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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since the '70s I've been using 6" x 2" soft and hard Arkansas stones for my kitchen and pocket knives along with a few of those controlled angle kits like Loray, years ago and Lansky.

Some stainless steel knives would seem to take forever to get a nice edge and sometimes it could be frustrating by hand on the stones and even with the kits. I tried t he diamond Lansky and finally got tired of needing new diamond stones all the time. They seemed to wear out quickly.

Finally last month I broke down and bought some diamond plates. I'd used a cheap set from Harbor Freight for about $10 which served their purpose with an ax or two but only put deep scratches in most knives as the diamonds would continually break loose. I finally threw them away as I realized most of the diamonds were gone anyway.

I searched and studied what was available and found this company beat Amazon by enough for me to order from them. Ultra Sharp Diamond Sharpening Stones (bestsharpeningstones.com)

After reading a number of reviews, I decided to go with Ultra Sharp over DMT, both for cost savings and some reviews on quality control. Actually, I think either company would be fine. I also went with 8" x 3" plates over those plastic sandwiches they offer with the holes in them to accumulate debris. The plate holder, base, that comes with the set has been working great. I've noticed some need a hex wrench to tighten, which I'm sure you could also do with your fingers, but this one has knurled knobs that are very convenient and work well.

I ordered the coarse (300 grit), medium (600 grit) and fine (1200 grit) plates and couldn't be happier. After sharpening almost every knife in the house to levels I'd rarely seen before with the Arkansas stones I also ordered a Spyderco Ceramic extra fine at iirr 4000 grit to finish the edge and maybe polish it a bit. What I've found is it doesn't seem necessary and I think I may have been better served by ordering the white fine Spyderco ceramic stone instead. It's hard to tell if the edge really gets any better and seems to loose a bit of that scary sharp toothyness the 1200 diamond fine creates. For most kitchen knives, you could probably stop at 600 but the 1200 adds sharpness and and makes for a great working toothy edge.

After all these years of playing with stones and sharpening by hand I think I can finally hold a consistent angle and get a really sharp blade. The best thing is the time savings. It is really incredible how much time is saved with these diamond stones and with a simple wipe down with a paper towel, I've yet to leave a scratch in a blade. I wish I'd spent the money years ago.
 

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Py Yiminey, dem' tings hain't cheap!! But I'm sure it's money well spent.
 

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Papa kept his Arkansas stone and a ceramic electrical insulator, on the window sill, behind his chair, at the kitchen table. Every so often, after supper, a shoe box of kitchen knives was set on the table and he would go to sharpening. When finished, you could shave, with any of them.

I could never keep the angle right. So frustrating.

His Arkansas, was more of a figure 8.
 

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Like you I have and have used all types of sharpeniing stones, kits, ceramic and steel rods etc. etc. With my mostly Buck hunting knives and Case EDC knives I settled on either the Lanskykit or my diamond stones. I did however a few years ago found a rather large steel antique sharpenning rod. It''s unlike anything Ive ever seen before. It looks similar to a round file with handle but the teeth are very very fine. (Extremely fine). I originally thought no way this will work but i bougght it anywaay. Turns out I can put a razor edge on our kitchen knives in about 20 seconds. The knife edge is slightly rough if I look at it through a magnifying glass and though I've never noticed that it does,it likely takes off metal rather quickly but it'll shave the hair off your arm nonetheless. In 20sec. As I said I don't use it on my more $ knives but it really works good.
 

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I use a 3 stone commercial set up. The stones sit in a tray with cutting oil. I can kind of get my knives sharp, but i'm not the best. No way when i get done can you shave with them, but if you want you can cut yourself pretty easy.
 

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I use a 3 stone commercial set up. The stones sit in a tray with cutting oil. I can kind of get my knives sharp, but i'm not the best. No way when i get done can you shave with them, but if you want you can cut yourself pretty easy.
Does your stone kit have a jig to put the blade in to maintain the exact angle wiith eack slice/or stroke on the stones?
EDIT: maintaining the same angle is critical.
 
