The Trend whetstone kit is a quick and easy solution that allows you to spend less time sharpening and more time working on your projects.
This kit comes with a two sided 300/1000 grit diamond whetstone, cutting fluid, leather strop with compound, honing guide, non-slip mat, cleaning block, and nylon storage pouch.
How To Use The Trend Sharpening Kit
Lets run through the process of sharpening a chisel to a razor edge. Using the honing guide is a matter of preference and skill, but we’ll use it for completeness of the review. First, choose which bevel angle you want to use. There are 4 choices including 25, 30, 35, and 40 degrees. Smaller angles will give a sharper edge at the cost of durability. I have two sets of bench chisels, one is honed to 25 degrees and the other is honed to 35 degrees. This way, I don’t have to compromise, I just use the 35’s for “rough and tumble” work and the 25’s for finish/detail work. You have two options to set the angle of the honing guide. A quick note about the honing guide: Use a screw driver to tighten down the locking knob.
You can maintain the current angle of the chisel or plane blade by sliding the tool through the honing guide and then resting the bevel flat on the whetstone while tightening the honing guide.
You can use the angle block to change the angle of your chisel or plane blade by again sliding the tool through the honing guide and then resting the bevel on the correct angle “step” while tightening the honing guide.
Now you’re ready to get sharpening! Lay your stone on the non slip mat atop a cleared work surface. Grab the honing fluid and dab a bit on the stone. This lubricates the stone during sharpening and prevents the diamond cutting surface from getting clogged. Starting off on the 300 grit side, you’ll notice that there are grooves cut into the surface of the stone. This helps in clearing out the metal particles removed in the sharpening process, which speeds up this step. Run the blade across the stone until the proper angle is attained. Make sure the bevel of the blade has a uniform scratch pattern, as this means the entire surface has been sharpened.
Now, flip the stone over to the 1000 grit side, throw a bit of honing fluid on, and repeat the process. Only light pressure is needed while sharpening. Run the blade across the stone until you attain a uniform scratch pattern. I examine the blade’s edge and make sure there are no inconsistencies before removing the blade from the honing guide.
Once your blade is uniformly sharpened, you’re ready to remove the blade from the honing guide. It’s now time to dress the back of the blade. During the sharpening process, you will have created a burr on the back side of the blade. This burr can be felt by sliding your finger on the back of the blade away from the cutting edge.
Ensure that there is adequate honing fluid still on the stone, add more if needed, and lay the back of the blade on the stone at 20-45 degrees. Slide the blade across the stone long enough to remove the burr. This should only take 1-2 passes.
With the burr removed, you’re now ready to polish the blade with the leather strop and lapping compound. Lay the strop on your work surface and apply the lapping compound in a zig zag pattern. With the bevel against the strop and applying moderate downward pressure, pull the blade towards yourself with the cutting edge trailing. Repeat until the bevel is shiny.
Now polish the back of the blade by laying the blade flat on the strop and angle it at 20-45 degrees, pulling the blade towards yourself with the cutting edge trailing.
Now you should have an edge that is razor sharp and ready to make shavings! In good conscience, I can’t tell you to shave a few hairs off your arm to test the edge, but you certainly could if you felt so inclined! My wife can always tell when I’ve been sharpening tools because I’ll come in the house with little bald patches all over my left arm 🙂 If you have to see something sliced cleanly, grab the newspaper and watch the blade slice it with little to no pressure!
While I had everything out, I also sharpened up a new plane blade. The process is the same as for sharpening a chisel so I’ll just get to showing off the results!
It’s a total joy to use a sharp plane, little pressure is needed and curlicue shavings are your reward.
A surface finish that doesn’t require sanding is always nice too! Check out how smooth this piece is!
Other Uses For The Trend Diamond Whetstone
Flattening a Whetstone
If you have other whetstones, you know they need to be flattened from time to time. The Trend diamond whetstone is perfect for this task! The honing fluid used on the diamond stone is water soluble, which means it won’t degrade your pricey Japanese waterstones. If you’ve had the privilege of using loose silicon carbide grit with a glass plate and water to flatten a stone, you’ll quickly appreciate the convenience and time savings of using the Trend diamond whetstone for this process. The task is simple. Mark your whetstone to be flattened with a pencil in a zig zag pattern.
