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Thread: SS vs Carbon when sharpening?

  1. #11
    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.

  2. #12

    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    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)?
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Canadian View Post
    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.

  4. #14
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    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.
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  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by bieniek View Post
    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!

  6. #16

    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty View Post
    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>
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canadian View Post
    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.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by keithsaltydog View Post
    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.

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