Spyderco Ultra Fine stone: Dry, Water, or Oil?

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OhioApexing

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Title is pretty much everything here. I heard it was designed for dry use, but practice sometimes supersedes design.

Discuss.
 

Mossyhorn

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It's ceramic, why would you want to use a lubricant?
 
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A little bit of oil is an easy way to keep it from loading up and clogging. Loading is what will slow it down very early, if it's not cleaned frequently. Loading halts grinding even faster in the case of a narrow ceramic rod and it's very limited abrasive surface area. For this reason, it could be argued a ceramic will benefit even more than some other stones, if used with a little bit of oil.

This isn't to say it can't be used dry. But you need to stay on top of keeping it clean, if you do. A pink pencil eraser works pretty well on a dry ceramic, when used during each sharpening session to pick up much of the accumulated swarf. On white ceramics though (Fine/UF), I've noticed they'll still hold onto some of those dark swarf streaks more tenaciously, even after scrubbing them down. So anything that minimizes loading in the first place is a good thing.
 

dalefuller

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I've always (10+ years) used my SM rods dry. I may try David's suggestion... I just never thought of it before. But they work fine dry if you keep them clean, as David says. I have an eraser that I use during sharpening if I'm doing a lot work with the SM. Then, when I finish, I wash & dry them before storage. That seems to keep them cutting/grinding more consistently. Besides, they're tools. I always clean and store my tools when I'm finished with them. That's just a habit my dad taught me.
 
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Both dry (if traveling) and with oil (at home). David is right, oil prevents clogging and it goes longer before needing cleaning.

Cleaning is wiping oil with rags or pencil eraser.
 
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Considering getting some Spyderco’s myself - still deliberating between them and the naniwas.

Think I’d use a lubricant if I did choose the spydercos
 
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The Sharpmaker works very well even in relativity unskilled hands.
I leave mine assembled all of the time and it's so easy just to give a few passes as and when required.
The best feature is being able to use them dry. However, mentioned above, the biggest problem too is that they will start becoming clogged unless kept clean.
I choose to use them dry and wash frequently (bar keepers friend and a plastic scourer) rather than use any kind of lubricant.
I alternate between this and a bench stone and strops as mentioned in my post below.

https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/norton-india-shapton-2k-strop.1646343/
 

Mossyhorn

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Mossyhorn Mossyhorn Cutting fluid improves the efficacy of grinding in general, so the better question is why wouldn't you want to use a lubricant?

Because it's not necessary, nor any benefit.
Mossyhorn Mossyhorn Cutting fluid improves the efficacy of grinding in general, so the better question is why wouldn't you want to use a lubricant?

Because it's not necessary, not recommended, and of absolutely no benefit with ceramic sharpeners.
 

FK

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If you are discussing the UF bench stones, I like water mixed with a small amount of liquid dish soap. This helps avoid frequent loading of swarf and cleaning.

The UF triangular stones on the Sharpmaker I use dry and clean often.

Regards,
FK
 

FortyTwoBlades

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Not only does lubrication reduce loading, it ALSO reduces wear on the abrasive from friction. Because sintered ceramics don't shed grit, they periodically need dressing to remove the blunted grains from the face of the stone. Using water, oil, or other lubricant will greatly reduce the wear rate of the abrasive and so prolong the periods between when dressing is needed.
 
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My first and favorite ceramic stone was a Case Moonstone. For the life of me cannot remember if I used oil on it or not. :confused:

Lost that stone in '86.

Jim
 
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Other users have already reported it reduces loading,
In the past I have always used them dry. I hold one in my hand to touch up edges on some alloys that it works particularly well on. I like to see the edge right on the stone with the edge facing me so any lube would kind of obscure the gap and the moment when the gap closes and the edge is just touching down on the stone. Sorry that's the best way I can describe it.

All that said I want to post this enlightening post from r8shell about lube and cleaning the ceramic.
Thanks again for posting this r8
LINK>>>>
 

Mossyhorn

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Mossyhorn Mossyhorn I heard you the first time. Other users have already reported it reduces loading, contrary to your assertion.

If you're talking about industrial grinding, it does reduce loading. The main benefit of coolant is to keep the material from over heating. The wheels still need to be dressed off with an industrial diamond.

Ceramic stones for honing are totally different. Use oil one time and it's an oil stone ,as Baryonyx
said in a thread years ago. There's no benefit in using a lubricant on them.

Perhaps you should buy India stones , where oil or a water based solvent is necessary.
Why pay more for ceramic only to use oil.
 