Wet the 300 grit side of your Trend diamond whetstone with honing fluid and run the whetstone to be flattened across the Trend stone until the pencil lines disappear.
Lapping another stone will really load up your Trend diamond whetstone, so be sure to clean it with the cleaning block. It’s pretty amazing that this little block pulls all the gunk on the Trend whetstone.
Carbide tooling is becoming more and more present in small shop & hobby woodworking. The downside is that most folks either don’t know how or lack the equipment to sharpen carbide. With diamond abrasives, you can sharpen all your carbide tools, including inserts for turning tools!
Many tool manufacturers that have entered the world of carbide insert turning tools pitch these tools as “never sharpen again!” products. While these companies don’t blatantly say that you can’t sharpen carbide, they do all they can to insinuate it so that you buy replacement inserts at $14 – $25 a pop. By the way, that’s way overpriced for the kind of inserts that are used in these tools! To sharpen a flat top insert, such as a RCGW, SCGW, or DCGW, all you do is take the insert out, throw some honing fluid on the 1000 grit side of your Trend diamond whetstone, and run the top of the insert across the surface. Check the cutting edge and repeat until the insert is sufficiently sharp!
If you have a round cutter, such as RCGT, which is similar to what Hunter Tool Systems uses, just secure the insert with a bolt and nut and chuck the thing in a drill press or hand drill. Wet the Trend diamond whetstone with honing fluid and hold it against the spinning insert for a few seconds then turn off the drill. Check the edge of your insert and keep sharpening if needed. Pretty simply, huh?
What Makes The Trend Sharpening Kit So Great?
The Trend sharpening products were developed by James Barry, a leading expert in the field of diamond abrasives with over 25 years of experience. James acknowledges that his products are more expensive, but just like most things in life and doubly so for tools, you get what you pay for! He has worked with American, Swiss, and Japanese diamond whetstone manufacturers and has amassed an extensive knowledge base of sharpening solutions and techniques.
The entire line of Trend sharpening products utilizes monocrystalline diamonds that are electroplated onto a steel substrate that’s been flattened within .0005″. Just for comparison, the average human hair is .004″ in diameter. We’re just going to say that this stone is flat!
So there was some technical mumbo jumbo in there… Lemme clear it up if you’re sitting there like “whaaaa?”
There are two types of crystalline structure for diamond abrasives. Monocrystalline and polycrystalline. From your grade school days, you probably remember that mono means one and poly means many. Polycrystalline diamonds have multiple cutting surfaces, which removes material faster initially, but they break down faster. As this happens, the Polycrystalline diamonds become a increasingly finer grit. Monocrystalline diamonds hold up longer and will give consistent performance much longer than their polycrystalline counterparts.
The second contributing factor to the awesomeness of this product is that the diamonds are electroplated onto the substrate instead of glued on. Think about it. If the diamonds were merely glued on, the glue could fail long before the diamond was actually dulled. Not the case with electroplating, which forms a bond between the substrate and diamonds on a molecular level.
By using better diamonds and a superior adhesion process, Trend produces superior diamond whetstones. They also offer a 5 year warranty on the stones, not that you’ll need it though.
The things that make this kit great are that it’s quick and easy to use. Woodworkers are famous for “being one tool away from greatness”. Well, I’m here to say that as far as sharpening my hand tools goes, I’m set and this is the only sharpening kit I’ll be using. I’d highly recommend this product to professional and hobbyist woodworkers alike.
Other Trend Products WSM Has Reviewed
The Grinding Stone is a great addition to any sharpening arsenal! Check out the article, Trend Grinding Stone, Up For Review to see how this diamond whetstone performs!
The AirShield Pro is a superb powered respirator for all things woodworking. Be sure to read the article, Trend AirShield Pro, Up For Review where I discuss this product and Trend’s amazing customer support!
As always, feel free to leave your questions or comments below. If I missed something or lost you in the article, I’ll be happy to clear up any confusion! Thanks for reading, y’all!
Full Disclosure: This product was provided by Trend for my unbiased use and review. If I wouldn’t buy or use this product I’d tell you. Rest assured, the Trend Diamond Whetstone Kit is great!