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Newbie: S110V sharpening can I use my current stones?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by kaveh, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. kaveh


    Jun 7, 2019
    Hi all,
    I’m pretty knew to the knife hobby. I used to have a cheap Kershaw. I lost it and decided to upgrade to a Spyderco tenacious a couple of month ago. I really liked the fit and finish and started reading a lot about knives and decided to upgrade again. I hesitated a lot between PM2 and PM3 and S110V vs S30V.

    I ended up ordering the PM2 in S110V that should be delivered later today.

    For the past two months, I’ve practiced my sharpening skills on the Tenacious and I can get a decent edge. I only use stones and haven’t yet bought any stropping belt. My edge isn’t as good as the factory, but it can cut paper and shave hair with a little applied force.

    I’ve been reading a lot about S110V and understand it’s more difficult to sharpen and should be retouched before it goes dull. I also understand the concept of the toothy edge and the fact that it would perform best with a coarser stone (no need to go very fine grit or stop).

    My question to the community:

    I have purchased the below stones. Will this be enough to maintain the edge of the S110V or I need to go to diamond stone (and which one) or even invest in other tools.

    - Bora 501057 Fine/Coarse Combination Sharpening Stone, Aluminum Oxide
    - Whetstone Cutlery 20-10960 Knife Sharpening Stone-Dual Sided 400/1000 Grit Water Stone-Sharpener
    - Premium Knife Sharpening Stone Kit 2 Side 1000/6000 Grit Whetstone

    Edit: Sorry for posting the links to the big shop. I've just included the description of the stones now.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
    filedog and 115Italian like this.
  2. tomhosang

    tomhosang Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 17, 2017
    You will definitely want diamond stones. The vanadium carbides in s100v are much too hard for your current stones. You need something that is harder than them so you can abrade them properly and get a clean apex. I personally really like the DMT stones I own, but I know a lot of other guys have different preferences so hopefully they will chime in as well. It's not that s100v is harder to sharpen, it just takes more time since it is a much more wear resistant steel than the 8Cr13MoV in your tenacious.
    2stroke_fanatic and filedog like this.
  3. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    Silicon carbide aka SiC, diamond or cbn stones would be idea for s110v due to all the vanadium in the steel. With aluminum oxide it will take a long time to sharpen.

    You can absolutely get away with sharpening them with ceramics but the ceramic stones will load up and require cleaning off the dark streaks.

    If you bought them already, just try it.

    But yes its a good idea to get a strop with some diamond compound on it and strop the edge before it gets dull to reduce the need for sharpening often. When that apex gets beat up though you'll have to sharpen it.

    Don't overstrop though.
    Eli Chaps likes this.
  4. wade7575


    Apr 3, 2013
    I agree get Diamond or CBN for Silicon Carbide maybe alright for finishing but I wouldn't use it myself.

    These stone's from Gritomatic would be the way to go,if you get them get some Silicon Carbide powder as well to refresh the stones,the owner of Gritomatic told me you always want ti finish with a grit the if coarser then what the stone is that your refreshing,he said you want to finish with a grit that's 2 to 3x's coarser then the grit of the stone your refreshing.

    The reason for that is because if you refresh a stone with silicon carbide powder that's the same grit the silicon carbide powder can lodge get lodged in the stone because the particles the particles are the same size that the stone is made up of and then the silicon carbide can rust.

    Also the stone's I linked are rated in FEPA grit and if you look at the second link you can see a conversion that shows you what these stones would be in other grit's such as the Japanese rating system.
    Just as an example a 2000 grit FEPA rated stone is the same as an 8000 stone rated in the Japanese system.


  5. Danketch

    Danketch Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    If you researched S110V at all, as you say, you should already know you need diamond stones to sharpen it; because of the high vanadium content. So your current stones won't do anything to sharpen any of the vanadium in the steel (the main reason it is a supersteel). Any DMT coarse/fine stone should be fine to maintain edge.
  6. wade7575


    Apr 3, 2013
    I also forgot to mention I have a bunch of knife's in S110v and I have tried sharpening them and giving them a polished edge and all I can say is S110v in a polished edge really sucks and it will loose it's sharpness really fast with a polished edge.

