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Zwiefel
09-10-2012, 03:15 PM
I spent a good bit of time this weekend sharpening 2 stainless blades and 3 carbon blades (all white, I think they are all #2).

After spending quite a lot of time on the stainless blades, I found the carbon steel to be vastly easier to work with. I'm not sure how much of the difference was the relative condition of the blades...the SS were in really rough shape, the carbon were all in serviceable to good condition.

It seemed that what took 20-30ish passes with the stainless was done with 4-5 passes with the carbon.

Is that your experience? Am I missing something? Is this more related to these being old, stamped steel vs some of the newer SS (like Suisin, or the PM's)?

TX!

echerub
09-10-2012, 03:20 PM
I found sharpening family members' and friends' cheapie stainless knives to require quite a bit of work. In part this was because I was grinding off a fair bit of steel to cut in new bevels. They were so dull to begin with that they were basically butter knives without any real bevels to speak of.

bieniek
09-10-2012, 03:39 PM
That the reason why I resigned of using stainless. I sold stainless ad now will sell semi stainless.

They clog stones, the swarf is really messy, they are usually not as hard and the end result is far off from carbon by the cutting feeling.
It has no attitude towards cutting, and is overally just pain is the arse.

And I would also say that it takes longer time for stainless to get a similar results to carbon.

DwarvenChef
09-10-2012, 03:59 PM
I hate it when the families stainless knives get dull, takes at least twice as long to sharpen them. Not to mention my daughters s30v blade, glad she doesn't abuse that knife :p

Shinob1
09-10-2012, 04:12 PM
I have a Yoshihiro 210mm Stainless Wa-Gyuto and a Zakuri blue #2 Tosagato bucho. The Zakuri is far easier to sharpen in my opinion, especially as a novice. I have spent more time on the Yoshihiro and while I can get it shaving sharp, it doesn't seem to have the same level of sharpness and the work going into it was far greater.

I think the trade off could be that if you cut a lot of acidic food with a carbon blade, that the acid will dull the edge quicker than stainless and as a result, you may end up sharpening more often. As a home cook, I don't notice this issue because I cut up a few things a night and that's it. However maybe our pro chefs can comment on the effort of sharpening stainless vs. carbon when cutting acidic food.

Zwiefel
09-10-2012, 04:21 PM
RE Edge Retention....the VG steel in my Masamoto yo-Gyuto seemed to hold a good edge for a really long time (yearish) of home use. The (IIRC) 19c27/INOX steel in my Suisin seemed to only last about 4 months. The edge on the White #2 Gengetsu wa-petty seemed to last about 4ish weeks (LOTS of acidic food in that particular case though).

Competing against those observations is my concurrent growing knowledge and awareness of what a sharp edge really is. Up until the Masamoto, I thought the Rada sharpener kept a good edge on my Henckel's (that was also the point when I acquired water stones).

mpukas
09-10-2012, 04:29 PM
Yeah, I notice SS is harder to get sharp as carbon. Not like night and day. Maybe more accurately stated is carbon, especially white #2, is SO easy to get SO sharp. I even find AS to be easy to get sharp. The most difficult SS I have is a Blazen SG2, and it takes more passes and concentration & deliberation to get sharp. Also, I find Heiji's semi-stainless f/ Jon to be very easy to sharpen, and get very sharp.

Last year I visited my folks back east and brought my GS's to sharpen a bunch of mom's SS knives (some Henckels, Whustoff and Shun, and some cheapos even crappier than any of those). Had to cut new bevels on all. Only used 1k & 4k. Took some time, but nothing too difficult. But they would only get so sharp.

Canadian
09-10-2012, 04:31 PM
My experience has been dependent on the type of stainless steel used (obviously).

I have sharpened AEB-L as well as CPM-154 and they both sharpen as easily as my carbons.

The extremely abrasion resistance tool steels are a pain, but ultimately this will mean less overall time on the stones so it's not really a bad thing.

The worst offenders are the soft, mass produced "stainless steels" because they take forever to sharpen and lose their edge very quickly.

So again, it depends on the steel.

Zwiefel
09-10-2012, 04:40 PM
I found sharpening family members' and friends' cheapie stainless knives to require quite a bit of work. In part this was because I was grinding off a fair bit of steel to cut in new bevels. They were so dull to begin with that they were basically butter knives without any real bevels to speak of.

Thanks Len. Definitely this was going on...no edge to speak of on either of the SS...I was hoping to see what other's experience is to try to split this up into "SS are a pain" and "creating all new bevels is a pain" categories :)

Maybe I'll end up finding some equally abused carbon, that would be a more apples:apples comparison.

