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Tormek are happy to offer diamond wheels to our users in three different grades; coarse, fine and extra fine. Diamond is the world’s hardest material and functions optimally with our machine’s low wheel rotation speed.
In this video, we get to meet our CEO Håkan who was responsible for the development of our diamond grinding wheels. He explains why Tormek has chosen diamond over other abrasives and answers common questions on the subject.
With Tormek’s Diamond Wheels, you can sharpen all types of material, incl. steel, HSS, ceramics and carbide. More on each diamond wheel:
DC-200 Diamond Wheel Coarse
The coarse grinding wheel for Tormek T-4 for efficient grinding. Rapidly repairs a dull or damaged edge. Grit 360.
DF-200 Diamond Wheel Fine
The ultimate all round wheel for Tormek T-4 combining efficient steel removal with smooth surface finish. Grit 600.
DE-200 Diamond Wheel Extra Fine
Leaves an extra fine finish with Tormek T-4 and is especially suitable for sharpening carving tools and knives when the need for steel removal is minimal. Grit 1200.
DC-250 Diamond Wheel Coarse
The coarse grinding wheel for Tormek T-8 for efficient grinding. Rapidly repairs a dull or damaged edge. Grit 360.
DF-250 Diamond Wheel Fine
The ultimate all round wheel for Tormek T-8 combining efficient steel removal with smooth surface finish. Grit 600.
DE-250 Diamond Wheel Extra Fine
Leaves an extra fine finish with Tormek T-8 and is especially suitable for sharpening carving tools and knives when the need for steel removal is minimal. Grit 1200.
Tormek’s Diamond Wheels are constructed with a precision machined steel frame. The frame is coated with a single layer of diamond grit that is electrolytically anchored with nickel. The Tormek Diamond Wheels also have a layer of diamond on the side, which enables side sharpening with the Multi Base MB-100 for a fully flat sharpening surface.
When the diamond layer is touched by the swarf from your tool, pores will be created in the nickel coating, exposing the steel core. Therefore, always use the ACC-150 Anti-Corrosion Concentrate in the water when sharpening with water to prevent rust on the grinding wheel. Add 10 ml of concentrate to 250 ml water (~4%).
We recommend to always use water when sharpening with Tormek’s Diamond Wheels, as water cooled sharpening prolongs the life of the wheel and provides a finer surface. It is also possible to sharpen without water.
New diamond wheels are sensitive to high pressure since the grits are very sharp, therefore, sharpen with a very low pressure in the beginning. At first usage, the diamond surface will seem aggressive, so you should expect to feel and hear that some diamond grits stand out and gives a coarser surface. After a short break-in period, the diamond crystals will stabilize to a uniform level to give a finer surface. When sharpening with diamond, always use a lower sharpening pressure than when you sharpen with grindstones. If you are unsure, begin with a lower sharpening pressure and gradually increase.
Synthetic diamond is ideal for tool grinding and is used in the manufacturing of whetstones when highest performance is prioritized. The diamond grits are harder and maintain the cutting properties better compared to CBN, which means that sharpening with diamond is faster.
CBN, or Cubic Boron Nitride, is classified as the world’s second hardest material according to the Knoop scale.
The diagram shows different types of material and their hardness according to the Knoop scale.
CBN is better suited when sharpening with a traditional bench grinder. The high speed generates heat, which would break down the diamond grits. With the Tormek method, where you sharpen at a low speed (90-100 rpm), we can offer the possibility to sharpen with the world's hardest material, diamond.
Thermal performance of Diamond and CBN
The diagram shows how the diamond’s hardness decreases at high temperature.
Sharpening with a low rotating speed is always beneficial. No heat is generated and there is no risk of overheating your tools.
The life span of a diamond wheel is affected by several external factors, e.g. how often you sharpen, sharpening pressure and if you shape your tools often. This means that we cannot give our diamond wheels an exact life span, but we know several professionals who have used our diamond wheels in their workshop for over a year, without noticeable wear. Compared to CBN, diamond wheels have a longer life span. This is because diamond is clearly harder and resistant to abrasion for much longer.
How you maintain your Tormek Diamond Wheel also affects the life span. We recommend to always sharpen with water, since it prolongs the life of the diamond wheel. When sharpening with water, always use ACC-150 Anti-Corrosion Concentrate to prevent rust on your grinding wheel. Add 10 ml of concentrate to 250 ml water (~4 %). If you want to save the mix overnight, remember to lower the water trough to prevent discoloration on the diamond wheel. As long as there is water in the water trough, the concentrate retains its characteristics. Please note that ACC-150 does not contain any fungicide, so be aware that no biological particles are left in the water trough if you want to save your mix. It is also good to let the diamond wheel drain after use.
If you are new to sharpening, we recommend that you start by using the Tormek Original Grindstone. One big advantage is that you can easily change the grit size with the Stone Grader SP-650. From 220 grit to the equivalent of 1000 grit, where the first one will cut more aggressively and the latter will give a finer finish.
