A while back, I decided to abandon super fine sharpening stones because my 1200 and 8000 grit diamond plates had worn unevenly and were ruining my plane irons. After much consideration, I have relented and picked up another 1200 grit plate for plane iron sharpening.
I did so not because sharpening only to 600 grit didn’t get the job done. On the contrary, I would defy anyone to notice the difference from a more highly polished iron.
I reacquired a 1200 grit plate because I was removing far too much material during routine sharpening. Even a couple of swipes to dress up an edge was eradicating the slight camber I put on my irons, turning routine sharpening into a grinding-level ordeal. Micro bevels became nigh-impossible and the ruler trick was rendered useless with the heavier grit.
I will say that all my irons are flatter than ever after two months of sharpening only to 600 grit, but I am hoping that the finer stone will bring routine sharpening back to an under-two minute endeavor. And that’s the point, right? Making it easier?