what to look for in diamond cutting stones

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Forum topic by Holbs posted 12-03-2012 06:32 PM 1433 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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841 posts in 1033 days

12-03-2012 06:32 PM

It’s amazing how one thing leads to another.
I’m learning as i go. I looked at a majority of “projects” here on LJ, especially workbenches. 95% of then have mortises / tenon joints. So i decided, i best learn the how-to’s of joinery. I bought the joinery book (i forget the author’s name), in one of my previous forum posts.
I needed chisels. Thinking to get a cheap set, at start, and buy the quality ones later… i bought the dewault 4piece chisel set at HD. Oddly, they are made in sheffield, england (not china) where another name brand set of chisels are made. I bought some 4/4 poplar to use at experimental / teaching by hand, pieces. I do have an “all trade” bench grinder. Now, i believe the last part i need (next to a mallet) are diamond cutting stones. DMT seems to be the poplar favorite. However, I live in northern Nevada. And one client I have also does diamond cutting stones. EZE LAP. They are local and I always love to support the local folk. From comparing prices, EZE LAP seems to be cheaper. Maybe because different dimensions. For chisels, they have a credit card sized diamond stone (handy). And the 8” version for I guess planer / jointer blades, with some chisel and planer attachments.

Since i have no idea what separates diamond cutting stones from one place to another, what makes one brand more attractive than the other? price? dimensions? the properties of the stones themselves?
for anyone interested to see the products / pricing: EZE LAP

*disclaimer: i do not work for these guys or anything. they are just local and i support local folk. plus, i can just drive over and pick up the stones in person :)

15 replies so far

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

2454 posts in 1238 days

#1 posted 12-05-2012 11:34 PM

The best thing is to get one of their small diamond plates and try it out. If it cuts well for it’s grit, the only other thing is durability.
I personally ordered DMT plates from:!D8.htm
because after much research, they had the best price for the whole set.
If you can learn the holding technique to get and keep consistent angles, then good for you. I’ve become so picky about precise edges that are quick to get, that I rely on Veritas Mark II blade holder. In just a few seconds you can renew the razor edge because the angle isn’t being changed from hone to hone.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

1955 posts in 1926 days

#2 posted 12-06-2012 01:21 AM

I was wondering what a “diamond cutting stone” was. I see you mean a diamond sharpening “stone”....I think.

-- "Just my opinion, I may be right"

View JNP's profile


106 posts in 1581 days

#3 posted 12-06-2012 01:28 AM

Check Amazon for the DMT Duosharp system. Very good prices and seems to be a great system.

Simplicity is key for me..whatever provides the best result with the least amount of fuss.

-- Jeff

View Holbs's profile


841 posts in 1033 days

#4 posted 12-06-2012 02:45 AM

Jim: you are right. not ‘cutting stones’ but ‘sharpening stones’.
JNP: I do like DMT’s as they seem to be the #1 popular way to go. I only remembered Eze Lap because i worked on their phone system 10years ago, locally here in northern nevada. I’ll give them a 1st shot.

I’ll also probably make a jig for the planer / jointer blades that i have seen here on LJ’s project pages.

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 1150 days

#5 posted 12-06-2012 02:48 AM

Paul Sellers is a big fan of the EZE Lap stones. They seem to work spectacularly well for him. I’m pretty sure you’ll be more than happy with them.


View RobynHoodridge's profile


126 posts in 1333 days

#6 posted 08-05-2013 03:36 AM

There’s an important component to this inquisition that i see VERY little information on.
Grit size and durability are in fact not the only considerations. How (uniformly) flat the plate / stone is is also important. Especially for chisels which is what’s being asked about here. Because a very flat face on a chisel is important. See this vid by Rob Cosman:
I have no good knowlege on specifics myself. So i’ll contribute all i can which is a specific question or two.
Is any diamond plate flat enough for woodworking uses, or should i be comparing between brands?
Has anyone experienced a diamond plate that wasn’t flat enough?

-- Never is longer than forever.

View 7Footer's profile


1747 posts in 952 days

#7 posted 08-08-2013 03:51 PM

I don’t really know what makes one DMT better or worse than another, but I just got this set last week and so far so good, each stone is 6”x2” and the grits are 325, 600, and 1200 mesh, and the Amazon reviews are great. I think one more around 3000 would be nice, but for sharpening newbs like myself I am happy with having 3 good sized stones for $79. I used them to sharpen a couple of plane blades the other night and I was able to shave my arm after about 6 minutes (maybe 2 min on each stone). For chisels these stones would be ideal, for larger plane blades I think that I need to build a little sharpening platform, the box is a little small and makes it sort of awkward when the blade is in a honing guide (BTW honing guide on sale at Woodcraft right now for $9.99, see StumpyNubs review from yesterday), but again 3 stones for that price is a good start imo. I bought these because everyone says that with DMT’s you never have to worry about wear, they always stay true and last for a long time.

