To be frank, I’m not a fan of sharpening hand tools using diamond systems because I don’t find the final edge as ideal as one produced on oilstones or waterstones. That said, the new Trend Diamond Honing & Polishing kit (DWS/KIT/B) gets so many things bang-on correct that it is worth recommending for beginners.
For starters, for a $200 investment, you get everything – everything – you need to grind, hone and polish tools. There’s nothing else to buy.
The heart of the system is a two-sided diamond plate. One side is #300 grit (50 micron) for occasional grinding; the other is #1,000 grit (10 micron) for daily honing chores. The stone is lubricated by a light petroleum-based oil (included) that keeps the stone free of rust and swarf. Plus, you get an eraser for cleaning the stone.
The second important part of the system is a honing guide and angle-setting jig. This side-clamp guide is worlds away better than a typical Eclipse guide. It clamps tools up to 21⁄2” wide securely, but has two flaws. It runs on a wide 21⁄2” roller, which is great for straight edges, but prevents you from cambering bench plane irons. Second, it won’t hold a blade for a No. 8 and some odd-shaped tools. But all-in-all, it’s great for beginners.
Also included is a leather strop with honing compound for a final polish. Stropping a diamond edge will improve its cutting action, but it doesn’t produce as durable an edge because of the remaining deep diamond scratches.
You also get an instructional DVD and handy carrying case. In all, it’s a good product for people who work in the field or are just starting out. As you become more skilled, you’ll want to add finer stones to the system to chase after edges that produce perfect surfaces.
Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.