Difficulty sharpening with DMT Aligner

Jul 27, 2010
My DMT Aligner finally came yesterday and I've used it to sharpen a few knives. I've been having problems getting them razor sharp and I'm sure its because of my technique. My bevels come out nice, smooth, and even but I can't seem to get the edge sharp enough. Is it because I'm not spending enough time with the coarser stones? Also, what kind of strokes should i be using? I looked up some demonstrations of the aligner on youtube and the guy from DMT uses sweeping strokes "from heel to toe." I tried imitating this but had little success. Any idea what I'm doing wrong? :confused:
Buy a marker and color your entire edge. Start with the coarsest stone and don't change stone until all the mark is gone. Mark the edge again before using the next finer stone. Repeat.

One more thing: when you use the coarse and fine stones, you are free to apply any kind of pressure. When you get to the extra fine stone, use nothing but the weight of the stone or knife itself. If you have the extra extra fine stone, use the lightest pressure you can manage, and end it by pull motion rather than push.
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Are you raising a bur over the entire edge with the coarse stones before moving to the fines?
How can I feel for the bur? And about how many strokes of the coarse stone should it take to raise it?

variable on the blade...

lets say you are holding the knife with the blade pointing to the left, and you sharpen the bottom side or far side of the blade, the burr will form on the top side or the near side of the blade.

you can feel it by running your finger along that side (the near side) of the blade. On the coarse stone, it should be easy to feel, on finer it might not be able to do it.
Thanks, richw!
Also, how easy is it to wear out the diamond stones? I feel like I'm slicing away the diamonds whenever I apply a little pressure.