High Carbide Steel Sharpening Thread

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gc0220

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Ive seen plenty of people debate it.

And in todays age, someone could get diamond plates for just as cheap as any waterstone out there. Having one of the small blue dmt coarse stones, is pretty much all someone would need to get a very nice edge on most of these steels, while taking out a lot of the trouble that comes with sharpening them.

I still remember someone brining me a cpm 10v knife a while back, before i knew anything about this. I tried to sharpen it for them on my chosera 800, which was what i used for pretty much anything i had gotten to sharpen at the time. It was like i was rubbing it on a wet piece of glass. I cant remember how long it took to get a burr but it seemed like it must have been at least 20 minutes if not longer. It didnt help that the knife was extremely dull, but still.

Had i have used something with like a diamond plate, it would have been the same as sharpening a normal steel. At least thats my experience now, when sharpening them using diamonds.

I certainly think anyone that can afford a knife with these steels can afford one diamond plate at the very least.
Shapton Glass 500 would have taken care of it, and produced much better results than diamond plates. That's what I'd use on anything like that if you're starting with a truly dull blade. I typically use the 1000 grit glass to do stuff like hap40, which it makes quick work of compared to other stones, even say a 2k shapton pro, which is what I use for sharpening most things. That aggressive cutting is also why the glass stones, even at 16k, aren't great for delicate edges like carbon straight razors.

Honestly Shapton glass stones I think, despite all the praise they do get, are very much under-rated and perhaps misunderstood. The only downside is the price and only getting 5 mm of abrasive.

The resin bonded diamond stones Naniwa sells are also worth a look if you have a lot of knives made of these type of steels. IMO they're especially useful in the higher grits, that's where they really shine. If you're just needing 1000 grit or below, you can get it done on regular stuff like even a shapton pro, or more ideally yet the glass. Without something like that, I don't even bother trying to freehand a high grit polished edge on stuff like hap40 at 65+ rc.

imo this is one of the things that makes ZDP such a genius steel for high end knives. Despite what some people say, and boy is there a lot of bs and misinfo and mythology out there, the stuff readily takes a screaming edge and it's much easier to get there than with basically any other steel that offers similar levels of performance vis a vis abrasion resistance and hardness. So the tradeoff with something hap40 isn't just do you want more stainlessness or more toughness, the ZDP is much more "machinable" and seems to readily take super fine edges, the HAP40 is a damn nightmare to deal with, if you're used to sharpening things to the standards of hair whittling every time at least. It's almost like Hitachi knew what they were doing. There's a reason the ZDP is specifically a cutlery steel and the HAP40 is a tool steel that was repurposed for knifemaking by some people. According to Hitachi blue #1 is the best of their carbon steels for kitchen knives, and I agree with them, which is another little tidbit I'm sure people here know about but isn't otherwise widely known.
 
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Shapton Glass 500 would have taken care of it, and produced much better results than diamond plates. That's what I'd use on anything like that if you're starting with a truly dull blade. I typically use the 1000 grit glass to do stuff like hap40, which it makes quick work of compared to other stones, even say a 2k shapton pro, which is what I use for sharpening most things. That aggressive cutting is also why the glass stones, even at 16k, aren't great for delicate edges like carbon straight razors.

Honestly Shapton glass stones I think, despite all the praise they do get, are very much under-rated and perhaps misunderstood. The only downside is the price and only getting 5 mm of abrasive.

The resin bonded diamond stones Naniwa sells are also worth a look if you have a lot of knives made of these type of steels. IMO they're especially useful in the higher grits, that's where they really shine. If you're just needing 1000 grit or below, you can get it done on regular stuff like even a shapton pro, or more ideally yet the glass. Without something like that, I don't even bother trying to freehand a high grit polished edge on stuff like hap40 at 65+ rc.

imo this is one of the things that makes ZDP such a genius steel for high end knives. Despite what some people say, and boy is there a lot of bs and misinfo and mythology out there, the stuff readily takes a screaming edge and it's much easier to get there than with basically any other steel that offers similar levels of performance vis a vis abrasion resistance and hardness. So the tradeoff with something hap40 isn't just do you want more stainlessness or more toughness, the ZDP is much more "machinable" and seems to readily take super fine edges, the HAP40 is a damn nightmare to deal with, if you're used to sharpening things to the standards of hair whittling every time at least. It's almost like Hitachi knew what they were doing. There's a reason the ZDP is specifically a cutlery steel and the HAP40 is a tool steel that was repurposed for knifemaking by some people. According to Hitachi blue #1 is the best of their carbon steels for kitchen knives, and I agree with them, which is another little tidbit I'm sure people here know about but isn't otherwise widely known.
Its only a nightmare to deal with if you're not using diamonds. Which is kinda the point.

Zdp-189. Is a bit of an odd steel, its got i believe around 30% carbide volume. With pretty much all of that being chromium carbide. So you get the same abrasion resistance of steels with a lower volume of vanadium carbides, but much lower toughness at the same time. If youre talking about grindability. I would say shaping any steel with that high carbide volume, on a grinder, is not easy.

