First time sharpening. wondering if I am buying the right thing

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Manchineel, May 15, 2020.

  1. Manchineel


    May 15, 2020
    So I have a couple of pocket knives that have all gone dull. The three of them all use different steal as well (S35VN, S110V and VG-10).

    I decided I want to try sharpening on stones and so I was thinking of just buying an Atoma #1200 diamond plate for job. From what I have seen a normal stone won't shave off S110V.

    Then Next I was wondering about a leather strop. I hear about how you do not need compound, and that compound needs to be reapplied. Also I have seen certain leathers to be advertised as better for no compound than others. The way I see it is that if I am going to learn how to sharpen on a stone/plate I might as well continue to practice on a leather strop, not to mention better sharpness.
    So does the type of metal matter for stropping? Will I need compound for the S110V, also what kind of upkeep is there with strops with or without compound.

    Sorry for the multiple questions. I didn't see a stickied post here about any of this but if there is info already available feel free to link it instead of answering directly.
  2. Craig James

    Craig James

    Oct 30, 2018

    You need a much coarser stone that a 1200 to start with, that is a super fine plate and you will be scraping at it for hours and still not get anywhere if your knives are dull.

    The thing about high vanadium steels is that the vanadium carbides are significantly harder than traditional abrasives (AlOx etc.). When at coarser grits this doesn’t matter as the carbides themselves are smaller than the abrasive, but when you get finer and the size of the abrasive begins to match the size of the carbides you are trying to sharpen and then you start to tear the carbides from the steel matrix or burnish the matrix around the carbides, rather than sharpening.

    I don’t own a S110v knife, but the general consensus on here from those who do suggest they function better with coarser edges - something in the 300-400 grit range, or equivalent diamond size.

    Regarding stropping there are many schools of thought on this. Person my I find them useful for removing the final remnants of a burr, much more effectively than just on the stone. Again for your steels you may need some diamond paste applied to them. This does need to be reapplies but certainly not as often as you may imagine
  3. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    8FE5FFBB-EC29-465E-A96D-ED1F87E2ACCD.jpeg My opinion? A Smiths diamond sharpener is all you need to sharpen any knife. I prefer it over a stone because it stays flat and the corners stay crisp.
    duramax and Ace Rimmer like this.
  4. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    I would start with a 300/1200 Ultra Sharp combination diamond stone.
    Ourorboros likes this.
  5. soc_monki


    Apr 5, 2019
    I use a sharpal coarse/extra fine diamond stone, but usually only use the coarse side. Then finish on a spyderco medium ceramic bench stone. I haven't tried to whittle a hair, but the hair will pop off my arm easily.

    I've been sharpening everything from 8cr13mov to s90v on this setup. No need for a strop, at least not for me.
    Alberta Ed likes this.
  6. Ourorboros


    Jan 23, 2017
    Listen to Eli.
    You'll want something coarse to remove more metal if you have a dull knife and you probably want to refine it. This will cost you less than a full run of stones.
    As for stropping, well it depends on what type of edge you want. That's true of what grit stones you get too. But first learn how to sharpen.
    They type of edge you want depends on what you are doing and how you are doing it - there is indeed more than one way to skin a cat.
    Eli Chaps likes this.
  7. TheEdge01


    Apr 3, 2015
    Start with lower grit and work your way up. If you try to sharpen a dull edge with a fine grit stone, diamond plate, ceramic rod, sand paper, etc all your doing is polishing, you have to remove steel first. Think of it like your trying to turn a dome into a pyramid.
  8. Twindog

    Twindog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    First learn to sharpen on a stone, which means learning to raise and them remove a burr the full length of each side of the edge. Once you learn to leave a clean, burr-free edge at a consistent angle with stones, you will then be ready to learn to strop.

    The easiest way to sharpen is to set (or have someone good at sharpening set it for you) a 30 degree inclusive edge. Then you keep it sharp by sharpening at a higher angle (40 degrees inclusive) to create a micro-burr. It's fast and easy to sharpen this way, and your edge will have good edge stability. See Sodak's sticky above on the micro-bevel.

    Then learn to strop, which will refine a clean apex and make it slice noticeably easier.

    There are different theories to sharpening and stropping, so you will have to sort through that noise. For example, many people here like to use the strop to remove the burr. I think it's better to strop after you've removed the burr, because it gives you a cleaner, sharper apex.
  9. Manchineel


    May 15, 2020
    i guess I wasn't thinking of 1000 grit as a polishing stone. must be all the youtube videos.

    Thanks for the advice everyone, I will probably pick up the ultra sharp combo that was recommended above.
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  10. Mr.Wizard


    Feb 28, 2015
    I don't think anyone said 100 grit is a polishing stone? It's not, unless it's horribly glazed.
  11. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    Don't be a stranger! There are people here with tons of knowledge who are always very willing to help! Never be afraid to ask questions. Sharpening is a journey. :)
    000Robert and TheEdge01 like this.
  12. NMpops


    Aug 9, 2010
    The higher the number the finer the grit 1200 would polish and 100 would be very course. As said learn first to put a good edge using stone or steel before you worry about stropping.
  13. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 1, 2013
    Once you get it sharp! Strop the edge to remove any burrs. Then Keep it sharp by stropping on The inside of leather belt. You are buffing off any burrs Created by use & straightening the edge. Do it on a table Or book etc so it’s firm under the leather. I put compound on the belt but others don’t . The grit/burrs will embed in the leather over time and make a compound of sorts.
    TheEdge01 likes this.
  14. Manchineel


    May 15, 2020
    typo meant to be 1000
  15. Mr.Wizard


    Feb 28, 2015
    In that case 1000 grit in JIS (Japanese) or most diamond plates is generally considered a middle stone, neither coarse for shaping nor fine for polishing but for bridging coarse and fine or finishing with a bit of tooth. Whether a 1000-range stone will be able to do a bit of shaping or polishing will depend on the particular stone and steel.
  16. Manchineel


    May 15, 2020
    Maybe a silly question but on the ultra sharp web page they suggest using krud kutter for the lubricant but do not say which variant. Would you happen to know? I assume it is the degreaser or the gloss off, but am unsure.
  17. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    I just use laxative-grade mineral oil or honing oil.
  18. Jason B.

    Jason B. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 13, 2007
    Not something I would personally recommend. A spray bottle with water and a drop of dish soap is a far better and safer solution.

    I would Recommend the DMT DUOsharp Coarse/Fine with base and a bottle of 1 micron diamond spray. I prefer DMT for sharpening knives due to the construction of the diamond surfaces. My Atoma plates have always been best used as lapping plates for my waterstones. The do work good at removing steel I just believe the raised diamond clusters put too much stress on the edge and I have seen deep gouging and literal chunks taken from the edge, especially on softer steels.

    Save your money on leather and visit a local hardware and pick of a 2 or 3 inch wide strip of balsa wood about 12 inches long. Spray on a little diamond spray, wait for it to dry and start stropping. Easiest strop you will ever make. And yes, you will need diamond abrasive from start to finish on S110V or any steel with 4% or greater Vanadium content.
    MTHall720 and Alberta Ed like this.

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