Well, I am a latecomer, but I am really liking the edge I am getting with diamond plates. I have 600 and 8000 as well, but I found the Jnat working very well after 1200 and a final strop on 1 micron felt gives the edge a razor-sharpness that eluded me for a long time (on 52100). I am sure I will find the use for the other two stones.
Sorry to revive this thread, but I am very interested in how the 1200 diamond plate is working for you now that you've had a lot of time with it. The reason I ask is because the DMT ultra fine always seemed liked an excellent mid grit solution (no soak, no dish, fast cutting, no more lapping etc.), but they are so frowned upon (and I think for the wrong reasons). Also, I am thinking about going the same route and either just finishing on a strop, or maybe adding a natural finishing stone that will also sit permanently on my countertop for quick touch ups. Your thoughts are appreciated.
Also, what is your low-grit solution?
At home, I use 1.2K plate, 8K plate and 1M diamond spray on the felt pad (with a magnetic backing, over 11.5x2.5 DMT plate - perfectly flat surface and you don't need an extra base).
At the shop I sharpen on water stones as I have an actual sharpening station, with some stones in the water all the time, plus I grind to very thin at the edge, to under .005, so there is very little effort needed to put an edge on most knives. I use diamond plates for flattening stones, edge repair and reprofile.
For convenience and speed, nothing beats diamonds, particularly if you get knives in wear resistant steels.
I am hoping that DMT will come up with 8K plate in 11.5x2.5" as I find this length particularly suitable for sharpening and stropping, as you make fewer passes and thus your angle is more consistent.
I would say, go for it and remember to use the plate as a strop base. Fresh diamonds cut pretty aggressively even in finer grits, so ease up pressure while the plates are new. Once you round them a little bit, they will cut less aggressively. I have 600 grit plate but rarely use it.
I strop on felt, so I prefer to use diamond spray. Easier to apply than paste. If you don't polish the edge with a finer grit, you will get a pretty aggressive, but perfectly functional edge. It will be particularly suitable for slicing cooked meat.