Questions answered on Sharpening – Diamonds are forever

For more information on Sharpening Stones, see our beginner site Common Woodworking.

Another question on diamond plates and plate holders.

Hi Paul,

Please excuse me for asking but having just reviewed your blogs on ‘cheap tools’ to purchase I didn’t see any reference being made to the diamond sharpening plates I’ve seen you use in your U Tube videos. Could you point me in the right direction for purchasing a set and how you might go about fixing them down onto a semi permanent sharpening station so they can be utilised for sharpening plane blades and chisels etc. -thank you for your time.




Here is a link to my own design of plate holder and how to make one.I have used this type for decades now and it works great. I use mine in the vise but at the schools I also screw them permanently to the sharpening benches. For my own use I stow them on a shelf by my workbench and pull them to task as needed. you can read more in other parts of my blog by typing in your interest in the search button when you enter the blog. Hope that this helps. DSC_0246I have used every diamond plate there is and EZE_Lap plates are the best and the longest lasting of all plates I have used. They are also the best price too. Shop around, search online until you find the Coarse, Medium and Superfine as a package. That’s often the most competitive. These are US made and are quality plates. You won’t regret buying these. They last me about ten years which for even a normal full-time woodworker will be a lifetime as we sharpen more tools than anyone else in the industry because of the schools.

Hope that this helps.

Best for now,


14 thoughts on “Questions answered on Sharpening – Diamonds are forever”

  1. I am appreciative of this system of which I now use. It simply didn’t dawn on me that the imperfection of the human hand actually aids in providing the convex bevel. While my edges were just as sharp before, they didn’t last as long and took longer due to the introduction of the guide. I try never to say “never”, but I certainly don’t see myself moving away from this system.

  2. Hi Paul,

    I’ve just purchased a set of Aldi chisels as per your recomendation and I’m now ready to sharpen. i have watched your great video (getting the edge for under £1) on sharpening chisels with wet & dry paper bonded to plate glass. I hope this is’nt a silly question but can a new chisel be prepared for work in the same way on the diamond plates?
    Best wishes,

  3. Hi Donald – I started using Paul’s method almost two years ago – at this point I think I can say “never”. It works…really, really works. And, with practice, my tools can now also cut from the edge of that paper. Give yourself some time and room for improvement – that said, you will find that almost immediately you will be at 90% due to the simplicity of this method. It never occurred to me that truly sharp tools would be the first key to improving my skill…to those that are unsure because of all the stuff they have read on the net, I encourage you to try this – you will never search again for sharpening methods for your hand tools.

  4. Thanks Paul, this is the information I have been waiting for also. I have some really nice Sigma Power Stones but with your method of sharpening which I like the Diamond Stones I believe is the way to go. I have heard a lot of negative results regarding the Diamond Stones not lasting or loose their cutting ability pretty quick etc. And for that reason I did not purchase any, but I think now I am going to re – think this and get the EXE – Lap per your recommendation.


    1. I used to use the diamond stones that impregnate a thin sheet of steel with holes punched in it and then glue that to a ceramic or plastic base. Those would wear out. I have not had that problem with the exe-lap plates Paul recommends and I’ve ground a fair amount of steel on them now.

      1. Thank You for the reply, I am going to buy this set before long and give them a try. Paul, you and several others seem satisfied with them and that is good enough for me.

        Thanks again !


  5. Paul,

    I have been using the technique learned from your sharpening videos and getting consistently great results. Thank you so much for sharing them with the woodworking
    community and enthusiasts.

    I have a question about how you clean and maintain your diamond stones. Because I left them wet with glass cleaner after my first sharpening sessions and noticed that the metal plate started to rust a little, tried unsuccessfully to wash and dry them but some rust are still there beneath the diamonds.

    thank you so much,

    1. I am sorry this seems to be a problem for you. I have used my plates without any such problem. Oftentimes people tell me about rust and don’t realise that some glass cleaners can cause rust in the particles of steel that occur as the result of abrasion. I haven’t experienced the plates themselves rusting so perhaps the issue is a faulty plate.

      1. The rust that formed on my eze-lap stone was only on the abrasive surface and I was pretty sure at the time it was the metal from the planes and chisels that was actually rusting and not the sharpening plate itself. However the spots of rust that formed on the DMT plates were on the sides.

        As I said above, both wore off, neither seemed to affect the stone’s ability to sharpen. It just taught me to take a little more care when I clean the stones.

    2. I wash my plates when I notice the dried swarf building up. I just dunk them in a water bucket, scrub them with my hands, and then pat them dry with a shop towel. I did get some rust one time when I left two of them touching to dry but if I separate them and put them on a bit of an angle they dry fine even here in the Pacific Northwest.

      The rust wore off and never did seem to affect the ability of the stone to sharpen.

      I’ve never had any rust just using the glass cleaner. I probably should clean with that too but somehow I’m sure I’m “saving money” using water.

  6. I use a 1000 and 8000 water stone. Is stropping the blade necessary after polishing on the 8000? Thanks, I get a lot out of your videos.

    1. No, any wire edge (if indeed there is any at that fineness) will pop off the first stroke. 8,000 is plenty sharp enough. I am working on a blog yet to be posted on something surrounding this issue right now.

  7. I use an eraser (the white kind used to erase pencil) to remove rust spots from diamond plates, also removes the steel dust very well. Just make sure there are no eraser particles on the plate before you sharpen again, easy to remove with your fingers.

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