Grindstones and diamond wheels both have their strong advantages. The diamond ‘s characteristics provide a high and constant abrasive power and a wheel that always has a full-size diameter which remains flat. It can be of great use if you often sharpen the same tool, as it simplifies both the setting and grinding. Our Diamond Wheels also have a diamond layer on the outside, which allows for a completely flat grinding surface with the Multi Base MB-100.
We also offer Tormek Blackstone Silicon 220 grit, especially developed to shape and sharpen HSS and other exotic alloyed steels. For those who appreciate a true mirror finish, we have the Tormek Japanese Waterstone with 4000 grits. Please note that you shouldn’t sharpen on the outside of our grindstones, as they cannot be trued flat again.
You can alternate between sharpening with a grindstone and a diamond wheel on the same machine. The particles from the grinding wheels sink to the bottom due to their weight, which means you cannot damage your diamond wheel if there are stone particles in the water trough and vice versa.
Before you decide which grinding wheel to choose, start thinking about your future sharpening needs. Will you sharpen a range of tools with different angles? Do you want several features in one grinding wheel? Are you looking for the finest surface finish? Your needs will guide your choice.
Tormek Original Grindstone (220–1000 grit)
For sharpening of all types of edge tools. Developed to combine efficient steel removal, smooth surface finish and long life. Is always recommended for beginners, as you get a flexible stone with two cutting features.
Blackstone Silicon (220–1000 grit)
Developed for shaping and sharpening HSS and other exotic alloyed steels. Delivers fast steel removal.
Japanese Waterstone (4000 grit)
Provides excellent surface finish where a minimum of steel removal is needed. You will get a mirror finish. Especially suited for carving tools and knives.
Diamond Wheel Coarse (360 grit)
Rapidly repairs a dull or damaged edge. The diamond layer on the outside allows for a completely flat grinding surface when used in conjunction with the Multi Base MB-100.
Diamond Wheel Fine (600 grit)
Provides a fine surface finish on all types of edge tools. Combines efficient steel removal with smooth surface finish. The diamond layer on the outside allows for a completely flat grinding surface when used in conjunction with the Multi Base MB-100.
Diamond Wheel Extra Fine (1200 grit)
Provides an extra fine surface finish. Ideal for sharpening knives and carving tools, where a minimum of steel removal is needed. The diamond layer on the outside allows for a completely flat grinding surface when used in conjunction with the Multi Base MB-100.
Aren’t diamond and CBN the same thing?
No, they are two different materials. Diamond is the world’s hardest material and CBN the second hardest. Their structure resembles of each other, but diamond cannot be used at too high temperatures as the diamond grits will be broken down. Thanks to the low rotation speed on Tormek’s machines, diamond is the optimal choice.
Do I have to use water when sharpening with Tormek’s Diamond Wheels?
You can sharpen dry as well, but we always recommend using water. It prolongs the wheel’s life span and provides a finer surface. Remember to use ACC-150 Anti-Corrosion Concentrate when sharpening with water.
Are diamond wheels better than grindstones?
To decide which grinding wheel is the best for you, you have to look at your particular needs. Read more on our diamond wheels and grindstones and find the right grinding wheel for you.
My new diamond wheel sharpens very aggressively, is this normal?
Yes. At first usage, you should expect to feel and hear that some diamond grits stand out, which makes the wheel more aggressive. After a short break-in period, the diamond crystals will stabilize to a uniform level.
Does the Diamond Wheel Extra Fine provide a finer surface compared to the Japanese Waterstone?
These grinding wheels have 1200 and 4000 grits respectively. You will achieve a fine result, no matter which grinding wheel you choose, but the Japanese Waterstone gives a higher finish.
Which machines are the Tormek Diamond Wheels compatible with?
Our diamond wheels are currently available for Tormek machines with a ⌀ 250 mm grinding wheel, for example Tormek T-8, Tormek T-7 and Tormek 2000. Please note that we cannot guarantee any results if you use our grinding wheels on a machine produced by another manufacture.
I have been using my Tormek Diamond Wheel for a while and don’t think it is as aggressive now as it used to be, is this normal?
Yes, after a short break-in period, the diamond wheel will achieve its designed characteristics. When your diamond wheel is new, some diamond grits stand out, which makes the wheel more aggressive.
Why does it splash so much water when I sharpen with a diamond wheel?
Diamond wheels do not absorb any water, unlike our grindstones. It is therefore recommended to use less water in the water trough when sharpening with the Tormek Diamond Wheels.
How should I maintain a diamond wheel?
Always lower the water trough in between sharpenings to prevent discolouring. Remember to always use a lower sharpening pressure than you do when sharpening with a grindstone.If you are unsure, begin with a lower sharpening pressure and gradually increase.