Owner of Cutting Edge Customer Sharpening
Owner, Founder of Phantom Edge Shears
Thank you for making one of the most precise tools for our trade. This nano hone has improved my sharpening skills and elevated it to a level I never knew could be reached. Talk about flatness:)
This is dead on and I am happy to acknowledge that having this stone brought me just as much joy as purchasing other Japanese or German machinery. Precision at this level is something I always aim for and was eager to try it out right away. I flattened the back of a chisel so fast that I could hardly believe my eyes.
Flattening the stones was easy and the flatness was already showing through the stone not to mention when the chisel glided on it with such ease. I only use a 1200 and a ceramic stone for most work and the finish on the chisels was so much better. I guess there is a new meaning of flat to me experiencing this precision stone.
I have been testing the Nano Hone NL-5 and NL-10 lapping plates for the last 7 months. I am a full time sharpener and have put these 2 lapping plates through the ringer using them every day on many various materials and grit ranges.
The NL-5 works beautifully for a intermediate lapping plate and I highly recommend this plate for the shear/scissor industry as we are typically using stones in the ranges given above. The plate is still working extremely well after 7 months of use every day. I use this plate a bit differently than other sharpeners. I actually use it only to lap but to create slurry in between sharpening of individual blades to avoid cross contamination. The reason I mention this is so that you can get an accurate analysis of how much I uses this plate every day.
The NL-10 is an AWESOME flattening plate if your needs are to maintain a water stone on a daily basis I would recommend the NL-5 But if you are like most sharpeners and only flatten/lap your stones on a weekly or even monthly basis the NL-10 is the father of lapping plates. It's virtually indestructible and extremely flat, very fast cutting. It's very heavy, so the plate helps a lot in using its weight to lend a hand in pressure. I give the plate a 9 out of 10 stars. The only deduction is due to the design, it's next to impossible to work the edges of the water stone to get a flat bevel without damaging the stone.
It was a pleasure and privilege to have the opportunity to review these two NanoHone products in the field. I flatten my stones several times a day, I'm a mobile sharpener, and looking for a product that will produce a precisely flattened surface, with as little material removal as possible, and with as little mess as possible in my mobile environment.
I tested the Ridgetech, NL-5 star pattern 50 micron first for a week. It is a very nice lapping plate, I used it exclusively on my Shapton and Japanese Ceramic stones or 400, 1000, and 2000 grit. The process I followed was to place the stone in a tray, mist the surface evenly with water, and lap with the plate until smooth, level, flattened.
This was a new process for me. Prior to this test, I flattened the stones by lapping over wet/dry sandpaper on a piece of glass, which often resulted in sandpaper coming apart, and often was messy and frustrating. I also sometimes rubbed stones together to flatten.
I found the Ridgetech lapping plate to rub very smoothly across the stones, and while it did not take much pressure to flatten, it did take several passes before it really started to work. I found that it started slow, but then dug in more with each pass and the results were very nice, smooth, flat and easy to obtain. There was good control over the amount of material removed during the lapping process, and it was easy to tell when the stone was nicely flattened.
I then tried the NL-10 Button Tech. I found it to be very heavy, It self cleans very well, with very little scarf buildup. I needed very light and consistent pressure, and found that if I applied pressure even a little off to one side or the other, the result was still flat, but I removed more material to one side, resulting in uneven wear on my stone.
Over all, for my application, I prefer the Ridgetech, as it is lighter and easier to manage in my mobile environment. I would recommend the ButtonTech for anyone is a higher volume, shop based environment, and I think it worked better underwater that with just a spray of water on the stone.
Thank you NanoHone for developing these great stones, I highly recommend both as a great addition to any tool kit - far superior to any other method I have used to flatten my stones.