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What Synthetic Stones to Use for Wear-Resistand Steels
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    Marko Tsourkan's Avatar
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    What Synthetic Stones to Use for Wear-Resistand Steels

    Sharpness and wear resistance is correlated, so steels that are known to be wear resistant are not easy to get sharp with average water stones. One has to use stones which abrasion particles are harder than carbides in the steel.

    So, what stones do you guys use for wear-resistant steels other then diamond plate stones?

    Marko


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    There's a Sigma Power series expecially developed for HSS steels that mainly fall into this category (the "Select II" series, Stu sells 'em for example:Link).

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    I can't afford anything else, just have to spend more time on the regular synthetic stones.

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    Marko Tsourkan's Avatar
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    Interesting. Ha anybody tried Sigma Power II on their DT ITK knife?

    @kalaeb
    Some steels might never get sharp to their full potential if sharpened on average water stones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marko Tsourkan View Post
    Interesting. Ha anybody tried Sigma Power II on their DT ITK knife?

    @kalaeb
    Some steels might never get sharp to their full potential if sharpened on average water stones.

    M
    Very interesting thread. I can't say I know what abrasives are even in any of the synthetics I use but I can't say I've had any real problems with sharpness. Also, isn't wear resistance a function of carbide size and volume, as in smaller and higher? If you're gonna abrade the carbides themselves, wouldn't it be more effective to use ultrahard abrasives on larger grained steels?

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    Marko Tsourkan's Avatar
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    Maybe Devin can chime on the subject? Nobody knows AEB-L better than him.
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    Wear resistance also depends on the type of wear test. Some tests favor larger carbide sizes rather than smaller. Conventional wisdom with knives, however, is that smaller is better. Some carbides, particularly vanadium and niobium, are harder than aluminum oxide, the typical abrasive for Japanese synthetic waterstones. The chromium carbide in typical stainless steels like AEB-L should be softer than the aluminum oxide but some still report difficulty in sharpening, particularly at the high grits. We know that AEB-L can reach an edge radius even finer than most carbon steels from the research by Verhoeven, so the difficulty they are experiencing can't be blamed on the steel's functional limit, at least with AEB-L. VG-10, 154cm, and even PM stainless steels like CPM-154 and s30v are a different story. However, it appears that with some high grit stones the greater abrasion resistance of even the chromium carbides in stainless steels mean some have had a hard time polishing even AEB-L. A typical stainless steel like VG-10 has a much greater carbide size and volume, meaning magnitudes greater abrasion resistance and therefore lower sharpenability.

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    Maybe another question is what stones seem to have trouble abrading stainless? BTW, I didn't realize AEB-L has particularly high wear resistance. I figured it was a middle of the roader due to modest carbide volume.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    Maybe another question is what stones seem to have trouble abrading stainless? BTW, I didn't realize AEB-L has particularly high wear resistance. I figured it was a middle of the roader due to modest carbide volume.
    It's wear resistance is greater than most simple carbon steels but much lower than most stainless steels. It's very easy to sharpen, similar to carbon steels, I've only seen complaints with high grit stones. When I say complaint I mean only that it was more difficult than a simple carbon steel. The example I'm thinking of is Darkhoek's comparison of the DT ITK to Shigefusa. This could be an isolated opinion, however.

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