    Most people prefer it with a toothy edge and I agree with that,now where people don't always agree is where to stop at,some people say go to 400 or 600 grit and stop and others go to 1200 grit and that's where I prefer it.

    If your getting the knife in S110v to polish the edge and use it as an edc your most likely going to be extremely disappointed but if your getting it as an edc and your going to give it a toothy edge your most likely going to be happy.
  7. Jason B.

    Jason B. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 13, 2007
    S110V will shine with a Coarse or Fine DMT edge. Follow with a generous amount of stropping and you will have one mean cutting knife.
    JJ_Colt45 likes this.
  8. kaveh


    Jun 7, 2019
    I ordered and received 2 items today:

    - Leather Strop Honing Sharpening Strop
    - Another Spyderco knife. A Para 3 Camo in S30V

    I was able to get a very sharp edge with the strop on the Tenacious (I was actually pretty surprised) and the new Para 3. But with the PM2 in S110V the strop didn't help much. After stropping the 3 knives, the PM2 S110V ended up being less sharp than the other two. I think the PM2 in S110V isn't for me. I'm just going to stick with the Para 3 in S30V. The S30V seems more versatile. I can strop it on a regular basis and maintain a very sharp edge.
  9. wade7575


    Apr 3, 2013
    I find S35VN easier to sharpen than S30V and many others on here feel the same way plus you get better edge retention,not saying that S30V sucks but if you ever see a knife you like in S35VN you may want to give it a try.
  10. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    I found that S110 responds best to an ultra-coarse (220 grit) DMT, finished on an ultra-fine DMT. That gives a biting sharp edge.
    Blues likes this.
  11. kaveh


    Jun 7, 2019
    I haven't yet tried sharpening the S110V.
    I sharpened the S30V with whetstones, and I struggle to get a very sharp edge (not even as good as the factory edge).
    I ended up ruining the factory edge angles and even scratched the knife a bit. That's why I'm not planning to go the freehand sharpening route with the S110V.

    I just ordered the "KME Precision Knife Sharpener System with 4 Gold Series Diamond Hones - Base Included".
    I'm sure I'll get better results.....
  12. wade7575


    Apr 3, 2013
    It's funny S35VN is a better steel that will hold it's edge longer then S30V but yet S30V is the harder of the 2 to sharpen from what a lot of people have to say and would tell you that have sharpened both and I would agree,not with all PM steels but most I feel you are better using diamond stones to start the edge and if you want a polished edge then water stones are fine.
  13. navman

    navman Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 4, 2013
    I use A LOT of S110V run at 62-63 HRC. I find that a strop is not useful and will either have no effect or degrade the edge. Diamond or good quality SIC is where it's at and I routinely get an aggressive edge with a fine to XFINE DMT wetstone, followed by a pass with a white ceramic rod on each side.
  14. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    S35vn has niobium which helps make it easier to sharpen and grind.
  15. kaveh


    Jun 7, 2019
    I started using the KME kit.
    It's much easier to use than freehand stones. I did reprofile both knifes to a 17 angle.I was able to sharpen both the S30V and S110V to a razor sharp edge.
    I should have just bought the KME instead of going the freehand sharpening route.
  16. Ocelot85


    Feb 1, 2012
    Besides being guided and helping you in that aspect, the diamond produced a better edge. S110V is 2.8 Carbon, 15.25% Chromium, 3.0% Niobium, 2.5% cobalt, 2.25% Molybdenum, and 9.0% Vanadium.

    http://www.nsm-ny.com/files/CPM S110V.pdf

    It would be ridiculous to try to sharpen it with anything less than CBN or Diamond with that amount of carbide content.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
    jpm2 likes this.

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