Opinions please (sharpening stones, etc)

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Forum topic by LucasWoods posted 11-03-2014 09:26 PM 2206 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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421 posts in 1332 days

11-03-2014 09:26 PM

What is your favorite type of sharpening stones for hand planes/chisels?

What is good brand or set of files to sharpen hand saws?

Then what are some of the items you prefer for restoring or maintaining your hand tools? (What do you like to remove rust/grime, and keep your tools looking good)

-- Colorado Springs, CO - USAF

16 replies so far

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 1336 days

#1 posted 11-03-2014 09:31 PM

Grobet makes decent saw files. I use Norton waterstones. I keep them in a Tupperware container. The stones not the files. :)

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View chrisstef's profile


17386 posts in 3006 days

#2 posted 11-03-2014 09:33 PM

For tapered saw files I like Pferd. Theyre available at

You can get a full set of Grobet files from Leevalley for around $55.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View LucasWoods's profile


421 posts in 1332 days

#3 posted 11-03-2014 09:40 PM

And any particular waterstones I read something about diamond stones?

-- Colorado Springs, CO - USAF

View JayT's profile


5632 posts in 2210 days

#4 posted 11-03-2014 09:43 PM

Sharpening—I’ve gone to EZE-Lap diamond plates, followed by a strop. I’ve used sandpaper and waterstones before and am much happier with the diamond.

Rust removal—Simple Green for grime removal. For rust, Evaporust works great, though with the success some guys are reporting using citric acid, I’ll probably try that next. It’s quite a bit cheaper.

Maintenance—simple 3in1 oil and Johnson’s Paste Wax for me, depending on the tool.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View Neptuno's profile


32 posts in 1317 days

#5 posted 11-03-2014 09:45 PM

I swear for Shapton waterstone, they cut fast, and wear slow.


-- We must all cross the line.

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 1336 days

#6 posted 11-03-2014 10:01 PM

I dream of Shapton stones. A full set. I also dream of Jennifer Connelly but I digress. I have the norton 220/1000 and 4000/8000 combination stones. The 220/1000 is disappointing. It wears too quickly on both grits. The 4000/8000 is decent. The 8000 leaves a mirror polish. I use a cheap nagura stone on the 8000 side.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View ColonelTravis's profile


1771 posts in 1893 days

#7 posted 11-03-2014 10:32 PM

DMT Dia-Sharp Coarse
Shapton 1K
Kitayama 8K
Big box of band-aids

Grobet saw files

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 1934 days

#8 posted 11-03-2014 10:37 PM

I use a 325/1200 DMT plate, then a 4000 Norton, then a 8000 Kitayama. That lineup works well. There are some different 8k stones out there, some for polishing and some not (I think). Look into that before you get one, though they should both do the job fine.

I would suggest an extra coarse diamond plate if you establish bevels by hand.

I have been known to use a strop too, when I feel like bucking the system. I would go into it, but I don’t even know which side I am on…

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Loren's profile (online now)


10397 posts in 3647 days

#9 posted 11-03-2014 10:47 PM

Use the Burns system developed by a luthier. I got into
it as a method of back-beveling irons predictably.

I use EZE-lap course and medium lapping plates and
a Norton 8000 grit finishing stone. I can’t recommend
it highly enough. EZE-laps are relatively affordable
diamond plates.

6000 grit or even 4000 grit is probably more than adequate.
With some finer steels I find the edges hold up better
when honed to 8000 grit. The fine honing helps
prevent micro-chips in the edge from developing into
cracks. The same principle is observable in a
classical guitarist’s fingernails, which hold up considerably
better if the finest edge chips are filed away and
the new edge buffed/polished. Maybe women with
nails notice the same thing.

View CharlesA's profile


3322 posts in 1797 days

#10 posted 11-03-2014 10:59 PM

There is probably more variation and different opinions on sharpening systems than anything else in woodworking. Oil vs Water vs diamond. Jig vs. hand sharpening. Powered vs. non-powered systems. Oh, and I almost forgot the whole scary sharp.

The best advice I’ve received is this: pick a system, any system, and stick to it. I use Japanese water stones, a Veritas MK II jig, and then a leather strop. I use the strop regularly, and that keeps the blades pretty dang sharp. If I had to start over, I might choose another system, but I’m not.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View buildingmonkey's profile


242 posts in 1547 days

#11 posted 11-04-2014 01:22 AM

I bought the water stones, takes forever to grind down a plane blade,bought a 8” Grizzly slow speed wet grinder, much faster and you still don’t burn the blade. And they cut great. Takes a while to get how to mount your blade to get the proper angle and square your blade. After that it is great.

-- Jim from Kansas

View retfr8flyr's profile


384 posts in 1668 days

#12 posted 11-04-2014 03:19 AM

I always just used sandpaper for sharpening but this summer I decided I wanted to try some water stones. After looking at all the options and the prices, I went with the Sigma Power set from Stu at Tools From Japan
I think his kit is about the best bang for the buck in water stones. I am still learning how to use them properly but I am very happy with the results so far and highly recommend them.

-- Earl

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3358 days

#13 posted 11-04-2014 02:47 PM

I’m another fan of the Sigma Power set. Yes, its a little on the expensive side, but it will probably last you forever. I rehab a LOT of planes/chisels and I switched to the Sigma from the Nortons. The Nortons were okay, but the Sigmas are faster. That said, these are not the best choice for grinding a new edge. For that, I use 80 grit sand paper or my Worksharp 3000.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View FellingStudio's profile


93 posts in 1682 days

#14 posted 11-04-2014 08:12 PM

Sharpening system … kinda like religion, everybody has a strong opinion …

Personally, I like oil stones because I can keep them next to the bench and there isn’t any mess in use. The big advantage to that is that its easy to sharpen a tool when it is needed (sharpen early and often, keeps your tools sharp). I picked up a couple of Arkansas stones from Dan’s Whetstones and love them. You need a soft and a fine (either black or translucent) stone. The two stones will run you about $100.

-- Jesse Felling -

View groland's profile


183 posts in 3411 days

#15 posted 11-05-2014 06:33 AM

I tried oil stones, but ended up with Lie-Nielsen’s water stone sharpening kit with a two-sided Norton water stone. I use a coarse DMT diamond panel to flatten the water stones and Camelia oil for conditioning. Following David Charlesworth’s sharpening technique in his DVD works very well for me.

Love that Lie Nielsen N0. 5 bench plane. What a sweet tool!


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