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Old September 2, 2007, 09:02 PM   #1
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Lesson learned re: hard vs. soft steel and straight vs. serrated

Note to self & others - New rule on knives:

If you're buying a premium very hard steel, get a straight edge, not a combo edge (partially serrated). Put another way, for serrated knives, get softish to medium-hard steel.

Have two Kershaw G10 / S30V knives. As you may know, S30V is a very hard premium stainless steel. One of these two Kershaws is a combo edge. For the life of me, I cannot get the serrations sharp again now, after much tinkering with tapered diamond rod sharpeners made for serrations.

Always gonna get an easy-to-sharpen straight edge in the future on steels like this which are hard to sharpen. They hold an edge well, but damn near impossible to get there it seems on the serrated part.

Any tips would be appreciated. Hopefully someone will learn from my mistakes.

Going no harder that 440 C or AUS 8 on stainless combo edges from now on. I like the combo edges for many tasks, if they're sharp, but if they're dull, they're actually *worse* than a dull straight edge, it seems.
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Old September 3, 2007, 06:43 AM   #2
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Join Date: June 12, 2007
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S30V is about as good as it gets for knife blade steel, far better than 440C, ATS 34, 154CM. D-2 is excellent, but not quite as good as S30V. The thing that makes S30V so good is the Vanadium in the steel. I've made a lot of knives using it. S60V is better, but harder to work for the maker.
I only make knives with straight edge blades. Serrated edges are a real pain, from a safety point of view, and, as you said, they are a PITA to sharpen, all of them.
I have the same problem sharpening serrated edges that you have, and I've been making knives since 1980.

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Old September 3, 2007, 09:15 AM   #3
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About two years ago, the knife bug bit me again after a 10-year hiatus. The bug also relates to my gunshow attendance as I just stopped going to gunshows entirely for a while. (I still love the mental tingle that I get as I pull into the show parking lot and walk to the front door.... what am I going to find today that I can't live without? Custom knives appeal to me too at shows.) Since there were so many knives with the combo edge (straight and serrated) I bought a new knife with the design. In this case, a SOG NW Ranger and later the SOG Tigershark. I didn't want to spend a fortune. I played around with these knives and I just don't like the serrations on the blades. If I want a blade with serrations, I look for a knife with the blade fully serrated and not a combo edge. This is my biggest suggestion to people who are looking for a knife. Buy the blade style that is designed best for the job. Cutting rope, fabric, etc. go serrated. Everything else, buy straight or plain edge.
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