Next time I'll take some pictures...despite knowing how poor my results are compared to you lot! :)

stevenStefano
09-10-2012, 06:25 PM
I'd say carbon is easier to sharpen but it isn't exactly night and day in my opinion. I only really use SS and semi-stainless now but it isn't like I spend forever sharpening. I don't like the edge retention of White #2, my Kono HD and Rottman hold an edge way longer than my Masamoto or Sakai Yusuke for example

heirkb
09-10-2012, 06:27 PM
I've found that cheapy stainless is a pain, but I don't think I'm really sensitive enough to sharpening differences to feel all that much of a difference between the stainless and carbon Japanese knives I've sharpened. Not saying there isn't any difference, just that without paying a lot of attention to it, I haven't been struck by anything glaring.

Zwiefel
09-10-2012, 10:39 PM
Several folks have expressed that SS doesn't get as sharp as carbon...I thought with some of the newer steels (19c27, AEB-L, SS PM's, etc.) and proper HT, they were pretty close now? and SS lasted quite a lot longer (some multiple)?

bieniek
09-11-2012, 02:02 AM
My experience has been dependent on the type of stainless steel used (obviously).

I have sharpened AEB-L as well as CPM-154 and they both sharpen as easily as my carbons.

The extremely abrasion resistance tool steels are a pain, but ultimately this will mean less overall time on the stones so it's not really a bad thing.

The worst offenders are the soft, mass produced "stainless steels" because they take forever to sharpen and lose their edge very quickly.

So again, it depends on the steel.

I talk the "taste of the edge" here a little. There is nothing that takes so screaming edge, and when it looses it, is so easy to get it back up again.
The supersteels are ok if you like mediocre sharpness, that stays forever. But I wouldnt say they actualy are arse-ripping sharp longer than carbon, so long it would justify longer time on stones.

Plus its not only the time spent, its the result youre getting.

I agree carbon is not the best choice for retention, it is totally not. But its a pleasure to sharpen it, so i dont have a problem to do it often.

Lefty
09-11-2012, 09:06 AM
The general consensus is, and seemingly always will be, stainless is harder to sharpen than carbon. While, in general, I agree with this train of thought, it doesn't always hold true.

I sharpen a fair bit, as do all of us. Lately, it's been lots of carbon (a breeze), but I just decided to take the Haslinger Passaround knife for a spin on the stones. This time around, it was infinitely better than a year or so ago, when I first sharpened it up (I think I left a nasty wire edge on the heel, for Len). This thing got crazy sharp in mere minutes and the feel was actually, dare I say it...nice on the stones.

I think what we're seeing with the whole "stainless sucks" movement is overhardened (harder is always better...right???) steels, steels that are way underhardened (think doughy), and steels with large, pain in the ass carbides.

All in all, in my experience, a nice fine grained stainless, that has been properly HT'd can be a joy to sharpen, much like a nice carbon blade.

Canadian
09-11-2012, 11:09 AM
The supersteels are ok if you like mediocre sharpness, that stays forever.

My experience contradicts this statement. If you don't mind me asking, what steels are you specifically referring to? I would hardly characterize the ultra-fine-grain microstructure (i.e. potential sharpness) from some powder steels as "mediocre".

I'm also a carbon user and have owned primarily carbon steel knives from AS to Shigefusa's "spicy Swedish" steel. While I would say that some carbon might have that ultimate off-the-stones sharpness, the playing field becomes pretty much even after a couple minutes of board play. Absolute sharpness is overstated IMO.

Regards!

Zwiefel
09-11-2012, 11:27 AM
I think what we're seeing with the whole "stainless sucks" movement is overhardened (harder is always better...right???) steels, steels that are way underhardened (think doughy), and steels with large, pain in the ass carbides.

Bigger/Faster/More is always better...pffft. </sarcasm>

keithsaltydog
09-11-2012, 02:06 PM
My experience has been dependent on the type of stainless steel used (obviously).

I have sharpened AEB-L as well as CPM-154 and they both sharpen as easily as my carbons.

The extremely abrasion resistance tool steels are a pain, but ultimately this will mean less overall time on the stones so it's not really a bad thing.

The worst offenders are the soft, mass produced "stainless steels" because they take forever to sharpen and lose their edge very quickly.

So again, it depends on the steel.

I agree it depends on the steel.I have found that AEB-L sharpens easy.Most stainless is harder to sharpen than Carbon.Even when I got my Honyaki Takaji,they said it was harder to sharpen,I found it easy to get a screaming edge like other carbons.

Cheap stainless,don't use it period,it can be a pain to sharpen & does not hold an edge worth a darn.Higher quality stainless or semi stainless at about 60-61,or 62 are better on the stones.

Mostly over the yrs. at work I used Carbon Masamoto's.Worked Gardemanger alot cutting over time thousands of lemons for wedges,hundreds of 25# cases of tomatos all kinds of acidic foods.My thin Masa's held an edge well no matter what fruits or vegetables I cut.

Canadian
09-11-2012, 02:25 PM
Mostly over the yrs. at work I used Carbon Masamoto's.

On a side note, aren't the KS profiles great? I really do believe them to be one of the best values in high-end knives. Fashion fades, but the KS gyuto will always be a great knife IMO.