About all you need short of a diamond plate

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Review by jonah posted 07-13-2015 09:54 PM 3869 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
About all you need short of a diamond plate No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’ve been using these waterstones for about two years now, and after I put them away today I decided to write a quick review.

I bought the two stones for about $20 (800 grit) and $25 (6000 grit), plus the supplies to make a leather strop. I have sharpened plane irons, chisels, and even the odd knife on the stones. The stones have yet to fail me.

Waterstones are a bit messy, what with having to soak them prior to use and keep them wet while using them, but aside from that they are dead easy to use. Once you have a bevel ground (I use 60-80 grit sandpaper for that at the moment, lacking a power grinder), it takes less than a minute per stone to polish up the bevel. They cut steel a lot quicker than anything I’ve used before.

Given an unlimited budget, I would have gone past the waterstones right to diamond plates, but those things are quite spendy. For a total of about $70 (for two stones, a flattener, and the leather to make a strop), King waterstones are a good value as the core of my personal sharpening system.

You can do better with a Tormek, but that’s an order of magnitude more money than even diamond plates.

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2124 posts in 4147 days

4 comments so far

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3694 posts in 2655 days

#1 posted 07-14-2015 04:28 AM

What are you using to flatten them? Was at a Lie Nielson show last year and sprung for a set of there stones, no need to soak, spray some water on them and ready to go is what they claim and for the 10000 works pretty good but find on the 1000 needs to soak up some water for a couple of min. Much better than the two sided norton I had been using which is still a very good stone but needs flattening more often.

edit, when you go up to 8000 + no need to strop, mirror polish. the diamond flatten plate from Lee Valley is worth every penny it costs!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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2124 posts in 4147 days

#2 posted 07-14-2015 11:18 AM

I use the Norton flattening thingy. It seems to be about twice now as much as I remember paying for it. I want to say I paid something between $15 and $20, but it’s $30 on Amazon at the moment.

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347 posts in 3682 days

#3 posted 07-19-2015 02:19 PM

- jonah

I used to use that norton flattening stone but found it unusable. how do you keep both stones flat? my flattening stone was horrible and use the method of rubbing two together but it took so much material away even on my 200 grit stone that i said i was done with it. I also tried glass and sandpaper to flatten it but couldn’t get close.

I ended up getting a long diamond stone like maybe 11×3 at 120 grit and it is a world of difference to flatten. i got it too rough for fine sharpening and its even a little rough for flattening the 6k and 8k stones but it works well and is really great at creating a bevel or removing material. It was like $90 or something, not cheap.

-- Ben L

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2124 posts in 4147 days

#4 posted 07-20-2015 03:45 AM

I’ve never found my stones to be far enough out of flat that the Norton stone had to remove a whole lot of material. I try to spread my sharpening around the stones as much as I can, and they only ever get very slightly out of flat. I think I’ve flattened each one once or maybe twice.

If it’s really an issue, you could hit up Harbor Freight and see how flat their diamond plates are.

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