Overall i think the term Ive seen @Troopah_Knives use for this kind of thing is pretty applicable. Its a very "inefficient"steel. Because of that high carbide volume.

Someone would be a lot better off going with m4, or quite a few other steels than zdp-189.

And i would say its also a tool steel. Also w1, a2, 52100 is a ball bearing steel, 1095, and 5160 are spring steels. Saying something is a tool steel repurposed for knives doesnt really mean much. There a very few steels that are specifically made for knives, it doesn't mean a steel is better because thats what was in mind when the composition was being developed. In fact it doesn't even mean a steel is actually a good choice for knives compared to others out there.
 

gc0220

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Its only a nightmare to deal with if you're not using diamonds. Which is kinda the point.

Zdp-189. Is a bit of an odd steel, its got i believe around 30% carbide volume. With pretty much all of that being chromium carbide. So you get the same abrasion resistance of steels with a lower volume of vanadium carbides, but much lower toughness at the same time. If youre talking about grindability. I would say shaping any steel with that high carbide volume, on a grinder, is not easy.

Overall i think the term Ive seen @Troopah_Knives use for this kind of thing is pretty applicable. Its a very "inefficient"steel. Because of that high carbide volume.

Someone would be a lot better off going with m4, or quite a few other steels than zdp-189.

And i would say its also a tool steel. Also w1, a2, 52100 is a ball bearing steel, 1095, and 5160 are spring steels. Saying something is a tool steel repurposed for knives doesnt really mean much. There a very few steels that are specifically made for knives, it doesn't mean a steel is better because thats what was in mind when the composition was being developed. In fact it doesn't even mean a steel is actually a good choice for knives compared to others out there.

ZDP doesn't have any vanadium carbides, it's basically all chromium, I think. Some people are critical about ZDP because they believe vanadium carbides to be superior in every way and instance, but I think the ease at which ZDP can be sharpened to hair whittling shows otherwise. Yes, you give up some toughness, but here's the thing, it's only supposed to be used in kitchen knives, and in kitchen knives it's certainly tough enough. There's a minimum threshold for an attribute like that, and it meets or exceeds that. Of course if it was chipping out every time you used it, it would be next to worthless (sidenote: If you want that experience, buy a basic kyocera). I've been testing it extensively and never once experienced any chipping or edge failure in anything approaching normal use. Don't use it in a hunting knife, that's not what it's for. Go ahead and use 10v or whatever. Thing is, for the level of performance you get out ZDP it's very easy to sharpen. Which I think that balance between edge retention, which is a complex combination of hardness, toughness and wear resistance, is what it's all about. This is why steels like Super blue are so popular. It has very little wear resistance, significantly less than even VG10, so it does go dull on the edge quick, but it is very hard which means it takes and holds great edges, and that lack of wear resistance goes with extremely easy sharpening. Takes a minute to get it sticky sharp again. That balance between how quickly it loses sharpness vs how quickly you can get it sticky sharp again is what I think it's all about. I've only recently started testing HAP40 but this is why I am thus far not a fan of the stuff. It takes idk maybe 10x more work to get this stuff as sharp as super blue, but the gains in how long it stays that way don't justify it. For ZDP it absolutely does. For R2 it absolutely does. Both of those steels readily take on screaming, sticky sharp edges, with of course more work than say super blue, but they also stay sharp long enough to justify it. idk if I'm making any sense or just rambling like a mad idiot.

I agree completely about the benefit of diamond abrasives for HAP40 and such. It's not needed with ZDP particularly at sharpening grits. 3000 grit or above, you will get a big benefit to use something like the resin bonded diamond stone with such steels, ZDP included. Not sure if you meant ZDP or HAP40, but ZDP is not a tool steel. It's a cutlery steel. IMO an excellent and very designed and well balanced one. Maybe theoretically on paper, in theory land, it's not well balanced. In actual real world use, it had more than enough toughness to exceed the minimum threshold for usefulness in a kitchen knife. That is to say, chipping is not an issue at all with normal use. I have an absolute laser in ZDP that's running ~20 dps inclusive. Never chipped it once. HAP40 is a tool steel, and not an especially great choice of one, which was then repurposed for use in knives and kitchen knives. Even among it's cousins, I have no tested it yet, but I think HAP50 has better balance of properties, namely similar levels of performance with easier sharpening, that would make it an interesting candidate for a tool steel to repurpose for kitchen knives.
 
