Questions Answered – Diamond sharpening plates

Q

Hi Paul

I had a question on sharping for you. I want to buy diamond stones and know you recommend them over Japanese water stones but which ones do I buy? There are several out there to choose from, DMT, EZE Lap? And what about grits too?

JL

A

Firstly, I find little if any difference between EZE Lap and DMT in terms of abrasive quality. Both cut steel fast and both are good quality products I can recommend any day. They are both dead flat and I have used both for extended periods. EZE Lap seem less expensive and last well, as well as DMT. I do not have the ability to scientifically test either product so my testing is limited. That said, I think that a set of plates by either maker will last any individual woodworker for a lifetime.

One thing to remember is that even though they last, the surfaces do lose aggression through use. Therefore, I recommend EZE Lap Coarse plates because the diamond particulate is larger at 250. The other plates are the same as DMT. I have not noticed any difference in longevity, flatness or failure. The DMT Coarse plate seems too fine for restoration of damaged edges and first-level abrasion. After a few weeks of use they do change to a finer level, so you could be using something around 450-500 grit to try to achieve that fast result you want initially. Whereas, on the same basis for EZE Lap, that would translate to 350-400. As I said, this is not scientific testing at all and I can recommend both makers. I do like to restore my bevels effectively and so I think the coarser plate more valid.

DMT Extra Fine sharpening stones are 1200, Fine are 600 and Coarse 325 grit.

EZE Lap are Superfine 1200, Fine 600 and Coarse 250.

19 comments on “Questions Answered – Diamond sharpening plates

  1. I got a DMT Extra Extra Coarse, which they list as 120 mesh, for heavy shaping prior to going to my coarse India stone. It works very well. Metal removal is so heavy I have to wear gloves because the swarf coming off is getting closer to metal filings.

  2. Hello Paul,

    I recently got the 3 stones from EZE Lap and find many coarser particles on the superfine. Since the 250 and the 600 are absolutely homogeneous I was wondering if I got a less well produced 1200 stone. I contacted the store and they said that the other 1200s in stock would look similar and by using I should get rid of the coarse particles soon. Is this a common phenomenon? Thank you very much. 

    Best regards
    Florian 

    • I have never had that as an issue with EZE Lap plates. It is true that the particles quickly level out as with any and all diamond plates so by using they will be reduced naturally. I have several sets at the schools and they are really working well at every level.

  3. HI PAUL, IS THERE A DIFFERENCE OF QUALITY BETWEEN THE EZE PLATE MODELS 121 &81(FLASH DIAMOND STONE) OR JUST OF SIZE?THANKS FOR ALL THE GREAT INFO. I AM ALSO LOOKING INTO PURCHASING DIAMOND PLATE FOR HAND SHARPENING. THANKS,DAVE.

  4. Hi Paul,
    would you say that having the large size diamond plates (8×3 inches) is far superior to the smaller size (6×2 inches)? Because the smaller ones are about half price. My widest plane iron is about 2 inches wide.

    • I actually use both sizes and of course you are getting more surface which translates into longer use time, but according to what you say you could buy two for the pice of the wider ones and that would indeed work just fine. You prompt me to get narrower ones and try them as 2″ wide stones were the standard for centuries. Good point.

  5. Hi Paul,

    Just wondering, I’m on a budget and have been sharpening with sandpaper with good results. I’m planning on getting my first diamond stones to simplify things a little. Was thinking about getting a double sided 600 fine / 1200 super fine stone and still using a course sandpaper when needed until I can afford a course diamond stone. What would you think of this idea? Would i be better off getting a course/fine stone and finishing with 1000/2000 wet and dry?

    Thanks for your time, Sam

    • All good ended up getting a 1000/6000 combination water stone and use 240paper on glass for flattening. Worked out cheaper and get great results.

    • I use an EZE Lap 250-1200 double-sided diamond plate, 2000 grit wet / dry paper, then finally a 5000 grit Shapton stone.
      Over time the EZE Lap will become more like 400-1800.
      The results I get are amazing…

  6. Hello Paul,

    Do you do something to keep your stones clean? The coarse stone seems to fill / blog quite quickly, even with a liquid.
    Do you just rinse them, scrub them, or do something else?

      • I have seen you use that as a lapping liquid, but I am more talking about specifically trying to remove metal particals. You just rinse it with the auto glass cleaner?

        The initial coarseness of the 250 grit (eze-lap) stone fades after some use. It still stay more coarse than the fine stone.

        Now it seems like using a brush and some lapping liquid removes some of the metal build up, and for a while increases the stone’s cutting capabilty, but maybe this is not really needed, or just all in my head.

        • G’day Pieter,
          After each use I hold the stone at a steep angle and give it a couple of pumps with the Auto glass cleaner. It flushes it straight back to almost original

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