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Thread: Spyderco medium grit bench stone. Opinions please.

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User jackknifeh's Avatar
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    Spyderco medium grit bench stone. Opinions please.

    I have been using the fine and UF grit ceramic stones for a while off and on and am continuously impressed. The fine grit puts a great edge on a knife and the UF refines it very nicely. I've been using DMT fine and extra-fine stones for coarser stones than the Spyderco fine grit. Actually I think the DMT extra-fine and Spyderco fine grit are pretty close. Close enough that both are not needed in a progression. I really really wish Spyderco made 3" wide stones in all grits. Anyway, I've been considering getting a medium grit Spyderco stone. I would appreciate opinions on it. How aggressive is it compared to the fine grit Spyderco stone? How does it's grit or scratch pattern compare to a DMT fine grit stone? I have the coarse and extra-coarse DMT stones but in the 6" size. So I've been thinking about getting a coarse DMT in the 8" stone. Then I figured I'd ask how the Spyderco medium grit compares to DMT stones.

    While I'm on the subject of Spyderco stones I'd like to recommend them to anyone who needs stones. At least the fine and ultra-fine grits. Don't know about the medium yet. If the medium stone performs as well as the fine and ultra-fine stones do the medium and fine is all that may really be needed to maintain an edge on any knife. The UF is for a more refined or smooth edge but for most pocket knives isn't necessary. VERY good stone though if you do want smoother or more refined edges or bevels.

    Thanks for any opinions on the Spyderco med. stone. Especially compared to the DMT stones because I'm familiar with them.

    My EDC for a while. Stretch with carbon fiber handle, Chaparral 2, Dragonfly 2 with kirinite MOP handle, Manbug with bolster/red bone handle. Super blue/420J1 blades on all three (except Chaparral).

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    The medium is about twice as fine as the DMT fine and twice as coarse as the spyderco fine. I measured all of those multiple different ways awhile back : http://www.cliffstamp.com/knives/rev...ker_grits.html .

    It is a very nice finishing stone as it is very flat, wears extremely slowly, is a splash and go stone (some like them dry) and is very resistant to gouging. However it does load quickly so I would do shaping on another stone.

  3. #3
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Donut's Avatar
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    Cliff said it very well. A lot of times I skip from DMT's XF to Spyderco Fine, though.
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  4. #4
    Spyderco Forum Registered User jackknifeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Stamp View Post
    The medium is about twice as fine as the DMT fine and twice as coarse as the spyderco fine. I measured all of those multiple different ways awhile back : http://www.cliffstamp.com/knives/rev...ker_grits.html .

    It is a very nice finishing stone as it is very flat, wears extremely slowly, is a splash and go stone (some like them dry) and is very resistant to gouging. However it does load quickly so I would do shaping on another stone.
    Your first statements makes me think the Spyderco medium ceramic stone is in the neighborhood of the DMT EF stone. I mean in grit (or micron) leaving out the differences of different abrasive type (diamond/ceramic). I use the stones in this order when I use them all which is what I usually do unless I want to stop an one prior to the Spyderco UF. DMT F, DMT EF, SP F, SP UF. DMT EF is 9 micron I believe and the Spyderco fine is approx. 6 micron according to the unified grit chart on CKTG. So a Spyderco medium stone wouldn't give me a better progression. The only reason I'd benifit from a Spyderco medium stone is if I preferred the edge it leaves using it as the final stone. I have been thinking I'd benifit from the Spyderco med. if it was coarser or more aggressive than the DMT fine stone. You are saying this is not the case.

    I read the info in the link you provided. As usual, some of it I understood, some of it I can't digest. It's hard to put into words what I'm thinking as I read your stuff. I can't apply what you are writing about your results to how it applies to every day cutting. That's about as close as I can get to explaining why I don't understand what you say. Maybe it's a lack of knowledge of steel and how it is effected by different abrasives. I think the only way I could appreciate your testing of cutting and slicing the materials you are cutting and slicing would be to do it myself. Then I MIGHT say "Oh, I get it now". Anyway, I appreciate your reply and based on the stones I have now and your comments and testing I don't think I have a real need for a Spyderco medium stone. Still might get one out of curiosity about the stone and the edge it leaves or how it performs. It's the only way to really answer my question I guess.

    You mentioned using water on the ceramic stone. I've never used anything on the fine or UF ceramic stones. You saying the med. stone is splash and go stone (compared to soaking I assume) indicates water is optional. What are your thoughts on using water on ceramic stones? What do you other guys think about using water on ceramic stones? I've never tried it and don't plan on trying it unless others report they have been successful with water and it doesn't damage the stones. Would it reduce them loading up with metal as fast? Would using water make them easier or faster to clean? I've wondered about it but since they do a great job dry and no one that I've read has mentioned using water on ceramic I assumed it's not a good idea and never asked. I guess now is as good a time as any to ask what people think about using water on Spyderco (or any ceramic) stones.

