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Saturday, 10 November 2012

Fallkniven DC3 Whetstone Review

Key Info
  • Diamond and ceramic sides – two different grades of abrasive.
  • Pocket size.
  • Comes with handy leather pouch.
  • Requires no oil, water etc.
Overview
The Fallkniven DC3 Whetstone, the little brother of the slightly larger DC4 Whetstone, is a nice little stone to have in anybody's kit, made by the very highly regarded knife manufacturer, Fallkniven. I will start by saying that this stone is not a full size stone, and it's not meant to replace a full-size stone, it's pocket-sized, but that means that it's perfect for when you're out and about and need to quickly sharpen your knife (if you're looking for a sharpener for every day carry, not just when in the outdoors, the Gerber Pocket Sharpener – reviewed here – might be more suitable). One side is a piece of brass, coated with industrial diamond dust. This side is used for removing chips and dents from your blade. On the other side, there is a block of ceramic material. This is used for finer sharpening. The ceramic is of a medium to fine grade, but is not super fine – it is leaning towards a medium grit – great for quickly restoring a good edge to your knife, but not for achieving a razor-blade level of sharpness. Being a whetstone, no oil or water is required when using it, so it makes it perfect for sharpening quickly, without making a mess!

Use
As I previously mentioned, no oil or water is required when using this stone. The diamond side is for removing damage from your blade, and the ceramic is for general sharpening. When you first use it, it will seem very coarse, but this soon smooths out to a nice level of coarseness. The coarseness is probably a little too coarse for use on very small blades, such as those on keyring-sized tools, but is perfect for the every-day kind of sizes – 2.5 to 5 inches long. The small size of the stone takes some getting used to. It is often difficult to move the whole length of longer-bladed knives along the stone, as you run off the end of it, but sharpening of longer knives can be achieved by moving the blade over the stone in two “halves” (it's difficult to really explain what I mean!). When using this whetstone, it helps to take a piece of wood and hammer four small nails into it, and sit the stone in between them to hold it steady, otherwise, due to it's light weight, it has a tendency to move around when you try to use it! Once you practice on a few older knives, you can get a really good edge with this stone, and you soon become used to compensating for the small size. It is unlikely that you will achieve the same sharpness as you would with a larger stone, or several more grades of stone, but knives are still very sharp after having been sharpened on the DC3.

Conclusion
For a lightweight, pocket-sized stone to accompany you outdoor knife, the DC3 is perfect. It is not a replacement to a set of larger stones, but is excellent for use in the field, when you don't want to be carting several brick-like stones around everywhere! If you're after a whetstone for use when away from home, you can't go wrong with the DC3. 

The DC3 is available on Amazon.com

4 comments:

  1. A knife is not much good unless it's sharp. Sounds like a good addition. Thanks for the review.

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  2. Can you recommend the DC4 for use on a Swisstool, or shoulkd I go for the Double Stuff, because of it's finer grind? Cheers

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    Replies
    1. Hi
      For the Swisstool, I would probably go for the Spyderco (double stuff). I think that the DC4s diamond side might be a bit aggressive, and the ceramic side isn't super fine either. The DC4 (and DC3) I think are probably suited better to larger knives, or knives with very hard steels, like S30V, because they remove metal surprisingly quickly! Personally, I prefer to take a bit longer using a finer stone, such as the Double Stuff, to sharpen, rather than a coarser one like the DC4/3, but obviously that's just personal preference.
      So, I'd advise you to go for the Double Stuff, as Swisstools are pretty easy to sharpen anyway, and the fine side is probably all you'll use 90% of the time! Also, it's probably worth mentioning that I think that the Spyderco is probably slightly better quality too.
      Hope that helps.
      Derek.

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    2. ...just thought I'd also say that if this is the only way you'll have to sharpen the Swisstool, it's worth mentioning that the DC4 as it's a bit bigger than the Double Stuff, so it is a bit less fiddly to use!

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