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Sharpening 52100 steel? How to get it super sharp?
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Thread: Sharpening 52100 steel? How to get it super sharp?

  1. #1

    Sharpening 52100 steel? How to get it super sharp?

    Ok so I'm using a gyuto right now in 52100. I can already tell it is pretty hard steel as i worked this knife very hard two days about 12 hour shifts without any touchups and it pretty much the same as when i started using it.

    However the edge on the knife is not near what I'm use to using, so i decided to refine the edge some more.

    I went through my normal progression and decided to keep the bevel as it was and i tend to like a 60/40 so slightly right bias, started with my 400 Gesshin, took quite a while even on this stone to raise a burr the entire length of the blade especially the heel. Once i got there i swathed the other side and flipped the burr back over I did this while lightening pressure each time. Finally i stropped on the stone and sliced through some cork to remove all the burr.

    I then progressed to my 1k, 6k stones and repeated the same process. I then moved to my Takashima and started with a lot of pressure to build up mud, however i noticed that with this knife i could not get quite as much mud as i do with my other knives. Not sure why exactly maybe that its not removing as much metal because the steel is harder?

    Anyways i finished on the j-nat. I didn't add a micro bevel as i believe the steel is strong enough without one.

    Although it is very sharp and definietly useable i find that i can get my Kono quite a bit sharper. I feel that the steel has the potential to get sharper, am i missing anything? I do the same with the Kono HD, and i think the edge thinness is about the same on both knives as well.

  2. #2
    I use a Kalamazoo 1x42 belt grinder on my 52100. 320, 600, 1000, then CrO on a leather belt. Glides silently through newsprint, which is just a hair sharper than my HD.

  3. #3
    Do you think I'm not grinding enough at the 400?

    using a belt grinding i would think that removes quite a bit of metal right?

  4. #4
    I find 52100 a little harder to sharpen, than say, White or Blue, but once you get it there, the edge stays there for weeks with minimum stropping or touch ups.

    I got one of my 52100 back from a review and it came with one of sharpest edge I have ever experienced (I am still working on my sharpening). I asked the person what stones he used and I am posting his response here:

    ...
    Gesshin 400
    Bester 1200
    Rika 5K
    Dave's hard felt strop with his poly diamond
    I also stropped in-between each stone with the loaded felt as well.


    He widened the bevel a bit and sharpened at a more acute angle. I have used this knife for a few days now on an engraind board and have not noticed any edge degradation yet.

    Knives that don't need to be thinned, don't require starting on a belt grinder. One can start with a diamond stone in same grit.

    M


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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    Hahahaha That knife was a dream to sharpen so thank you. Though I've had a bit of trouble sharpening the Fanatic cleaver. Same steel, same progression...
    Starting this harvest I'm a starving startling artist/
    Lyrical arsonist it's arduous spitting this smartest arsenic/

  6. #6
    Senior Member NO ChoP!'s Avatar
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    52100 holds a pretty steep edge. I don't like it much past 3 or 4k, though.... it loses its toothiness quickly, and gets real slick.
    The difference between try and triumph is a little "umph"! NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!
    chefchristophermiller@yahoo.com

  7. #7
    Send it to Dave (sorry, couldn't resist).

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ThEoRy View Post
    Hahahaha That knife was a dream to sharpen so thank you. Though I've had a bit of trouble sharpening the Fanatic cleaver. Same steel, same progression...
    The proof is... in the pudding.


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  9. #9
    I've heard many accolades put upon 52100 knives from makers that work with it for years and really dial in the heat treat and I've also heard from many people who have failure making knives with it. I often wonder if this is a steel that is best utilized by the advanced knifemaker versus something that a factory can churn out?

  10. #10
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marko Tsourkan View Post
    The proof is... in the pudding.
    I see what you did there.

    Starting this harvest I'm a starving startling artist/
    Lyrical arsonist it's arduous spitting this smartest arsenic/

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