Hand Tools Archive

Re: Atoma
Response To:
Atoma ()

david weaver
Bill - you won't be able to control the travel of the tool neatly enough for that to be an issue, but you will feel the rows. They're so neatly arranged that the effect of machine rasp vs. hand cut is sort of there - they feel like you're honing on a zipper.

That said, the Atomas are probably more uniform in their scratches (not just the arrangement of the diamonds, but the size of the scratches they leave) than any other reasonably priced hone, so that kind of thing might be attractive.

I've never used an atoma finer than 400, and can't comment on their fitness for honing.

I believe Bill Tindall's regimen was a 600 EZE lap broken in and 1 micron diamonds, and it is a good one. The EZE-laps have a few snaggletooth diamonds on them when you first get them, but they get pulled loose soon enough. The fact that you're using only one loose diamond grit in a setup like that eliminates contamination problems that you can have if you use multiple sizes of loose diamonds (which can be a real pain if you're not intent on being really fussy with your sharpening area).

600 EZE laps are a bit coarse at first, but the next step up (1200) is too fine and slow once it's broken in. A broken in 600 eze-lap will work speed-wise more like a 1000 grit waterstone (ballparking it), and 1 micron diamonds are really fast, and can pick up from that point very well, but still make a fine edge that doesn't have much of an organized wire edge unless a substrate is rough and is roughing up the edge (it won't be the diamonds doing it, but milled substrates can be harsh on an edge until they're broken in).

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