker.
In 1973, he founded Tormek AB (short for Torgny’s Mekaniska) to manufacture and market the machine. In 1975, Tormek began exporting to other Scandinavian countries and in 1976 to Germany and several other European countries. In 1981, the first self-powered model was introduced with the same reliable design as the original drill powered model.
The start of a system
The first version of the Universal Support was developed in 1984 and it came to be the start of the Tormek system. It could be considered as a simple design, but like most good innovations the ingenuity lies in the simplicity. At that time, all grinding machines had conventional, flat tool rests. Today, the Tormek design has been adopted by manufacturers of water cooled grinders around the world.
Setting a standard
Since then, Tormek has continued to grow and develop a range of products into a full sharpening system, unique of its kind. When the system was first introduced in the USA, the machine got top ratings along with headlines like "Tormek – The underdog" and "Tormek – A different breed".
Taking it further
Tormek has worked continuously to make sharpening easy and efficient even for the inexperienced worker. The initial natural sandstone from Gotland has been replaced by a vitrified aluminium oxide grindstone specially developed for water cooled grinding at low speed. Today the product range is the widest on the market and Tormek offers a complete sharpening system for all kinds of edge tools. The spirit of innovation and the desire to make sharpening easy and effective is still at the heart of the business.