Do you find some steels to be "friendly?"

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by UncleBoots, Jun 21, 2020.

  1. UncleBoots

    UncleBoots Gold Member Gold Member

    55
    May 27, 2020
    In John Juranitch's book on sharpening, which I read recently, he says:

    "...the Missus had the uncanny ability to tell if a knife was sharp or not. She very simply "thumbed" the edge by letting the knife edge cut into her fingerprints to a point where you could see the cut, but where it would hardly reach the base of the print. In this way, she could accurately grade an edge."

    I had a shock of recognition at this -- I've been doing it for years; it's how I judge an edge. I can tell you that this technique has a fatal flaw -- if you run an edge through a previous groove, you will definitely bleed, if the edge is worth anything. But my point here is that it's more than just sharpness that my much-abused thumb sussed out -- it was a genuine affection for one steel over another, based on the feel of the edge.

    It's not just an affection for a good edge. VG-10 takes a good edge, but feels just a bit numb. S110V and Maxamet take really formidable edges, but feel impersonal, hard, distant, almost ceramic-like. My first affection in this area was Blue Steel, in chisels and plane blades. Something about that edge spoke to me, and led me to seek out knives in that steel, whose edges I liked just as much. I thought that was the end of it, but then I discovered M390, whose edges I may like just a bit more than even Super Blue.

    Does anyone identify with this? If so, are there other steels that inspire this reaction for you?
     
  2. wade7575

    wade7575

    979
    Apr 3, 2013
    For sure M390 it has a very aggressive cutting edge whether or not it's toothy or polished,read the top part of this thread were it looks like less weight was used for M390 in the cut test's because it cut's so aggressively,if you never seen that thread I'm sure you will enjoy reading it.

    I like M390 so much that I honestly wish that M390 became the new standard for pocket knives the same way S30V is the standard and S30V could just go away and be a long distant memory that I would be happy to never recall again.
    https://www.bladeforums.com/threads...ed-on-edge-retention-cutting-5-8-rope.793481/

    What stones do you use to sharpen your S110V steel,I know I hated my first knife in S110V because I only had water stones and I didn't understand about needing to use diamonds and when the Venev stones came out I started to like it and then when they made the OCB stones I found you can get a really sharp edge even with the 1200 which is 4K in Jis.

    I know the first time I sharpened S110V with my KME to give it a polished edge I worked on that edge for what seemed like forever and using the the diamond stones and also the Chosera stones all the way up to 10K and you could tell the apex was very crisp but that knife was about as sharp as a butter knife for cutting a box open,I didn't know at the time water stones and a polished edge with S110V were a no no.
     
  3. mycough

    mycough

    May 20, 2007
    1095, M4, and for sure m390 seem friendly to me. I can get a great edge in a reasonable am
    ount of time, and I feel the improvement on the stone as I go.
     
  4. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Most low carbide content steels are easy to hone and "friendly", in that they will take a very fine edge, such as any of the 10-series high carbon steels or Sandvik stainless grades (Sandvik 12C27 is outstanding IMHO). Powder steels with high alloy content vary quite a bit. Benchmade's S30V (Mini-Rukus) is easier to sharpen and takes a finer edge than my Buck Custom Shop Ranger, though the latter cuts like a miniature chainsaw. CPM 20CV is very easy to sharpen and takes an incredibly fine edge, despite being one of those high alloy steels. My current "friendliest" steel is 3V (Benchmade Puukko 200), very tough, quite stain resistant, easy to sharpen to a hair popping edge.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
    mycough likes this.
  5. UncleBoots

    UncleBoots Gold Member Gold Member

    55
    May 27, 2020
    My S110V knife is new enough, and edge-retaining enough, that I haven't had to grapple yet with sharpening it. Glad to have your reminder about what to do and not do, when it does need sharpening.

    S110V sounds a lot less fun to sharpen than M390, which is my idea of a dream steel to sharpen. Maybe that's because, as you imply, it rewards almost any approach you might take. It also polishes up really nicely.
     
  6. grybsh7

    grybsh7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    Cpm154 takes what I call a clean/crisp edge. I've become a big fan of M390 lately.
    M2 and M4 are also favorites.
     
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  7. UncleBoots

    UncleBoots Gold Member Gold Member

    55
    May 27, 2020
    OK, I decided to take a run at sharpening the S110V, and, following your thoughts, I decided to go super-toothy, so I used some 3M diamond stones I've had forever, that have always seemed coarser then their nominal grit. First 200, then 400, and that's all. It was easy to make an apex and get a burr (these stones cut really fast). Taking off that burr was harder. Strop with 8 micron diamond paste -- nope. The Shapton glass 16000 did the trick, though. Not completely, but it cut things down to a place where a bunch of edge trailing strokes on a strop with 4 micron paste took the burr off. Now it's a nice edge, a very effective edge, with an ugly-looking coarse bevel but what works, works.
     
  8. wade7575

    wade7575

    979
    Apr 3, 2013
    @UncleBoots If you can afford it try getting the venev stones I just sold a second K03 that I had and wasn't using it and the guy I sold it to got the venev stones and he is just blown away at how well they work.
     
  9. SOLEIL

    SOLEIL Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 20, 2006
    All steel is friendly, for I have electricity and diamonds.
     
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  10. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    I use a DMT coarse (200 grit) and finish on a DMT ultra fine for my S100V Military.
    se
     
  11. Ben Dover

    Ben Dover Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 2, 2006
    I love the feel of S90V, CPM M-4, Maxamet, and Elmax.
     
  12. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Glad that worked for you. I haven't found that stropping super high alloy powder steels does much, although I've never tried diamond paste. A light steeling seems to work to finish that edge. I use a smooth oval burnishing rod @ 63/64 RHC for steeling. An old auto valve stem would work just as well (also, you can usually get one free from your friendly local machine shop).
     
  13. wade7575

    wade7575

    979
    Apr 3, 2013
    @Alberta Ed What diamond emulsion's have tried in the past,I know the last stuff I got from Ken Schwartz didn't seem to crap on any of the steels I used to use his stuff on and about 4 or 5 people facebook I know said the last stuff they got was terrible,one guy on my friends list told me he ordered from Ken all the time and was happy with his stuff and said that the last 2 times the stuff was crap and asked Ken if he changed anything and Ken said no,the only reason he ordered a second tie after getting bad stuff was because he thought it was maybe just a bad batch.
     
  14. metaxasm

    metaxasm Gold Member Gold Member

    801
    Jul 14, 2002
    My favorite to sharpen - SAK’s and Superblue.
     
  15. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    I've only used chromium oxide (looks like a green crayon); works OK on some high carbon steels but not on the high carbide content powder steels.
     
  16. wade7575

    wade7575

    979
    Apr 3, 2013
    I assumed you were talking about different diamond product's,I know that the green stuff isn't any good at all for PM steels,I'm hoping to get some better diamond spray from Portland Knife House or another guying selling on this forum if he get's it in stock soon.

    I ordered a few different item's from the states from a few different retailers and that offered free shipping over 100 bucks and had all the stuff sent to a friend of mine who then boxed everything up and sent it to me,it left the usps on the 11th of this months and took until the 24th for Canada Post to put it in their system so I'm not overly thrilled right now about ordering anything from the states in case it get's lost or stuck who knows when for who knows how long.
     

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