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Sharpening 20CV steel

Discussion in 'Sharpening Stuff -- Stones, Strops, and Systems' started by Moshe ben David, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    I have been noticing (I think) more knives in mid tier levels using 20CV steel, M390, etc etc.

    It is not clear to me what challenges there are in sharpening these. Particularly for guys like me using a Spyderco Sharpmaker system.

    Have any of you experiences you can share on this?

    Its not so much that I am determined to move to such steels so much as there are some pretty interesting new knives that use such; to date for the most part I've been avoiding buying any. Although I do have a Kershaw Knockout with M390... ;)

    Thanks in advance.

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
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  2. MicroMike

    MicroMike Loaded Pockets

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    You should be fine sharpening with the Sharpmaker. A lot of people use it with great results. I could never master it.

    With "super steels" it will just take you much longer. You could try the diamond rods.

    I suggest maybe exploring a new sharpening method? Something with more adjustability. I also had a Sharpmaker and switched to a Lansky system. I can not only sharpen but reprofile and polish!
     
  3. Hangman
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
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    Hangman Loaded Pockets

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    You will be fine with the sharpmaker as long as you don't let the knife get too dull. I get my knives in M390/20cv/cts204p screaming sharp using the sharpmaker medium rods as my final step before stropping (these steels work really well with a slightly toothy edge). You do need diamond if you get one of these blades dull. There are people making arguments that diamond is required to get the maximum potential of the carbides in these steels, however, I haven't seen that in my use.
     
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  4. PragmaticMurphyist

    PragmaticMurphyist Loaded Pockets

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    Can't speak for 20cv, but I use a Sharpmaker with UltraFine rods and a strop to keep a UKPK S110v hair-popping sharp.

    (Note: keep sharp. I don't let it get blunt!)
     
  5. plumberroy

    plumberroy Loaded Pockets

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    I have not dealt with that steel. Any of the harder so called super steels I switch to diamond sharpeners maybe honing with an Arkansas stone . I sharpen free hand so I have no idea on the sharpmaker I can sharpen stuff like 154cm and D2 on stones but diamond sharpeners are much faster
     
  6. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    @MicroMike, @Hangman, @PragmaticMurphyist, and @plumberroy: thanks for getting back to me so quick. I think your consensus advice is sensible. I'm also OK with a bit of a toothy edge; I don't have a goal like so many of getting a mirror bright edge.

    As far as the extra effort in mind, sorta reminds me of the famous quote from the old 'Kung Fu' TV show: 'Patience Grasshopper' :)

    Am Yisrael Chai!

    Moshe ben David
     
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  7. plumberroy

    plumberroy Loaded Pockets

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    I have diamond sharpeners , if I didn't it wouldn't stop me from sharpening super steel blades it would just take longer . I have amassed 15-20 stones and diamond sharpeners over the years. Plus a handful of files and a 1 x 30 belt sander. So I am well equipped to sharpen about anything I have been blessed enough to work been around people that have taught me to sharpen most any cutting tool. I can sharpen hand saws just don't have the tools to set the kerf on the teeth
     
  8. Buckeye Jake

    Buckeye Jake Loaded Pockets

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    I keep mine sharp with a spyderco golden stone. A trm neutron and manix2. Dont let them dull .
    20cv is truly a super steel

    Jake
     
  9. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    re: using the golden stone. Good to know!

    Am Yisrael Chai!

    Moshe ben David
     
  10. chaosmagnet
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    chaosmagnet Loaded Pockets

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    When I sharpen M390 and 20CV, if the knife isn’t still sharp I do:
    • Sharpmaker diamond rods, between 20-40 strokes per side
    • Sharpmaker medium rods, 20 strokes per side
    • Sharpmaker ultrafine rods, 20 strokes per side
    • Charged strop, 20 strokes per side first with grey side, then with (finer compound) green side
    I won’t claim that this gets to some kind of super-duper sharpness, but it slices thin paper well enough and generally doesn’t take a lot of time. Most of the time, I end up being able to skip at least the diamond rods, because I try to not let a knife get dull.

    So far, I have one knife in 20CV and haven’t needed to touch it up yet. My most common daily carry knife is M390, I use it a lot for small jobs, and I probably touch it up three or four times a year.
     
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  11. huntnow

    huntnow Loaded Pockets

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    I use Spyderco stones to sharpen my ZT0562cf in 20CV and they do so easily. I usually start with a medium grit and then switch to the fine stone for finishing. To be a ‘super steel’ it sharpens surprisingly easily. It sharpens much easier than S35 in my experience. S35 gives me the most trouble of any of my blades.
     
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  12. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    @chaosmagnet: thanks for the detailed description of how you use your Sharpmaker for 20CV. Your approach and goals sound like they match what I want. Thanks for the info!

    Am Yisrael Chai!

    Moshe ben David
     
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  13. ghuns

    ghuns Loaded Pockets

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    Same for me with an Edge Pro knock off.

    I found I could get my son's ZT0462 with 20CV noticeably sharper than my ZT0452 and 0300 with S35.

    I mean, the S35 is sharp. But the 20CV is, cut you if you look at it wrong, sharp.
     
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  14. Buckeye Jake

    Buckeye Jake Loaded Pockets

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    That is my experience with 20cv steel. In a trm neutron , atom and a manix2. My sebenza 35vn doesn't seem to get close. Best to carry a bandaid