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Anybody Steel their EDC?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Rhodies, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. Rhodies


    Jul 27, 2017
    Something I have never tried, to be honest, but see no reason why I wouldn't have the same results as I would on my Kitchen Cutlery which I steel often. I can Steel my kitchen knives to include my Victoronix with good results for weeks between sharpenings. I bring this up because when EDC Knives seem to lose their keenness we are quick to bring out the stones, so I have been noticing. Anybody else relies on Steels or Strops to bring out the edge between sharpenings?
  2. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    Most the higher end steels that are appearing in the better grade knives do not respond well to steeling like kitchen knives. They are generally too hard and too carbide loaded.

    All steels should respond to some degree. But I have much better results just using my sharpmaker fines or ultrafines like a steel.
  3. Rhodies


    Jul 27, 2017
    Good post regarding the hardness of the steel in our EDC knives compared to the kitchen knives. Never crossed my mind and makes perfect sense.
  4. Vinifera


    Aug 13, 2015
    Depends on the Rockwell hardness of the blade and hardness of the steel used for steeling. I use a polished F. Dick Packing House Steel which works well with CPM S35V and similar knives.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  5. wvdavidr


    Mar 21, 2007
    I steel them with a ceramic rod (Idahone) with good results. I have had no trouble with harder steels. I don't see why that would be different than maintaining with the Sharpmaker (which I also use).
  6. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    A steel doesn't sharpen, it makes the edge straight. I get chips more than I get rolled edges. In any case I don't use one, I just sharpen and or strop. Cause when an edge goes back and forth it will eventually break.

    As for ceramic, it sharpens the steel around the carbides... But not the carbides like vanadium. It may even tear them out.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  7. Ace Rimmer

    Ace Rimmer

    Jul 4, 2017
    My EDCs are all traditional slipjoints (Case, Schrade USA, Buck, Vic, Rough Rider) so I'm not dealing with high-end blade materials. I have a couple of Opinel mini-steels and find that they work very well with those knives for a quick touch-up.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  8. Grooved steels, of decent quality, are said to be about 20% harder than typical kitchen stainless cutlery. In comparison to a kitchen knife of typical low-alloy stainless at 55 HRC, that means the honing steel would be around 66 HRC. That's more than hard enough to remove metal (i.e., sharpen the edge) on a kitchen knife; especially with the grooved/ridged surface, which makes it cut exactly like a hardened steel file. If you want to see if it's removing metal, just wipe down the honing steel with a clean paper towel moistened with Windex before and after you 'steel' the blade, and look at the dark swarf picked up on the paper towel after you've used it on the blade. In fact, sometimes you can see, under bright light, the reflective shards of metal left on the steel's ridges after honing on them. Other evidence of their ability to remove metal is seen in kitchen knives (especially chef's knives) long-maintained on steels alone. They develop a recurve in the central portion of the blade, due to heavy steeling for such a long time.

    Steels do 'align' edges on knives, and that's what they're mainly intended to do in practical use. But it's not necessarily the only thing they do. If one wants to 'steel' a knife by only realigning the edge, a polished (smooth) kitchen steel works well for that, without removing any significant amount of metal.

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
    Mo2 likes this.
  9. NJBillK

    NJBillK Custom Leather and Fixed Blade modifications.

    Mar 27, 2014
    Bingo. Great post.

    I cut meat for a living, and out knives are "professionally" sharpened once a week. I carry and often use a coarse/fine Diafold to get my edge back to the the way I like it after we get them back from the "pro"...

    That being said, I use a steel daily, and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that a grooved steel can remove a noticeable amount of metal, though it is not intended for this.
    Every now and then, I will forget my Diafold at home, and need more than a touch up (if someone else grabs my knife instead of theirs and is hard on the block), if I happen to be on lunch, they could be on my knife for 30+ mins...

    Often times the Very bottom inch of the steel goes fairly untouched. Due to this, it is still coarse enough to have an effect, even after the rest of the steel is shot... Though this area is what I will use to remove heavier metal.
    Close to the hand, you can apply more leverage and make it easier to maintain a static angle, so your edge will not steepen towards the tip (a common rookie mistake). You should be able to see a straight cut patten show, and it will effectively remove your sharpening marks, since you are essentially draw filing the knifes edge.
  10. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    i mean yea, sharpening on a file works too. not sure how refined you'll get, but its decent as long as you apex. works in a pinch.


    check out that guys channel, he's got all sorts of sharpening vids that are interesting.

    but for my EDC i like to go through the grits on a few stones.
    uxo2 and Ace Rimmer like this.

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