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your opinion re. chromium oxide

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by BruceMack, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. BruceMack

    BruceMack Basic Member Basic Member

    May 20, 2015
    I love edges that cut paper effortlessly. I have a new Endura ZDP-189 with 20° micro bevels. The knife is great for the cutting I do, mostly cardboard or 40-pound wild birdseed bags. After profiling with the KME, I have used the Sharpmaker for edge maintenance, seeking effortless paper cutting as my endpoint.
    Chromium oxide on leather gives me a much finer edge than 1 micron diamond spray or paste on leather, cherry, or hardboard. I haven't as much experience with other steels and would like to hear from the sharpeners.
  2. Chrome oxide is likely just cleaning up the edge a little bit on the ZDP-189. It's less hard than even the chromium carbides in ZDP-189 (of which there's a lot of it). So, the CrOx will work on the matrix steel a bit, without doing much to the carbides themselves. It sounds like most of the benefit you see in cutting paper is coming from the bit of 'bite' left by the Sharpmaker's rods, and the stropping isn't modifying that too much, aside from cleaning up loose remnants of the matrix steel, after sharpening.

    1-micron diamond, on the other hand, will quickly polish everything at the edge, all carbides included. You're probably polishing away some of the 'bite' left at the edge from the work on the SM, and that change in the edge's character is impacting how it's cutting the paper.

    A little bit of 'tooth' in an edge, even it's some 'micro-tooth' left by Fine/UF ceramics like the SM's hones, is usually the better thing for paper-slicing, as opposed to a more polished edge for the same test of sharpness.
  3. lonestar1979


    Mar 2, 2014
    Edge off the stone is best...sil carbide and even dmt....I strop on my palm little and edge is toothy,yet whittles hair and grabs skin like nothing else.
    Alberta Ed likes this.
  4. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I use SiC grit from Home Depot, it's around 240 grit and works finer. When I strop on this it refines the edge and removes stubborn burrs, leaving a good paper slicing edge. The green rouge, chromium oxide is what I use to strop my razor. DM
    lonestar1979 likes this.
  5. HeavyHanded


    Jun 4, 2010
    I only use CrO on my woodworking tools as a finish strop.

    I don't much care for it on most stainless.
  6. That's been my favorite use for it too. I've liked finishing wood chisels on a piece of MDF, using compound mixed from dry powder CrOx and mineral oil and painted onto the surface of the MDF. Works well.

    I used to strop my 1095, CV & 420HC blades with a little bit of the same powdered CrOx, applied on the suede side of a leather belt. But as time went on and the light application of the compound began to wear away from the belt, I felt no real need to replenish it. I was beginning to favor the edges coming off the stone itself (usually something like an India, for the steels involved), with what I call 'minimal stropping' on bare leather or my jeans afterward, or on a piece of clean paper laid over the stone. I began to feel that, even on leather, the CrOx compound tended to quickly polish away the toothy 'bite' I preferred out of those edges, even though it still worked well to polish those steels to shaving, tree-topping sharpness. I decided I favored the toothy bite more than the shaving for my knives, so that was that. But for wood chisels and plane blades, that polished, push-cutting, shaving sharpness is still a good thing.
    lonestar1979 likes this.
  7. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    I prefer that toothy bite off the hone, as well. I find that steeling lightly brings the edge back much better than stropping.
  8. lonestar1979


    Mar 2, 2014
    i sometimes steel my knives on f.dick oval butcher steel and get very nice edge,these knives are mostly victorinox and opinel variety,carbon and stainless.Still best edge is off stone sil carbide or dmt folding sharpener.
  9. BruceMack

    BruceMack Basic Member Basic Member

    May 20, 2015
    Today I used 0.5 micron diamond paste on hardboard and was surprised (you don't know what you don't know) at the further refinement of the edge compared to 1 micron. I still finished with chromium oxide for the aesthetics. I know the edge will degrade quickly with use but I'm really happy with the result.

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