In Search of the Perfect Benchstone
The pros and cons of Arkansas stones, ceramic stones, diamond lapping plates and waterstones
Synopsis: Brian T. Derber and his students evaluate a variety of benchstones to see how they measure up to Derber’s experience sharpening on razor hones. They looked at five types and explain why each is best for a particular type of job. Arkansas benchstones are good for high-carbon steel; Japanese waterstones can sharpen the hardest steels. Norton waterstones are an improvement over Japanese in some ways; ceramic stones are narrow but cut well; and diamond lapping plates are best for initial honing. A chart shows how the benchstones compare, listing their uses, pros, cons, and cost. A side article discusses how to know when your tool is sharp enough.
From Fine Woodworking #127
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