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, I have no tested it yet, but I think HAP50 has better balance of properties, namely similar levels of performance with easier sharpening, that would make it an interesting candidate for a tool steel to repurpose for kitchen knives.
I don't really see why HAP 50 would be better then HAP 40. Its got more MC type and M6C type carbide I don't really wee where you are getting the easier sharpening from
HAP40 is a tool steel, and not an especially great choice of one,
I agree. I think most of this post is honestly more a sign of how inefficient HAP 40 is rather than a glowing review of ZDP. A better comparison would be REX 121 where you are getting similar toughness with much more wear resistance and higher hardness (edge stability). For those willing to get diamond abrasives Rex 121 would be a better choice then ZDP.
but ZDP is not a tool steel. It's a cutlery steel.
I guess you could say that. There isn't really much difference between these things. Cutlery steels are tool steels because cutlery is a tool. The patent for ZDP states that it is for "practical blades such as knives, razors, custom knives, etc. that have a small cutting edge angle", while the patent for Cowry-X (same steel different company) state that it is for "custom knives for hobby use, and cutters for industrial use," thus there is clearly a lot of cross over in this category. I don't really think the X steel is designed for knives while Y steel was designed for other purposes is really a useful argument. S60V was designed for knives but most would agree S90V which was designed for other purposes is a better knife steel
 
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ZDP doesn't have any vanadium carbides, it's basically all chromium, I think. Some people are critical about ZDP because they believe vanadium carbides to be superior in every way and instance, but I think the ease at which ZDP can be sharpened to hair whittling shows otherwise. Yes, you give up some toughness, but here's the thing, it's only supposed to be used in kitchen knives, and in kitchen knives it's certainly tough enough. There's a minimum threshold for an attribute like that, and it meets or exceeds that. Of course if it was chipping out every time you used it, it would be next to worthless (sidenote: If you want that experience, buy a basic kyocera). I've been testing it extensively and never once experienced any chipping or edge failure in anything approaching normal use. Don't use it in a hunting knife, that's not what it's for. Go ahead and use 10v or whatever. Thing is, for the level of performance you get out ZDP it's very easy to sharpen. Which I think that balance between edge retention, which is a complex combination of hardness, toughness and wear resistance, is what it's all about. This is why steels like Super blue are so popular. It has very little wear resistance, significantly less than even VG10, so it does go dull on the edge quick, but it is very hard which means it takes and holds great edges, and that lack of wear resistance goes with extremely easy sharpening. Takes a minute to get it sticky sharp again. That balance between how quickly it loses sharpness vs how quickly you can get it sticky sharp again is what I think it's all about. I've only recently started testing HAP40 but this is why I am thus far not a fan of the stuff. It takes idk maybe 10x more work to get this stuff as sharp as super blue, but the gains in how long it stays that way don't justify it. For ZDP it absolutely does. For R2 it absolutely does. Both of those steels readily take on screaming, sticky sharp edges, with of course more work than say super blue, but they also stay sharp long enough to justify it. idk if I'm making any sense or just rambling like a mad idiot.

I agree completely about the benefit of diamond abrasives for HAP40 and such. It's not needed with ZDP particularly at sharpening grits. 3000 grit or above, you will get a big benefit to use something like the resin bonded diamond stone with such steels, ZDP included. Not sure if you meant ZDP or HAP40, but ZDP is not a tool steel. It's a cutlery steel. IMO an excellent and very designed and well balanced one. Maybe theoretically on paper, in theory land, it's not well balanced. In actual real world use, it had more than enough toughness to exceed the minimum threshold for usefulness in a kitchen knife. That is to say, chipping is not an issue at all with normal use. I have an absolute laser in ZDP that's running ~20 dps inclusive. Never chipped it once. HAP40 is a tool steel, and not an especially great choice of one, which was then repurposed for use in knives and kitchen knives. Even among it's cousins, I have no tested it yet, but I think HAP50 has better balance of properties, namely similar levels of performance with easier sharpening, that would make it an interesting candidate for a tool steel to repurpose for kitchen knives.
I just think the better option in general is, if you want a steel with high wear resistance get diamonds, and go with a steel that has vanadium carbide. Even if its in the same volume (rex 121). You get a lot more wear resistance along with that. Or you can get a better balance of properties with a lower carbide volume. While still not having issues with sharpening.
 

gc0220

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I just think the better option in general is, if you want a steel with high wear resistance get diamonds, and go with a steel that has vanadium carbide. Even if its in the same volume (rex 121). You get a lot more wear resistance along with that. Or you can get a better balance of properties with a lower carbide volume. While still not having issues with sharpening.

Sounds good (maybe). I'd like to try it out (for sure). Lemme know when I can buy one at bed bath and beyond, you know what I mean? I can only use what's actually readily available for sale on the market. I've messed around with some of these exotic steels not readily available in kitchen knives in the EDC world, and even then my experience is what I stated already. For the level of performance on offer, ZDP has the best edge taking properties I've personally seen. Among steels with a similar performance level it sharpens, and to a very keen edge, easier. The closest thing I can compare it to in kitchen knives is HAP40. I recently got a Sukenari in HAP40. Even taken up to what they're claiming is 68 RC, it's still not performing in terms of edge retention on the level of the ZDP. So on the surface, I just assumed it was a tradeoff of some stainlessness for more toughness. But I haven't found that to be all there is to it. I find the HAP40 to be much more difficult to sharpen to a very keen edge. This is just my subjective experience, sharpening freehand on shapton glass stones. It's definitely pretty much the only steel I've encountered in Japanese kitchen knives that I think I might end up preferring not to sharpen freehand.
 
