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S30V sharpening angle?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by stevetexas, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. stevetexas


    Nov 10, 2005
    Ladies and Gentlemen :) ,

    Some people say that this is wondersteel and some say that it's just overhyped junk that gets chipped edges all the time.

    Some say that the steel is good but that it can't be taken down to very acute sharpening angles and that it needs a more obtuse angle at the final edge than others.

    Some say that the steel needs to have a very highly polished edge.

    What do you say?

    My experience is with a Spyderco Native. It took a long time to need major sharpening. Then I used a Lansky system to reprofile it to the 17 degree slot and then a final edge using the 20 degree slot. I polished the edge using 1500 grit wet or dry sandpaper on a mousepad. OK so far.

  2. Cliff Stamp

    Cliff Stamp Banned BANNED

    Oct 5, 1998
    Usually the truth is in between the extremes.

    That would be dependent on what steels, it can take a lower edge than S90V, but requires a more obtuse angle than 13C26, assuming you want a high polish.

    That would depend on what you are cutting and how. It certainly is not a steel designed to a high polish because carbides directly reduce edge stability.

    That is a fairly obtuse profile, I would be surprised if any cutlery steel had problems with durability in that profile in that size of knife.

  3. Cougar Allen

    Cougar Allen Buccaneer (ret.) Platinum Member

    Oct 9, 1998
  4. stevetexas


    Nov 10, 2005
    Hi Cliff :) ,

    Thank you for your comments. The knife shaves and cuts very well at this angle. Still, I wonder.

    Recently I saw a post that said that the actual angles on the Lansky are less than what the slots say they are. Do you know anything about that?

  5. JayAndersson


    Nov 28, 2006
    I've had a S30V knife. It was too demandig for my grinding skills though. I never got the edge where I wanted it. I just chipped on me.

    I ended up trading the knife with a friend for an EKA T8 in 12C27, this is the best trade I've made.

    To be fair I should mention that my friend likes the S30V knife though. Some like it some dont, just like with most steels. I will however not buy another knife with a S30V blade.

  6. Cliff Stamp

    Cliff Stamp Banned BANNED

    Oct 5, 1998
    The edge will shave well pretty much regardless of angle for the most part. However the edges on most production knives are really far heavier than they need to be for what they are promoted to do, a side effect of tactical stainless steels like S30V. This has a large effect on cutting ability (it is about proportional to angle for a first order estimate). Spyderco has some models which are fairly close to optimal cutting grinds, flat ground down to nothing and then sharpened back, so edges which are < 0.010" thick and 10 degrees per side. A knife like that really makes the common 0.025"/20 degree folders look more like cold chisels, the cutting performance is really dramatic. You can for example go from taking 10 slices to point a small stake to 2-3.

    Most jig settings are not the actual angles on the knife, a number of people have discussed this in detail in the toolshed forum for the various systems and the actual edge angles for their settings.

  7. gud4u


    Jan 6, 2004
    The optimum bevel for an EDC blade is defined as much by the intended cutting tasks as by the blade steel.

    I define my own toughest cutting task as slicing hardwood. For that cutting task, on my S30V blades, any final edge bevel less than 30 degrees included will result in edge damage. My testing was done by pointing a hickory rake handle.

    My S30V blades have main bevels of 10 degrees per side, with micro-bevels of 15 degrees per side, which seems to provide a good combination of slicing efficiency and edge stability.

    Hope this helps!
  8. Shotgun


    Feb 3, 2006
    I have a Ritter Grip and sharpen close to the way you do it. Spyderco sharpmaker at 15 and then micro bevel at 20. I personally had problems with the factory angle which I believe is less than 15. Once I did it my way I haven't had any problems with edge chipping. I could probably go with a lesser angle but it's easy to sharpen it this way with the rig I have and I really haven't had any problems with any cutting tasks what so ever.
  9. Dog of War

    Dog of War

    Sep 4, 2004
    I think you've coined a new term, Cliff .... one of those categories sort like "rostfrei" and "surgical stainless".

