Some experience with Eze-Lap sharpeners

<center><font size=4>Some experience with Eze-Lap sharpeners.</font></center>

<a href="" target="_blank"><IMG align=right SRC="" border="2"></a>After I have presented here DMT and SPYDERCO sharpeners it would be pretty unfair to do not tell what I do know about EZE-LAP products. Company's full name is EZE-LAP Diamond Products, Inc., they reside in Carson Cite, Nevada and their web site you can find here. They have started to make diamond abrasives in early 1970's and now they offer pretty wide range of diamond sharpening stuff starting with conventional bench stones in different dimensions and grits up to electric chainsaw sharpeners.
Here are some their sharpeners what I own and what I have some experience with.

<a href="" target="_blank"><IMG align=right SRC="" border="2"></a>One of the most interesting their devices, for me at least, is Model 590 Superfine sharpener from Eze-Fold family. The Model 591 is it's counterpart in Fine grit. The diamond powder coated metal pipe with crosscut shaped as elongated ellipse folds into two-piece plastic handle exactly like Balisong knives. Quite simple design, in fact here is almost nothing to describe. But Friends, in my honest opinion this is one of the best free hand sharpening devices for knives with recurved blades! Especially if you need to sharpen them in field conditions. Mine is Superfine grit but for working knife field sharpening I would advise Fine one. I have tried it on my BENCHMADE Model 710 Axis Lock, Pinnacle and CRKT Bear Claw and considered it works nicely. The side edges of this sharpener are shaped quite suitably to sharpen serrations, but be aware - diamond abrasives wear out the fastest exactly on the edges with small radiuses. This is not only Eze-Lap sharpener property, please take each hard used set of diamond needle files. You can observe that the edges of triangular and rhombus files wear out first, next are oval files with small radius curvature and the flat files last the longest.

<a href="" target="_blank"><IMG align=right SRC="" border="2"></a>What else we can use to sharpen recurved blades? This question is asked here pretty frequently. But of course, round rod sharpeners like diamond steels! This folding diamond steel Model M from Eze-Lap is also quite suitable for recurved blades although it's primary purpose probably is to sharpen normal edges. It is manufactured in Fine grit only and in the most real life situations it is enough to keep your working knife as sharp as you need. Solid brass handle is checkered to provide sure grip and the nut which holds the sharpening rod serves also as some kind of finger guard. Small detail - this nut doesn't work like old style auto pencil, which sometimes holds the lead, and sometimes it doesn't. Here design is simple and solid: the diamond-coated rod is embedded into this nut constantly. To unfold the steel simply screw the nut out pulling the rod out of the handle, turn it for 180 degrees and then screw the opposite side of the nut to handle. The diamond folding steel arrives with belt loop equipped leather pouch. The lighter one with aluminum handle, Model B, is also available.

<a href="" target="_blank"><IMG align=right SRC="" border="2"></a>Tine and light folding diamond mini-steel Model S is must to have item if you are going anywhere outdoors and are limited with weight conditions or simply do not want to carry more than you must to carry. It takes place not more than pen and weights not more also. Clip it into your pocket and forget until you will need it! But when you will need it this small and simple device will work for you pretty decently.
Diamond powder coated rod has D-letter's shape in crosscut. You can sharpen normal edges on flat surface, recurved edges and large serrations on concave surface. The transition between these surfaces is just right for small serrations on my SOG Night Vision, BENCHMADE Nimravus, SPYDERCO Calypso Jr. SS and the most of other serrated and combo blades. This is not all, the groove on the concave surface allows you to sharpen darts, awls, fishhooks and other pointed tools. Plenty of versatility in such small tool, isn't it?
Naturally to work with it is not as comfortable as with larger counterparts but something costs something. I wouldn't be first person who discovered this rule, right?

Small 1x4" Model 36F flat diamond stone doesn't offer too much sharpening surface but taking into consideration that diamond abrasives cut faster it is quite enough to touch up small to medium sized knives, scissors and other home cutting tools. Also has diamond coated groove along entire length for pointed object sharpening. Though it came with leather pouch I can't consider it as portable tool. Sure, such dimensions allow you to slide it into your pocket but being based on the solid steel plate it is quite heavy for pocket curry. I could consider it rather as small and handy home sharpening tool for light daily use. Put it into your kitchen cutlery drawer and you will be able to reach it when you will need it. Leather pouch will protect "neighbors" from scratching, however this is diamond coated tool. The pouch also can serve as non-sliding mat when working with this small stone. I could add - as almost-non-sliding mat because rubber mat serves better in this role. Such flat diamond stones are available in dimensions up to 2 1/2 x 11 3/8" in four grits: Coarse, Medium, Fine and Superfine, with or without leather pouches or walnut pedestals.

<a href="" target="_blank"><IMG align=right SRC="" border="2"></a>Well, here we have some small, light, portable and not the least - pretty inexpensive diamond sharpening tools for daily use. What to choose is the question of your liking, environment conditions and as usually - of what you are planning to do with them. Whichever would you choose - they all are decently made and doubtless will serve you well.

