Evaluation of H1 Steel

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Pete1977
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Postby Pete1977 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:24 am

when I used a plain edge Atlantic Salt commercial lobstering back around 2006 or 2007 I used to sharpen it on the sharpmaker. I had the best results thinning the back bevel down by hand and setting the microbevel at the 30 degree setting...Eventually I used a Lansky or a Gatco (I can't remember) jig style sharpener to take the edge down to the 20 degree setting and again, set the microbevel at 30 degrees.....not really a scientific sharpening method but I'm a fisherman so as long as it cut I was happy... :D

H-1 is my favorite steel. Haven't used it in a while. I'm still beating the heck out of the Byrd Rescue Sal sent a couple years ago....

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Postby Cliff Stamp » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:53 am

me2 wrote:The whole edge is now sharp however, and will catch hair above my skin and whittle beard hair.
Effort required, any comments on difficulty compared to a low alloy carbon/stainless?

I have noted significantly the last few times how trivial it is to raise H1 to a very high sharpness. However the problem is that once you have this perception, the fact that you have it can dominate the results and it isn't trivial to to a blind sharpening run.

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Postby me2 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:59 am

Honestly, it was kind of a PITA to use the 204, but that was because of geometry issues, not the steel itself. The bevels were different from one side to the other, and required some effort to make sure the actual edge was touching the stones.

In light of the troubles, I took the edge to my new 220 grit Norton waterstone. It took about 200 passes on the more obtuse side to lower the angle to 12 degrees. The other side was only about 40 passes, as it was already at 13-14 degrees. It's hard to say compared to other steels, because I haven't done many rebevelings to 12 dps by hand. I did rebevel the Cold Steel Scalper this way, and it took a while, but that blade is over twice as long and the bevel is wider. As a comparison, I rebeveled my Benchmade Griptillian in S30V to 18 dps by hand and it took about 100 passes on each side. However, this was a change from about 22 dps, so it wasn't terribly drastic.

Just to show the difference between rebeveling and just resharpening once the bevel is set, it will take less than 10 passes per side on the 220 Norton using the RADA knife to reset the bevel and get a burr along both sides. Steel is 420 HC at 56 to 58 HRc, and the blade is about twice as long as the Salt 1. I resharpened my Food Network petty the other day with 10 passes per side (pps) on the 220, 40 pps on a 1000 grit King waterstone, 40 pps on a 4000 King, then deburred and sharpened on the 4000 King. This produced an edge that would whittle hair and took less than 10 minutes, including polishing the full bevel width, flushing and cleaning the stones, and adding water to my stone bath. Basically, rebeveling by hand is the suck, but you only have to do it once.

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Postby me2 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:06 pm

Round 1 of edge holding is done. The RADA and Salt 1 would both treetop arm hair before starting. I did 30, 30, 60, and 120 cuts in cardboard, testing for sharpness after each set. Both blades lost tree topping ability after 30 cuts. At the end of 120 cuts, the RADA was sharper than the Salt 1. This is informal at this point. I'm going to do detailed tests using push cutting thead as a sharpness test and marking a 1.5" section for cutting. Both blades were limited to clost to that this time, but without marking it, I'm sure it's not as limited as I'd like. Both blades would still shave with some effort, and both would still slice paper and cardboard with no trouble. This was my high sharpness test, for which I use the ability to slice a plastic grocery bag as the stopping point. At the end of the 120 cut set, the RADA would still slice, while the Salt 1 would not. I've tested the RADA before to the point I thought it wouldn't cut paper, but that took a pile of cardboard that covered my whole kitchen table and was about 6" deep in the middle, all cut into roughly 1.5" squares. After that it would still slice printer paper with no snags. I'm going to resharpen and then try again. There are still some sharpening issues with the Salt 1 that I want to get worked out/double check. These are based on some uneven section of the original edge bevel and other such geometry issues, nothing I can attribute to the steel at this point.

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Postby Cliff Stamp » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:20 pm

If you want to artificially increase the rate of blunting then you can cut with the maximum speed you can consistently maintain as increased speed drastically reduces edge retention.

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Postby me2 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:42 pm

I will probably not try that. I'm going fast enough that control can become an issue now, 15-20 cuts/minute I'm estimating.

Checked the edge at 40x on both the RADA and Salt 1. The RADA shows the edge reflecting light, and some raggedness. The Salt 1 shows the same, but I also found an area that looks like a chip came off. Running my nail down the edge shows the edge to be quite rough. I'm attributing this to the rough machining marks on the edge noted above. Until I'm sure they're gone, I'll be doing more informal work.

Here is a link to the RADA knife used for comparison:

http://www.radacutlery.com/kitchenknive ... cooksknife

Note that mine has been HEAVILY modified over the years I've had it. The hollow grind it gone, the mirror polished sides now have a belt finish, and it's lost 1/4" or more in width from sharpening practice, damage repair, and use. The hollow grind was replaced with a flat grind, which looks very narrow/obtuse. However, it has to be kept in mind that this blade is only 0.030" thick, as measured with my caliper. I think they start about 1/32", but again, heavy use/modification on this one.

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Postby me2 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:48 am

So far I can report that I like carrying the serrated Salt 1 for EDC use. It has a very short plain edge section near the tip I find useful, and the serrations cut agressively on stuff I use at work. They do seem to take a little more effort to cut that a sharp plain edge, but I tend to do more push cutting than most I think. Going on 3 weeks of edc and have touched it up on the 204 once. Not scary sharp anymore, but sharp enough to keep going.

