Friday, July 13, 2007


Cyril Murray asked this question...

Hi from New Zealand. Do any of you mobile sharpeners have definite views on whether its best to provide power to your sharpening machines and lights from a small generator such as Honda's EU 10i or a power inverter and a bank of batteries? I currently use a Honda but would welcome feed back for next time round.

I have my opinion. I would go with the inverter and bank of batteries! It is quieter, cleaner and once you have all of the components, you can replace each as they fail. What I mean by that last statement is if a battery goes bad, I just have to replace a battery. If the inverter goes bad, I replace the inverter. If a generator goes bad, you have to repair or replace the whole thing.

This is my opinion. What is yours? Use the comment section below to share your point of view. Also I included some links to my favorite inverter and batteries in the post. Click on the colored words and take a look.


  1. As a mobile sharpener, I have used both a power inverter and a generator. I have found that an inverter, unlike a generator, is quieter, cleaner, and cheaper in the long run. I have an extra inverter on hand at all times, and if my inverter fails, it is a simple 6 screws to change to my spare inverter. If and when my generator failed me, that would mean I was done for the day to either repair it myself, or have it repaired, which in the long run cost me more time, more money and more customer frustraton. So in my opion, there is no choice...inverter all the way.

  2. I use 2 inverters and 2 deep cycle batterys. Set up to automatically charge when the van is running. I run all my sharpening equipment, air compressor, vacuum, soldering irons, heat gun, blower, and lighting. I have spent 5 hours in one location sharpening without recharging and have not run my battery pack down. Inverters for me. No Gas, oil or carbon monxide for me.

  3. We have always used inverter with deep cycle marine batteries. We find this to be not only low maintenance but affords more time to calling on customers and increasing the amount of time available for sharpening and sales

  4. Regarding sharpening a Sword Blade Shear on the Hira-To, what is the correct way to work the front of the blade since it is more of a steep bevel finish than a convex finish.

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  6. I have a basic inverter setup using the Aims 2500 and a single Sun Xtender battery. Results so far have been good but I'll be hooking up a clipper machine soon so that will be the real test. There is a lot of great info on the Sun Xtender & batteries in general here:

  7. I have used both over the years and the inverter is the way to go. When you have a long extention cord for ,the heavy jobs, you have the best of both worlds. Quite and also pleanty of power from the person that needs you most. I only had one person EVER not to let me plug in and that was for a very small job. Also with an inverter extended insurance is available and with the fail ratebeing high it is a good gamble.

  8. Thanks to those of you who posted a comment. No doubt about it inverter's won by a country mile.
    Cyril Murray

  9. I am using a 750 watt inverter with a lawn tractor battery. I have a charging/isolation circuit set up so the when my van is running it charges the lawn tractor battery and when the van isn't running the battery is isolated.

    I went this way because:

    1. I primarily sharpen on-site with a mobile sharpening station but,, I needed a way to sharpen when the shop wasn't ADA compliant (lots of those here in South Texas) or simply didn't want me to sharpen in the shop.

    2. With the price of fuel heading for 5$ a gallon after this next election, I wanted to use a 4 cyl minivan as my transportation. I am averaging about 22 mpg and this lets me keep my prices down below what the mail in and return sharpeners are offering here on the web. That way I am competitive on both price and convenience.

    The most I have sharpened direct from the battery is 3 shears. By the end of the third shear the low voltage alarm on the inverter was beeping if I put too much pressure on the wheel. I am looking at adding a 100 watt solar panel to the top of the van but with the 4 cyl engine I can probably run it while I am sharpening and still do OK. Especially if I am at a location where I am doing a lot of shears. Lets face it, if I have enough shears that I can make 75$ an hour setting in one spot,, I will make a very good profit even with the motor idling.