When buying diamond stones, Paul suggests getting a coarse stone between 120-400 grit (250 is best), a fine stone between 600-1000 (600 is best) and a super-fine between 1200-1500 (1200 is best).

Paul recommends the 3” (76mm) x 8” (203mm) diamond stones from EZELAP, this width is so you can comfortably fit the width of a chisel and a plane blade on the stone. The length of 8” (76mm) gives you enough distance for a full stroke, any shorter and you will have to do more work to get your bladed tools sharp.

We purchased the:

  • Coarse Grit Diamond Bench Stone 250 grit for £68.54
  • Fine Grit Diamond Bench Stone 600 grit for £57.89
  • Super Fine Grit Diamond Bench Stone 1200 grit for £57.89

Update November 2019: These grits are sometimes out of stock but they are also stocked on Dieter Schmid Fine Tools.

If you wanted to lower costs and get the same results, Paul recommends the double sided 3" (76mm) x 8" (203mm) x ¼” (6mm) with one side 250 grit and the other side 1200 grit. By missing out the middle grit, it means you will have to spend longer on the fine grit to complete the honing and you won’t be able to permanently fix them into a holder.

When sharpening your tools, Paul recommends using auto glass cleaner to lubricate the stones, he prefers this over water as it doesn’t promote rust. One spray on each stone is enough. Use a tissue to mop up excess liquid when finished.

Visit our guide to see How to Make a Sharpening Stones Holder.

25 Comments

  1. Mark68 on 18 April 2019 at 11:38 am

    This is so very timely!

    Thank you for this

  2. Martyn Oliver on 18 April 2019 at 11:43 am

    “… a fine stone between 600-1000 (400 is best) …”

    I think “400” is a misprint.

    I started out with glass cleaner when I got my Diasharp stones, but I found it left a kind of waxy residue (in the same way that it tends to leave smears on your windscreen unless you polish it out afterwards – which you can’t do with a diamond stone). So I bought a bottle of Trend Lapping Fluid which works perfectly. A little goes a long way.

  3. Mark68 on 18 April 2019 at 11:56 am

    On further research, I found this on the website linked below. It concerns the 3″ x 8″ stones suggested above:

    “Note: These EZE-LAP diamond sharpeners are less suitable for dressing water stones — or chisel faces — since the flatness can deviate by to 0.3 mm, measured with a feeler gauge on a granite measuring table. If you’re looking for optimal flatness then we recommend you use Atoma diamond sharpening plates.”

    http://www.fine-tools.com/ezelap-diasharpener.html

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 18 April 2019 at 3:04 pm

      Hi Mark,

      I passed on your question to Paul and his answer is below:

      True flatness in sharpening is very rarely an essential and there is no such thing with any abrasive surface, as flatness because as soon as you start to abrade the steel you compromise the surface. I have used EZE-LAP diamond plates for almost 2 decades with absolutely no complaints. The difference between me and people selling diamond plates is that my information is from a working knowledge in the field.

      Kind Regards,
      Izzy

  4. Mark68 on 18 April 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Hi Izzy,

    Thanks very much for the reply. I was thinking the same thing; if Paul recommends uses and recommends it, I buy it 🙂

    Thanks again.

  5. Mark68 on 18 April 2019 at 5:27 pm

    Actually, Martyn does raise a good point.

    In one Youtube video, Paul is using his sharpening stones and says they are 250, between ‘600 and 800’ and 1200. In another video, Paul says the middle stone is of 800 grit.

    At the risk of being a pain, do you think you could you ask Paul to clarify what grit the medium stone is, please?

    Thank you Izzy.

    (Also, apologies for my barely legible post above – not sure what happened there).

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 1 May 2019 at 1:41 pm

      Hi Mark,

      Paul says the following and suitable:
      Coarse stone between 120-400 grit
      Fine stone between 600-1000
      Super-fine between 1200-1500

      We ordered the 250, 600, 1200 and he is happy with them.

      Kind Regards,
      Izzy

  6. Stefan Risto on 24 April 2019 at 9:46 am

    Hello Izzy,

    i am pretty new to woodworking and just bought the double sided 3″ x 8″ stone with 400 and 1200 grit from EZE LAP one week ago. I wasnt sure if the 250 and 1200 was too much of a discrepancy.
    I was doing a lot of sharpening (few chisels, plane soles and irons) with the stone this weekend. I used glas cleaner for the process but i also rinsed the stone with water from time to time because of all the abrasion. After some hours of sharpening i realized that the metal under the diamonds started to rust and was colouring the abrasion brown.
    Do you know if the rust will be of any problem for the chisel, planes etc or is the rust no problem since the chisel only touches the diamonds and not the iron itself? If this is a problem, do you know what i could do?

    Thanks for all the guides on this site. That really helps a lot.

    Greetings from Germany
    Stefan

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 30 April 2019 at 2:01 pm

      Hi Stefan,

      It is worth drying them off to make sure they don’t rust badly. Paul’s sharpening stones have rusted slightly, this is nothing to worry about.