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Sounds good (maybe). I'd like to try it out (for sure). Lemme know when I can buy one at bed bath and beyond, you know what I mean? I can only use what's actually readily available for sale on the market. I've messed around with some of these exotic steels not readily available in kitchen knives in the EDC world, and even then my experience is what I stated already. For the level of performance on offer, ZDP has the best edge taking properties I've personally seen. Among steels with a similar performance level it sharpens, and to a very keen edge, easier. The closest thing I can compare it to in kitchen knives is HAP40. I recently got a Sukenari in HAP40. Even taken up to what they're claiming is 68 RC, it's still not performing in terms of edge retention on the level of the ZDP. So on the surface, I just assumed it was a tradeoff of some stainlessness for more toughness. But I haven't found that to be all there is to it. I find the HAP40 to be much more difficult to sharpen to a very keen edge. This is just my subjective experience, sharpening freehand on shapton glass stones. It's definitely pretty much the only steel I've encountered in Japanese kitchen knives that I think I might end up preferring not to sharpen freehand.
I would say diamond stones are just as easy to get now as shapton glass stones.

I don't know anywhere i get get both of these in person where i live.

Same with most of these knives. Theyre just as available as the stones at this point. If you want i can link some sites with these stones for sale.
 

HumbleHomeCook

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Sounds good (maybe). I'd like to try it out (for sure). Lemme know when I can buy one at bed bath and beyond, you know what I mean? I can only use what's actually readily available for sale on the market. I've messed around with some of these exotic steels not readily available in kitchen knives in the EDC world, and even then my experience is what I stated already. For the level of performance on offer, ZDP has the best edge taking properties I've personally seen. Among steels with a similar performance level it sharpens, and to a very keen edge, easier. The closest thing I can compare it to in kitchen knives is HAP40. I recently got a Sukenari in HAP40. Even taken up to what they're claiming is 68 RC, it's still not performing in terms of edge retention on the level of the ZDP. So on the surface, I just assumed it was a tradeoff of some stainlessness for more toughness. But I haven't found that to be all there is to it. I find the HAP40 to be much more difficult to sharpen to a very keen edge. This is just my subjective experience, sharpening freehand on shapton glass stones. It's definitely pretty much the only steel I've encountered in Japanese kitchen knives that I think I might end up preferring not to sharpen freehand.

It is my experience in the EDC world that K390 and S90V made put my ZDP189 knife away. :)
 

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But hey, speaking of toughness, everyone knows Spicy White is renowned for it. ;)



Sorry, topic stray, but I'm always looking for the slightest tie in to post that video. :)

AEB-L is the ****, especially if you take it up into the mid 60's rc. However I have some kitchen knives made by Miyabi and they don't hold an edge well at all, it's trounced by vg10. Seems other people have similar experiences; I assume it's because they're run too soft. 52100 taken up into the mid 60's is another sleeper hit, excellent low alloy steel for a kitchen knife.

Sure if you have a link where they're selling kitchen knives made in the materials you're talking about, I'd take a look. Sidenote I do have 1 naniwa diamond stone I got off amazon for about $150. It's a finishing stone, the highest grit such stone they sell. I have no problems sharpening my ZDP knives, or anything else for that matter, on a 1000 grit shapton glass. I do find it preferable to finish them off the naniwa diamond. For this purpose it does makes sense.


Yeah. K390 is definitely a good steel. I wish it was a little cheaper, or easier to get.

I thought about getting the spiderco police 4 in k390, on sale recently for about $140, but I opted against it because I live near the ocean and it's not laminated at all. I also have issues with spiderco knives in that they're just so damn ugly. I have zero style but that stuff is just too ugly for even me. Most of their products are like the pocket knife equivalent to wearing tall white socks with birkenstocks and a fanny pack. I just can't bring myself to edc one. Before the fans jump on me, no doubt they are extremely ergonomic and well-designed through an extensive iterative process and whatnot. They are really good tools, no doubt about that. They're just too damn ugly for me. If they could have a baby with ZT, then I'd be all about it. So for now I'm mostly carrying either a boker kwaiken with titanium scales, more usually it's the big pokey ZT in s35vn. I might go ahead and spring for either the blurple military in s110v or perhaps that non lightweight police 4 exclusive to knife center with the butt ugly pakka scales next time they're marked down that much again.

I was messing with the hap40 kitchen knives again and it turns out I almost certainly have been getting it hair whittling sharp freehand, it just subjectively never felt *that* sharp to me. I didn't really change anything I was doing, but I went ahead and ran some hair over it. IDK what's going on exactly, maybe a brain bleed. It's not poping the hair the way my ZDP and obviously carbon steels do, but it's catching it and splitting it in half or tree topping it usually. In use, I do a lot of cut testing on paper towels, it just doesn't feel that sharp tho. I'm seeing modest if any performance benefits with hap40 at 65 rc over R2 at 63 and the additional effort in sharpening makes this stuff somewhat a dud for me. I suppose it's cool that the edge discolors and goes black like carbon steels but it's actually got probably double the edge holding of good super blue. I suppose that's cool on some level. I'm just not feeling impressed. Maybe the sukenari hap40 will impress me more when I test with it.
 