    I assume "tactical" here refers to the same thing as when talking about tactical folders, i.e. marketing tactics? :)
  10. gunmike1

    gunmike1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 9, 2005
    I plan on sharpening my Native flat to the stone soon, and using a 15 degree microbevel. I'll see how the edge holds up, and if that works I may get the hollow deepened and raised so I can go a little thinner and see if Spyderco's S30V can hang with a really thin angle better than Cliff's small Sebenza. Cliff got me addicted to really thin and acute edges by lending me a couple knives and inspiring me to thin out my Jess Horn, and my Native was cheap enough where I don't feel bad sacrificing it for science. I already know it works well at 10/15, so flat to the stone will probably be 7/15, and if that works 4/15 would probably be the profile if the hollow is thinned and raised. Considering SGPS can handle the profile of 4/15 being basically S30V with 1/2 the Vanadium but ran 2-3 points harder, I would hope it would at least perform somewhat with a quality heat treat at that profile. If not I'll just go to Walmart and buy another.
  11. cbwx34

    cbwx34 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 27, 2004

    Any chance of you posting pictures of these modified knives?

  12. Cliff Stamp

    Cliff Stamp Banned BANNED

    Oct 5, 1998
    +1 for the good guys

    That would be a polite way of saying it.

  13. Lucky Bob

    Lucky Bob

    Mar 31, 2006
    I figure this is a decent thread to ask in, although it's slightly OT... Mike or Cliff, how much does Krein charge for hollowing out a knife? I'm thinking of getting him to do his voodoo on my TI-ZDP Leek, and then put a nice edge on the newly thinned edge.
  14. gunmike1

    gunmike1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 9, 2005
    Contact him directly for a quote, I don't feel comfortable quoting his prices for him. I will say it is very reasonable, especially since he is willing to go so thin. Beware though that if you go for extreme thinness you may end up with a slightly cooked edge, but you can talk over how thin you want to go and how much risk you want to take with Krein. Considering how thick the factory edges of the ZDP Leeks are that I've read about you should get a huge leap in performance without even having to risk overheating the blade. I will say that an edge under .005" just blows your mind in cutting ability and ease of sharpening.

    I started my flat to the stone sharpening on my Native with my DMT X coarse. I'm about 3/4 done after about 35-40 minutes. I could press harder and go faster, but I want my stone to last. There isn't much more steel left to get all the way to the edge, but of course that is the slowest/hardest part. The primary grinds on this knife were the most even of any of the knives I've thinned out yet, as it is only slightly thicker on one side (my Jess Horn was pretty uneven). S30V grinds quite a bit slower than VG-10, I really do need a belt sander when I do this stuff. Either way I should have the knife done in the next couple of days. Between work (12 hours a day with commute, with 8 hour Saturdays) and family it seems like I hardly get a chance to sharpen anymore. It is one of the few relaxing things I have going in my life at this point, but my wife confuses relaxing with being obsessive compulsive. Go figure.

    As for pictures, if you do a search I posted pics of my Jess Horn already (there was a lengthy thread in this forum), and I think Cliff has posted a pic of the Mod U2 at some point. Try a search, though I know sometimes they don't work the greatest. If not I will try to get some new pics up this weekend, and include the Native in the shot, assuming I finish it.
  15. Lucky Bob

    Lucky Bob

    Mar 31, 2006
    Thanks for your thoughts, Mike. I don't want to do anything too crazy with my Leek... it's my baby!

    As for flattening knives... I tried to do that on my VG10 Centofante 4, didn't have anything nearly coarse enough... best of luck with that!
  16. gunmike1

    gunmike1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 9, 2005
    If you tell Krein you don't want to take any chances with burning the edge, he will still be able to significantly thin it, and he won't burn the edge. Plus, he can leave the finish looking like new. The difference in performance will be staggering to you. Trust me, you will get much more enjoyment from the use of the knife with it thinned out to how it should have come from the factory.

    The X coarse DMT does the job fine, many times faster then the Sharpmaker diamond rods I used to thin out my ZDP Jess Horn. I have maybe 15 to 20 minutes more work to get the new angle all the way to the edge. It's just that it can't compete with a belt sander for speed in thinning out a knife, as the sander would do the job in a couple minutes, max.

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