An observation regarding H1

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vivi
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An observation regarding H1

Postby vivi » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:42 am

I've noticed something with every plain edged H1 knife I've owned.

They take a terrible edge when it comes time to re-sharpen them.

It has very little aggression and it loses its bite almost immediately when cutting materials such as cardboard. Couple slices through thick cardboard and it feels like using a butter knife when I try to slice paracord.

However, as soon as I grind off the factory edge with my DMT stones and replace it with a thinner bevel, its night and day.

At that point it takes an amazing edge, the sharpest I've seen any steel take. It feels much more aggressive during a slice, and edge retention is much better.

Even if I use a DMT XX coarse stone and have a plainly visible burr hanging off the edge, that roughly formed thinner edge is worlds sharper feeling than the dulled factory edge restored on my sharpmaker.

Maybe its the steel, maybe its my sharpening technique. I don't know. Its something I've always found interesting about H1.

I see a lot of comments about H1 having poor edge retention and I wonder how much of a difference users would notice if they ground a new edge on their knives.

In my experience with Pacific Salts, Aqua Salts and now Arks, if I dull the factory edge and touch it up with my fine sharpmaker rods like I do any other Spyderco before I reprofile it, the edge retention is terrible. As soon as its reprofiled its a night and day change.

Is this something anyone else has noticed?

This is the only steel that behaves like this for me. Other steels I can get incredibly sharp if I keep the factory edge and touch it up with the fine sharpmaker rods at 40 degrees. I'm doing that with my Military in CTS204p at the moment. I always end up reprofiling my knives to a thinner edge, but I often test out the factory edge for a month or two first. My Military would cut a little better if I thinned out the edge, but as it is right now it cuts great. Takes a killer edge. My Ark on the other hand....after I dulled the factory edge and tried to bring it back on the sharpmaker, performance was so low I didn't want to carry it. Reprofiled it and now its screaming through everything, just annihilating cardboard.

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Jazz
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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby Jazz » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:55 am

Not sure I've ever noticed that. The factory edge does dull super fast, I've noticed. I always put my edges to around 15° per side freehand after I dull the factory edge, or if I just hate the shallow angles. H1 still dulls too quick for the amount of cardboard I cut.
- best wishes, Jazz.

ThePeacent
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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby ThePeacent » Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:46 am

I have found that H1 takes a very nice aggressive edge if unpolished so I use coarser finishes when resharpening them (400-800 grit)

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I like the toothy edge a lot, it's truly chainsaw-like performance. I stopped sharpening to 1000+ grit as I found they didn't cut better or hold an edge longer that way

Image

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Now they always bite easily (especially meat and veggies!) and keep cutting most materials, for longer time

Image

vivi
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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby vivi » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:11 am

I tried that for a while too, using lower grit finishes. Tried leaving my Aqua Salt with a DMT fine finish and I liked that edge, and I did some cardboard cutting trials with a DMT XX coarse finish as well.

It will keep its slicing aggression a little longer for me that way. However, the difference between an ultrafine bench stone finish and a DMT XX coarse finish isn't nearly as dramatic as factory edge vs thinned out edge for me.

Like I said it could just be my technique, but I've never had this happen with any other steel which is why I'm curious what others have found.

I haven't ever tried reprofiling a serrated H1 blade. They always showed better out of box performance compared to PE for me, but they are ground much thinner as well (Plus the work hardening nature of H1 coming into play).

If you have a PE H1 knife that you're unhappy with in regards to edge retention, try regrinding it at 10-12 degrees per side until the current bevel is completely removed. Give it a few passes on the sharpmaker at the 30 degree setting then go to town.

I'll post picture of my Ark before and after shortly. Still polishing the bevel.

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Surfingringo
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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby Surfingringo » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:52 am

I love H1 for many of its properties but I've never been able to get decent performance our of the plain edge variant. I have sharpened it everywhere from 10-20dps with everything from an x-course finish to UF with the same results. Glad you have found an edge that is working for you. I'm also glad they are now using lc200n in many of their pe Salt knives!! ;)

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Evil D
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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby Evil D » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:18 am

Your best bet is to thin the edge out a LOT and micro bevel it and then rely on edge geometry to do the cutting. It's a tough enough steel to handle a 10 degrees inclusive bevel with a 30-40 inclusive micro bevel as long as you're not splitting wood with it.

https://youtu.be/NTt_F0UC6vU
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
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twinboysdad
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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby twinboysdad » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:37 am

H1 PE sucks to me. Juice ain't worth the squeeze. Get it in SE or don't bother.