On the other hand, it doesn't look too good for the PE Salt 1 in the comparison to the RADA Santoku. After 2 runs on cardboard with these knives, the RADA noticably holds a high sharpness edge better, at least twice as long in the second test. Double the number of cuts on the same length of edge and the RADA would still slice a plastic bag, while the Salt 1 was unable to do much more than tear at the edges. Both knives were arm tree topping sharp at the beginning, and still are in the portions of the edge not used in testing. This gives a quick reference for how far things have moved from the starting sharpness. In fairness, the H1 had a burr that held on while sharpening and required a second deburring pass on the fine stones of the 204, even after deburring on the medium 204 stones earlier. All I may be seeing now is sharpening issues, but I checked after sharpening and the burr was gone after 2 light 30 dps passes to remove the burr on the medium then fine stones. I'm going to resharpen and do at least 2 more runs.

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Postby me2 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:51 am

Oh, one more thing. As of the second run, I have seen no sign of the "work hardening" of H1. The second test took fewer cuts to dull than the first, though this is most likely just random effects. I have plenty of cardboard and will hopefully continue after lunch.

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Postby me2 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:18 pm

3rd run in progress. Looks like run 2 was a sharpening issue. This time they are very close so far, though the run isonly about 1/3 done.

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Postby me2 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:26 pm

This run the salt 1 pulled ahead. So after three test runs we have no conclusion. Beatings will continue until morale improves.

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Postby Cliff Stamp » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:51 pm

I think you have a fairly obvious conclusion, given the constraints of the comparison, the difference in the steels is less than the random variance of the test, hence it is unlikely anyone not doing an even more constrained comparison would notice a difference, i.e., they are in the same class.

Sal has noted the CATRA of H1 is similar to AUS-6. Hence it would be expected to be very similar to the Rada in long term edge retention and as they are similar in regards to be low carbide/aggregate and of similar hardness the initial edge retention would be expected to be similar.

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Postby me2 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:47 pm

Or theres that. I checked under mag at 40x. Both show similar levels of degredation. I suspect the early runs were sharpening issues. Both still slice phonebook paper and shave with some effort. I will likely try one more run to check for the sharpening issues from run 2 and see if the Salt 1 can come back with just the 1k stone.

Edited to add I still havent seen any evidence of "work hardening". The H1 blade behaves like its much softer than the reported 65 at the edge, at least when sharpening.

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Postby Cliff Stamp » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:48 am

If you are up to experimenting, you might want to put a small flat on the edge and then run a power buffer with a fine grit compound to form the edge and then back-sharpen with a microbevel.

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kbuzbee
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Postby kbuzbee » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:17 pm

This thread got me thinking. I was way over due sharpening my PacSalt

Image

Came out very nice.

Cheers,

Ken
玉鋼

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Postby me2 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:35 am

Cliff Stamp wrote:If you are up to experimenting, you might want to put a small flat on the edge and then run a power buffer with a fine grit compound to form the edge and then back-sharpen with a microbevel.
Im not sure i understand the reason for this experiment.

Im almost ready to send the serrated version off for ferrite and hardness testing.

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Postby Cliff Stamp » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:14 pm

If work hardening is going to happen in sharpening that would be how you would do it, thermo-mechanical processing.

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Postby me2 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:56 pm

Update on both. I've been carrying and using both these knives for a while. It's nice to have the cutting efficiency of a 12 dps blade handy on the PE Salt. However, after using it for work, it has taken some damage I've never seen before. About 1/16" of the tip appears to have hit something pretty hard, as the edge is folded over nearly 90 degrees. It'll take a while to sharpen out. I'm inclined to say it happened sharpening a pencil, but none of the rest of the edge is damaged that way, so I must have hit something harder and didn't notice.

I really like the serrated Salt. I've been edc'ing it for a couple of weeks. I haven't had to sharpen it again since the last time mentioned here. An interesting thing about it is when using it in the kitchen, it push cuts through cheese with even less effort than a dedicated cheese cutting wire. Odd, but very effective.

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Postby sir_mike » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:13 pm

I have a Salt 1 PE that is getting to the point that it needs to be sharpened and wanted to know if the Sharpmaker 204mf will do that job? It is the only sharpener I have except a Double stuff and a pull thru Smith Pocket Pal! :)

I have no problem if I need or should send it to someone with sharpening skills as I am not much of one and my knives dont see much use except this one did as I picked it up used! LOL

Thx.

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Postby 3f8 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:10 am

Wikipedia has a good rendition of work hardening. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_hardening . It's more than just using or sharping your knife. Things like taking H1 at 8mm and sending it into a rolling mill squezzing it to 4mm. This kind of plastic deformation is what work hardening is about.

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Postby rodloos » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:40 am

sir_mike wrote:I have a Salt 1 PE that is getting to the point that it needs to be sharpened and wanted to know if the Sharpmaker 204mf will do that job? It is the only sharpener I have except a Double stuff and a pull thru Smith Pocket Pal! :)

I have no problem if I need or should send it to someone with sharpening skills as I am not much of one and my knives dont see much use except this one did as I picked it up used! LOL

Thx.
The SharpMaker will have NO problem with the Salt 1 PE! Go ahead and use it -- and DON'T use that pull-thru Smith sharpener on any knife you care about :) . Most of those aren't good on the blade at all.

Just go slow, don't use too much pressure, and make sure you or holding the knife straight against the SharpMaker, using the 30 degree setting first, then finish up on the 40 degree setting. Since the H1 steel isn't as hard as say, VG10, it dulls a little more quickly, but also sharpens up more quickly.
Which Knife, A or B? get Both! (and C, D and E) :)


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