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Dwayne Phill

Location: Seattle
Joined: 02 Oct 2019

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed 16 Oct, 2019 6:23 am    Post subject: Sharpening VG-10 and VG-Max         Reply with quote

Hello all,
Just curious if anyone has had much experience sharpening the VG 'super-steels' (their words not mine).

Over the weekend, I was asked to sharpen a couple of Shun kitchen blades.
I went with my usual DMT stones and a strop, but had a very difficult time getting the blades even to ~200 BESS.
Some parts seemed to take the edge and others didn't.

I'm sure it would have been better on a belt, but, I was home and all I had was the diamond stones.

Anyone know any tricks to get this steel into shape?

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Hector A.

Joined: 22 Dec 2013

Posts: 143

PostPosted: Wed 16 Oct, 2019 6:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If by "super steel" you mean a steel that is harder than usual (i'm assuming as its a kitchen knife and that has been the trend) and abrasion resistant (the reason they are so hard to sharpen to begin with), which implies they have big carbide sizes then you want to use the hardest "renewable service" stone you can find.

To be more clear you want a "Japanese" style stone that is as hard as you can find, you want to sharpen directly under running water to avoid a third medium between the stone and the edge (do not sharpen with a slurry it will just make it take longer on these knifes) and finally you don't want to sharpen to a high polish as in addition to taking exponentially longer on these kinds of steels it has 0 practical value in the use case of the knife and is counter intuitive to the steels characteristics (big carbides rather than a fine and carbide free micro structure like carbon steel).

tl;dr: Use the hardest coarse Japanese stone you can find, sharpen under constant running water until you form a edge.

ps: You will obviously need to apply the apex of the edge once you have finished forming it, i recommend a diamond on these types of steels.

If you have any further questions or any doubts about the used terminology just ask.
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Timo Nieminen

Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
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Posts: 1,504

PostPosted: Sat 02 Nov, 2019 11:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I sharpen it with a diamond plate, maybe 1000 grit to 3000 grit. If the blade starts off very blunt, then it will take some time, or start coarser. If it just needs a touch-up, then a few minutes will see it done (my most-used kitchen knife, VG10 at about 60HRC, gets such a sharpening every 4 months on average). Sometimes I have finished with a 10,000 grit plate, but usually don't bother.

Shun takes the steel a little harder than most, and sharpening will be a bit slower.

I do the same for my kitchen knives with other steels at 60HRC and up.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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