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AEB-L is the ****, especially if you take it up into the mid 60's rc. However I have some kitchen knives made by Miyabi and they don't hold an edge well at all, it's trounced by vg10. Seems other people have similar experiences; I assume it's because they're run too soft. 52100 taken up into the mid 60's is another sleeper hit, excellent low alloy steel for a kitchen knife.

Sure if you have a link where they're selling kitchen knives made in the materials you're talking about, I'd take a look. Sidenote I do have 1 naniwa diamond stone I got off amazon for about $150. It's a finishing stone, the highest grit such stone they sell. I have no problems sharpening my ZDP knives, or anything else for that matter, on a 1000 grit shapton glass. I do find it preferable to finish them off the naniwa diamond. For this purpose it does makes sense.




I thought about getting the spiderco police 4 in k390, on sale recently for about $140, but I opted against it because I live near the ocean and it's not laminated at all. I also have issues with spiderco knives in that they're just so damn ugly. I have zero style but that stuff is just too ugly for even me. Most of their products are like the pocket knife equivalent to wearing tall white socks with birkenstocks and a fanny pack. I just can't bring myself to edc one. Before the fans jump on me, no doubt they are extremely ergonomic and well-designed through an extensive iterative process and whatnot. They are really good tools, no doubt about that. They're just too damn ugly for me. If they could have a baby with ZT, then I'd be all about it. So for now I'm mostly carrying either a boker kwaiken with titanium scales, more usually it's the big pokey ZT in s35vn. I might go ahead and spring for either the blurple military in s110v or perhaps that non lightweight police 4 exclusive to knife center with the butt ugly pakka scales next time they're marked down that much again.

I was messing with the hap40 kitchen knives again and it turns out I almost certainly have been getting it hair whittling sharp freehand, it just subjectively never felt *that* sharp to me. I didn't really change anything I was doing, but I went ahead and ran some hair over it. IDK what's going on exactly, maybe a brain bleed. It's not poping the hair the way my ZDP and obviously carbon steels do, but it's catching it and splitting it in half or tree topping it usually. In use, I do a lot of cut testing on paper towels, it just doesn't feel that sharp tho. I'm seeing modest if any performance benefits with hap40 at 65 rc over R2 at 63 and the additional effort in sharpening makes this stuff somewhat a dud for me. I suppose it's cool that the edge discolors and goes black like carbon steels but it's actually got probably double the edge holding of good super blue. I suppose that's cool on some level. I'm just not feeling impressed. Maybe the sukenari hap40 will impress me more when I test with it.
Oh. Those steels. I thought you meant diamond stones.

Yeah, i can name a lot of makers that use them. A couple have even talked about sharpening on this thread. And both do great heat treatments. If you wanted to get a kitchen knife in one if those steels. I highly suggest one of them.
 
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Yeah. The magnacut pass around thread was something i think should have been an eye opener. When the people are consistently saying they arent able to get the knife very sharp, using a shapton 2k.
That one was hard, the MagnaCut is actually not annoying to sharpen like some of other high alloy steels but it takes alot of time, I ordered Venev to see how that would improve tho. Personally I still think enjoyment in sharpening matters, I have some great splash and go stones that creates nice edge but feels like sharpening on a glass, so I sold them and got the JKI soakers, same with steel, even with same simple steel like white there's just some more enjoyable than others.
Yeah. Ive been wanting to get one if those also.

I recently saw a bonded diamond stone on sharpening supplies. Made by nanohone. Super affordable (less than 100 usd). Im interested in that one. I cant remember what grit it was. I believe it was in the 140-240 range.
The Resin diamond? There's some discussion about it, seems they are softer than other diamond stones, which feels weird on edge but great on bevels.

That said I'd say buy the knife not the steel, most steel above level of white2/1095 are really good at edge holding, at least for me, so wear resistance is not really a problem for me. Of course novelties like ApexUltra are interesting, tho, good toughness and wear resistance, high hardness and really fun on the stone. Even it is only at the wear resistance level of Aeb-L I'd still choose it over many pm steel.
 
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The problem I see with Hap40 and ZDP189 is there simply aren't many knives I want to buy with them, mostly Seki knives with fancy handle and mediocre grind.
 