    Jack

    My EDC for a while. Stretch with carbon fiber handle, Chaparral 2, Dragonfly 2 with kirinite MOP handle, Manbug with bolster/red bone handle. Super blue/420J1 blades on all three (except Chaparral).

  5. #5
    Spyderco Forum Registered User captnvegtble's Avatar
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    I used to have the grits listed, but I can't find it. Here's the order I go in of decreasing grit size for bench stones: DMT Coarse >> DMT fine >> Spyderco Medium >> Spyderco Fine.

    I think the DMT extra fine is about the equivalent of the Spyderco Medium, and I know the Spyderco fine has lower grit than teh DMT extra-fine.

  6. #6
    Spyderco Forum Registered User jackknifeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captnvegtble View Post
    I think the DMT extra fine is about the equivalent of the Spyderco Medium, ...
    More info that I don't NEED a Spyderco med. Seems Spyderco's choice for sharpening tools to sell is based on maintining an edge that is profiled how you want it and not based on re-profiling edges. Especially the harder steels. I'm sure they've thought long and hard about it and they have their reasons for not providing coarser grit tools. I've read where people say there is a big gap between the diamond Sharpmaker rods and the medium rods and they wish there was rod like a finer grit diamond rod to use before the medium rods for the Sharpmaker. What they do have that I've tried is top notch though. The fine and ultra-fine grits do a superb job based on my limited experience.

    Jack

    My EDC for a while. Stretch with carbon fiber handle, Chaparral 2, Dragonfly 2 with kirinite MOP handle, Manbug with bolster/red bone handle. Super blue/420J1 blades on all three (except Chaparral).

  7. #7
    Spyderco Forum Registered User captnvegtble's Avatar
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    I also have the Spyderco diamond rods, and I never use them... they're way too aggressive. Much higher grit than the DMT Coarse stone and the rods leaves a lot of diamond dust which get into the Sharpmaker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackknifeh View Post
    I have been thinking I'd benifit from the Spyderco med. if it was coarser or more aggressive than the DMT fine stone. You are saying this is not the case.
    Yes, it is significantly finer than the DMT fine, similar to the DMT XF would be fairly accurate, assuming the DMT is well worn as they are all very spastic when new and leave scratches 10X the size of the average ones on occasion. The Spyderco is much more consistent as boxed.

    I can't apply what you are writing about your results to how it applies to every day cutting.
    Unless you have done it then it would be very difficult to understand what they mean, outside of a relative sense. For example I read comments about knife makers cutting hemp and quoting pounds but it was not until I actually cut some that I realized what cutting 3/8" hemp with 15 lbs on a draw meant (the knife cuts very well). Now once you know that you also know that a 5 lbs draw is very high and a 50 lbs draw is a knife that cuts very poorly.


    What are your thoughts on using water on ceramic stones?
    I always use it, but again to be clear I only use the benchstones to finish an edge, I don't polish the full bevels. If you use them like that it will reduce the loading (somewhat) and makes it easier to clean as you can just wipe them off (somewhat). Plus it also allows modification of the effective grit as when combined with reduction in force you can easily get the scratch pattern to be 25-50% of stock. In extreme cases with ultra light honing on water you can get what would appear to be unbelievable finishes. I have sharpened knives on bricks and similar and easily produced an edge which is just under push cutting newsprint and the total honing time is < 2 minutes. These are not small knives either, chef's knives and similar.

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    The Spyderco ceramic is much finer than a fine diamond stone. The edge I get from the medium ceramic is not nearly as sharp as I can get from a fine India stone, but it will shave. Given the production methods here, I don't think of these stones on terms of grit value, but stone surface finish - for the Spyderco ceramics.
    If I need to rework an edge to reset the bevel, I use a 1 X 30 belt sander with a 400 grit abrasive. If I can't sharpen an edge on a knife with a strop, I go to the medium ceramic. The intended use of a blade and the type of steel determines how fine I go with sharpening. I use my ceramic stones dry.

  10. #10
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Donut's Avatar
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    I seem to get a deeper scratch pattern from the DMT XF than I do from the Spyderco Medium. That possibly just means that the diamond is cutting deeper. It does seems like the edge I get from the DMT XF cuts better.

    I think that the extra cutting power of the stone comes with the cost that you will wear your knife down more by removing more steel.
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  11. #11
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Donut's Avatar
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    Jack, you might want to get a 600 grit moldmaster stone. Maybe even a 400 grit moldmaster. They are relatively inexpensive and about the same stone range you are looking for.

    The only down side is that they will wear more with use and dish.
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  12. #12
    Spyderco Forum Registered User jackknifeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donut View Post
    I seem to get a deeper scratch pattern from the DMT XF than I do from the Spyderco Medium. That possibly just means that the diamond is cutting deeper. It does seems like the edge I get from the DMT XF cuts better.

