Tool Review: Lapping plates by Nano Hone
Nano Hone lapping plates feature raised abrasive elements that speed the flattening process by increasing the edges in contact with the waterstone.
Waterstones are a great way to sharpen, but because they wear from use, you need a way to keep them flat. Sandpaper on glass is a cheap option, but most of us end up investing in a coarse diamond plate at some point.
Harrelson Stanley, who has been in the sharpening business for quite a while, has come up with two new types of diamond plates that handle the job quite well. Sold under the name Nano Hone, both plates feature raised abrasive elements that speed the flattening process by increasing the edges in contact with the waterstone.
What differentiates one plate from the other is how the diamonds are incorporated. The NL-5 uses the traditional method of adhering the diamond to a nickel plating on an aluminum base. The more expensive NL-8 features buttons made from a diamond-and-steel matrix that is adhered to a stainless-steel backing plate. It is touted as having an almost unlimited lifespan. Both performed incredibly well, removing stock quickly and leaving a flat surface with fewer deep scratches than my current plate. In a home shop like mine, I think that the NL-5 would serve me well, but in a high-use environment, the NL-8 may be worth the additional investment. Both are 21⁄2 in. wide by 91⁄2 in. long.
—Michael Pekovich is FWW’s creative director.