These are the plaques I use and love. The curved ends make them natural reed cleaners, and if like me you like to magnetize your knife these plaques will respond to that magnetic force.
I have them in two strengths now – the regular ones are what most oboists seem to prefer. My favorites are the others, though – MUCH thinner than others on the market, the super skinny plaques won’t stress your reed by pushing the blades wide apart. These can feel a little flimsy under your fingers, though, and they wear out pretty fast, so that’s the downside…
You have to have something, though. The plaque is a tiny but essential part of the process.