Quantcast
Sharpening VG-10 Spyderco - THR
THR  

Go Back   THR > Tools and Technologies > Non-Firearm Weapons

Welcome to THR
You are currently viewing our site as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have, access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!


If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit the help section.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 13, 2014, 08:43 PM   #1
LopezEL
Member
 
 
Join Date: January 21, 2008
Posts: 112
Sharpening VG-10 Spyderco

I have Spyderco pocket knife that I cannot get sharp at all. I can get all my other knives as sharp as I want them... including my Kershaws, SAK, and Case knife but that dang Spyderco just stays dull. There are several places in town that say they sharpen knives but I am leary of using them because they wont tell me HOW they are sharpening and I dont want them to mess up my knife.

This spyderco is a workhorse... I have used it as a hammer before and it still continues to function. If I could get it sharp, it would replace my Kershaw leek as my EDC. Any opinions? I am using the Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker system.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20140413_203553.jpg (82.2 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg 20140413_203539.jpg (93.3 KB, 27 views)
LopezEL is offline  
Old April 13, 2014, 09:00 PM   #2
rcmodel
Member
 
 
Join Date: September 17, 2007
Location: Eastern KS
Posts: 46,814
Most likely, the edge bevel is gone from using the sharp-maker so many times.

Then there are two different sharp-makers.
The old ones with the black base and clear pouch were about 25 degrees, and the new ones that store in their own box base/lid are 20 degrees.

Your knife edge is 20 degrees, and if you have the older model sharp-maker, it isn't.

Here's what to do.
Send it back to Spyderco for factory sharpening for $5.00 bucks.

http://m.spyderco.com/edge-u-cation/

That will get you back to square one again.

Then if you have the old model sharp-maker, replace it with the newer one that matches you edge angle.
There are dozens of other good ways to reshape & sharpen your blade.
But all of them take some degree of dedication and skill to use successfully on a hard blade like yours.

Rc
__________________
Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Or all your primers in a glass jar!
rcmodel is offline  
Old April 13, 2014, 10:05 PM   #3
LopezEL
Member
 
 
Join Date: January 21, 2008
Posts: 112
My sharpener says "30 back bevel" on one side and "40 edge" on the other side. It stores in a black self enclosing case. I guess sending it back to Spyderco would be the best option. I tried sharpening it again for like 20 minutes and finally just gave up.
LopezEL is offline  
Old April 13, 2014, 10:44 PM   #4
rcmodel
Member
 
 
Join Date: September 17, 2007
Location: Eastern KS
Posts: 46,814
O.K.
Before you do that, try this.

'Color' the edge of the blade grind with a black Sharpie or Magic-Marker and swipe it on the sharp-maker a couple of times on each side.

That will tell you if the blade angle and sharpener angle are doing the same thing to each other.

Which they must to produce a sharp edge.

Rc
__________________
Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Or all your primers in a glass jar!
rcmodel is offline  
Old April 13, 2014, 11:40 PM   #5
zhyla
Member
 
 
Join Date: July 12, 2009
Posts: 893
RC is stearing you the right way. I just wanted to mention that VG-10 is a moderately hard to sharpen steel. You may find it takes more passes to get to that edge than a lower end steel.

Keep at it, you'll get that thing sharp.
zhyla is offline  
Old April 14, 2014, 06:29 AM   #6
GLOOB
Member
 
 
Join Date: September 16, 2007
Posts: 4,676
Quote:
I can get all my other knives as sharp as I want them... including my Kershaws, SAK, and Case knife
Kershaws are mostly milder steels, such 8Cr13Mov, these days. 8Cr13MoV contains around 0.8% carbon, 13% chromium, and only small bits of molybdenum, nickel, and vanadium. When you have more than roughly 0.6-7% carbon and 12% chromium in a steel, the rest mostly forms carbides. 8Cr13MoV contains small amounts of carbides. SAK and Case knives, mostly having carbon content in the 0.45-0.7% range, have even less.

VG10 has around 1.0% carbon and 15% chromium. Plus a good couple percent cobalt. It should have upwards of 4x as much carbide content than your other knives. The higher the carbide content, the larger those carbides will grow during the quenching phase.

Carbides can grow very large. A high carbide steel is like chunky peanut butter. Carbides limit how sharp you can get a blade. (This is referred to as edge stability. Plain carbon and mild stainless steels have the highest edge stability. High carbide steels have lower edge stability. And no, this doesn't necessarily have anything to do with edge strength or wear resistance. It just means how fine you can get the edge). Now, if you sharpen with more obtuse angles and/or lower grits, you may never really notice. The more acute and polished you take the edge, the more you will notice the difference between such steels.

