Every once in a while I get to be pleasantly surprised by a new tool it actually works better than I expect. I have to say the new Double-Sided Dia-Sharp MagnaBase System from DMT was one of those times. After a recent review on the lapping plate I have to say I should not be surprised by the performance of other DMT products but this set has risen the bar on what I would expect from diamond sharpening all together. These plates are well constructed and I was provided with two 12 inch x 3 inch double-sided plates and a single base.
All a new woodworker could need to get his sharpening done.
I really took it to this set by sharpening a new set of Sweetheart chisels and several plane blades from the three most common steels, A1, A2, and pmv11. The Diamonds are very fast, in fact I found them to be as fast as my favorite water stones without the mess. After weeks of use the stones are not as aggressive as when new but they are still very fast and isn’t that like the most important feature? Well that and that you don’t have to lap these to keep them flat which is a big plus. I did still finish with my 12k wet stone but I am fussy about my edge I think the extra fine is equivalent to my 8k wet stone so it leaves a near mirror finish on the tools. I was so happy with this set that I added them to my permanent arsenal of sharping equipment. This system is less expensive than my stones and offers better portability. You don’t have to worry about breaking a plate, where hauling stones around often leads to a small disaster of some sort. So if you’re like I am and you take your woodworking out on the road I highly recommend this set of plates.
Now the folks at DMT say to use water with these plates and that does work well however I also used the lapping solution from trend and it just feels and works better than water. The stones can still be washed off with water when you are done and I recommend that you do wash them off. The second thing is this set has an un interrupted Diamond pattern, so no dots the catch filings however I like this better so go figure.
One thing I really love about this system is how its long plates work so well with a honing jig which lets my less skilled apprentice get a good edge without my standing over him or her depending on who is in the shop. Now I have to tell you this is the third product we have tested for DMT and they all have performed way better than advertised. I think this set is a lock for this so I am giving the set five stars out of five and also an Editor’s Choice Award for best diamond sharpening system. There are a couple of things I would like to see offered for this set such as a case to store them in which would be great just for road trips. Or Maybe I could take some advice from Chris Schwarz and make a Dutch Chest for my house calls. If you have a question about this review please post it in our forums, we watch them closely and would love some constructive feedback.