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S30V Sharpening Issues

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Djulbert, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Djulbert

    Djulbert Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 2, 2016
    I am having trouble getting my PM2 in S30V as sharp as my other knives. I have them all sharpened to the same angle with the same microbevel. It's not that I cannot remove the material or form a burr, it just doesn't seem to get as sharp no matter what I do. I have tried other angles as well as finishing with different grits and strops.

    I have other knives in M390, M4, Cruwear, 154cm, and other steels that I can get scary sharp.

    Any advice? Maybe I am crazy, but I just can't figure it out.
  2. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hi Djulbert,
    I guess you are trying to get a high-polished edge. If so, you would want to use diamond abrasives (suspension/paste/lapping tape) because vanadium carbides in S30V may be harder than ceramic sharpening stones. It can be done with ceramic stones, but takes a great effort and time.
    FYI. http://www.bladeforums.com/threads/hardness-and-abrasion-capability.1478806/
  3. Jason B.

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

    Jun 13, 2007
    S30V likes a coarse edge. Coarse or Fine DMT is as far as I ever go with that steel. Going too fine might be your problem.
  4. For me, the two things that've made S30V much, much simpler to sharpen and maintain:
    • Diamond abrasives, in Coarse, Fine or EF (to user preference).
    • Thinning the edge geometry to 30° inclusive or less. This helps literally any knife, for that matter. If thinning it out, use XC or Coarse diamond for that; finish with the Coarse, Fine or EF, to your preference.
    Those two things in tandem have made S30V one of the simplest steels to deal with, for me. It becomes almost worry free, when handled that way.

    Per Jason's comment, it seldom needs much refinement past a relatively toothy finish, which is why I suggest anything in the DMT Coarse - EF range; they're all toothy, biting edges that work well with S30V.

    I don't bother with microbevels, BTW. I just haven't found it necessary in my own uses. But, if you do want to microbevel it, I'd stay with the diamond for that too. The finer the edge becomes, the more important it is to use an abrasive that can actually cut and shape the carbides effectively; hence the diamond is best for that, in S30V.

    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
    Chris "Anagarika" and peppercorn like this.
  5. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    what stone did you apex with? im wondering if you have any carbide year out? also try to make a more course edge. you can mirror edge s30v but its not idea.
  6. Djulbert

    Djulbert Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 2, 2016
    Are you stropping after finishing with a coarse stone? I just got done sharpening it, didn't go any further than coarse stone. It's sharp but I don't much care for the how toothy it is. Not a big deal though.

    The reason I like a microbevel is because at work I use it a lot for things that well, you probably shouldn't use a knife for. At least if you want it to stay sharp. So it's easier to touch up the microbevel real quick in the evenings when I get home. Right now it's been touched up a lot so it's more like a major bevel LOL

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