Are Norax belts structured abrasives?
Trugrit sells them up to x5 for a 1x30, and im thinking on it, cause I got my gators in today and hooo boy they cut FAST for an AlOx belt. I've avoided AlOx in the past for sharpening because it heats up hella fast, but the non AlOx cross in high grits won't do more than a dozen knives before sucking.
These seem to behave totally different, which makes sense being a broken surface. Gators only go to 600 in that size, and since these cut so fast, I'd love to skip polishing out belt scratches on a stone.
Eamon. I have used them and always have them on hand for finish work on my blades. They seem to last forever. and are gentle and run a bit cooler compared to AlOx belts. When they seem to wear out, I give them to Jr. and he uses them to do a final clean up on the damascus billets with the belt converted surface grinder.
I will say this, Im not running em on a 1X30 which if Im not wrong.. They are wound pretty tight. so your experiences with them may vary. But I say if you have not tried them YET... Its worth the investment!
They are a structured abrasive, I think?? There different then Gators. These have diagonal lines running across the belt. The pattern sort of remind me of a file. seem soft till you rub your knuckles on em! Then you quickly realize there cutting! lol
So they are thick like the trizacts?
You use the real high grits?
No. There thinner and more flexible. Almost soft in there feel. You will like them.
I take some of my knives to near mirror B4 etching the damascus. If I buffed them rather then etched them they would be mirror.
Eamon, what do you want to use them for? I used to use the yellow Klingspor belts but I switched to the Gators recently because they last a LOT longer, don't bump and leave a better finish, but I don't have anything finer than 45. When I was trying to thin down the edge on the suji, it seemed to me that the Gators don't "grab" as much as the Klingspors. I was going very slow, but sometimes, it just felt like I wasn't making any headway with the edge on the rotary platen or with the slack belt. A number of guys who are a lot better than me will set an edge on a field knife with a worn 220 Klingspor and then convex it up and get out the bigger scratches with a worn 400.
Sharpening. Strictly tip repairs, cutting new bevels when the old one is trashed, and doing 90% of the job on cheapo steel.
I should have elaborated more clearly, but I was typing on my phone.
When hones are overkill or a waste of time, I sharpen on a Harbor Freight 1x30. It would be insane for me to spend an hour on a 500 grit stone to deal with the fact that someone has a few Mercers they bought, abused, and steeled to death. I don't use the lower grit AlOx belts that are easy to find for it, because they overheat the edge so fast, especially at the tip. Then I got the sharpening belts from Lee Valley, and they put a nice edge on those kinds of knives, but they aren't aggressive enough to fix tips, and they last just long enough for me to do one pro kitchen, then it is trash.
Today, I got some Gators for grinding, in the higher grits, where I've heard they shine. I was not expecting a lot since they are just structured AlOx, but low and behold they cut wicked fast. I shaped the tip on a 400 grit belt, and I had to be careful! That belt was hungry, even at that grit--which makes sense, since the decreased surface area results in amplified pressure--like a serrated contact wheel. Don't know why I didn't consider that before.
They are also really thick, so I can see why they last so long, since they cut efficiently and they can stack the same amount of abrasive on less area for one belt, creating a longer lasting belt that is still flexible. I am most pleased with the performance of the Norton Blaze belts, because they don't heat up on me as bad, but they are thin. I am testing some of those out for my 1x30, but I'm really thinking about just trying out some Gators and Norax belts for sharpening.
The used Norax has had about 10-15 S35VN blades through it. BEWARE the Norax is much more "hungry" than the Trizact in the same grit. Normally I only use the Gators for blending. The Trizact is also used 10-15 blades....didn't have a new one.
Eamon, I use the Norax belts for all of my finish grinding. they are IMO great belts. I step through the grits , x65, x45, x30, x22, x16, and x5 the a quick buf for a mirror finish. then etch. this is the way all of the knives I had at San Antonio where finished, with the exception of the Tamahagane blade.