Soft vs Hard Grit Finishes

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This matches my own experiences. I  want to finish everything on a coticule, and that's dumb sharp at first, but I've found the longest lasting edges from my own sharpening kit tend to be from the Chosera 3k for my stainless AEB-L/SG2/Ginsan/VG7/VG10. I only reference those as I see it more as a ~true edge retention test since they aren't suffering micro-corrosion like my beloved carbons, and they tend to be my tomato/pepper knives so I'm more keen on tooth.

I've been experimenting with manufacturing lasting tooth through combinations like Chosera 800, Shapton Glass 120, or DMT diamond plate followed by a BBW deburr. Also playing with a couple washitas too. I've had good success so far but it's too early to say anything that isn't more just ~vibes~ except that I'm shocked at how much I like the SG 120 > BBW for real crappy stainless paring knives and such that get abused.
Have you tried Shibata’s trick of “one side lower grit; the other higher grit?”

Sounds like a recipe for “toothy yet refined” as one member with a total killer avi self-describes.
 
Nah, my natural freehand angle is fairly low (maybe 11°?) and I just roll with it and focus on a good deburr.

I've never had issues with big edge failure so I haven't delved into microbevels yet.
I always cut a quick microbevel while sharpening, but it's more a function of habit and really unnecessary. With good sharpening and good steel, it's pretty silly.
 
Have you tried Shibata’s trick of “one side lower grit; the other higher grit?”

Sounds like a recipe for “toothy yet refined” as one member with a total killer avi self-describes.
Never tried this but it's *way* different from what the EDC knife people do and I'm kind of curious. I use a mixed grit finisher most of the time for my nicer knives.
 
I always cut a quick microbevel while sharpening, but it's more a function of habit and really unnecessary. With good sharpening and good steel, it's pretty silly.
Agree. Really helps with de-burring on ****** stainless tho!
 
Never tried this but it's *way* different from what the EDC knife people do and I'm kind of curious. I use a mixed grit finisher most of the time for my nicer knives.
The Shibata I have arrived with an edge on it like nothing else.

I still have not given that knife (Kashima 240) the full progression. It continues to ghost through softer veg.
 
I always cut a quick microbevel while sharpening, but it's more a function of habit and really unnecessary. With good sharpening and good steel, it's pretty silly.
Sometimes that procedure trades 10% ultimate sharpness for 100% increase in usable edge life.

The only time I try to avoid the nanobevel is on my single-bevel fish cutters.
 
Sometimes that procedure trades 10% ultimate sharpness for 100% increase in usable edge life.

The only time I try to avoid the nanobevel is on my single-bevel fish cutters.
Lmao, I was gonna tag you into my reply because microbevels are well within the realm of nerdy minutia. You're entirely right though.
 
Lmao, I was gonna tag you into my reply because microbevels are well within the realm of nerdy minutia. You're entirely right though.
I have achieved nerdhood!

1718671022241.gif
 
Sir, I'm afraid you likely got that achievement sometime in the 80s. 😂
Du’uude. 60s. I was very precocious in turning away from general culture in the pursuit of scientific arcana.

When I was eight I actually thought that quoting the speed of light to six sig figs would earn me a discount from the high-school burnout operating the ice cream truck.

It’s been a convergent series of disappointments in my fellow H. sap since then.

By the 80s I was in grad school and beginning to monetize Qbertacio Extrema.
 
I don't own any soft carbon but keep the finish lower with softer stainless to get to what I consider reasonable edge retention for whatever knife. I don't use steels at this point so that mixes it up quite a bit.


I only have a few stainless knives (quite cheap ones), so I'm not a massive expert on the matter, but I've been surprised by how decent the edge retention is. I tend to thin my knives quite a lot bte and then sharpen at a relatively high angle, which might help(?). But my hunch is still that they seem to have better retention than equivalent cheap-n-soft carbon.

You saw what I did to that Shibazi last night and it was still gliding through cherry tomatoes after. I wasn't necessarily expecting it tbh, but quite impressive I thought.
 
