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Are Super Abrasives Needed For High Sharpness With Medium Carbide Volume Steels?

Posted by jasonstone20 
Are Super Abrasives Needed For High Sharpness With Medium Carbide Volume Steels?
June 19, 2019 12:28PM
The more I play with medium carbide steels, ie 440C, 154CM, D2, etc, I am really thinking the best way to get a high sharpness edge (tree-topping arm hairs, popping beard hairs) or in to the HHT level of sharpness is to use super abrasives (CBN and Diamond). This isn't to say you can't get a sharp edge with Arkansas Stones on these steels, you should be able to easily get a shaving sharp edge with stones that have been conditioned. You can even get edges that pop bead hairs either if the HT is well done or you have some decent sharpening skills. Coming to this conclusion pains me somewhat, because some of my favorite stones to use are the Washita Stones and Arkansas Stones. There is something unique about the edges that they produce. I mostly prefer class 1 and class 2 steels, and at the higher carbide content of the class 2 steels the Washita Stones and Arkansas Stones just don't seem to give me the performance I want. I have found that the Arkansas Stones and Washita Stones top out at 8Cr13MoV and AUS 8 steels for high sharpness/HHT level performance.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage."
--Cliff Stamp

"Cause geometry cuts, .....steel determines the level and the duration"
--Roman Landes

"But in general, I'm all about high performance, Ergos, safety. That's why I've been accused of 'designing in the dark' "
--Sal Glesser



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/2019 12:36PM by jasonstone20.
No need for super-abrasives. Just synthetic abrasives. The steels you listed all have chromium carbides. Aluminum oxide and silicon carbide stones will cut chromium carbide. Natural stones will struggle with it, especially in steels like D2 where the carbides can be quite large.
Re: Are Super Abrasives Needed For High Sharpness With Medium Carbide Volume Steels?
June 26, 2019 02:54PM
42B,
Thank you for the correction, I did leave that out about SiC and AlO.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage."
--Cliff Stamp

"Cause geometry cuts, .....steel determines the level and the duration"
--Roman Landes

"But in general, I'm all about high performance, Ergos, safety. That's why I've been accused of 'designing in the dark' "
--Sal Glesser
Semi related, or at least got me thinking:

I sharpened 52100 on #600 and #1200 atoma diamond plates the other day, not what I’d normally use but it was very quick and produced a great edge. I finished it off on the Spyderco ultra fine and then done a few passes on 5 micron diamond paste on newsprint.

I’m very pleased with the results: it would sever a beard hair, true 90 newsprint, and still retain decent slicing aggression. 5 or 6 micron diamond paste has become my favourite over the past 6 months, it’s a good compromise between 1/4 micron and no stropping at all. The longer I sharpen the more I like minimal equipment.

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