Those 3 stones from Eze-lap would be about $100.

DMT (3) 6-inch Whetsones In Hardwood Case

-- Known agitator --

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2651 days

#8 posted 08-08-2013 04:24 PM

I have a EZE-LAP plates and they are as flat as needed. They
are warranted so if you get one which isn’t flat you can
send it back. I doubt it happens much if at all.

If you bear too hard on diamond stones the diamonds
can dislodge. I’ve read about knife guys going through
diamond stones pretty fast but I think that’s because
they are hurrying a tedious knife lapping process by
pressing real hard.


View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 1290 days

#9 posted 08-08-2013 04:34 PM

OK, I just added the DMT set to my Wish List on Amazon as my wife is always asking what I want for birthday, Christmas, etc. I’ve never used a diamond stone. The little circles of abrasive kind of scare me. It looks like it would be bumpy. Do you use these the same way you’d use a “regular” sharpening stone?

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5780 posts in 2589 days

#10 posted 08-08-2013 07:43 PM

I don’t do mortice and tennon jpoints unless I really have to then I make small things usually with dowels all with help from my 3 sons of course muscle is cheap in our household l.o.l. I bought full standing floor standing I should say a lapping/grinder machine with a worn out diamong encrusted wheel.I suspect that is why I got the machine at a low cost of approx with local auctioneers funding plus 20% v a t etc about £100 anyway fortunately I
had a smaller wheel as an eight inch diamond grinding wheel would have cost quite a few hundred plus.I am currently going to use it with a four inch wheel with face encrustated as opose3d to eight inches with edge only I think I will be fine.KIndest regards Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View 7Footer's profile


1747 posts in 952 days

#11 posted 08-08-2013 08:32 PM

Yeah Charlie you use them the same way, it says you can use them dry or with water, I prefer spritzing them with a little water but who knows maybe that will change as I use them more.

-- Known agitator --

View Mosquito's profile


6363 posts in 1296 days

#12 posted 08-08-2013 08:42 PM

I’ve used DMT Duo Sharp (double sided, 3”x10”) diamond stones for sharpening for a while. I don’t really like the holes in the duo sharps when it comes to smaller chisels. They have a tendency to catch edges in the holes, so I would recommend against that if you use and sharpen 1/8” chisels.

I’ve recently switched to an EZE-lap instead, since I primarily just use the 1200grit, and then go to a water stone.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist -

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

2454 posts in 1238 days

#13 posted 08-08-2013 10:49 PM

Charlie, I have the DMT solid plates 8×3 and they eliminate the problem of small tools falling between the dots. I spritz them with soapy water which lubes and keeps the particles floating away. Not necessary, but a luxury. I’ve been very happy with my set except the finest which needs more breaking in I guess. It doesn’t polish like I expected, so a leather strop with micro chromium compound puts the final polish on very quickly. I can’t get close enough to hair to see if it is sharp, the hair sees it coming and runs away!
This place had the best prices when I looked.!D8.htm


-- Dan Krager, Olney IL

View Holbs's profile


841 posts in 1033 days

#14 posted 08-09-2013 01:44 AM

I was lucky enough to work inside of EZE-Lap and meet all the people. They were kind enough to give me about 7 plates, some portable sharpening ones, and even a planer / jointer sharpening stone (where you do not have to remove the blades to sharpen…. handy). And I watched the process of how diamond stones are made which in itself was pretty interesting.
What makes 1 diamond stone manufacturer different from another? At least in the EZE-Lap vs DMT, EZE-Lap uses a different poly crystalline particle than DMT, which is cheaper and maybe 3% less effective. When I researched pricing a year ago, DMT’s were 30% spendier than EZE-Lap stones.
I did advise the vice-prez to come to LJ’s and do a intro, maybe even some forum pricing discount. Has not happened :(

View RobynHoodridge's profile


126 posts in 1333 days

#15 posted 08-09-2013 04:43 AM

Thanks to those who have talked about flatness after my questions.
Seems that flatness should never be an issue in a diamond plate made by any of the big names we’d all recognise.
Makes me wonder about the names we wouldn’t recognise. Partly because i’m cheap. And partly because of availability where i am. For example, even when i added some name-brand diamond plates to my amazon basket it returned a “product can’t be delivered to your locaction” message. While some of the very cheap alternatives (talking less than $8 for the “same” thing that DMT want ~$60 for) CAN deliver. So all the confirmation on big name products is nice, but has anybody tried an el-cheapo product?
Someone in the herd has to test new waters every now and then, else the whole herd might be missing entire watery worlds just our of habits range. Maybe these cheap plates are just as flat? I’m usually the zebra that pokes her head out. And i usually get my head bitten off. So i’m at least trying to look both ways before i cross. If there’s anyone who’s tried a cheap plate, i’d love to hear about how the grass tastes on that side of the road before i splash out on greater shipping costs than the product is actually worth. :S

-- Never is longer than forever.

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