Diamond stone sharpening

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Forum topic by 12strings posted 07-17-2012 04:48 PM 4501 views 1 time favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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434 posts in 2408 days

07-17-2012 04:48 PM

Does anybody use diamond stones exclusively for sharpening? (ie, not following up with a waterstone).

Why is this not more common, Is it that diamond stones just don’t come in fine enough grit, and so real stones can polish the edge higher for a longer-lasting edge?

I am thinking of going through the diamond-stone grits first for speed, and then finishing up on one 6000 or 8000 waterstone? Is this a good plan?

I currently have zero real stones, just a 4-sided diamond stone (200-600grit) that I use for chisels and plane irons. I then smooth on an unfinished, yet smooth, side of granite. It works ok, and I can get some whispy shavings, but I’m thinking I can do better.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

16 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3672 days

#1 posted 07-17-2012 05:14 PM

I’d recommend going to 1000 or 1200 grit waterstone and
then to a 4000 or 6000 grit. 8000 is nice but they are
costly and in practical terms there’s not much difference
in the cutting quality of the edge you can get, just the
level of polish. Maybe it does last longer. I mostly use
my 8000 stone for polishing but that’s because it’s bigger
than my 6000.

View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 2408 days

#2 posted 07-17-2012 05:25 PM

But wouldn’t a diamond stone that is around 1,000 grit be faster, and cheaper? if you finish up on the high-grit water-stone, does it really matter what comes before it?

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3672 days

#3 posted 07-17-2012 06:23 PM

I dunno. Waterstones cut pretty fast. I got my stuff many years ago
before the diamond stones were perfected. My diamond stones
are older and they cut slower now than they did when new.

I can’t comment on the current generation of diamond stones vs.

In terms of what type stones you use before the polishing stone,
no, or at least not much.

View ksSlim's profile


1276 posts in 2914 days

#4 posted 07-18-2012 03:09 AM

I use DMT diamond plates. XCoarse to remove minor nicks, Coarse to establish bevel, Fine, Xfine, and XXfine to refine the edge followed by a few passes on a strop.

I used oil and water stones for years until DMT made diamond plates that are affordable and effective.
No oil mess and very little involved. But the biggy is, I’ve never had to flatten a diamond plate.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 2408 days

#5 posted 07-18-2012 01:40 PM

The no-flattening is what makes me lean toward this method. I can’t think of a good reason to buy more than either one stone or strop or something really fine to finish off the edge after the diamond stones.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View planeBill's profile


506 posts in 2433 days

#6 posted 07-18-2012 11:52 PM

Isn’t the new xx fine DMT 8000 grit equ? I use oil and diamond stones and a strop.

-- I was born at a very young age, as I grew up, I got older.

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2657 days

#7 posted 07-22-2012 02:08 AM

I have three DMT stones that I have been using for the past year. Coarse (when needed), Fine, XFine then finish up with a quick pass on a buffer. Works well enough for me.
I’ve used water stones and scary sharp in the past. Both gave great results. However, the diamond stones work every bit as well without the downsides of constant flattening or buying/gluing sandpaper. I have 6×2” stones which are easily large enough for my chisel and block plane blades. My larger plane blades still get sharpened via scary sharp since I don’t use/sharpen those often enough to justify buying larger diamond stones.
I’d use oil stones before I’d ever go back to water stones. Unfortunately, good oil stones are pretty expensive. I think I paid $25ish for each of my diamond stones.

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)


4759 posts in 2375 days

#8 posted 07-22-2012 03:48 AM

I have a coarse diamond stone for initial honing only, then go to water stones. It really speeds up flattening backs too. So far I haven’t felt the need to get into the finer diamond stones, preferring to spend my money on water stones. I also like to use the diamond stone to flatten my water stones. The 2 seem to go together.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2310 days

#9 posted 07-22-2012 04:58 AM

I have the DMT Diasharps up to 8000 grit and they’re all I use (aside from a leather strop at the end). Very happy with them for all my sharpening needs.

-- John, BC, Canada

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3072 days

#10 posted 07-22-2012 10:10 AM

I use sand paper and I was going to switch to diamond stone until I read a review last week saying that the DMT stones do not last (which truly surprised me). (i see that there is second part to the review, I did not yet read it)
So now I am waiting to see what I am going to do..

-- Bert

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Dan Krager

4033 posts in 2258 days

#11 posted 12-25-2012 01:30 AM

+1 on nwbusa. Very happy also, having replaced some of the best arkansas stones, a complete set of plate glass/PSA paper system, and a power honing wheel. Used with Veritas MK II guide it is SO quick and simple I’m still kinda blown away. There is a tiny downside. The xx fine (yes 8000 equivalent) is still a bit coarse for the crispy fine edges I’m looking for, so I’m soon adding:,43072
Cheap and easy, crisp and clean with no rounding over like with leather strop.
Merry Christmas!

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2591 days

#12 posted 12-25-2012 01:39 AM

I did some playing around with sharpening with the dmt’s today. Posted the results over on the hpoyd thread

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View PaulsenbyHand's profile


12 posts in 2013 days

#13 posted 12-28-2012 06:53 PM

I have tried waterstones and oil stones back and forth, with grinding, honing guides and free-hand. All good stuff, but it took to long and I always postponed my sharpening.

Now I have landed on the best routine ever (imo)
I use the dmt diamond stones, coarse, fine and xtra-fine (the extra extra fine 8000 stone I don´t use as it takes to much breaking in) and end on the strop with honing compound.
I use the old method where you free-hand a convex bevel. I learned it from Paul Sellers on youtube, and now it only takes me 2 minutes max to get a perfect edge on a chisel, or a plane iron. No fuzz, no hassle, so simple it hurts. You should really check out his (not really his, oldschool) method on youtube


-- David, Copenhagen, Denmark

View Odie1977's profile


7 posts in 1923 days

#14 posted 03-16-2013 01:19 AM

How long was the break in period?

View Odie1977's profile


7 posts in 1923 days

#15 posted 03-16-2013 01:22 AM

Just asking because I bought some DMT “stones” but I am not getting a great edge freehand. Might be my technique though.

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