Have you tried Shibata’s trick of “one side lower grit; the other higher grit?”

Sounds like a recipe for “toothy yet refined” as one member with a total killer avi self-describes.
I have not, but am very curious about that.

So far I have been chasing that refined toothiness on my carbons with several different flavors of BBW, coti, aizu, or washita. Naturals are just fun for it. On the stainless I go less refined, more tooth. At least that's my current experiment phase.
 
As an owner of several Sabatier knives. I've heard many people say not to over sharpen them. Most softer steels I've heard the same comments to not over sharpen.

What is the basis of that thought process?
Why is it always refered to older knives vs newer knives?

I usually don't sharpen past 2k on any of my knives if I use them for a high volume prep jobs because I'm most likely going to have to use a honing rod during prep. Not because they don't get sharper because the absolutely do at higher grits. My normal day I cut 50 pounds of tomatoes into a small dice for pico de Gallo. If is use my my hap40 gyuto or my 1970's 4 start elephant it doesn't matter the hardness I will have to hone, strop, or ceramic rod sharpening at some point no matter what. I order grade 2 tomatoes because they are cheaper. They usually have tough skins. I do like the ultra high grit finishes when cutting the tomatoes but the first initial sharpness will disappear so much faster. I always sharpen to 10k on my butcher knives, they fly through meat at high grit finishes.
So at the end of the day is there any advantage in the hap-40 or does it equal out with ease of touch up ect?
 
I only have a few stainless knives (quite cheap ones), so I'm not a massive expert on the matter, but I've been surprised by how decent the edge retention is. I tend to thin my knives quite a lot bte and then sharpen at a relatively high angle, which might help(?). But my hunch is still that they seem to have better retention than equivalent cheap-n-soft carbon.

You saw what I did to that Shibazi last night and it was still gliding through cherry tomatoes after. I wasn't necessarily expecting it tbh, but quite impressive I thought.
Not being able to find cheap vintage carbon steel hunting knives this year my practice knives include a couple of stainless Chicago Cutlery S42's.

Holy burrs batman, that stuff is nasty. Probably just me not being used to it but it was a reminder of why I like carbon steel. I got one of them done last night and never could remove the burr with edge leading passes, I had to bread knife it off.
 
So at the end of the day is there any advantage in the hap-40 or does it equal out with ease of touch up ect?
I prefer the softer steel with the fine polishing rod. A few passes on the rod brings it back to 95% for me. The hap-40 once it loses the initial sharpness, I can bring it back with a rod. I can't just leave prep to hit it up on a stone. I would take the hap-40 if I was just doing onions or just peppers. If acid is in the prep mix it really takes away the edge.
 
Not being able to find cheap vintage carbon steel hunting knives this year my practice knives include a couple of stainless Chicago Cutlery S42's.

Holy burrs batman, that stuff is nasty. Probably just me not being used to it but it was a reminder of why I like carbon steel. I got one of them done last night and never could remove the burr with edge leading passes, I had to bread knife it off.


Ah yeah, it can certainly often turn out like that too. And I imagine probably not helped by being on a hunting knife!

I also find it quite difficult to predict. I’ve sharpened a lot of ultra-cheap stainless for people that took a relatively nice edge with ease, and an equal amount of slightly more premium knives that were a complete nightmare.

Finishing trailing and then stropping hard is my usual go-to for cheaper stainless.
 
I only have a few stainless knives (quite cheap ones), so I'm not a massive expert on the matter, but I've been surprised by how decent the edge retention is. I tend to thin my knives quite a lot bte and then sharpen at a relatively high angle, which might help(?). But my hunch is still that they seem to have better retention than equivalent cheap-n-soft carbon.

