I made an interesting discovery today about edge finishes. I am well aware that a lower grit, less refined edge can have better cutting ability than a more refined edge. For this reason I tend to finish my high carbide steels at medium grits, but I still like to polish some of my edges (like superblue) just to achieve those "novelty edges" that will grab and break a hanging hair even though they won't perform as well at mundane tasks like cleaning fish.
Anyway, I have always been under the assumption that the rougher edge would outperform while pulling across material because of the micro serrations but I assumed the polished edge would still outperform in straight push cuts. Well, today I was getting my fishing gear together and I had my yojimbo and sb caly sitting on the table. They are both as sharp as I can get them. The yojimbo finished lightly on the medium rods has tons of bite, and the caly polished on the uf rods will break even my fine hairs in half at the touch. So when I went to cut my 50 lb braided line, I decided to compare the two. The results were not really what I expected.
I held the line tight against the side of the blade with my thumb and with the other hand I pulled the line straight against the edge. I did the exact same cut numerous times with each knife. What I found was that the hair splitting edge of the caly required me to put 2-3 times as much pressure on the line as the rough finished s30v yojimbo. Now if I had been "pulling" the edge across the line I would have expected this result, but the way I was just putting straight pressure against the edge, I kind of expected the refined edge to push through he braid easier. It did not! It wasn't even close.
Anyway, nothing scientific, just a real world observation and I just thought the results were interesting. The more I learn, the more I realize there is very little work that I do with a knife that benefits from a refined edge. I still keep a couple of knives polished just because I like whittling hairs and just seeing how fine I can get an edge, but my medium finish edges outperform them in just about every way.
EDIT: I just went back and performed the same test with 80lb monofilament and got different results. It was very close, but the polished edge cut through the monofilament slightly easier than the medium finish s30v. The results I got on the braid might have been due to how the micro serrations interacted with the microfibers of the braided line? Paging Cliff?? Hehehe