Atoma 140

Summary: The Atoma 140 is the most used tool for repairing or reprofiling knives in my sharpening kit.

Grit: Extra Coarse 140 grit, which is as coarse as sharpening stones get.

Break-in: It takes four to five sharpening sessions to break in the Atoma 140. After that, the surface feels a bit smoother and less likely to catch the edge of a knife. 

Speed: The current sample has been in my sharpening kit for over five years. It still performs great. It is slightly slower than a new or lightly used Atomam plate, but it is still faster cutting than the fastest synthetic coarse whetstones, such as the Shapton 120

Longevity: There is a lot of confusion around the lifespan of these plates. People have told me they have to replace the cutting blade once every one or two years, while the Atoma plates I own are over five years old, with no signs of giving up soon. So if I had to put a number on it, these would last between five and ten years. 

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Should you get one?: Diamond plates are an investment in your sharpening kit. I would not recommend them for beginners. If you are someone who plans on opening a sharpening business or foresee yourself fixing lots of incredibly dull or chipped knives, the Atoma plates make a lot of sense. On the other hand, if you are only exploring hand sharpening or have never used an ultra coarse whetstone, these diamond plates may be too aggressive to handle. I will always have one in my sharpening kit.

Value: For someone like myself who regularly restores vintage Japanese knives, I need a tool that can help me reshape cutting profiles quickly by hand. These Atoma plates cost the same as a good quality Japanese synthetic whetstone. So, instead of buying a similar grit whetstone like the Shapton 120, I have the Atoma 140. And because of how long these will last, they offer an incredible value.

Conclusion: Of course, I could invest in an electric grinder or belt sander, but sharpening by hand gives me the most control. I can afford mistakes and minor scratches that are easy to correct. Messing up on a belt grinder will cost more time and energy to fix. So, whether I fix chipped blades or sharpen incredibly dull ones, the Atoma 140 will always remain in my sharpening kit

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