    I think that the extra cutting power of the stone comes with the cost that you will wear your knife down more by removing more steel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donut View Post
    Jack, you might want to get a 600 grit moldmaster stone. Maybe even a 400 grit moldmaster. They are relatively inexpensive and about the same stone range you are looking for.

    The only down side is that they will wear more with use and dish.
    Speaking of scratches. One thing that has always bothered me is getting a mirror finish with random individual scratches on the bevel. I attribute this to the coarser stones (DMT fine and coarser diamond stones) having larger diamond particles than average for that particular grit. A 600 grit stone doesn't have exactly 600 grit particles doing the cutting. Some may ge 580 and some may be 620. I don't know this for sure and the numbers are just examples but I've heard it before. So, if a coarse DMT stone has a few spots with larger than average diamond particles they will leave deeper scratches than that grit should but still be within the target range DMT determines for any given grit stone. Then when I progress through the grits I have to eliminate the deeper scratches even after there is a good finish from the stone I'm using. I noticed this with the EP water stones and the DMT stones. So that brings up another question. What type stones have a smaller range of particles? This is another question I'd love to get info about. For example I already have the 320, 400 and 600 grit moldmasters for the EP. One thing about them is they seem to leave a very consistant scratch pattern for each grit. I seem to remember them leaving a smooth surface with no DEEP scratches. The finish on the bevel is sort of a hazy appearance. To confirm this I'm going to profile a knife starting with the MM 320 and see if I can continue with the 400 then 600 and then the Shapton glass EP stones and see if I can get a mirror finish with NO deeper scratches. I'm going to flatten all stones and go slow. I'll try to do this today or tomorrow. If I can get what I'm hoping for I'm going to get a 5 or 6 stone set of MMs to use prior to the Shapton glass stones. That will eliminate the need to replace the Shapton glass 500 and 1K stones when they wear out. I still love the 2k and up Shapton glass stones. The MMs I have I use dry or with water but they are supposed to be used with oil. I will NOT use oil when using the EP. The stone is on top and I will not deal with that mess. The MM stones cut FAST. So does the 500 grit Shapton glass. If they cut as fast as diamond stones of a similar performing grit but without leaving random deeper scratches that is a BIG HUGE GIANT plus in my eyes. Not to mention the price of the moldmasters is MUCH lower than the Shaptons and about half of what the EP stones cost. The MM stones require I provide the blank though but I have them already. Anyway, the blank material and cutting them myself is under $10 for 4 or 5 blanks at Lowe's.

    I don't remember if Cliff mentioned the difference the abrasive material in addition to the grit makes when using stones in this thread or the info on his site accessed by the link in his post. So another thing to consider in stones is the window of accuracy of the abrasive material compared to the advertised grit. The smaller the window the more accurate the advertised grit will be and I believe that would make it a better stone in that regard. I'm going to pay more attention to this starting now. It's something I've been aware of because of the random scratches I sometimes get. I have attributed it to not spending enough time using each grit and maybe that is part of the problem but maybe the situation can be improved by using different stones. We'll see. ANY INPUT ON THIS IS HIGHLY APPRECIATED BY ME. Which stones provide the most consistant scratch pattern regarding scratch size and expecially depth?

    My EDC for a while. Stretch with carbon fiber handle, Chaparral 2, Dragonfly 2 with kirinite MOP handle, Manbug with bolster/red bone handle. Super blue/420J1 blades on all three (except Chaparral).

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    My main reason for using a Spyderco medium bench stone is because my DMT bench stones don't cut on the very edges the way that the ceramics do.
    I find that if I'm exclusively using the DMT I don't get much abrasion near the knife's plunge lines and I have to touch up that area with a ceramic stone.
    I've also found that I like to use fairly coarse silicon carbide to clean up the factory grinds and get the bevels even near the plunge and then use the various ceramics to polish things up.
    The Mules in particular seem to need quite a bit of finishing, so I tend to buy two, clean up the most uneven of the two, and then make that my user.

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    In general, consistency of finish is one of the ways the quality of a stone is judged. In particular the high end waterstones are heavily graded by this ability, but in general they all do very well compared to other stones even the cheap ones. For example this is a 1000 grit (14 micron) King which is one of the cheapest waterstones :



    Note the very fine edge and the very consistent finish. You will not see harsh directional scratches because this is a muddy stone and you get a lot of random "wash" from the slurry. In contract this is a DMT MXF stone which is rated much finer at 6 microns :



    You can clearly see that occasionally (these are at 50X magnification) the DMT makes scratches far beyond its rating, 5-10 times as coarse. When they hit the edge they just tear out pieces of it :



    In contrast the Atoma plates do not have this problem as they have a much more consistent scratch pattern. Reference : http://www.cliffstamp.com/knives/forum/read.php?7,14401 .