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Yeah for sure, magnacut gets it's abrasion resistance from vanadium carbides, which makes machining and sharpening a *****. If you're used to dealing with super blue or whatever and you jump to something like that without knowing what you're in for you will be lost and hopeless. I think it's an interesting steel and a really good option for something like a custom hunting knife, I just don't see any real application for using it in a kitchen knife. It's not going to fill any gaps that could exist in what's already available. Though it would be interesting to see it run near the mid 60s rc and with crazy thin grinds to take advantage of the toughness. That would make for a high performing extremely stainless laser without being delicate, and probably not bad to sharpen thanks to the thinness. I'm much more interested in another steel the same fella created in Apex Ultra. This stuff I have not tried and seems very interesting and appealing. If it as fine grained as they're saying, it looks like something with high potential for high end and custom kitchen knives. Trying something like that is on my short list for sure.

Another issue with HAP40 though is it's again not intended for use in knives, it's difficult to work with. So many blades with warps in them it's ridiculous. Just don't be surprised if you get a hap40 kitchen knife and it has a warp. Not an issue on ZDP, and neither is sharpening. The potential issues with ZDP, some people don't like that it claims to be stainless but it's more like the better end of semi-stainless. Well, idk. In my book stainless means stain less. It's certainly a lot more stainless than an actual semi-stainless tool steel like HAP40. Aside from that it's nowhere near tough enough to be used in something like a hunting knife. I don't find it to be an issue in kitchen knives, even laser grinds with very acute edge bevels. It's the only "commonly" available kitchen knife steel I've seen that can put up with extended use on hardwood cutting boards and retain its fine edge. By the time this stuff loses it's fine edge a lot of other kitchen knife steels are completely shot. If you can't tell I'm a fan.
 
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Has anyone used DMD Diamond Resin Stones to try on Magnacut or other Vanadium carbide blades?
 
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Yeah for sure, magnacut gets it's abrasion resistance from vanadium carbides, which makes machining and sharpening a *****. If you're used to dealing with super blue or whatever and you jump to something like that without knowing what you're in for you will be lost and hopeless. I think it's an interesting steel and a really good option for something like a custom hunting knife, I just don't see any real application for using it in a kitchen knife. It's not going to fill any gaps that could exist in what's already available. Though it would be interesting to see it run near the mid 60s rc and with crazy thin grinds to take advantage of the toughness. That would make for a high performing extremely stainless laser without being delicate, and probably not bad to sharpen thanks to the thinness. I'm much more interested in another steel the same fella created in Apex Ultra. This stuff I have not tried and seems very interesting and appealing. If it as fine grained as they're saying, it looks like something with high potential for high end and custom kitchen knives. Trying something like that is on my short list for sure.

Another issue with HAP40 though is it's again not intended for use in knives, it's difficult to work with. So many blades with warps in them it's ridiculous. Just don't be surprised if you get a hap40 kitchen knife and it has a warp. Not an issue on ZDP, and neither is sharpening. The potential issues with ZDP, some people don't like that it claims to be stainless but it's more like the better end of semi-stainless. Well, idk. In my book stainless means stain less. It's certainly a lot more stainless than an actual semi-stainless tool steel like HAP40. Aside from that it's nowhere near tough enough to be used in something like a hunting knife. I don't find it to be an issue in kitchen knives, even laser grinds with very acute edge bevels. It's the only "commonly" available kitchen knife steel I've seen that can put up with extended use on hardwoood cutting boards and retain its fine edge. By the time this stuff loses it's fine edge most knife steels are completely shot. If you can't tell I'm a fan.
Personally I see MagnaCut as a direct PM upgrade of Aeb-L, with good toughness it could be an excellent steel for Chinese chef knife which involve more chopping and need to be more impact resistant. So far while there are VG 10 and SG2 cleaver they seem to be thicker at the edge to compensate for toughness, Abe-l and 52100 is an excellent option for the cleaver which can sustain a thin geometry, I’d expect MagnaCut to do the same with higher wear resistance. Tho that said it is hardly a requirement since 52100 at 64 hrc already have good enough edge retention for me, so really in the end it comes down to maker and grind.
 

gc0220

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Personally I see MagnaCut as a direct PM upgrade of Aeb-L, with good toughness it could be an excellent steel for Chinese chef knife which involve more chopping and need to be more impact resistant. So far while there are VG 10 and SG2 cleaver they seem to be thicker at the edge to compensate for toughness, Abe-l and 52100 is an excellent option for the cleaver which can sustain a thin geometry, I’d expect MagnaCut to do the same with higher wear resistance. Tho that said it is hardly a requirement since 52100 at 64 hrc already have good enough edge retention for me, so really in the end it comes down to maker and grind.
I think you're spot on the money with all everything that was said.
 
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Yeah for sure, magnacut gets it's abrasion resistance from vanadium carbides, which makes machining and sharpening a *****. If you're used to dealing with super blue or whatever and you jump to something like that without knowing what you're in for you will be lost and hopeless. I think it's an interesting steel and a really good option for something like a custom hunting knife, I just don't see any real application for using it in a kitchen knife. It's not going to fill any gaps that could exist in what's already available. Though it would be interesting to see it run near the mid 60s rc and with crazy thin grinds to take advantage of the toughness. That would make for a high performing extremely stainless laser without being delicate, and probably not bad to sharpen thanks to the thinness. I'm much more interested in another steel the same fella created in Apex Ultra. This stuff I have not tried and seems very interesting and appealing. If it as fine grained as they're saying, it looks like something with high potential for high end and custom kitchen knives. Trying something like that is on my short list for sure.

