Polished or Toothy finishes

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TkoK83Spy
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Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby TkoK83Spy » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:19 am

The past couple days there seems to be more conversation going around on the forum regarding what type of finish works best for what steels. I thought creating this thread could be helpful to others in determining what may work best for a steel they are sharpening, when they are really aren't sure (that would include me) Why put in so much extra time on some UF rods when you could get the better cutting edge off the browns or some kind of low/medium grit diamond? Help save one another some time!

Anybody with lots of sharpening experience, or plenty of experience with a particular steel, feel free to chime in with your thoughts! Maybe list a specific, commonly used steel by Spyderco and your findings on what works best for what kind of cutting you're doing.
Currently have 17 :spyder: 's in 13 different steels.

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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby elduderino04 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:26 am

Great idea, I've often wondered about this as well and will be watching this thread for more information.

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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby Wartstein » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:28 am

TkoK83Spy wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:19 am
The past couple days there seems to be more conversation going around on the forum regarding what type of finish works best for what steels. I thought creating this thread could be helpful to others in determining what may work best for a steel they are sharpening, when they are really aren't sure (that would include me) Why put in so much extra time on some UF rods when you could get the better cutting edge off the browns or some kind of low/medium grit diamond? Help save one another some time!

Anybody with lots of sharpening experience, or plenty of experience with a particular steel, feel free to chime in with your thoughts! Maybe list a specific, commonly used steel by Spyderco and your findings on what works best for what kind of cutting you're doing.
Great idea for a thread, thanks!!

I am definitely NOT one of those with a lot of sharpening knowledge (but still some experience with one or two always-the-same-sharpening processes, that produce the desired sharpness for me).

One thing that I wanted to ask in that context: One reason why I always sharpen my knives long before they get dull, preferably only touch them up on the strop or the fine rods of the SM is, cause I always thought sharpening on coarser devices (what would make the edge toohtier) would remove a lot more metal. And that I don´t want for obvious reasons (blade getting faster shorter and less tall over time, plus thicker behind the edge).
Am I right in the above assumption?!
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40

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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby bearfacedkiller » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:42 am

I finish most everything on either the Spyderco medium stone or a DMT 1200 grit. Some kitchen knives and a few folders like my Super Blue Delica will get refined more. If I am going to really refine an edge I pick a steel that is easy to sharpen. I guess I have gotten lazy ( efficient :) ) about it.

My reasoning is that I can get most steels to whittle hairs with just two stones and I can accomplish that pretty quickly. When I spend the time to refine edges more with finer stones I do it for enjoyment. The pragmatist in me has figured out how to get knives sharp as efficiently as possible. The edge junky in me likes to polish up a simple steel once in a while.
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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby Spydergirl88 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:45 am

I prefer toothy. I rarely go past the medium stones.
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Ankerson
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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby Ankerson » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:45 am

TkoK83Spy wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:19 am
The past couple days there seems to be more conversation going around on the forum regarding what type of finish works best for what steels. I thought creating this thread could be helpful to others in determining what may work best for a steel they are sharpening, when they are really aren't sure (that would include me) Why put in so much extra time on some UF rods when you could get the better cutting edge off the browns or some kind of low/medium grit diamond? Help save one another some time!

Anybody with lots of sharpening experience, or plenty of experience with a particular steel, feel free to chime in with your thoughts! Maybe list a specific, commonly used steel by Spyderco and your findings on what works best for what kind of cutting you're doing.

Depends on what you are using the knife for and what you like personally.

In general a coarse edge will outperform a polished edge and by a long shot for just about any sort of use outside of wood carving.

So if you aren't carving wood then a coarse edge will work better in general.

As a side note polished edges also work well on choppers, big knives....
Last edited by Ankerson on Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:55 am, edited 3 times in total.

TkoK83Spy
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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby TkoK83Spy » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:45 am

I'm just like you Wartstein. I take a few minutes of time each day after use to touch mine up as well, instead of waiting until they are completely dulled. Sometimes I wish I did, so it would be easier to distinguish the ease or trouble of sharpening all these steels I own. Really get to know and understand them. That's why I've recently taken on reprofiling my M390 Para 3. Starting from scratch!

To answer your question, I'd have to agree. I've seen some knives that have been sharpened MANY times with coarse stones over 20 years and they are definitely much shorter than they once were.
Currently have 17 :spyder: 's in 13 different steels.

