Topic: Superb DMT DiamondVee Rod Sharpener

The DMT DiamondVee diamond rod sharpener is a superb sharpening tool. It's much easier, quicker and safer to use than the diamond stones which have previously been used for sharpening jobs on reed knives. The 4-1/2" metal diamond sticks are mounted in a beautiful 5-1/2" lucite base. Although small and portable, the unit does tough sharpening jobs easily.

This tool means that rod sharpening tools can be use to sharpen all of your reed knives, from hardest steel to softer steel:

   * DMT DiamondVee diamond rod sharpener* (4-1/2" diamond rods)--hardened steels like Landwell M and H knives.
   * White ceramic rod sharpeners** (7-1/2" and 8-1/2" long rods depending on manufacturer)--medium hard knives like the Charles
     double hollow ground knife and the stainless steel knives like the Jende, and the Swiss double hollow ground knife.
   * RazR Steel*** (4-1/2" long metal rods in an inverted "Y" configuration)--shaping the burrs on all knives.

I recommend first sharpening your steak knives on the diamond rods to smooth out the rods and to practice with the diamond sharpening system which works quickly. Diamond sharpeners sharpen both faster and smoother after they are used a little bit. I also recommend using primarily "up" strokes on all of the rod sharpeners, because up strokes develop and direct the burr quicker without wearing away as much of the knife edge. On my toughest reed knife sharpening job so far, the diamond rods developed a fine burr with only four up strokes, alternating, on each side of the blade. Some of the harder knives like the Landwells would require more work to develop the burr.

The white ceramic sticks work well to smooth the burr developed on hardened-steel knives with the diamond sticks. On the softer steels, you don't need the diamond sticks at all, because the ceramic rods work fast enough, by themselves, to develop a good burr.

The last stage should be smoothing and directing the angle of the burr with the RazR Steel. These smooth steel rods require only slight pressure to direct the burr because they are dealing with a foil-thin burr on the knife edge that is so small and thin that it is invisible to the naked eye.

Because you can't see the burr, you should become adept at sensing it by feel. Letting the weight of the knife blade (very light) nick the back of your thumbnail at various angles is one way to sense the sharpness and angle of the blade. Another way is to turn the knife edge up and run your left and then your right thumbnail over the knife edge, feeling for the "catch" of the burr if it is curled one way or the other. For a right-handed person, the burr should curl to the right enough to peel up a curl of cane when scraping, just like a wood plane would do. You would develop this right-curling burr by stroking the knife up the left rod.

Edward B. Flowers (ob)
New York City

*DMT DiamondVee Knife Sharpener at :, <,> $34.95., <,> $38.85.
**White rod ceramic sharpeners <> (8-1/2" alumina ceramic) … ucts_id=34 <> (both carborundum       and ceramic rods) <> (similar to knifeart sharpener)

Last edited by edward flowers (2006-10-07 07:50:17)