A Smart Way to Stay Sharp

Reader Contribution by Tim Snyder
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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
  • 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
  • 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.