Sergiusz Mitin
Lodz, Poland

[This message has been edited by Sergiusz Mitin (edited 01-12-2001).]
Aug 2, 1999
Thanks for yet another of your helpful reviews.

I picked up one of the Model S sharpeners at the discount sporting goods store, figuring that for $5 I couldn't go wrong. While it hasn't replaced the Tri-seps as my carry sharpener, it is a handy little tool. However, rather than using the flat side for normal edges, I find it works better to hold the sharpener horizontally and use the two curved edges much like a steel.


Let no one ever from henceforth say one word in any way countenancing war. It is dangerous even to speak of how here and there the individual may gain some hardship of soul by it. For war is hell, and those who institute it are criminals. Siegfried Loraine Sassoon
Though Tri-Seps has more sharpening surface my main complaint is that it is quite tricky to hold consistently when working.
Model S is noticeably more comfy to work with. I do not put mine onto hard surface and work with it free hand. Would like if it would have tighter contact between handle and sharpening rod. Mine has some play here and forces to press with finger to fix it.
Sergiusz, thanks for the review. I've been looking for a new portable sharpener for use when weight and size are primary factors in deciding what to carry. Your review gives good information on the pros and cons of the models evaluated and is very timely.
I have diamond stones from DMT (with the aligner) and I have one of the EZ-LAP round diamond rods (the one that carries in the heavy brass handle). I like then both a lot. I have noticed though that they all become finer fairly quickly. It takes only a few dozen sharpenings to take a medium to a fine or a coarse to a medium. I've found it makes the most sense economically to buy coarse and then buy again when it becomes a medium, and then a third time when the second becomes medium and the first fine, etc. In this way, you end up with a variety of grades but get the the most cut for the buck over all.

Personally, I'm disappointed that EZ-LAP does not seem to have that round rod any coarser than 600, which is already medium-fine to me. I like to start around 200, or at least 400. I can do this with the DMT stones, and also with the flat stones from EZ-LAP, but not the rods which I find are the best for in-the-field sharpening!

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I have diamond stones from DMT (with the aligner) and I have one of the EZ-LAP round diamond rods (the one that carries in the heavy brass handle). I like then both a lot. I have noticed though that they all become finer fairly quickly. It takes only a few dozen sharpenings to take a medium to a fine or a coarse to a medium.</font>
Yes, I noticed the same. But this is not "wear out" or "becoming finer" - rather I would consider that they reach their normal cutting abilities in result of some break in. Initially they cut far more aggressively that it could be expected looking onto grit numbers. After break in period sharpener claimed as "Extra Fine" becomes really extra fine and using it you can put extra fine edge onto your knife.
After this break in period they keep cutting abilities pretty consistent during long time.

As to round rod sharpeners (diamond steels). This kind of sharpening devices generally is not intended for edge reprofiling or damaged edge restoring. You should use rather flat whetstones for these purposes and Eze-Lap offers you wide range of dimensions and grits, starting with 180 if I remember well.
On the other hand, real sharpening can be done with ease on 600 grit stone or rod. Think this is the main reason why they do not offer round rod sharpeners in coarser grits.
Hi Sergiusz! Yes, I understand that the reduction in cutting over the first dozen or so knives with diamond sharpeners is more or less a "break in" period, but I find when they are broken in, they are finer than I would like for their rating. Since I like a somewhat rough edge (bites better), I tend to work with coarser stones, rarely getting any finer than what most people would call a medium at 600-800 grit.

At home, I have many sharpening options. I like the DMT alignment system for knives under <= 1/8" in thickness, and I have some larger stones for my bigger knives, but when I'm off in the woods I carry only one sharpener, and the EZ-LAP rod has been my favorite. Yes I know it's not for reprofiling an edge, but what ever I carry has to be a little more agressive than just something to further hone a relatively sharp edge.

That being said, I am looking for a source of DMT stones for the alignment system (most vendors want to sell me the system, and not just the stones), and for field use, I may switch from the EZ-LAP rod to one of those small DMT stones that fold up into their handle like a balisong.

[This message has been edited by matthew rapaport (edited 01-29-2001).]
This seems to be some kind of confusion: DMT stones in Aligner set do not fold into their handles. They are simple plastic pieces 4x1" without any handles with diamond coated metal plate on their surface. If you don't have a stone holder included into Aligner set it can be pretty tricky to hold them when working. If you want to have sharpener which folds like balisong knife you should look for DMT Diafold or Double Sided Diafold.

Eze-Lap counterpart is named Eze-Fold, it comes in five grits from Extra Coarse (Model 504) to Super Fine (Model 500) and also in double grit - Super Fine/Medium (Model 510) and Fine/Coarse (Model 520).
Yes, I know, the alignment-system stones and the small ones that fold into their handle are two different things. I'm looking for a source of both. I finally contacted DMT and they could not find a dealer who would sell me the alignment stones alone, so they did. I'm sure I paid a little more (full list), but how much can two small stones be? The other stones (the ones that have handles that fold around them) I can get from many places...