600 Grit Belts?

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
OK Gang..... for literally years, I have been looking for a "good" 600 grit belt. I can't even list all the ones I've tried and rejected.....usually because they just have zero longevity....by that I mean that most of them won't even make it through both sides of a single blade..... it's very common for me to use 2-3 600 grit belts, versus being able to use the same Klingspor LS309 in both 220 and 400 on multiple blades. I've never met a Hermes brand belt that I liked, and the "specialty" belts all seem to leave a heavier grit scratch pattern then the Klingspor 400s.....which is counter productive for me.

Scott at Tru-Grit has sent me samples of belts in the past, but I just can't seem to find a decent 600 grit belt.
For those of you who use 600 belts.... what do you use, and/or what recommendations can you offer?
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
I thought the 600 and 800 grit belts were for looking at? OR, at best one belt per side of blade. I actually don't use 600/800 grit belts on blades anymore - they just don't last. I find with a good 400 grit finish it's easy for hand sanding after that. Even on handles 400 grit seems to take to point I'm ready for hand sanding.

On blades where a scotchbrite finish is desired, 400 grit seems to work just fine.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
That's kinda what I've been thing too Ken! (just for looking at).
However, in certain situations, like say when I grind a mosaic/stainless San-Mai blade, they are what I consider essential. Because the carbon steel mosaic, and the much softer stainless steel grind so differently, stopping at 400 grit makes for LONG periods of hand sanding.....but when I can get a good 600 grit finish on the same type blade(s), and then start with 600 by hand, the finishing time is noticeably shorter to 1500 or 2000 grit.

I also use 600 grit as the finishing grit on the grinder, before going to hand finishing, and with some handle materials, I can stop on the machine at 600, and either leave it as is, or go straight to a light buffing and be done.

I usually keep 800 and 1200 grit belt in the shop, and they seem to last/work just fine.....but it's like 600 grit belts are cursed or something.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
That's kinda what I've been thing too Ken! (just for looking at).
However, in certain situations, like say when I grind a mosaic/stainless San-Mai blade, they are what I consider essential. Because the carbon steel mosaic, and the much softer stainless steel grind so differently, stopping at 400 grit makes for LONG periods of hand sanding.....but when I can get a good 600 grit finish on the same type blade(s), and then start with 600 by hand, the finishing time is noticeably shorter to 1500 or 2000 grit.

I also use 600 grit as the finishing grit on the grinder, before going to hand finishing, and with some handle materials, I can stop on the machine at 600, and either leave it as is, or go straight to a light buffing and be done.

I usually keep 800 and 1200 grit belt in the shop, and they seem to last/work just fine.....but it's like 600 grit belts are cursed or something.
The way I have been getting around using (paying for) 600 grit belts is I finish to 400 on my grinder but I start my hand-sanding at 320 Rhynowet. I find that going down a step when switching makes it easier for me to get my scratches uniform in one direction then I go up from there and usually finish at 600 or 800. It just seems easier for me that way. Do not know if that will help you or not maybe you could tweak it a little and be able to skip 600 belts.
 
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Gene Kimmi

KNIFE MAKER
I grind almost all my blades to 600 grit. I've been using the Sankyo brand from Pop's for my 220 - 600 grit belts. They even have an 800 grit. I've been pleased with these compared to others I have used. At $2 a belt, I don't mind using one per blade, but usually get a couple blades done with one belt.


I'd be happy to send you a few to try if you'd like.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
I grind almost all my blades to 600 grit. I've been using the Sankyo brand from Pop's for my 220 - 600 grit belts. They even have an 800 grit. I've been pleased with these compared to others I have used. At $2 a belt, I don't mind using one per blade, but usually get a couple blades done with one belt.


I'd be happy to send you a few to try if you'd like.
I’m going to have to try these. thanks Gene.

My experiences with 600 grit belts has been exactly the same as everyone else. I basically gave up on them. I tried using trizacts but i was never convinced that the finish was any better than a 400 grit j-weight.
 

chrisstaniar

Well-Known Member
I have several of the norax belts and have had good luck with them. They are definitely an odd type of belt but they don't seem to wear out quickly and you don't get the "bump, bump" of other higher grit belts.
 

Casey Brown

Well-Known Member
I have the 3M Trizact cloth belts in A30, A16, and A6. These are not the traditional gator belts (I have A100 and A45 in the gators.) I find that these belts work really well on blades. I don't use them all the time, though, so I can't speak to durability. On a few knives, I have found that you can literally go from the grinder straight to hand sanding with 600 grit. Course that only works if your blade grind if perfectly flat, which mine usually aren't.
 

Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
I'll second the "engineered" belts. Not exactly a typical "600 grit" per say, and I can never remember the number designations and their equivalent grits, but the higher grit engineered belts do seem to last a good while relative to a traditional ceramic, aluminum oxide or zirc belt. I also recently got a cork belt that's supposedly 600 grit, IIRC, but I haven't had time to break it in and try it out.
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
That is true, the engineered belts (Trizact, etc) do tend to last LOTS longer than the AO belts I was thinking of when I commented on 600 grit.
 

Casey Brown

Well-Known Member
Pop's Knife Supply shows the A30 as being 600 grit. I would probably agree with that. I've used the A30 Trizact gator belt in the past, and didn't like it as much. It kind of glazes after a while and stops cutting. It's the only one that I couldn't recommend. The A30 Trizact cloth belt is pretty awesome though.
 

Benjy

Well-Known Member
I grind almost all my blades to 600 grit. I've been using the Sankyo brand from Pop's for my 220 - 600 grit belts. They even have an 800 grit. I've been pleased with these compared to others I have used. At $2 a belt, I don't mind using one per blade, but usually get a couple blades done with one belt.


I'd be happy to send you a few to try if you'd like.

I saw this from Gene on another post earlier and I just bought a bunch of these belts, I am impressed so far!
 

Nick Riggi

Well-Known Member
I recently started using Norax 600 grit - vs a Trizact. Think the finish is more even and smooth. I rarely even go to this grit on a bevel- normally go to 400 then a Scotch Brite or cork- I like the slight appearance of the grind lines. The 600 Norax for me gets used at the end for the spine, handle and choil finish.
 

Ty Adams

KNIFE MAKER
I'll second the "engineered" belts. Not exactly a typical "600 grit" per say, and I can never remember the number designations and their equivalent grits, but the higher grit engineered belts do seem to last a good while relative to a traditional ceramic, aluminum oxide or zirc belt. I also recently got a cork belt that's supposedly 600 grit, IIRC, but I haven't had time to break it in and try it out.
I like my cork belt for finishing just before hand sanding. A note of caution, if you have real crisp square plunges don't bump the edge of the belt to much. It strips the cork off making a clean looking transition from plunge to spine impossible.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Great input/suggestions! Thank you! I think I'll see if I can get my hands on some of those Sankyo belts and give them try...... I neglected to mention that a J weight is what I'm after. I'm gona check in with Tru-Grit and see if Scott has those belts. That is before I order from Pops..... just because of the huge difference in shipping time.

The engineered abrasives hold up great, but the belts have no flexibility, as in being able to wrap them around the edge of the platen for finishing plunges.... so I kinda ruled them out without even mentioning it in my initial post.

I've been stubbornly clinging to my grinding sequence..... 50, 120 prior to heat treat, the after heat treat.... 50, 120, 220, 400, 600, then to hand finishing...... where I start at 600, and depending on the particular blade, either stop there, or keep going. I am very fond of Klingspor LS309 belts in 220 & 400, and it also comes in a 500, and 800 which I think is odd, but since its been forever searching for a decent 600, I may change my sequence to 50, 120, 220, 500, 800, or at least give it a try for a while to see.
One of my goals at this point in my life is to eliminate as much hand finishing as possible.....and all because of this stupid Lupus... I found that hand sanding causes sever pain in my upper back and shoulders now....and pain meds don't seem to touch it.

As I was writing that, my mind went back to the engineered abrasives..... if you want a belt that I think gives everything (except flexibility) and last forever..... give the Norton Norax U939 belts a try..... I use them a lot on my surface grinder (converted to belts), and often times wear out the backing, and break the belt before the abrasive gives out. (talking using them for literally months and months).
 

Casey Brown

Well-Known Member
Ed, the 3M cloth belt is very flexible. It is literally cloth impregnated with the abrasive. The grit level goes up to approximately 2000 grit. They are really good.
 
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EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Ed, the 3M cloth belt is very flexible. It is literally cloth impregnated with the abrasive. The grit level goes up to approximately 2000 grit. They are really good.
You got a number/name on those belts? I went searching for "3M cloth belts" and got all X and/or Y weight belts. I just order a handful of the Sankyo belts to try.....
 
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