Fine, 600 grit stone made with an industrial diamond alloy. Set on a walnut block. Sharpens knives, tools and blades with fewer strokes. Made in Carson City, Nevada. (
The smooth, thin gray slab of this sharpening stone is made with an alloy of metals and industrial diamonds. These utilitarian gems have none of the shine and allure of their flashier cousins, but are just as hard. The fine, 600 grit surface means the stone can sharpen most edges, including kitchen knives, exacto blades and woodworking tools.
Unlike standard sharpening blocks made with synthetic or natural rock, diamond sharpening stones don’t need to be soaked in water or rubbed in oil before use. Because of its hardness, diamond stones sharpen a knife with fewer strokes. Its durability and resistance to wear means the stone will stay flat over time. The walnut base keeps the stone steady and level.
As long as the knife is still relatively sharp the 600 grit is enough to bring the edge back. Most Western-style knives (as opposed to Japanese knives) should be honed at each use. When honing is no longer enough, then it's time to bring out the sharpener. Knives in a professional kitchen are sharpened every few days, while a knife in the home kitchen may only need sharpening a few times a year.
Sharpening is a skill. It involves grinding the metal of the bevels down on either side of the blade so they meet at a very sharp angle. A razor sharp one, to be precise. If you get good at this, you can grind your knife to the way you cut and make it sharper than a factory-fresh edge. If you are sloppy at sharpening your knife, you can ruin it. Never work your knife overly aggressively against a diamond sharpener, this can cause you to lose a lot of metal from the blade.
Knife sharpening is about angles. The smaller the angle between the surface of the stone and the underside of the knife, the sharper the knife will be. That edge will be thin and delicate, however, and will dull more quickly. The trick is to find a happy medium, and that happy medium is the distance that a stack of two pennies make. To get a feel for this angle, place two pennies on the stone. Put the edge on the stone with the back of the knife against the surface of the top penny. This is the angle youâ€™ll want to maintain as you sharpen. Never drag the knife exactly parallel or exactly perpendicular to the stone.
Different knives have different sharpening requirements and techniques. Most knives in the U.S. are "Western" or "German" style. They are sharpened differently from Japanese knives, which are sharpened differently from carbon steel knives. Check with your knife's manufacturer for instructions.
The diamond stone will keep its flat surface for a long time. The stone is very slightly magnetic so the steel dust will stick to the stone's surface. A dry brushing or a quick rinse will keep the ground steel from building up and interfering with the stone's performance.
The company that makes these stones pioneered the use of diamonds as a sharpening material in the 1970s. Considering its durability even at the face of very hard, high carbon content metals, it is a wonder that no one had thought of it before.
The heat treated diamond dust and stainless metal alloy measures about 72° on the Rockwell C hardness scale.
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