I have a 440C knife on which I put an acute, polished edge of maybe 25 degrees, inclusive. (Actually it is 9Cr18Mov, which is very similar to 440C, and which should have high carbide content similar to VG10). Right off the hone, it will not cut a cotton patch without a backboard. It just slides right over the fabric. You ever hear of an edge being so polished it can't cut a tomato, etc? Well, there's some truth to that. But that's partly dependent on the steel. An acute, polished edge on a plain carbon or a "mild" stainless steel will easy cut tomatoes and/or shave hairs. That's because the blade comes to a very fine edge. It's super sharp. Of course it will cut a tomato. But if I take this 440C knife right off a super fine (translucent Ark, in this case) hone, it will not. Despite sharpening to the same angle, that angle doesn't reach all the way to the very edge, like it does with a carbon steel blade. Taking a not-so-sharp edge to a high polish on a hard hone will, quite understandably, make it not cut very well.

But lo and behold, if I cut a bunch of cardboard, this knife "gets sharper." And it will, indeed, easily cut tomatoes and cotton patches and paper towels. A more practical way to get this knife to top sharpness is to strop the heck out of it after honing. Yes, this polishes the edge even more, but the carbides sink into the strop and don't get physically dislodged as readily as when honing. Thus, the strop is better at leaving those carbides alone, better exposing the sharp edges on them, and further thinning and refining the steel matrix between chunks. Since those carbides aren't all lined up in a perfectly straight line, the cutting edge of this knife becomes a bit of a zig-zagging line that meanders up/down/left/right as defined by the larger chunks of carbides. You can't get the edge this fine (albeit crooked, on a microscopic level) on a hard hone.

After this treatment, this knife will easily cut fibrous materials. And it will easily slice through hairs. But it will never shave as well as a "milder" steel such as 420HC, 440A, 8Cr13Mov, 13C26/AEB-L, or any plain carbon steel. Since I starting finishing with translucent ark, I rarely strop my other knives, unless it's to remove cosmetic, visible scratches on the sides of the blade. At most, I may do a few passes on a strop to remove any microscopic wire edge (that's probably just in my head), but I have noticed no practical difference in sharpness whether stropping or not. But on a knife with big carbides, it can make a huge difference.

Steels such as S30V are made from finely powdered and mixed compounds fused together. This ensures that the ingredients are distributed more evenly. This allows for higher carbide contents while keeping those carbides from growing as large as in a traditional alloy. So you can get the benefits of wear resistance and higher hardenability without as much limitation on edge stability.

Last edited by GLOOB; April 14, 2014 at 05:13 PM.
GLOOB is online now  
Old April 14, 2014, 07:16 AM   #7
Zeke/PA
Member
 
 
Join Date: February 24, 2005
Location: Southeastern Pa.
Posts: 1,822
I sharpen a few knives a year that are troublesome on the Spyderco.
With these knives, I find I do better with traditional bench mounted stones such as a Medium India and Hard Arkansas. A cardboard "strop" made from a strip glued to a piece of wood works wonders.
Zeke/PA is offline  
Old April 14, 2014, 04:19 PM   #8
krupparms
Member
 
 
Join Date: December 9, 2010
Location: OR. / State of Jefferson.
Posts: 668
I just received a spyderco as a gift. It has a Hawk Bill blade that is serrated all the way to the tip. It is my 1st. Spyderco and I had some questions about it. It would seem that from what I have read here, that the best way to sharpen it is to send it back to the factory. From the above post it sounds like the more I use it, the sharper it gets! Is that what your saying?
__________________
May GOD BLESS The REPUBLIC Of The U.S.A. U.S.A.F.VETERAN . Former L.E.O. & Training Off. Militia Member READ ABOUT THE MILITIA. . AT ATHENS TENNESSEE! IN THE LATE 40's
krupparms is offline  
Old April 14, 2014, 05:17 PM   #9
Spec ops Grunt
Member
 
 
Join Date: October 14, 2005
Location: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Posts: 976
The spyderco sharpmaker can sharpen serrated hawkbills
__________________
What is a Spec ops Grunt? I am not in any way affiliated with the military.
Life is composed of different inventions.-Mikhail Kalashnikov
Spec ops Grunt is offline  
Old April 14, 2014, 06:47 PM   #10
GLOOB
Member
 
 
Join Date: September 16, 2007
Posts: 4,676
Quote:
From the above post it sounds like the more I use it, the sharper it gets! Is that what your saying?
Not as a generalization, no. Only under specific circumstances, and only for awhile.