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User jackknifeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fancier View Post
    My main reason for using a Spyderco medium bench stone is because my DMT bench stones don't cut on the very edges the way that the ceramics do.
    I find that if I'm exclusively using the DMT I don't get much abrasion near the knife's plunge lines and I have to touch up that area with a ceramic stone.
    I've also found that I like to use fairly coarse silicon carbide to clean up the factory grinds and get the bevels even near the plunge and then use the various ceramics to polish things up.
    The Mules in particular seem to need quite a bit of finishing, so I tend to buy two, clean up the most uneven of the two, and then make that my user.
    My two DMT 8" bench stones have small bald sections at the ends of the stones. The diamonds do go all the way to the sides though which I consider much more important. I know what you mean though. If there were bald spots on the sides so the very heel of the edge isn't getting abraded I would try to get that stone replaced. The fact that every spot all over the Spyderco stones can be used, even the corners like the Sharpmaker rods is a big plus on any stone.

    My EDC for a while. Stretch with carbon fiber handle, Chaparral 2, Dragonfly 2 with kirinite MOP handle, Manbug with bolster/red bone handle. Super blue/420J1 blades on all three (except Chaparral).

  16. #16
    Spyderco Forum Registered User jackknifeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Stamp View Post
    In general, consistency of finish is one of the ways the quality of a stone is judged. In particular the high end waterstones are heavily graded by this ability, but in general they all do very well compared to other stones even the cheap ones. For example this is a 1000 grit (14 micron) King which is one of the cheapest waterstones :



    Note the very fine edge and the very consistent finish. You will not see harsh directional scratches because this is a muddy stone and you get a lot of random "wash" from the slurry. In contract this is a DMT MXF stone which is rated much finer at 6 microns :



    You can clearly see that occasionally (these are at 50X magnification) the DMT makes scratches far beyond its rating, 5-10 times as coarse. When they hit the edge they just tear out pieces of it :



    In contrast the Atoma plates do not have this problem as they have a much more consistent scratch pattern. Reference : http://www.cliffstamp.com/knives/forum/read.php?7,14401 .
    EXACTLY. Now the obsessive guy inside is going to be screaming ATOMA. They will have to wait I think. I've about maxed out my Christmas wish list for this year. Still, this is an area I'm going to seriously consider in the future stone purchases. Cliff, where are the King stone purchased? Good post.

    Jack

    My EDC for a while. Stretch with carbon fiber handle, Chaparral 2, Dragonfly 2 with kirinite MOP handle, Manbug with bolster/red bone handle. Super blue/420J1 blades on all three (except Chaparral).

  17. #17
    Spyderco Forum Registered User jackknifeh's Avatar
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    Found the kings on CKTG.

    My EDC for a while. Stretch with carbon fiber handle, Chaparral 2, Dragonfly 2 with kirinite MOP handle, Manbug with bolster/red bone handle. Super blue/420J1 blades on all three (except Chaparral).

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    Aside from the money (they are more expensive), Bester and SPS-II are better stones :

    -Bester 700 : http://www.cliffstamp.com/knives/forum/read.php?7,19265
    -SPS-II 1000 : http://www.cliffstamp.com/knives/forum/read.php?7,18796

    However in order to even see the value of these you need to use steels similar to VG-10, they are wasted on softer and lower carbide steels, especially on very inexpensive kitchen knives. The SPS-II will pull ahead of the Bester as you move to even harder to grind steels such as M2, 10V and similar as this is what it was designed to cut.

    Note that all of these (King 1000, Bester 700, SPS-II 1000) are full soak stones, you can not splash and go as they will just stall and slick over. They do need to be periodically flattened (the King very frequently) and the Bester and SPS-II need actual flattening compounds, you can't just scrape them on rocks like you can with the King.

    Much more detail in the reference threads.

    In general one of the best sources for stones is Stu from Tools from Japan. He is active across many forums, does testing of his own on the stones and is very informed about them and generally gets high praise for service.

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User jackknifeh's Avatar
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    I'd like to add that the random scratches I find aggrivating are sometimes only visible when magnified by at least a 10x loupe. To the naked eye the scratches are not visible unless you are examining the edge closely. By turning the blade slowly looking for reflections inside the scratches they are visible but not all that noticible at a glance. So my complaint is somewhat obsessive I guess.

    Jack

    My EDC for a while. Stretch with carbon fiber handle, Chaparral 2, Dragonfly 2 with kirinite MOP handle, Manbug with bolster/red bone handle. Super blue/420J1 blades on all three (except Chaparral).

  20. #20
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    So are you gonna get a Spyderco medium bench stone or something different? Or still undecided?

    I watch this thread as I am thinking about the freehanding and the Spyderco benchstone set!

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