Another issue with HAP40 though is it's again not intended for use in knives, it's difficult to work with. So many blades with warps in them it's ridiculous. Just don't be surprised if you get a hap40 kitchen knife and it has a warp. Not an issue on ZDP, and neither is sharpening. The potential issues with ZDP, some people don't like that it claims to be stainless but it's more like the better end of semi-stainless. Well, idk. In my book stainless means stain less. It's certainly a lot more stainless than an actual semi-stainless tool steel like HAP40. Aside from that it's nowhere near tough enough to be used in something like a hunting knife. I don't find it to be an issue in kitchen knives, even laser grinds with very acute edge bevels. It's the only "commonly" available kitchen knife steel I've seen that can put up with extended use on hardwood cutting boards and retain its fine edge. By the time this stuff loses it's fine edge a lot of other kitchen knife steels are completely shot. If you can't tell I'm a fan.
It sounds to me you kinda named exact gap that magnacut could fill lol.

Its in my opinion, just about perfect as a high wear resistance steel for kitchen knives, able to get hard enough, while being tough enough to handle a thin grind, and also having incredible stain resistance.

Im currently working on a nakiri in magnacut at the moment. I thought it would be the perfect steel for what im going for. Especially since im intending this to be a laser i would say a nakiri generally should be anyway. The heat treatment i went for should have left it in the 64-65 hrc range (unfortunately, i dont have a tester so im having to make assumptions based on the protocol i used) The current directly behind the edge thickness is 3.5 thousandths (.1mm), but its going to need a final sharpening at the end, and i fully expect it to loose a touch of that thinness but should be under 5 thousandths still.
 
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I think I overall agree with your points I just wanted to point out a few things to avoid any confusion.
If it as fine grained as they're saying, it looks like something with high potential for high end and custom kitchen knives
I don't think Apex Ultra is particularly more or less fine-grained than other low-alloy steels. I'm not quite sure where this idea is coming from
Another issue with HAP40 though is it's again not intended for use in knives, it's difficult to work with. So many blades with warps in them it's ridiculous.
Hap40 isn't really more prone to warping than any other steel. In fact, if anything it has better dimensional stability than steels like ZDP because it is usually tempered in the high temp (>1000F) range. I wouldn't blame the steel for something that seems to just be a factor of the makers who offer it.
Well, idk. In my book stainless means stain less. It's certainly a lot more stainless than an actual semi-stainless tool steel like HAP40.
Usually, we call a steel stainless when prolonged exposure to tap water does not corrode it. Neither of these steels is really stainless.
Yeah for sure, magnacut gets it's abrasion resistance from vanadium carbides, which makes machining and sharpening a *****. If you're used to dealing with super blue or whatever and you jump to something like that without knowing what you're in for you will be lost and hopeless.
Super blue also gets its wear resistance from MC-type carbides so it's probably not the best comparison. I would say given that the vanadium (and sometimes W) carbides in Super Blue are pretty large its not immediately obvious to me that it is particularly easier to sharpen on conventional stones than MagnaCut. I've sharpened a bunch of knives in both steels now and certainly haven't had too many issues dealing with MagnaCut, although the MagnaCut knives have all been very thin bte so the comparison isn't too great.
 
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I think I overall agree with your points I just wanted to point out a few things to avoid any confusion.

I don't think Apex Ultra is particularly more or less fine-grained than other low-alloy steels. I'm not quite sure where this idea is coming from
I think it might be ApexUltra has less large carbide like 1.2562 or AS, which is on their website and main selling point
 
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I think it might be ApexUltra has less large carbide like 1.2562 or AS, which is on their website and main selling point
Sure but carbide size != grain size. I guess that's where the idea is coming from though.
 
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Personally I see MagnaCut as a direct PM upgrade of Aeb-L, with good toughness it could be an excellent steel for Chinese chef knife which involve more chopping and need to be more impact resistant. So far while there are VG 10 and SG2 cleaver they seem to be thicker at the edge to compensate for toughness, Abe-l and 52100 is an excellent option for the cleaver which can sustain a thin geometry, I’d expect MagnaCut to do the same with higher wear resistance. Tho that said it is hardly a requirement since 52100 at 64 hrc already have good enough edge retention for me, so really in the end it comes down to maker and grind.
This is a very good way of looking at it. You get the same toughness at high hardness as AEB-L in addition to better corrosion and wear resistance, what's not to like and why would you not want this in kitchen knives. MagnaCut is harder to sharpen, but not that hard when geometry near the edge is thin. If more metal removal is required better abrasives are needed, but that is the price you pay for better performance.

High alloy steels benefit from use of better abrasives. it really sounds like most reports of users not seeing benefits of high alloy steel come down to sharpening and very little else. If you like hard AEB-L or 52100 you should like MagnaCut even more as long as you can sharpen it of course.
 
