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Thread: Some questions about carbon steels

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    Senior Member Geo87's Avatar
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    Some questions about carbon steels

    So I hear the phrase carbon in Easyer to sharpen quite frequently .
    Could someone please elaborate... Why?
    What part/ parts of the sharpening process do you find Easyer?

    From my own limited experience I've noticed carbon certainly has more feedback on the stones, it's louder on the stones . its more noticeable when your right on the edge. For lack of a better phrase it just feels better to me.

    Does it form a bur quicker?
    Is deburring Easyer?
    I've also heard people say they don't really finish stainless much over 2k,
    But you can take carbon further... Why?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    All general questions, hard to answer. Any response tends to be inadequate in at least some specific cases, or so vague it hasn't any sense anymore.
    I will give the example of a well known steel I find the easiest to sharpen, the Swedish Carbon by Misono. The grain is very fine. After sharpening on a Chosera 800 the burr hasn't entirely left. But as soon as I start on a higher grit, the remaining burr will fall off spontaneously, without leaving any damage or need of any careful and tedious abrading or reducing as with more complex steels. That's what I would call easy sharpening.

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    Senior Member Geo87's Avatar
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    Thanks for your input benuser.

    I would have thought that as the phrase carbon sharpens Easyer is used so often there would have been some kind of obvious reason.
    I understand that every steel is an entirely different thing.
    Let me pose a less broad question to anyone with both stainless and carbon knives.

    Do you personally find your carbon knife Easyer to sharpen?
    If so, why?

  4. #4
    Some stainless steels form a wire edge or burr that's really hard to remove---it just keeps moving from one side of the blade to the other. This rarely happens with carbon steels.

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    Senior Member Geo87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cord_steele View Post
    Some stainless steels form a wire edge or burr that's really hard to remove---it just keeps moving from one side of the blade to the other. This rarely happens with carbon steels.
    Thanks that's exactly the answer I was looking for

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    White #2 and Aogami Super taken keen edges without relatively much work. I've got a Masamoto Sujihiki, that gets very sharp, with just a few minutes on the stones. Other forum members had similar experience with White #2.

    When I started learning to sharpen. Carbon seemed more responsive on the stones. Every few strokes, a change can be noticed in carbon. The changes are not so obvious in stainless.

    Often a comment will be made that Shun is bad knife. Typically the reason is that they couldn't put an edge on it. While they can put an edge on a carbon knife. These member usually are new to sharpening.

    The steel used on German knives, cannot support an edge over 1000 grit. The Japanese stainless can support a highly refined edge.

    Jay
    I'm a over-sized, under-educated, two onions a month, cutting fool.

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    Senior Member Geo87's Avatar
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    Jay, thanks for your detailed response. This sheds light on a few things for me.
    Yeah I had problems with an old shun as I was learning to sharpen. I knew nothing about fatigued steel at the time. Eventually I figured it out, thinned the crap out of it, removed plenty of steel ,then it took a great edge. Learning on old stainless knives is definitly not advisable

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    Hi
    @jay
    "The steel used on German knives, cannot support an edge over 1000 grit"
    What steel are you reffering to? There are tons of different steels used in german cutlery. Carbon as well as stainless. Even a tincan supports an edge ofer 1k grit. Just take a look a Niolox (just to name one, there are many). Not to mention the custom steels, that many german knifemaker are producing exclusivly.
    On the other hand there are many, many different steels used in japanese cutlery. Not only the hitachi-stuff. Stainless and carbon alike.

    And even much more important than the steel itself is the HT. A very good treated 440c is much more usefull than a poorly treated Aogami.

    So you see, there is much more to it thant carbon or not..

    Greets Benjamin

    P.S. to TO: some do not sharpen over 2k, because they like to keep a certain micro-toothiness to the edge. Some stop a 2k, because normally you do not need more to have a shaving sharp blade, if you know what you are doing. Murray Carter has a video, were he sharpens on a brick only and shaves with the knive afterwards. Anything above is for good knifenerds and sharpaddics (like myself), but gives no benefit for a home user. Except for the fun, of course....

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    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    If Jay is referring to AISI 440A, more pompously called DIN X50CrMoV15, the soft stainless steel most people rightly associate with the large German manufacturers, his observation is correct. It won't hold a high polish. I would however suggest to try deburring on higher grits than JIS1000.

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    Senior Member Geo87's Avatar
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    Thanks banjo, I was aware of the benefits of stopping at lower grits for toothyness, I was referring to something I remember another member mentioning they liked their stainless knives specifically to be at 2k. I assumed they took carbon further for some reason, but they never elaborated as to why .

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