Thursday, January 7, 2010

Knife Sharpening and Diamond Bench Stones

Diamond Stone shown ‘Open’ (at the bottom of the picture)

Diamond Stone shown ‘Stored within its Handle/Case’’ (at the bottom of the picture)

I’m not a person who enjoys sharpening a knife; to me it’s like mowing the grass, just something that needs to be done so I want it over with as fast as possible. But I do want a knife that is utility sharp and that means it’s not necessarily razor sharp or the ability to cut confetti from a single sheet of paper.

Today you will see most everywhere the Diamond Surfaced sharpening stones in every conceivable size and shape.

Question is; will they do the job for you? The answer is yes they will and do it well.

Being in the tool building business for many years, I am very familiar with Diamond Bench Stones that today compete with the common India or Arkansas Bench Stones used for knife sharpening.

There are three major benefits to using the Diamond version;
1. There is no need to use oil like you need when using the common India stones.
2. If you drop the Diamond stone it will not break into unusable pieces.
3. It removes metal fast so the sharpening job is over with quickly.

All of these points are good news for Back-Packers plus the Diamond version is extremely light weight and a must have for your long term BOB.

In the photo above is the Smith’s brand I own along with my original India Bench Stone above it. I bought mine at Home Depot for less than $20. The Diamond stone works really well and I do recommend then, there are many manufacturers out there so do you research and pick the size that fits your personal needs.

Smith’s Product Description of the model I own:
Smith's 4" Diamond Combination Bench Stone features coarse and fine grit sharpening surfaces. These surfaces contain multiple layers of micron-sized moncrystalline diamonds and a unique sharpening surface with an overlapping oval hole design. This innovation speeds sharpening by collecting and holding the metal filings which ordinarily build up during the sharpening process.

Each stone has a "micro-tool sharpening pad" and a sharpening groove for fish hooks or pointed tools.

The soft grip rubber handle is designed to make sharpening safe and easy, and when you are finished sharpening, you can store your stones in the handle for safekeeping.

Sharpening Instructions:
Use water or Smith's non-petroleum based honing oil as your sharpening lubricant, but stone can be used dry.

DO NOT USE PETROLIUM BASED OIL on your stone as a sharpening lubricant.

Place your blade on the end of the stone at the desired sharpening angle.

Push the blade away from you just like you are trying to carve a thin slice off the top of the stone.

Use moderate pressure; let the diamond do the work. Repeat this pushing stroke three or four times.

Try to maintain the same approximate angle with each stroke. This is the key to obtaining the sharpest edge.

Now sharpen the other side of the blade.

Place your blade on the opposite end of your Smith's stone and repeat steps 1 and 2 this time pulling the blade toward you.

Always dry your diamond stone surface after each use and before storing.

Occasionally clean your stone with soapy water and a mild brush.

Coarse & fine diamond stones in one

Soft grip rubber handle for comfort

Thumb guard for safety

Stone store in handle for safekeeping

Sharpening Groove for fish hooks and pointed tools

Micro-tool sharpening pad for small tools

Grit: Coarse 325 Grit / Fine 750 Grit

Size: 4" x 1"


  1. I suck at knife sharpening, probably because I'm too impatient. This might be the ticket for me...

    Love the blog, just found you on Big Bear's blog, and added your link to my blogroll.

  2. Hey Mayberry, thanks for stopping by. I visit your blog and it's clear we feel the same way about our dirtbag scum politicians. The only reason they want to close GITMO is because that's where they are all going to end up because they're terrorists. Hang'm High!

  3. FWIW, you can maintain most knives easily in between sharpenings with leather strop and honing compound, the main benefit being it removes less metal than stones, especially diamond stones.