A Smart Way to Stay Sharp

| 12/24/2011 4:20:36 PM

 DuoSharp diamond sharpening stones Every woodworker I know is a fanatic about keeping chisels and plane blades sharp, and I’m no different. Although diamond sharpening stones have been around for years, I’ve stubbornly I relied on Japanese waterstones to keep my edges keen. No more. I received a pair of DuoSharp® bench stones from DMT (Diamond Machining Technology) a few months ago. Now I’m not sure when or if I’ll break out my waterstones again. Here’s what I like about the DuoSharp system: 

  • Compact. It’s great to have a sharpening system that takes up so little room. With 2 different sharpening grits on each 3/8-in.-thick stone, I’ve got coarse-to-extrafine sharpening capability in a very compact package. The sharpening “kit” I bring to a jobsite includes a pair of 2 1/2-in. X 8-in. DuoSharp stones, DMT’s non-skid vinyl pad and a stick of green honing compound. I rub the compound on a scrap piece of hardwood plywood to get the final razor-sharp edge.  
  • Sturdy. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of breaking a waterstone when I dropped it accidentally. I know my DMT stones can endure the impact of a concrete floor and plenty more. This ability to take a hit is another reason why the stones travel well. 
  • Fast. DMT’s diamond technology is impressive. These stones cut quickly, and each grit is very uniform, enabling you to move from coarse to fine honing with surprising speed. The stones can be used dry or wet. Spritzing a stone with water helps to clear the “swarf” when you have a lot of sharpening to do. If I just need to do some touch-up sharpening, I keep the stones dry.  
  • Low maintenance. I like the way these diamond stones stay flat and retain their sharpening effectiveness for a long time. While I can appreciate the ritual of flattening waterstones frequently to remove hollows, I really like the simplicity and speed of maintaining my diamond stones. I just rinse them off at the sink, scrubbing lightly with an abrasive dishwashing pad. A word of caution: Don’t rest diamond stones in the bottom of the sink because their sharp abrasives will definitely leave scratches. Put down a dishcloth or rag for protection.  
  • American made. These days, it’s not easy to find tools made in the U.S. I like supporting DMT’s commitment to innovation, quality and manufacturing here in the USA.   
John Ornberg
1/3/2012 4:05:40 AM

place a piece of 1/4 inch thick plate glass under diamond stones. no warping or bending. Another tremendous sharpening technique is called "scary sharp" There is a web site , you can google scary sharp. It is a method using a piece of plate glass as a flat surface and then using sand paper in increasingly finer grit papers. Process starts with 120 to 400 to 600 grits.. The final sharping is done with gits of 1500 and 2000 wet/dry. These papers can be had at automotive paint departments. When you are through putting an edge on a chisel with this process, it truely is scary sharp. The steel is mirror polished and touch up is simple.

Emily T-Y
12/30/2011 1:22:35 AM

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but these stones do not stay flat over time (they are much more prone to warping than people realize) and they wear out quite quickly in my experience. Their ability to hone is also not anywhere near a very fine grit waterstone. I used to work for one of the top American hand tool makers and I have used most sharpening systems on the market. My opinion? Stick with the tried and true: diamond stones don't live up to the hype over time.

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