FortyTwoBlades

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If you're talking about industrial grinding, it does reduce loading. The main benefit of coolant is to keep the material from over heating. The wheels still need to be dressed off with an industrial diamond.

Ceramic stones for honing are totally different. Use oil one time and, it's an oil stone ,as Baryonyx
said in a thread years ago. There's no benefit in using a lubricant on them.

Perhaps you should buy India stones , where oil or a water based solvent is necessary.
Why pay more for ceramic only to use oil.

Note that contrary to what you might think it is still possible to apply water to an oil stone. It's just extremely difficult to get all of the oil back out of it once it's in there, so you're better off not using it on a stone if you have any chance of second thoughts 'cause you can't really undo it completely. BUT sintered ceramics are non-porous and oil is not going to seep into them, so you don't run into that issue with them. And I outlined why using lubrication with sintered ceramic is actually a best management practice. It helps keep the abrasive particles sharp longer and cutting more effectively while also minimizing loading. Sintered ceramics are best used for only the final stages of sharpening, though, both due to being very slow-cutting, extremely fine, and non-friable.
 
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Mossyhorn Mossyhorn
As FortyTwoBlades clarifies above "Use oil one time and it's an oil stone" doesn't apply to nonporous stones, and if it did you could still use one side with oil and the other side dry.

India stones are in a totally different grit range and are not interchangeable with sintered ceramic.

Cutting fluid is not only for cooling but also lubrication, and this applies to manual grinding too as others have stated in this thread, and elsewhere e.g.

Oil is absolutely the best lubricating medium for any hone that does not shed much dull grit, as it WILL keep the hone cutting considerably longer. You can easily see the effect of this yourself with something like an Arkansas stone. Lap one fresh - note the dull and uniform surface texture. Staying to one half of the stone, hone a chisel on it using water as the lubricant with a good bit of pressure. Have a look at the surface texture of the hone and you will see it's picked up some shine. That's wear on the surface. Now move to the other half of the stone and hone for the same length of time using the same amount of pressure with oil as the lubricant. Now again note the surface texture - it will look almost if not exactly the same as when it was lapped. You can also compare how much swarf is produced by wiping it away with a paper towel after honing - the oil side will produce a significantly larger amount.
 
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I have a Spyderco UF 8x2 bench stone with it's plastic holder box. I've always used it dry. This is a UF stone, so it's not going to remove much metal at all. Yes it's going to show metal streaks as you use it. But it's not like it's going to load like a Spyderco medium would. This is a final finishing stone.

Oil would seemingly be a disaster on this stone, as it would probably get into the plastic box and need to be cleaned out after every use or you else you would have a plastic box with oil leaking out when you store it.

With a stone this fine, that does so little grinding, I think oil has no use and can only hurt.

That doesn't change the general discussion about oil and ceramics. I'm just trying to focus on the exact question asked.

To clean my UF I do the same thing as with every Spyderco stone: BarKeeper's Friend made into a paste, a little scrubbing, and some water. It works shockingly well.

Brian.
 
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The Spyderco stones don't hold onto the oil like other so-called 'oil stones'. As mentioned, the sintered stones are essentially non-porous, especially the white ceramic Fine/UF stones. It only takes a litte bit of oil on the surface while working, just enough to form a thin, shiny film. That film is what keeps the swarf from clinging, and therefore makes it easier to wipe them clean of the swarf. Afterward, the oil cleans up easily with some dish soap & warm water, as if the oil was never there in the first place. Wiping down the hone with Windex & a microfiber towel also does a very good job, after use with oil.

The notion of the ceramic stones permanently becoming an oil stone after such use is purely imaginary. Those of us who've actually used them this way have already figured out there's nothing to be afraid of and it actually does work to keep the stone cutting longer, without clogging. This is easily seen in the swarf-darkened oil wiped from the stone after the fact.

Stones that're pre-filled with grease (vaseline, etc) are much more difficult to clean of oil (and the grease). But my unfilled 'oil stones' in SiC & AlOx, from brands like ACE, are still easy to clean up with dish soap & hot water. For a while, I went back & forth using these stones with either water (or dish soap & water) or mineral oil, trying to figure out which method worked better for me. Because those stones were so VERY porous and NOT pre-filled with grease, they were easy to flush out and clean up to 'as-new' each time. So even those stones aren't at much risk of permanently becoming 'oil only' stones, if they're used as such from time to time and then cleaned up.
 
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