You saw what I did to that Shibazi last night and it was still gliding through cherry tomatoes after. I wasn't necessarily expecting it tbh, but quite impressive I thought.
This shouldn't be surprising, equally soft most stainless used in knives will hold an edge better and longer than low alloy carbon. The problem as has been mentioned is in sharpening and specifically deburring. If you can deburr these well the edge will last for a bit. The beauty of many low alloy carbon is that they often run harder and are much, much easier to get good sharpening results. Because of these reasons they can support thinner and more acute geometry and get cleaner edges, so on the balance it seems like their edges last longer and in a sense they do, but not due to the steel property exactly but due to the user interface with the steel.
 
I only have a few stainless knives (quite cheap ones), so I'm not a massive expert on the matter, but I've been surprised by how decent the edge retention is. I tend to thin my knives quite a lot bte and then sharpen at a relatively high angle, which might help(?). But my hunch is still that they seem to have better retention than equivalent cheap-n-soft carbon.

You saw what I did to that Shibazi last night and it was still gliding through cherry tomatoes after. I wasn't necessarily expecting it tbh, but quite impressive I thought.
Here's Graham Clarke on the topic. Includes specific discussion to the edge retention benefits of chromium carbide and references source material from the *80s* before the proliferation of good stainless and heat treats at ~3:19. Has quite the accent but subtitles help 😉

Edit: Ofc, source material is the Juaranitch, lol. There are people on Reddit that attribute all of this stuff to Cliff Stamp and it really boggles the mind.

Another edit: *** is m'tail urgy???
 
This shouldn't be surprising, equally soft most stainless used in knives will hold an edge better and longer than low alloy carbon. The problem as has been mentioned is in sharpening and specifically deburring. If you can deburr these well the edge will last for a bit. The beauty of many low alloy carbon is that they often run harder and are much, much easier to get good sharpening results. Because of these reasons they can support thinner and more acute geometry and get cleaner edges, so on the balance it seems like their edges last longer and in a sense they do, but not due to the steel property exactly but due to the user interface with the steel.


Indeed! What I meant was... when I first got a cheap-ish stainless knife of my own (which was only about two years ago now), I personally was quite surprised that the edge retention seemed better than some of the equivalently cheap-ish carbon steel knives I already had. Because previously I'd kinda written off cheap-ish stainless as complete crap.

All of which probably only goes to emphasize another point I made above...

I'm not a metallurgist.
 
Here's Graham Clarke on the topic. Includes specific discussion to the edge retention benefits of chromium carbide and references source material from the *80s* before the proliferation of good stainless and heat treats at ~3:19. Has quite the accent but subtitles help 😉

Edit: Ofc, source material is the Juaranitch, lol. There are people on Reddit that attribute all of this stuff to Cliff Stamp and it really boggles the mind.

Another edit: *** is m'tail urgy???



Ah interesting, cheers. I'll have a little watch of it later. :)
 
Indeed! What I meant was... when I first got a cheap-ish stainless knife of my own (which was only about two years ago now), I personally was quite surprised that the edge retention seemed better than some of the equivalently cheap-ish carbon steel knives I already had. Because previously I'd kinda written off cheap-ish stainless as complete crap.

All of which probably only goes to emphasize another point I made above...
It *is* surprising though, even more generally. One of our more famous celebrity chefs is Julia Child and her disdain for stainless is pretty famous. Only Betty Crocker had a bigger influence on American culinary traditions.
 
As a home cook stainless steel is great for segmenting grapefruit, that's about all I use it for.

Highly refined edges don't care how soft the tomatoes are.


Im Out Of Here Penguin GIF - Im Out Of Here Penguin Walking GIFs
 
It *is* surprising though, even more generally. One of our more famous celebrity chefs is Julia Child and her disdain for stainless is pretty famous. Only Betty Crocker had a bigger influence on American culinary traditions.
documentation and corroboration to your experiences.


Yeah, I was certainly guilty of buying into that line of thinking before I'd really used any stainless knives on a daily basis. I didn't know it was well-known to have better retention than equivalent inexpensive carbon steel.

But as you say... that certainly chimes with my experience. Always nice to know one's not going mad!
 
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