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SpyderEdgeForever
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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:51 am

It must have to do with how the nitrogen-iron matrix operates at the molecular and microscopic level, as opposed to a more traditional carbon-iron matrix.

One theory I have is this: Unique to the nitride formation, it forms microscopic saw-like super-serrations, but over time these wear away and are gone, because of the inherent molecular weakness of metal, as opposed to materials like diamond or ceramics. And so, that factory edge loses these micro nitride serrations, until you resharpen it, and you get them back.

Serrated H1 on the other hand retains them because it is simply a macroscopic version of what is going on at the microscopic level. I admit, I could very well be wrong in my theorizing on this.

Here is a fascinating article on Nitrogen based steels that every Spyderco person should read:

http://www.totalmateria.com/page.aspx?I ... kts&NM=202

There is much yet to be learned about H1 steel. Infact, some people debate as to whether it should be called a steel, I call it steel.

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SpeedHoles
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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby SpeedHoles » Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:32 am

Evil D wrote:Your best bet is to thin the edge out a LOT and micro bevel it and then rely on edge geometry to do the cutting. It's a tough enough steel to handle a 10 degrees inclusive bevel with a 30-40 inclusive micro bevel as long as you're not splitting wood with it.

"10 degrees inclusive bevel" - assuming that's a typo?
Going back to Caly.

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Evil D
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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby Evil D » Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:44 pm

SpeedHoles wrote:
Evil D wrote:Your best bet is to thin the edge out a LOT and micro bevel it and then rely on edge geometry to do the cutting. It's a tough enough steel to handle a 10 degrees inclusive bevel with a 30-40 inclusive micro bevel as long as you're not splitting wood with it.

"10 degrees inclusive bevel" - assuming that's a typo?

Well, yeah that was a typo I don't normally go lower than 10 per side/20 inclusive, but it's not far off from the angles Cliff talked about in that video.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
~David

vivi
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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby vivi » Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:39 pm

Spyderedgeforever, checking that link out now, thanks for sharing.
twinboysdad wrote:H1 PE sucks to me. Juice ain't worth the squeeze. Get it in SE or don't bother.
That hasn't been my experience at all. Once reground, PE H1 is probably my favorite steel. Its tougher than any other stainless, stable at very low edge angles, rust proof, takes the sharpest edge out of anything in my collection and has edge holding on par with my VG10 folders. I might feel differently if I cut a ton of abrasive materials, but for my uses H1 can't be beat.

But the performance of factory edged H1 is bad in my experience. If H1 behaved that way once reground it would not be nearly as high on my list. But my reground Pacific Salt and Aqua Salt PE cut as well as anything else I own. In fact the Aqua Salt is my go to for breaking down cardboard for recycling.

I'm just wondering why there is such a big difference.

Have you ever tried a reground H1 PE knife? Or are your experiences based off factory edge angles?

This thing whittles hair, never rusts, and devours foot after foot of cardboard:

Image

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Surfingringo
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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby Surfingringo » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:04 pm

Vivi wrote: ....
That hasn't been my experience at all. Once reground, PE H1 is probably my favorite steel. Its tougher than any other stainless, stable at very low edge angles, rust proof, takes the sharpest edge out of anything in my collection and has edge holding on par with my VG10 folders. I might feel differently if I cut a ton of abrasive materials, but for my uses H1 can't be beat.
Hi Vivi, I think the impression we get of pe H1 has a lot to do with what we cut. In my experience, it is a bit lacking in strength so cutting any type of hard media results in edge deformation and near instant dulling where other steels would survive. Slicing cardboard probably doesnt create enough pressure to cause deformation so H1 can fare better against other steels than it would in cutting a harder material. I have tested it on that hard 5/8" polypropylene rope and it dulls very quickly. Much more so than a steel like vg10. Lc200n stomps it in that test (poly rope) too but probably would test much closer cutting cardboard.

vivi
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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby vivi » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:12 pm

What you cut definitely comes into play. I've read your experiences regarding H1 vs LC200N when gutting and cleaning fish and I found your posts very informative. I never use my H1 folders for things like that so its nice being able to hear from someone who uses the same steel in a different way.

My uses are typically along the lines of stuff you'd find in a warehouse setting. Cardboard, shrink wrap, thick plastic pallet straps etc. I've chipped various steels on thick nylon pallet straps, like 154CM and cts204p, but have not chipped H1 using it in this setting.