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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby TkoK83Spy » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:02 pm

Ankerson wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:45 am
TkoK83Spy wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:19 am
The past couple days there seems to be more conversation going around on the forum regarding what type of finish works best for what steels. I thought creating this thread could be helpful to others in determining what may work best for a steel they are sharpening, when they are really aren't sure (that would include me) Why put in so much extra time on some UF rods when you could get the better cutting edge off the browns or some kind of low/medium grit diamond? Help save one another some time!

Anybody with lots of sharpening experience, or plenty of experience with a particular steel, feel free to chime in with your thoughts! Maybe list a specific, commonly used steel by Spyderco and your findings on what works best for what kind of cutting you're doing.

Depends on what you are using the knife for and what you like personally.

In general a coarse edge will outperform a polished edge and by a long shot for just about any sort of use outside of wood carving.

So if you aren't carving wood then a coarse edge will work better in general.

As a side note polished edges also work well on choppers, big knives....
I typically work the brown rods, then maybe 5-10 passes on the whites, then maybe 3-5 on the UF rods, and then my newly acquired strop. Would that still be considered more on the coarse side, for the kind of setup that I currently have? Or just try stopping at the browns? I suppose it's more of a trial type of thing, but I respect your knowledge and experience.
Currently have 17 :spyder: 's in 13 different steels.

-Rick

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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby ZrowsN1s » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:05 pm

I know that a nice toothy edge has aggression, lasts longer, slices better.....

But that's just not my style :D

Polished edges all the way. I love push cutting, super clean cuts, and the smooth cutting of a good polished edge.

Only my S110V pm2 has a coarse edge at the moment. K390 has a medium. The rest are fine and ultrafine finished.
Carrying 3 knives is perfectly normal :D
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JonLeBlanc
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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby JonLeBlanc » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:07 pm

Ankerson wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:45 am
TkoK83Spy wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:19 am
The past couple days there seems to be more conversation going around on the forum regarding what type of finish works best for what steels. I thought creating this thread could be helpful to others in determining what may work best for a steel they are sharpening, when they are really aren't sure (that would include me) Why put in so much extra time on some UF rods when you could get the better cutting edge off the browns or some kind of low/medium grit diamond? Help save one another some time!

Anybody with lots of sharpening experience, or plenty of experience with a particular steel, feel free to chime in with your thoughts! Maybe list a specific, commonly used steel by Spyderco and your findings on what works best for what kind of cutting you're doing.

Depends on what you are using the knife for and what you like personally.

In general a coarse edge will outperform a polished edge and by a long shot for just about any sort of use outside of wood carving.

So if you aren't carving wood then a coarse edge will work better in general.

As a side note polished edges also work well on choppers, big knives....
Yeah this pretty much seems to be true, at least in my experience. A mirror polish sure looks nice, but unless one is sliding between those layers of xylem and ploegm, a coarse edge is going to power through most materials.
My collection so far: 52100 Military (2); 52100 PM2 (2); 52100 Para3; Stretch2 V-Toku; KnifeWorks M4 PM2; BentoBox M390 PM2; BentoBox S90V Military; Police4 K390; S110V PM2; SS Delica AUS-6; Wayne Goddard Sprint VG-10
Wish list: Hundred Pacer; Sliverax; Mantra; 52100 PM2 SE; Kapara

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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby Naperville » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:23 pm

I was under the impression that knives high in carbides, you leave coarse. If you polish them to an extremely high finish you may have carbide tear out.

Does that sound right?
Spyderco Collection: Military S110V, Bob Lum Darn Dao, Yojimbo 2 (ONE) S30V & (TWO) CF 20CV, Sustain, Native 5 Maxamet, Jumpmaster 2. SHORT LIST: CF Shaman in S90V; Province.

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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby murphjd25 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:25 pm

Toothy, I also don’t go past the medium stones. You can get some absolutely scary edges off just the medium stones.
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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby Evil D » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:28 pm

Since I tend to sharpen after most uses I stick with high polished and touch up on the ultra fine rods. Back when I used a lot of PE blades I stuck with a 400-600 grit edge but I still touched up on the UF rods.
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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby JonLeBlanc » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:40 pm

Naperville wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:23 pm
I was under the impression that knives high in carbides, you leave coarse. If you polish them to an extremely high finish you may have carbide tear out.