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Does your stone kit have a jig to put the blade in to maintain the exact angle wiith eack slice/or stroke on the stones?
EDIT: maintaining the same angle is critical.
Nope. I try to keep the angle myself. I know that's the answer keeping the same angle, but it's tricky. here is a pic of what i use; Rectangle Font Auto part Automotive exterior Fashion accessory
 

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Nope. I try to keep the angle myself. I know that's the answer keeping the same angle, but it's tricky. here is a pic of what i use; View attachment 247140
I have a set like that only in a wood cradle. I can't use it. I have a Lansky system that works pretty well on carbon steel blades but not so much on stainless. If a blade is really dull it takes a long time to bring it back and I'm bad about using a blade until it's really dull.
 

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I have a sharpening steel that looks like your standard pocket sized whet rock, as in rectangle. slick side for deburring. Have to put it on wood for bigger blades. Puts a shaving edge on anything in about 10 strokes per side depending on how dull the knife is. Took a little while to learn it, but once learned , man it does the job quickly.
 

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After reading a post on TFF, I ordered the Work Shop, Ken Onion Edition knife sharpener with all the attachments & an extra set of belts. I set it up on my work bench in my garage. I gathered up all our kitchen knives & all my pocket & belt knives which took two trips to carry out to the garage. In less than thirty minutes I was done. All my knives are more than sharp enough to do everything I need. I haven't tried to shave with them but I'm sure they wouldn't do as well as my 4-blade Gillette razor, that is when & if I decide to shave. My Lansky 5-stone kit does an equally good job but takes days longer & is more difficult to adjust to different length & thickness knives. I can probably get a lot of knives professionally sharpened for what I have invested in sharpeners but If I could pick only one, it would be Ken Onion Work Sharp.
BTW, I just finished dicing & shredding one head of cabbage, one onion & one green pepper for the best easy make slaw I've ever had with one of my freshly sharpened knife, what a difference. Tonight I'm going to see how well another knife newly sharpened will slice an onion & fresh tomato for burgers on the grill. Did I mention it's in the mid 80's here in central FL?
 

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I have a gray, whetstone I've since my teens. It doesn't look like the figur 8 seedy mentioned but it is looking like the letter "B". I'll start on a knife with it then go to the long, Case, 3 stone set mounted on a triangle of wood. I might or might not finish up with a crock stick. When I'm finished, you can shave with any of them.

My wife evidently got tired of waiting on me to sharpen her kitchen knives and bought her some kind of sharpener. I don't know what it is but it does a good job. A couple passes and I can slice a hot turkey or brisket or hot, home made bread. It doesn't put a saw edge on knives like some do and you can't shave with them but, it sure does an adequate job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
What I think prompted me to buy these diamond plates was cutting myself with a dull knife. Twice. I did it again just about the time the first healed and almost the same place on my left hand pointing finger. I was trying to simply cut open a plastic bag of cheese or something similar and when the knife failed to cut and slipped it got me. Both knives were ones I rarely use but were handy. One was one the kids use to cut pizza and was pretty dull.

I certainly know what it is like to not be able to keep a consistent angle. Years ago I wore a Buck folder out trying to learn of the soft Arkansas and now many years later that same stone has a dish worn into the stone. These plates wont do that, but over time they too will eventually not cut as sharply.

What is nice about them is how lightly you move the knife across them and how efficiently they cut with that light pressure. Soon you learn to finesse the blade and maintain the angle with the help of your off hand as you remember to raise the blade as you near the curved tip. Soon you actually enjoy this and want to do another.

It seems better for me to do repetitions on each side rather than switch sides after each stroke. That way you are paying attention more to the angle over and over again. There are many ways to do this. Some start out with 10 strokes on one side and 10 on the other, than 9 and 8 down to one. You could do 5 and 5 or whatever combination works for you. Eventually you will know how many it takes to get the knife to the level of sharpness you prefer. Doing repetitions on one side of the blade helps you to focus on the angle until it becomes second nature and you "get it". Switching back and forth each stroke makes it too easy to change the angle for me.

I start with the coarse on a knife that has lost its angle and then go to the medium. You could stop there but then I go to the fine and really enjoy the cutting edge it gives. This also helps my daughter whose hands are now weaker by her having to exert less pressure as she cuts things in the kitchen.

Jason Knight from Forged in Fire has a good video on stones and sharpening a chef knife. In another video he uses even finer stones. There are also a ton of videos on sharpening with wet stones and water stones for those who want to split hairs with their knives.BLADESMITHING | How To Sharpen Your Kitchen Knives | Basics - YouTube
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have a gray, whetstone I've since my teens. It doesn't look like the figur 8 seedy mentioned but it is looking like the letter "B". I'll start on a knife with it then go to the long, Case, 3 stone set mounted on a triangle of wood. I might or might not finish up with a crock stick. When I'm finished, you can shave with any of them.

