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Thread: Diamond plate sharpening questions

  1. #1
    Senior Member Chefdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Outside the Beltway

    Diamond plate sharpening questions

    I bought a couple DMT plates to test out and compare to my current stones. I bought the DMT extra fine (roughly 1750 JIS/9micron), and the extra-extra fine (4k JIS / 3micron). My other stones are Chocera 400, JNS 1K, and JNS synthetic aoto 3-5K. Knives are getting stropped on either bare felt, or BC loaded felt.
    So far, I really like the quality of the edge that I'm getting from the diamond plates. They're very toothy, yet will shave arm hair very cleanly. More importantly, they feel great cutting food, whether carrots, tomatoes, onion, doesn't matter, very nice feeling edge that's not too grabby or too smooth.

    BUT - It seems like the DMT Extra Fine, which essentially replaces the 1K stone in the lineup (and is just marginally finer) doesn't cut as fast as my JNS 1K. I know the JNS is a fast cutting stone, but I expected the diamonds to cut MUCH quicker, but I'm not seeing it at the medium grit.

    When I move up to the 3 micron/4K plate, I can get a burr much more quickly than off the JNS synthetic aoto.

    My goal was to move to the diamond plates to make sharpening quicker and cleaner. They're definitely less messy, but I'm not seeing a time benefit, although I do like the edge I'm getting. I would like to hear any comments on my ramblings, or suggestions. Also, for those of you who use dmt plates, do you think the useable lifespan of the plates is equal to good quality synthetic stones, or do they wear out faster? And what kind of pressure works best on diamond plates? I've tried ripping on them and just very light and haven't found the sweet spot yet.

    Thanks, I look forward to hearing what you guys have to share.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    New Zealand
    I have jsut finished replacing my full set of DMT's with waterstones. I have had the JNS for a couple of days, and so far I find it to be faster than my moderately worn DMT coarse stone, while leaving a finer/shallower scratch pattern. Diamonds cut very deeply, even when they are of a fine grit. IMO this deep cutting leaves needle-like serrations on the edge. They definitely are not good for polishing. The extra fine will become more equivalent to a 3-6k waterstone when it wears in.
    I moved away from diamonds because I got tired of thinking that every sharpening session wore out the plates out making them slower. Of course when waterstones wear they just get thinner but keep the same cut rate.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Keith Sinclair's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    I have a small knife sharpening buss.been picking up,mostly home blades,some culinary school,some cooks in the field.I have stopped using coarse stones for thinning dull blades mostly stainless knives.For minor chip or tip damage use 140 Atoma plate.Take out 140 scratches wt. 600 Atoma plate.For coarse grits I like the plates,no slurry to scuff the sides of the knife work fast.I personally use whetstones 1000+.A med stone will take out the 600 scratches.Often use a 4K or 5K finer stone to finish.Like to leather strop the edge for a nice polish.

    I do not use a belt unless major damage & alot of H2O.Power tool speed friction can mess up a heat treatment in a heartbeat.In my experience whetstones work better in the higher grits,as mentioned the finer grit diamond plates can cut slower but still leave scratches that can fatige the edge steel.I have seen many work knives with wasted edges fr. cooks using Diamond steels to try to cut an edge.I teach them some freehand & tell them to throw the D steels in the rubbish can.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Diamond plates are great for restoring a damaged or very dull knife, but they don't leave a really good edge. This is true of woodworking tools as well, where I have lots more experience. I greatly prefer waterstones for sharpening, I feel I get a better edge with less work.

    Nothing beats a coarse diamond plate, though, for grinding out nicks or removing that dull spot so often found at the base of the blade.


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