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YinTx   

Don't know much about the dmt, but I did quite a bit of research on Japanese knife sharpening, and a universal opinion seemed to be that the Atoma diamond plates were extremely well made in that the size distribution was very uniform and placement of the diamonds on the plate was patterned, resulting in much cleaner edges in the blade.  Poor size distribution on most diamond plates results in uneven sharpening under magnification, it looks like big rocks and little rocks nicking the edge, giving an uneven profile.

I ended up with both an Atoma 1200 and a Cerax 1k/3k combination stone, I couldn't be happier.  I have a lot of babble about it here:

hope that helped any,

YinTx

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I use the dia-sharp bench stones and am very happy with them.  

I have got 6" x 2" double sided in coarse/x-coarse- (325 mesh/45 micron) -- (220 mesh/60 micron)

6" x 2" double sided in fine/x-fine (600 mesh/25 micron) -- (1200 mesh/9 micron)

and 8" x 3" single sided xx-coarse (120 mesh/120 micron)  and 8" x 3" single sided in xx-fine (8000 mesh /3 micron).

I've had these for about 3 years and they have held up very well.

The xx-coarse makes reworking an edge fairly fast, and the xx-fine will put a pretty high polish on a tool.   The coarse and fine fill in and give me a good selection for any tool i have.

This combination of grits and sizes works well for me, YMMV.

I sometimes wonder though, that 8000 mesh is so fine that I could have just used a flat piece of steel and gotten similar results. ;-)

rick

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I went to Japanese Woodworkers in Southern California.  As you probably know, the Japanese craftsmen have long been known for the sharpness of their tools, so I gave it a try.  I bought two sharpening blocks, diamond embedded with rubber carriers, so they don't slide around as you use them.  One is "Fine" and the other is "Extra Fine".  I also bought a "DMT Diamond Sharpening System" set of three "steels", also diamond embedded, but with these, you stroke the sharpening tool over the stationary knife, punch, or whatever.  These are really cool and well worth the money.  Let me know what you think,

The bench stones are "Dia sharp"

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The DMT stone is $170 or so for the 2 sided in the 12 x3. I hate to spend that much but have found out this time arround I want to get quality and just wait till I can afford to get it.  I bought custom blades and knives and it was the best money I spent and that's how I look at stones too just want to find out what best it. All I ever used was cheap  stones

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YinTx   

As I noted in my post linked above, 

 The Atoma 1200 sells for around $75-$120.

The Cerax 1k/3k 1000 grit/3000 grit soaking stone sells for $55

Total I paid was about $130 for both the Atoma and the Cerax Combo.  As you noted, all I had ever used were cheap stones.  Stepping up in grade was one of the best things I ever did.  I've sharpened exacto knives and new razor blades, not to mention my older knives are performing wonders.  It was a bit of a learning curve, now everyone has scary sharp kitchen knives that I used to practice on before I attempted anything on my leatherworking knives!  I even rescued an old cleaver - makes short work of chickens these days.

A gentleman by the name of Ricky Tran has a channel on youtube called Burrfection that is a good place to start if you want to get immersed in stones -  he has in depth reviews of many of the best stones and the budget stones out there, along with kitchen knives.

YinTx

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