I've also employed H1 knives as hiking / bushcraft knives and I've found it to perform well carving wood, cutting paracord and for food prep.

wrdwrght
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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby wrdwrght » Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:31 pm

Glad to have your observation, Vivi.

Cutting some pretty hefty ornamental grasses with my PE Pacific Salt led me to abandon it, so bad was its edge retention on resharpening.

I'll reprofile and keep the apex roughish to see what joy it brings. Sounds promising.

vivi
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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby vivi » Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:39 pm

Looking forward to hear if your experiences change in the future. If you are still unhappy with the knife, I'd be more than happy to make you a fair offer for it over private messages :)

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ZrowsN1s
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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby ZrowsN1s » Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:32 pm

I prefer the PE salt. Sharpens up great for me. It does have the worst edge retention of my knives, but I find it the easiest to sharpen. Took out my tasman salt today. Checked the edge and found it not to be as sharp as I like, after 30 seconds of stroping on folded leather belt it shaved arm hair.
Get a piece of smooth leather and a little jewlers polish and strop your H1. You should have a mirror polished edge in no time at all. Heck you could probably get good results stroping on a firm piece of cardboard like on the back of a legal notepad.
I ❤ The POLICE :spyder:

.357 mag
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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby .357 mag » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:50 am

I've own many H1 knives and over the years gave them away to friends. I have always liked the steel. I used it just the same as other knife steels and at the end of the day I needed a touchup where other steels didn't. However H1 needed less strokes on the touch ups than the other steels. After a few sharpening sessions the edge retention was on par with other mid line steels.

I've had my Aqua Salt now for a few days. Haven't been able to use it much as of yet other than slicing some veggies for the Miss. Yeah.. it dulled quick. One pass on the kitchen steel and it was back popping hair. My family processes 3 hogs every year. I can't wait to put the Aqua Salt through its paces in a month.

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elena86
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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby elena86 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:06 am

As I said before H1 is a different animal when it comes to sharpening.Most people try to sharpen it by removing material in the classic way.I mostly use a steeling motion using the corners of the SM brown rods and by doing this I "re-align" the material because this "steel" has the tendency to roll and/or simply bend.Only after 3-4 sharpening sessions in this way I sharpen it by removing material and then I repeat the cicle.

Marius

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spyderHS08
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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby spyderHS08 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:29 pm

I have had nothing but awesome experience with plain and serrated H1. As others have mentioned before it is a work hardened Steel meaning it will dull fairy quickly but once used over and over and re sharpened many times it will hold an excellent edge. Also the reason the SE h1 models hold a better edge is because grinding serrations into them at the factory instantly work harden it. As for my pe salt 1 I've had for ten years now it's edge retention and sharpness is amazing compared to the first 6 months to year I had it. Hope this helps, don't give up on it! :)

Also, I don't have any crazy sharpening techniques I just use the sharpmaker and it's always been great.
Last edited by spyderHS08 on Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: An observation regarding H1

Postby harronek » Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:48 pm

I've only ever owned one H1 Spyderco and I lost it while traveling in New Zealand .
I didn't cry one tear for that knife and will not ever buy another .
Everyone's needs are different and even though I live near the coast on a tropical latitude where humidity and temperature means sweat and moisture is a constant environmental reality rust on my Spydercos isn't a problem if basic maintenance is used occasionally .
If I was bobbing up and down in a salt water environment in a Kayak like Surfingringo does then my attitude probably would be different I'm sure .
Most of the pictures of H1 knives I see posted here ( Surfingringo and a couple of others are exceptions ) and on other forums do not appear to frequent truly corrosive environments that would warrant H1 . I continuously think when I see those pics " why would you use a lesser performing steel when there is no reason to "
As far as I can tell the only area where H1 outperforms the majority of other blade steels is corrosion resistance . Corrosion would have to be at the top of the list of problems to be encountered for me to put up with the other deficiencies .
I'm not trying to be rude or argumentative and if it comes across as such then I apologize , but H1 in my experience is embarrassingly lacking in it's blade suitability properties .
I'm also a little dubious about the work hardening concept , in normal blade use and sharpening I can't see how enough heat and force would be created to basically change the molecular structure of the steel , which is what is being suggested . I am happy to be proven wrong , but my brain at the moment resists that concept .
Lc200n on the other hand does sound promising and I may have to give it a try .

Ken


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