Does that sound right?
This is an interesting question that it seems like a number of people have taken up; c.f. Michael Christy's video on YouTube.
My collection so far: 52100 Military (2); 52100 PM2 (2); 52100 Para3; Stretch2 V-Toku; KnifeWorks M4 PM2; BentoBox M390 PM2; BentoBox S90V Military; Police4 K390; S110V PM2; SS Delica AUS-6; Wayne Goddard Sprint VG-10
Wish list: Hundred Pacer; Sliverax; Mantra; 52100 PM2 SE; Kapara

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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby Bloke » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:49 pm

Hey Rick, prior to joining the forum I used to polish all bevels chasing sharp through edge refinement. It was threads like this and asking questions that have improved my sharpening skills beyond my expectations. Many Thanks, Jim, Gringo, Vivi, Killer, D and others I've likely forgotten. :o

I now sit happily in the coarse edge camp. I don't polish bevels other than zero grind Scandi's and 1200grit and Medium (brown) SharpMaker rods to maintain is as refined an edge knives I use afield or carry in my pocket get.

I can't add anything that hasn't already been said above by fellows I learned from other than to say I think if you're utilising a micro bevel you probably don't need to strop. :)
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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby Ankerson » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:33 pm

Naperville wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:23 pm
I was under the impression that knives high in carbides, you leave coarse. If you polish them to an extremely high finish you may have carbide tear out.

Does that sound right?

No, that's a myth, another one of those urban legends that somehow just won't die.

It just doesn't exist.

Some that use diamonds to sharpen have had some issues because the diamonds tear up the apex quite a bit.

That's not carbide tear out, that's chipping due to the torn apex.

So when using diamonds it's best to finish on something else like ceramics or stropping.

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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby bbturbodad » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:29 pm

I take almost all my knives to a polished finish. Most of the stuff I do is light duty and I prefer them to able to give me razor type cuts when needed. My kids tease me if I cut out a shipping label and the edges aren't smooth.

We open lots of packages here and find cleaning the glue off the edge easier with a polished edge too.

I've heard that polished edges aren't as susceptible to rust although I haven't seen much difference personally even living a few hundred feet from the ocean. So while I'd like to say a polished edge is a required for me...truth is I just like the way it looks. :p
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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby VashHash » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:40 pm

I leave most edges coarse and I bring zdp up through 6 or 8k. Ceramic for serrations i think medium grit. It's not sharp maker rods so it's hard to say.

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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby Pelagic » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:49 pm

Ankerson wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:33 pm
Naperville wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:23 pm
I was under the impression that knives high in carbides, you leave coarse. If you polish them to an extremely high finish you may have carbide tear out.

Does that sound right?

No, that's a myth, another one of those urban legends that somehow just won't die.

It just doesn't exist.

Some that use diamonds to sharpen have had some issues because the diamonds tear up the apex quite a bit.

That's not carbide tear out, that's chipping due to the torn apex.

So when using diamonds it's best to finish on something else like ceramics or stropping.
Oh carbide tearout exists. There's lots of pictures as proof. It just has a negligible impact on the healthiness of an edge and is blown way out of proportion. It shouldn't really be considered in sharpening. What SHOULD be considered is if you're effectively cutting the steel of your edge or not (which diamonds do). If you're not cutting the steel effectively, you're more so burnishing it, which will fatigue the apex.

Naperville, you can take Maxamet all the way down to a 0.003 micron grit strop and not have carbide tearout. It's a matter of the type of abrasive. A dollar store whetstone cannot properly sharpen s110v. Now imagine a 0.1 micron strop of horrible quality like that whetstone. That would cause carbide tearout. But your loss in performance would be due to excess stress on the apex during your long attempts at getting an edge with an inferior sharpening product, not due to carbide tearout. Carbide tearout isn't worth worrying about. There are other much more important reasons to use quality abrasives.
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Re: Polished or Toothy finishes

Postby Bloke » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:34 pm

Pelagic wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:49 pm

Oh carbide tearout exists. ...
Hey Hitch, not starting an argument mate. And I fully agree that you can stress an edge with blunt or inadequate abrasives, but I do wonder as to how much pressure would need to be applied to a strop and how much purchase it may offer in order to tear carbides out of the steels matrix? :confused:
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