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Which DMT's do I Need?

Sep 19, 2000
Hello everyone,

I got a quick question on which Diamond sharpener I should get or combination. I already have a pocket sized fine sharpener and I am pleased with the way it sharpens my swiss army knife(my only knife to date, go ahead and laugh

But now I'm getting a real knife, Fallkniven F1 and I'm wondering if I should invest in a fine Diamond Whetstone and two pocket sized sharpeners for extra-fine and course or just buy a couple of the dual diafold type contraptions(which are bigger then pocket sized ones) with course, fine and extra-fine.

In terms of sharpening the knife I'm planning to use it quite rigouously and it could be sharpened up to 2-3 times a day depending on how the edge holds so take that in to consideration to. I'd be using the same set of sharpeners on a CS Bushman.

Last question, do you think the sharpeners will hold up to constant use for a year when there being used 2-3 times a day.

Eeekkk this post was supposed to be just two question and looked what it turned into! I hope some people can give me advice.

For touch up work I would go for the fine/extrafine as it gives a fairly good finished edge (almost as good a a fine ceramic). If you need to remove chips, burrs, or reprofile an edge, get the course/fine. The fine leaves an OK edge, but I like mine smoother, it also doesn't remove enough metal for a quick reprofiling.
Diamond hones are overkill for quick touchups especially on a high end knife like the F1. Unless you are using the blade to cut up used carpet all day long you would be much better off with a smooth steel and a strop or ceramic rod. If you grind the blade with a diamond sharpener 2-3 times a day the blade will wear out faster than the diamond sharpener.

I second Cliff's recommendation to use a steel or ceramic rod to realign the edge during daily use. When the edge no longer stands back up with the steel then you can assess what level of resharpening is needed and use your diamond hones. You can't go wrong with having one of each grit.
yeah, get a steel for touch up - ya would really have a dull knife to need the coarse grit, IMHO - the fine/xtra fine works great - get a soft ark (about $10 tops) and a duofold fine/xtra fine, and a good steel - got a henckel steel for $17.95 from target - w/these items ya should be fixed up

I notice that DMT does not recommend the Xcoarse for knives at all, only for other tools like chisels. Yet I find that the duafold xcoarse/coarse combination actually works best for me in the field with medium sized field knives like my 5" Livesay AA, or larger knives like the Busse SH II.

While both sides of that combination seem like overkill when I first used them, after a few sharpenings, they have both become finer and seem to do the trick very well if I've made the blade really dull. If I haven't, I happen to have a relatively fine EZlap diamond rod for touch up work, but if the blade has been dulled by much work, I find that just a few passes on the xcoarse DMT followed by maybe twice as many on the coarse side will bring most blades back to very sharp.
yes ya might have a point - have never used 1 just felt it at the store, and my fine/Xfine did smooth down considerably - and also w/a large knife, used for heavy work (ie chopping wood) and ya really dull it, makes sense to me......
I have the fine/course duo stone as well as the Fine and X-fine pocket stones. They work a treat! The course on a sharpmaker makes re-profiling almaost bearable!

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If I were limiting myself to one diamond stone it would be the x-coarse DMT. No other stone cuts this fast. For reprofiling you can finish with something else but the x-coarse cuts down the effort.

Roger Blake
If I were limiting myself to one diamond stone it would be the x-coarse DMT. No other stone cuts this fast. For reprofiling you can finish with something else but the x-coarse cuts down the effort.

Roger Blake
Go light with the diamond hones. Learned the hardway and quickly wore one down while reprofiling a SRK.

It hurts to be on the cutting edge.
Speaking of smooth steels... Where in the world can you find one? I've looked all over and only see the grooved kind.


Heed Quarterstaff's words. Let the diamonds do the work. Hard pressure from you can only damage the hone.

One of the TK writers, John Larsen (sp?) I believe, has used an EZLap diamond hone for 33 years or more.

Personally, I suggest you stick with what you have until you know for sure it isn't packing it. (Except for the smooth steel, maybe.) Then you should know whether you need
something more coarse, finer, bigger, whatever. While I have high regard for Fallkniven products, if indeed you find that you need to sharpen yours 2-3 times per day, then maybe you better buy something with a 440V or 420V steel.