My wife evidently got tired of waiting on me to sharpen her kitchen knives and bought her some kind of sharpener. I don't know what it is but it does a good job. A couple passes and I can slice a hot turkey or brisket or hot, home made bread. It doesn't put a saw edge on knives like some do and you can't shave with them but, it sure does an adequate job.
I have a couple of nice carbon steel kitchen knives i bought on ebay at good prices that were scarred up by those electric sharpeners. But for the price, I received a good knife made back in the '50s and '60s when the craftsmanship seemed better. One of these days I may spend some time and remove those scratches. I remember when Dad used one of those when I was a kid. He never acquired the nack for using stones either.
 

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After reading a post on TFF, I ordered the Work Shop, Ken Onion Edition knife sharpener with all the attachments & an extra set of belts. I set it up on my work bench in my garage. I gathered up all our kitchen knives & all my pocket & belt knives which took two trips to carry out to the garage. In less than thirty minutes I was done. All my knives are more than sharp enough to do everything I need. I haven't tried to shave with them but I'm sure they wouldn't do as well as my 4-blade Gillette razor, that is when & if I decide to shave. My Lansky 5-stone kit does an equally good job but takes days longer & is more difficult to adjust to different length & thickness knives. I can probably get a lot of knives professionally sharpened for what I have invested in sharpeners but If I could pick only one, it would be Ken Onion Work Sharp.
BTW, I just finished dicing & shredding one head of cabbage, one onion & one green pepper for the best easy make slaw I've ever had with one of my freshly sharpened knife, what a difference. Tonight I'm going to see how well another knife newly sharpened will slice an onion & fresh tomato for burgers on the grill. Did I mention it's in the mid 80's here in central FL?
Geezer, Previously I would have never even considered an electric knife sharpener, but after reading your post I looked up the Ken Onion Work Sharp. I have to admit I was pretty impressed. $130 and it comes with various belts (you can even order a 12,000 grit ultra fine belt) and has some sort of guide to maintain the proper angle you desire. It might have to be something for me to consider especially with your positive review.
I think I already mentioned that I have many (almost a collection) of assorted sharpening tools and that for my more valuable knives I use the 30 or so year old Lansky system. But one thing is for sure, you almost need to schedule a certain amount of time set aside just for one blade. It ain't quick.
Another note: someone mentioned that they are getting "dished out" spots on their expensive stones. I have used a method to repair them when this happens. (I DON'T KNOW IF I WOULD TRY THIS ON A DIAMOND STONE THOUGH). I take my worn stone out to the concrete floor in my shop, put a little water on the concrete and then place the stone (grit down of course) on the floor and work it around in circles. Then I work it back and forth then in an x-pattern. It doesn't take long before the stone is for the most part perfectly flat again and looks like brand new. Maybe this will help someone to restore their worn stone.
 

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I, too have sharpend knifes by hand for years. The money invested on sharping stones and tools, one could have bought a wet stone sharping machine. Kind of like I, have heard about reloding equipment, or a good scope. By good, cry once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Before VN I took a job with a Zinc mining outfit in NJ. They had a shop to maintain all the tools needed and to make new ones. The blacksmith there had an old water wheel sharpener he ran with foot pedals. I gave him a machete to sharpen and the edge he put on that would take down a 1" or better sapling with one swipe. I never did run into a deal on one in all these years, but that would have been a great tool for the work shop/garage.
 

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Before VN I took a job with a Zinc mining outfit in NJ. They had a shop to maintain all the tools needed and to make new ones. The blacksmith there had an old water wheel sharpener he ran with foot pedals. I gave him a machete to sharpen and the edge he put on that would take down a 1" or better sapling with one swipe. I never did run into a deal on one in all these years, but that would have been a great tool for the work shop/garage.
Not to run off topic, but would that have been the Sterling Hills Mines?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ogdensburg. Yes, it's been so long ago that I didn't recognize Sterling Hill.
 

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From what I, have found, a water sharping machine runs from a little over $100.00 to about 400.00 dollars. If ,I, was younger, I would invest in one of these. From what I can tell you can sharpen every thing from knifes to tools. on one of these.
 
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