Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:01 am
Jeff B wrote:"I've read that I should flatten the stone before it's first use, is this critical?"
Reccommened, yes. Critical, no. Some stones may not be dead flat when new but not so bad that you will do harm to your knives. I have used many stones out of the box without flattening.
Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:46 pm
Great! Thanks again everyone, all the advice is really useful! So I'm still wondering what makes the Atoma a better tool than the Chinese made plate? Does it cut faster, or wear better, feel better in your hand? Last longer? Have more uses?
Thanks for the advice on the sandpaper. I am not overly concerned with cost, I just want to try to put cash towards the right things, I guess I thought that I would spend more on a stone than on a plate to flatten the stone, hehe. But I am not worried about not liking sharpening, I kind of can't believe I haven't gotten in to it before. I've been in the industry for 18 years and hope for at least 18 more. I enjoy maintaining my tools and doing other light mechanic type things. I like to tinker, and am a hobbyist at heart I think. I know there's a learning curve here, and I'm prepared for that. My guess is that I will end up sharpening knives 1-3 times a month,
So it seems right now like the best thing to do is to pick up a 1000 or 1200 grit stone to get started on and wait for the Atomas to come into stock. Then I can pick up one of those, hopefully the 5000 Suehiro Rika, if that's back in stock, and maybe a 500 grit if things are going well. Or, maybe someone will talk me into going the Chinese made plate route. Does this sound reasonable?
Thanks again y'all, sometimes I can research a subject to death and still not really understand it until I actually do the thing that I'm trying to research. That's where calling in the experts just makes everything so much easier! And hopefully will help other folk in the future doing the same thing.
Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:59 pm
There is a clear difference between the quantity/quality of diamonds and the pattern in which the diamonds are imbedded in the plates at different price levels. The specs/tolerances each plate is held to also increases as the price increases. I haven't used the cheaper Chinese plate, so I can't comment too much there. I have both the DMT XXC and Atoma 140 and the Atoma sticks a lot less when flattening stones. After a few years of use my DMT still isn't worn out so I'm probably not the best person to discuss wear rates compared to the professional guys, but any plate should last you a good long time.
As far as which to go with, if you are only using your plate to flatten stones any of the plates will be just fine. It isn't necessary to have a completely flat stone for sharpening double bevels knives. You don't want a concave shape in your stone, but a completely flat isn't that important. Hence, why flattening is recommended, but not critical. A flat stone is much more important for single bevels, but again any of the plates will get your stones sufficiently flat. If you plan on using the plate for repairs often or you simply like having higher quality tools then the Atoma is well worth it, imo. I know I don't regret purchasing it, not one bit
Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:33 pm
Furthering what was said above, the difference is in the diamonds. The Atoma is going to be more uniform than the DMT which will beat the nameless wonder. And the Atoma is going to be best in terms of longevity, though the DMT will last most people many, many years. If you just want to flatten, the DMT is probably your best for the money. If you want to use it on knives, the Atoma will win out.