Asi es la vida

Thanks everyone for your replies, more are always welcome. I think I probaly buy a diafold fine/x-fine and maybe look at one of the pocket sized coarse one for major touch-up work. I don't think I'll go for the extra-course though because I'd rather not reprofile the knife.

BTW I'm hoping not to have to sharpen it 2-3 times a day, though there may be a few days where thats necessary.

Thanks again,
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I think I probaly buy a diafold fine/x-fine and maybe look at one of the pocket sized coarse one for major touch-up work.</font>
Exactly as Cliff said, diamond sharpener is some kind of overkill for daily sharpening. Coarse grit for touch-up work is twice and triple overkill. On the other hand pocket sized sharpener has too short surface for edge reprofiling. So if you are going to reprofile your edges (I'm almost sure you will need it) get a decent coarse sharpener with at least 6" long working surface. Double Sided Diafold could be enough to finish the edge after reprofiling. And for daily touch up get the decent ceramic sharpener, for ex. SPYDERCO.
If you are not going to reprofil your edges skip the coarse grit at all.
More my impressions on DMT, SPYDERCO and Eze-Lap sharpeners you can find clicking these underlined items.

[This message has been edited by Sergiusz Mitin (edited 04-04-2001).]
I've taken off more metal with a diamond sharpener than from any work the knife has done. They really are overkill for best end knives. Kitchen and less expensive blades, who cares; its fast.

As Cliff says, keep a smooth ceramic, steel, or best still a loaded strop handy. Its surprising how long a blade will go before it needs a real sharpen, but strop often.

I have the red (medium/course) large block DMT, for serious rebuilding of the edge. I also have the green (fine) butterfly type for when in the woods (also carry a ceramic rod). Frankly, I would stick with the red for all the sizes as its for those times when you want to take off steel.

Best used when your friends turn up to have their blunt neglected blades sharpened. Fast results with the minimum loss of drinking time. Their round anyway

I've wasted a lot of steel over the years, but I do like my knives overly keen.
The DMT extra coarse is very aggressive and in my experience will need smoothing up with the coarse and fine and extra fine to reach an edge that has no scratches in it.
All I have are the DMT Diafods. One has the extra coarse and coarse and the other has the fine and extra fine.
I also have one that has the coarse
and fine grits.
That's the one I carry in the pouch of my Busse E-BM.


Indin word for lousy hunter.
hmmmm...okay. Thanks alot! I think I was so centered that the diamond sharpeners would be all I needed I skipped over what Cliff said about them.

I'll check into one of the spyderco ceramic things. But now I'm wondering if I need the diamond sharpeners at all or just ceramic, what do people think? If not, would a ceramic and a diafold fine/ex-fine do, or what other sharpener combo? I'm not going to even attempt to reprofile the blade because I don't even know where to begin or how to do it and I don't want to screw the knife up.

ps I'm looking at taking the knife and sharpeners backpacking so if you suggest something, can you take that into consideration.

[This message has been edited by Kezon (edited 04-05-2001).]
The F1 comes standard with a convex edge, the easiest way to keep it sharp is a loaded strop. You can buy one or just make one out of an old piece of leather.

The polishing compound I use is a mixture of CrO and other fine abrasives. It is 0.5 micron or ~9000 grit. It leaves a mirror finish and cuts decently quickly. I have actually gone from the finish of an 80 grit belt to shaving sharp with just the strop in a few minutes (steel was INFI, BM).

Lee Valley sells it, I think it is just called "Lee Valley polishing compound" or something similar. Its a green bar and unless you sharpen knives for a living it will last forever.

Strops are easy to carry as they are just pieces of leather, and they are dead easy to use.

You can also make a "strop" out of some sandpaper. Just carry a few pieces with you, lay them on your leg and strop along them. This is a little dangerous of course. But if you can't do it without cutting yourself - well I would reconsider using a knife in the first place.

If you want to go really primitive you can make your abrasive from sand. There was an excellent point on this on the Survival forum some time back.

One thing about ceramic rods, they are much more brittle than a diamond one. If you drop a diamond pad you can marr the surface but if you drop a ceramic rod you will have lots of little ceramic rods. Be very careful putting them in a pack as well as they will snap under moderate force. Ben Dale has made I think brass cases for the ones he sells.