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DMT to waterstones

Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:52 pm

Mr. Richmond,
I am considering jumping from the DMT diamond stones to Waterstones and was curious what set or combination of stones/accessories you would suggest.

Thank you for your time

Re: DMT to waterstones

Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:34 am

Well, theoretically you could start and stop on DMT plates.

The XXC to the 8,000 grit Extra Extra Fine would provide a very serviceable edge.

It depends on what you want. :)

I only use the XXC plate for serious metal removal and water stones after that. I jump from the XXC to a 500 Beston.

You could stop anywhere along the DMT plate progression and jump to waterstones.

The Coarse plate is about equal to a 1,000 grit waterstone

The Fine is about a 2,000 grit waterstone.

The Extra Fine is about a 4,000 grit waterstone.

All very rough comparisons, but it gets you in the ball park.

Re: DMT to waterstones

Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:37 pm

Well, theoretically you could start and stop on DMT plates.

What does "theoretically" mean? I have long been using a set of Norton diamond plates (extra coarse, fine, extra fine) and finishing with a black hard Arkansas stone followed by a leather strop. My pocket knives are D2 and SV30 (Benchmark and Spyderco, respectively), and I have an O-1 Mad Dog Lab Rat, and they all get hair-popping sharp. My kitchen knives are Wüsthoff and get shaving sharp - for a while. A short while. I got them when I thought knives were Solingen über alles. I have been lurking and learning on this forum and deciding what to get when my wife finally thinks we can afford Japanese knives and that “sharp” doesn't just mean “it will cut”. Sigh...She just doesn't get it...

I dream of Takedas and Konosukes and Tanakas - something carbon and hard that can take and keep a great edge and be, well, better than what I've got. I have looked at waterstones in the past but just never took the plunge (har har - come along, Blind Jim). Will my Nortons make the cut? Or should I plan on sneaking in a set of Shaptons, too? Not that I can sneak anything past my wife... :roll:

Re: DMT to waterstones

Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:55 pm

Theoretically, in this case at least, means you could. I simply wouldn't. The 8,000 grit DMT diamond plate is very fine and a knife properly sharpened with a broken in plate will be very sharp.

Diamonds are very aggressive cutters...especially when new. A broken in DMT Extra Extra Fine is nothing like a brand new one.....I would never use a brand new DMT Extra Extra fine and expect a good edge. The diamonds are still too aggressive.

I also don't think the finer DMT plates last very long.

So, you can certainly use diamond plates exclusively.....whether you like the results or not is very personal preference kind of stuff. I don't.

Re: DMT to waterstones

Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:38 pm

Depending on what you buy and what you want to achieve with it, the Shapton Glass Stones are great. They are mist-and-go, cut reasonably quickly, and are capable of cutting and refining very thin angles on both soft and hard steels. They are precise, almost to a fault -- they will cut the angle pretty much exactly as you ask them to, even if it is the "wrong" angle. I like my 500, 2k, 6k Glass Stone progression very much and it has served me well at home including old Sabatier, German stainless, stamped Forschner/Victorinox blades, classic Japanese carbon, VG-10, and Cowry-X.

The more I sharpen different knives with different steels and constructions, the more I come to the conclusion that there is no "perfect" stone or set of stones. I'm tending to like the subtle difference in edge character that a "natural" Meara gives me -- a little rough and toothy so it slices amazingly easily -- compared to the "exactly all the same grit size" of something like the Glass Stone and most other synthetics. Some stones give your knife a "misty" look to the edge, some (like the Glass Stones) can give it a mirror-like polish, even at moderate grit sizes (5 or 6k, for example). Some stones wear down or "dish" quickly, others are hard to even notice that they are wearing at all in home use.

For me? This week? I'm feeling lazy and liking:
  • Atoma 140 -- only if knife needs major reshaping
  • Nubatama Bamboo 150 -- if I need to thin the knife
  • Nubatama Ume 1000 ("Speckled, Medium")
  • Meara

But wait -- If I want something even more screamingly sharp, I'll follow with a Yaginoshima. Feeling less lazy and I'll put a Tajima in before the Meara. Wanting a shiny edge and I'll go 500, 2k, 6k Shapton Glass Stone instead.

Oh, don't forget about stropping -- there are CBN and diamond compounds, and nano-cloth and kangaroo leather, and,...

Good news? Get a decent stone in the 2-6k range and you're already ahead of the game. You can use your existing stones to get to the 1-2k level and finish on your new stone. Once you have one, decide what you do and don't like about it, or what you want different in your finished edge, and you can add another.

Other good news? As much as I love my Konosuke knives, one of my favorites is still a $30-class kurouchi-over-who-knows-what santoku. There are lots of affordable knives here that can get screamingly sharp and hold an edge plenty well enough for several weeks of home use. I've got a Murata funayuki coming tomorrow for under $100, there are others in the same class that have gotten good reviews from experienced knife people and professional cooks here on the site. I also know I don't feel too badly when I muck up sharpening a sub-$100 knife, compared to something a step or two up in price.

Re: DMT to waterstones

Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:16 pm

My diamonds are over 15 years old, and very well broken in. Waterstones, though, have fascinated me for a long time. Browsing this site is like...well, in my terms, like a surgeon going into the wrong room and ending up in a cardiology conference. So many choices, so many nuances, and a lot of WTF?

Some of my mottos are: get the best you can afford; what is best for one is not necessarily best for another; cost and quality are two very different things; and you can never have too many knives. My wife would add that I always want something a little better - and that "M.D." doesn't mean "mucho dough".

BTW, extra points to anyone who got the Firesign Theater reference earlier. Just shows my age, I guess.

George E. Tirebiter, signing off for now.

Re: DMT to waterstones

Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:00 am

PATRICK. <> No need to make this complicated nor expensive. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/knshcoset.html is a fantastic frigin set. Fantastic.
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