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This is a very good way of looking at it. You get the same toughness at high hardness as AEB-L in addition to better corrosion and wear resistance, what's not to like and why would you not want this in kitchen knives. MagnaCut is harder to sharpen, but not that hard when geometry near the edge is thin. If more metal removal is required better abrasives are needed, but that is the price you pay for better performance.

High alloy steels benefit from use of better abrasives. it really sounds like most reports of users not seeing benefits of high alloy steel come down to sharpening and very little else. If you like hard AEB-L or 52100 you should like MagnaCut even more as long as you can sharpen it of course.
I agree.
 
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So. Everytime I revive this thread. This always happens. Instead of being about helping people to get the best results sharpening these steels. Instead it turns to people saying they either don't want to use diamonds, or they aren't interested in these steels.

Which is fine. I also get that it doesn't matter much on my intentions when opening the thread, on what others decide to talk about in it. I would just like to remind everyone (especially if they didn't start reading at the very beginning,). That the main point is for people to share what theyve learned about sharpening high mc carbide steels, while getting the best possible results.

Something with a lower volume of mc carbide can usually get away with being sharpened on traditional abrasives, without seeing as drastic of a change in performance, thats been seen with things like 10v, or even 4v, and magnacut. However the information ive found leads to me being hesitant to use my traditional abrasives on them, even if they do abrade them.
 

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My high-carbide steels are all EDC knives and of them the two that get the most use are my Manix 2 in S90V and my Endela in K390. My Endela gets a lot of use killing cardboard which is notoriously hard on edges.

Since these steels hold their edge for so long I just don't need to sharpen that often. That's the point. On my Endela I've eased the shoulders so between the steel and the slightly modified geometry it just keeps right on running. I'm also only sharpening for myself and I don't need highly refined edges on the knives and their uses.

So, for me, that means I can get away plated diamond plates. Not the best stuff but the cost/use/performance ratio works just fine for me. Specifically, I buy Ultra Sharp brand. Yes, probably Chinese but quality focused and very well executed. I've had zero issues.

I find the 300 and 600 to work great for me.

I don't have trouble sharpening these steels on diamonds. They burr up and clean up with just a little patience. No biggy.

I also have .5um diamond lapping film on a hard backing for stropping but I don't really use it much any more.
 
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My high-carbide steels are all EDC knives and of them the two that get the most use are my Manix 2 in S90V and my Endela in K390. My Endela gets a lot of use killing cardboard which is notoriously hard on edges.

Since these steels hold their edge for so long I just don't need to sharpen that often. That's the point. On my Endela I've eased the shoulders so between the steel and the slightly modified geometry it just keeps right on running. I'm also only sharpening for myself and I don't need highly refined edges on the knives and their uses.

So, for me, that means I can get away plated diamond plates. Not the best stuff but the cost/use/performance ratio works just fine for me. Specifically, I buy Ultra Sharp brand. Yes, probably Chinese but quality focused and very well executed. I've had zero issues.

I find the 300 and 600 to work great for me.

I don't have trouble sharpening these steels on diamonds. They burr up and clean up with just a little patience. No biggy.

I also have .5um diamond lapping film on a hard backing for stropping but I don't really use it much any more.
Personally i find the dmt coarse (blue) to dmt fine (red) to be really nice finishers for these steels. Thats to say, its very easy to get a hair whittling edge using plated diamond in that grit range. Course being my preferred finisher of those. I remember when the coarse stone hanging hair challenge was going on i used a bunch of stuff practicing, and that was one that gave me some of the best results.

I personally think its even a great edge for kitchen knives, especially followed directly by stropping with 1 micron diamond spray. Which does refine it just a touch. Afterwards it can leave a very nice long lasting edge.
 
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There are definitely different ways and methods of sharpening and as long as you get good results that is all the maters.

For example I've had multiple knives from Chris Berry (big_chris_cistom_knives) and he sharpens very differently from how others do it, but his results are excellent. I've had his knives in 4v, 10v, s125v, MagnaCut and all came extremely sharp. Here's how he does it. Results is what matters.

 

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Hap 40 is not a high carbide, high vanadium steel.

Hap 40 only has 8% total carbide volume and only 2.5% of that is vanadium carbide.

CPM 15V is 23% Vanadium carbide volume, the steel is at 65rc tempered.

If you are up for it we could look at your edge under the microscope at high magnification and also test the sharpness.
Just another proof no one fully reads a statement. I said as much as I never had to sharpen high vanadium PM.

Insofar as the debate is over see a full page of posts since my last reply.

Wouldn’t put my edges against yours. Just said mine was satisfying on a steel I’m inclined to think I’ve laid out precisely and followed through with all my comments.

God… must I really reiterate all of what I said? Debate is clearly not over with. Title was catchy but the proof nothing new. Sorry that you’re much better and better equipped than I am. But the ultimate proof there is nothing to change the real life outcome much is it? Because the debate is beyond the proof you’ve made.
 

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