      Kind Regards,
      Izzy

  7. Mark68 on 30 April 2019 at 10:46 pm

    Does Paul mean 800 grit when he says 600? I ask because in one video he says it’s 800 grit.

  8. Mark68 on 2 May 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Thank you very much Izzy

  9. Christian Bieck on 11 August 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Another question on the window cleaner. We usually mix it ourselves with water and methylated spirit plus a shot of vinegar (works great for glass and much cheaper). Any reason not to use that with the stones, probably without the vinegar?

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 13 August 2019 at 3:08 pm

      Hi Christian,

      Paul says:
      I avoid some kinds of DIY and that’s one of them. The pre-bottled version is more convenient for me, that’s all.

      Kind Regards,
      Izzy

  10. Dan Radovsky on 9 October 2019 at 3:53 pm

    Why auto glass cleaner rather than regular glass cleaner?

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 11 October 2019 at 1:50 pm

      Hi Dan,

      Paul says this is because the auto glass cleaner does not have any sudsiness to it such as soap and ammonia which can result in rust.

      Kind Regards,
      Izzy

  11. Michael Thompson on 31 October 2019 at 10:54 pm

    Hi Izzy,

    I may be a little behind but I knew at one time Paul recommended the use of a strop after the diamond plates. Does he have a recommendation for leather and compound? I’ve seen green and white and I think one other.

    I’d like to incorporate one into my routine and would appreciate the advice.

    Thanks!
    Mike Thompson

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 4 November 2019 at 12:42 pm

      Hi Michael,

      You can find out more about the buffing compound Paul recommends here. Paul talks about the leather in our How to Make a Strop guide.

      Let me know if you have any more questions!

      Kind Regards,
      Izzy

  12. António on 19 November 2019 at 8:05 pm

    Hi there, team member who will read this.
    Being on a budget but wanting to upgrade from a cheap combination stone and sandpaper…
    I saw that EZE lap sells 6″x2″ diamond plates, so I was wondering, Besides the size does Paul see any other problem?
    I already quit using a sharpening guide, so I was thinking I could get away with a bit shorter stone.

    Thanks for your time in advance

    António

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 26 November 2019 at 8:33 am

      Hi António,

      Paul says:
      You get what you pay for, the extra width and length does make honing easier. That said, a 6×2 will work, even though you are getting half the surface area, how that translates into price I don’t know.

      Kind regards,
      Izzy

  13. Andy Aumann on 2 December 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Hi Folks,

    I am new to hand tool skills, but am very passionate about pursuing the skill. I’ve already acquired a Stanley 4 & 5 plane and am in the process of restoration. I’ve read Paul’s Blog about his recommendations between DMT and EZE-Lap stones. While I am making every effort to go with his recommendations for tools as I get started, I’m finding DMT stones to be more easily accessible for purchase and a little cheaper too! I am wondering, would there extra coarse (220 grit) be an acceptable substitute to go along with the 600 and 1200?

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 4 December 2019 at 3:48 pm

      Hi Andy,

      Paul says yes, that would be fine.

      Kind regards,
      Izzy

  14. Marc T on 10 December 2019 at 1:10 pm

    This is my first post but I started looking at Pauls videos some time back and always enjoy them, and want to say ‘Thanks so much Paul for what you are doing’.

    In these modern and fast & furious times it is so invaluable to have someone like you trying to train people not only about techniques but also I dare to say you demonstrate how one could approach things generally in life, connected, with calmness, using your senses and replying to it (e.g. to the tool or the workpiece) instead of penetratefully brute-forcing things (like often with power tools).

    But back to the topic, I used to use Japanese water stones but now want to switch to diamonds. If you’d have to choose “Atoma” stones which come with grits 140, 400, 600 ,1200, which triple (or which ones) would you choose?
    (https://www.fine-tools.com/diasharpener.html)

    It is meant for Chisels and bench plane irons, not for restauration of vintage ones but initializing and maintaining ones which are already near a working state. I could imagine that 140 is quiet coarse but 400 and 600 seem quite close. 400, 600,1200 or 140, 400, 1200?

    Thanks in advance
    Sincerely
    Marc

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 16 December 2019 at 8:44 am

      Hi Marc,

      Paul says:
      I’ve never used Atoma stone so can’t really guide you.

      Kind Regards,
      Izzy

  15. Jacek Nowak on 5 June 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Hi,

    Greetings from Poland!
    I’m new to woodworking and I can’t afford to buy all three diamond stones at once, but I really want to sharpen my tools and get started. I’m currently using sandpaper, but it’s hard to sharpen tools properly, it also takes a lot of time and space to use so many pieces of sandpaper. I want to buy one diamond stone at first and use it along with sandpaper, then buy another one, and finally get all three. Which gradation of diamond stone you recommend to buy first to get the best result?

    Thanks in advance,
    Sincerely
    Jack

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