If you high polish the edge of a large-carbide steel knife on a hard hone and then cut cardboard, specifically, (cardboard contains very small abrasive particles in it), the edge will initially get sharper. The act of cutting cardboard acts like a strop (but it's working directly on the edge, so actual stropping at a proper angle is better!)

But as you use the knife, the carbides on the edge eventually fall out. New ones will continually get exposed, but the edge is now wider than it started. So it gets dull, just like any other knife steel. It just wears slower.

TDLR: after honing a VG-10 knife (or 440C, or D2, etc), you should be able to get it significantly sharper by stropping.

Some folks strop, religiously. You may have heard comments such as "once you have the edge on there, you will be able to maintain it on a strop forever." Some folks maintain a knife on a steel, or a hone, or a ceramic rod, which is really a cylindrical hone. Some weirdos even use sandpaper over a mousepad . Of those that strop, some favor hardwood or balsa (which is technically hardwood, haha) or leather over wood or a free strip of leather strung up like a hammock. Some maintain their knife by swiping it on the bottom of a mug. Others strop on denim jeans. Or the edge of cardboard. Or newsprint. What works best for one guy isn't going to work so hot for someone else with a different knife and different performance goals. These are all specific tools for specific jobs. If you are obsessed with edges, you may use several of them. The best tool(s) to finish/maintain any specific edge will depend on edge profile, desired performance, steel type, and the nature of edge damage that is being repaired.

Last edited by GLOOB; April 14, 2014 at 08:52 PM.
GLOOB is online now  
Old April 14, 2014, 09:00 PM   #11
krupparms
Member
 
 
Join Date: December 9, 2010
Location: OR. / State of Jefferson.
Posts: 668
Thanks for clearing that up for me. I am trying to learn more about the steel used in knives & what works best for the knife you are useing.
__________________
May GOD BLESS The REPUBLIC Of The U.S.A. U.S.A.F.VETERAN . Former L.E.O. & Training Off. Militia Member READ ABOUT THE MILITIA. . AT ATHENS TENNESSEE! IN THE LATE 40's
krupparms is offline  
Old April 16, 2014, 07:58 PM   #12
conw
Member
 
 
Join Date: August 17, 2007
Posts: 3,280
This thread has a video that has IMO the best explanation of practical sharpening:

http://www.cliffstamp.com/knives/forum/read.php?7,6571

As cliff says most people don't know what is going on at the fundamental level of sharpening.

The sharpie trick is good for figuring out how far off you are, too.

For simplicity and getting a nice even bevel at the apex I like the sharpmaker a LOT. The diamond rods are worth the upgrade cost, the ultrafine ones aren't IMO.

For tough cases I really like my WSKTS 1x12 belt sander. I use metal mesh belts from micro-surface.com in even steps from about 180 up to 600 grit. generally from there for EDC I add a micro bevel of 30-40 degrees inclusive. This makes touch ups quick and easy.
conw is offline  
Old April 16, 2014, 08:42 PM   #13
Elkins45
Member
 
 
Join Date: December 25, 2009
Location: Northern KY
Posts: 1,388
I think RC's Sharpie advice is very good. I also think you might try knocking down the back bevel on a regular old sharpening stone and then try the Sharpmaker again. It may be that the edge is so worn back from sharpening that the corner of the bevel is rubbing against the rod instead of the actual edge. Laying it down at a lower angle on a coarse stone and thinning the edge bevel might make the Sharpmaker start working again.

You might try a little stropping too...you could be raising a wire edge and stropping it off would give you a razor edge.
__________________
NRA Endowment Member

I don't own an assault weapon. I own a counter-assault weapon.
Elkins45 is offline  
Old April 16, 2014, 10:02 PM   #14
thefish
Member
 
 
Join Date: February 17, 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 326
send it to spyderco. It will come back looking brand new.

At least mine did (that I broke the tip off using it as a chisel)
thefish is offline  
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Optimisation by vB Optimise.
This site, its contents, Shooting Reviews, and its contents are Copyright (c) 2010-2013 Firearms Forum, Inc.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER
Although The High Road has attempted to provide accurate information on the forum, The High Road assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information. All information is provided "as is" with all faults without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. Neither The High Road nor any of its directors, members, managers, employees, agents, vendors, or suppliers will be liable for any direct, indirect, general, bodily injury, compensatory, special, punitive, consequential, or incidental damages including, without limitation, lost profits or revenues, costs of replacement goods, loss or damage to data arising out of the use or inability to use this forum or any services associated with this forum, or damages from the use of or reliance on the information present on this forum, even if you have been advised of the possibility of such damages.