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Flattening plates

Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:17 pm

Great, thank you Mark!

My next question is regarding flattening plates. I see the "value priced" model, that is oft recommended is out of stock as well. Do you have an estimated ETA on that? I am planning on ordering the Bester 1200 grit stone from you and would like to get started with it fairly quickly. I've read that I should flatten the stone before it's first use, is this critical? Is the DMT XXC a significant jump up to be worth it for a person new to hand sharpening?

A little background on me. I am a professional cook and aim to be in the industry for some time. I will be sharpening mostly Japanese blades and some German. I am new to sharpening, but there's very little chance I won't enjoy it, it lines up with most of my other interests well. But right now I'm looking to get tools that will last me a long time, I won't outgrow, but since I my outlay is higher due to not having much, I am looking towards value as well.

Planning on the frequently recommended Beston/Bester?Suehiro combo with the idahone rod and a flattening plate, of some kind. Won't use the Beston until I know what I'm doing, so not in a big rush. I understand that I can wait a few weeks for the Rika, as the 1.2k should be good enough as I learn.

Well, this was longer than intended, I think I'm mostly wondering about the flattening plate, but hopefully all this info helps guide.

Thanks again!

Jeff

Re: Flattening plates

Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:20 pm

We should have the cheap china made ones in a couple weeks. Same with the atomas which are going through customs right now so they should be here in about a week.

At the store we actually use the atoma now. It flattens well but mostly we use it because it's dead flat and it's very good for quick metal removal when we are doing minor repair work. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/at14dipl.html

The beston and rika are tried and true stones and I think you'll like them. I actually slightly prefer the 1K bester since it cuts faster. The 1200 is better if people want to use that as their final stone.

Re: Flattening plates

Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:15 pm

Jeff;

If you use the search feature here on the site you'll find out alot about the flattening plates. The concensus from the real experts here has been the Atoma.
I'm an EP Pro user & went for the Atomas - 3x8 for flattening and 1x6 for repairing bevels and was not disapointed with the quality.
After going through cheap tools when I was younger I finally found that it's better to buy right the first time if I plan on ongoing use.

YMMV
Douglas

Re: Flattening plates

Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:01 pm

I have a 1" x 6" Atoma and a 3" x 6" DMT combo. I use the DMT for flattening. Probably just due to size.

Re: Flattening plates

Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:09 am

The Atoma is expensive but well worth the extra money. It is heads and tails above the DMT. I started off with a DMT and it did a good job but wore unevenly. It is now only used for repairs. After buying the Atoma I realized that would have been the place to start. It will last you years. It was a live and learn moment.

Re: Flattening plates

Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:23 am

Wow, thanks everybody for the all of the info! So I guess this leaves me with the question: how important is the flattening plate? Do I need it before using a stone for the first time? I am not really planning to do a lot of repairs with this, just for flattening stones. Are repairs an inevitable part of the fun? I wasn't originally trying to decide between the DMT and the Atoma, I was more wondering about the $30 option. Should I just forsake that and get the thing that will be the thing that I want for a really long time(Atoma/DMT)? Will I outgrow the $30 thing really quickly? I hate spending money on a half measure, if I'm going to be getting the better thing eventually I'd rather put that $30 towards it now. But on the other hand, if the $30 thing works for my needs, I'd rather put that money towards better stones and the like, nawmean?

I'm assuming it's obvious, but I've never used a flattening plate before, and I'm not really sure what makes one good/better/best compared to the rest, nor am I sure what I need. I just had read good reviews about the cheap CKTG option and thought that was the right route. But I am willing to reroute. Thanks again everybody. In addition to never using a diamond plate before, I don't think I've ever used an internet forum before. Which would you rather go without? Seriously, Diamond plate or Internet forum?!

Re: Flattening plates

Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:56 pm

Both can be equally abrasive. :lol:

Re: Flattening plates

Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:13 pm

JEFF <> If you are rarely going to sharpen, the $30 chinese diamond will suffice to flatten stones & remove a lot of metal off knives when necessary. If you intend on sharpening a lot, buy quality tools.

While SWARFY's snarky wit is great, I like using absolutely flat stones to sharpen... sharp knives are what pay my bills. Whereas this Forum is my relaxation... it doesn't pay my bills.

Re: Flattening plates

Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:21 pm

If price is an issue I recommend you try some extra coarse ( 1-200 grit) wet dry sandpaper when you first start out. You can get it at any hardware store for a few bucks and it works well. It's actually less cost effective over time if you flatten a lot but to just get in the game it's a great choice. I see some people spend a bunch of money on sharpening gear, try it, not like it or they get poor results and then give up. That's a big waste of money so going with a simple solution like 1 stone and some sandpaper for flattening appeals to me when I recommend stuff to new sharpeners.

Re: Flattening plates

Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:42 pm

"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.
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