Hand Tools Archive
I'm not done with the test, but fortunately, I don't have to keep repeating that sharpening procedure.
This isn't for all sharpening, it's just the feedback the steels gave me.
3V - slow. Surprisingly slow on diamonds. It takes twice as many swipes to sharpen it on small diamonds. This was somewhat of a surprise after mauling it on a fine india stone and then doing at least a serviceable job with the japanese natural stone.
V11 and A2 - indistinguishable on the diamonds. Both took an edge well off of it. I didn't raise as much of a wire edge with the A2 as the v11. The V11 held on to the wire edge weakened by one micron diamonds and then let it go at once.
Tsunesaburo blue steel - my 1200 grit diamond is tired, it doesn't cut brash or raise a huge wire edge fast, but the tsune iron almost refused to hold a wire edge. It's hard. They claim 65 or something, and it probably is. You can't tell with diamonds because they cut anything at any hardness. After faffing with the wire edges from 3v, A2 and V11, it was welcom
My O1 iron - similar to the tsune, but not quite as drastic (it will hold some wire edge)
(the chinese HSS iron was almost an afterthought - it seems similar with the wire edge to V11 and A2)
The real issue with the wire edge is that when you remove it, you have to do so with some care for two reasons. If you give in to the temptation to just rip it off, you can damage what would otherwise be a defect free edge. Not a terminal damage, but the kind that makes it less wonderful to start with. The more uniform an iron starts, the better off you'll be - especially with more highly alloyed steels (we'll test this later).
I wouldn't look forward to sharpening 3V on a day to day basis, but I would probably find a faster diamond hone and see what I could get away with. It's that step (the secondary bevel) that takes the time. I would also get a cast setup for the back bevel or just the back face.
It seems like a pretty good iron, but I wouldn't look forward to finish planing with it (true finish planing) because it's so punishing if there is a small nick to work all the way through it.