Pocket knife refuses to put on an edge

C Craft

Well-Known Member
Well the tittle says most of what I am speaking of. My son brings me a pocket knife when he was at the house about three weeks ago. As he hands it to me he asks can you fix that and sharpen it!

So I opened it and the point is broken off, seems he was using it for a pry bar and.................... well the rest is history.

So being as this is a production knife I took it out on my grinder and dressed the false edge down rather than grind it the main blade bevel down enough for it to point again.

Now for the other task. I have run it on my oil stones, not once but twice and after the second time, it still refuses to come up to a good edge. Now let me say I do all my own sharpening and usually have no problem putting and edge on most anything, But this refused to put on an edge!!

So got to looking at it. The knife is made by Spyderco, the steel is marked as CPMS30V Anyone got any advice on sharpening a knife made of sharpening CPMS30V

I did a little research and some say it is hard to sharpen and yet others say it ain't a problem!! Just picked up my hand magnifier and it appears I may have a wire edge. Now I just got to remember where I put my razor strap!!!
Maybe that is the problem!!!
Yep, if you've got a wire edge it will "feel" dull. That little "feather" hanging off the edge can be hard to get rid of. Maybe the leather strop will take care of it.
Yep, if you've got a wire edge it will "feel" dull. That little "feather" hanging off the edge can be hard to get rid of. Maybe the leather strop will take care of it.

Very true.

I run into this all the time with AEB-L. AEB-L will sharpen easily *IF* you get it down to the actual edge. The burr can be unreal to get off- so much so that you can actually cut on the wire edge for days until it decides to lay over and make the edge feel dull. You really have to get after it on the belt to get that wire edge off because it's not simply going to flake off like other steels. Don't be afraid to drop back down to a 220grit belt and sharpen edge-up. Then hit it on a 600 edge-down, then leather strop.

Dollars to donuts- if it won't get sharp there's a bastard of a wire edge on there and it will have you pulling your hair out and making you doubt everything you've known for 30 years.
One more thing- If there is ANY bit of a flat on that edge then trying to sharpen it on a slack belt is not going to work. You'll be there until the cows come home. Put a 220 on and grind that doggone edge until there are zero traces of shiny spots along the edge. That's when you can *start* sharpening.

These new stainless steels are tougher than snot! (ahem... "wear resistant" rather than tougher. I have to be careful since people here know the difference.)
John I fully agree with you there is a big difference!

Still looking for my razor strap. When my Mama passed it only left me and my sister out of five kids! So when we were going thru some old things my Mam had in a box, up pops this old razor strap. My sister looks at and asks me I wanted it. Why I sure do, I earned that strap. Mama didn't use it often but when she did you hoped she wasn't long winded that day! Cause she would pass a lick every time a word came out of her mouth. The last time she used it on me I was probably about 14 1/2, I smart mouthed here and she said she was going for the razor strap. I told her she couldn't catch me, and the last thing I heard her say was I don't have too. I went up the railroad track and sit on the trussel and fished till dark. So I eased back in the house and where Mama came from, I do not know!! She was tanning my hide with the razor strap and she lost hold of it. She grabbed it back up and got it turned around. The buckle where you hang it was not on the other end. She hit me about two licks before I turned and told her, Mama I don't mind you wiping me but, please turn that strap around! She stopped and I don't think I ever got it again! And No I was not abused I had a tough hinny and Mama could spank me and not even phase me. However the strap got my attention!!

When I got the strap it was curled from being in the box and I remember driving a nail or putting a screw in the wall and well..............now I can't remember where I hung it!! I moved everything in that shop here a while back when we had the busted plumbing and there is still one bench in a mess so gonna spend some time to day to clean it up. Maybe I will find it then!!
Unlike Carbon steels, higher alloy stainless steels are significantly more work to sharpen, and even more so with S30V. In my career, I've made and sold exactly 6 knives of S30V, and will never do so again. The reason? ALL the clients who ordered those knives were savvy knife owners/users, but not a single one of them could sharpen those S30V blades. I still get 3-4 of them back before each hunting season, to sharpen.

It took me a while to figure it out, but when sharpening with belts, I start with a 220, and go through EVERY grit all the way to 1200. After that, I reverse a mylar backed belt on the grinder (the backing facing out), and use the backing turning at about 10% on the speed controller as a strop.
I hadn't got back on this thread but here goes an update. The good news I found my razor strap and after stropping the knife I did loose the wire edge. Still not pleased with the knife. I went back and ran it on the grinder. Started ar 220 and ran it through the various grits. Then I took it back thru the oil stones, and once again a wire edge! So after stopping one more time she has a very sharp edge. I intend to tell my son when I give back to him that about the only thing this knife has going for it is,............it don't rust. Other than that I don't think much of it!!

CPMS30V is one the worst steels I have ever seen to sharpen. Give me a good high carbon blade anyday. If you don't abuse it, a few passes on a hone stone, and your good to go! I mean you may have to sharpen it every so often but I can sharpen a dozen high carbon blades in the time it took me to get an edge on this one!! I'll trade a little prevention of rust over a blade made of CPMS30V any day!!!!

The way I figure if you don't want to be bothered with a little rust prevention, you don't deserve to carry one!! If all you want is one that don't rust, ............well you deserve to have a dull knife!!

Nuff said!!!
Don't give up hope on the knife, Cliff. The one thing that is an absolute requirement for any end-user who wants these high alloy stainless knives is a diamond stone. A DMT Fine/Extra fine works beautifully (although as you know it's even better to follow up on a strop. )

DMT makes a handy little sharpener called the "dia-fold" which is perfect for the toolbox or your pack. They aren't cheap (about $30) but they should last years and years which makes them a very good bargain.
You know I was just sittin here and read your post! Got me to thinking I have a Sears Craftsman, it is locking Buck knock-off. When I bought 20yrs. ago I wasn't even thinking of knife making. Just opened it to see if it told what kind of steel it is but it don't. I had not even thought of it but way back when I bought this knife I was highly disappointed in putting an edge on it. I never could put a good edge on it!!

I decided one day I was gonna break the steel and I put this knife on a really coarse water stone! I then tried to bring it back down on a succession of oil stones from coarse to a finish stone. I still didn't like the edge.
Then I finished it with a diamond impregnated steel stone! Every since then when it gets dull it is back on the diamond impregnated steel stone. A few passes on both sides and she is good to go. Now I have no idea what steel this knife is but it has been put through it over the years! I have sharpened the blade till I had to hit the kick on the blade a couple of light touches on my grinder a few years back as the point was climbing out of the body of the knife, in the closed position!!

So what you are saying about the diamond stones is probably 100% correct. Turns out I already knew that but, needed you to add 2 + 2 for me!! LOL
Isn't it funny how stuff comes back around? Stuff you knew but hadn't thought of in forever always comes back and you have a head-slapper moment!

The diamond stones work like a champ, but I'll be honest- in my opinion the edge never feels nearly as good as an edge that came off water stones or a good oil stone. Try as I might, no matter how fine I go, I cannot get that silky edge. A good leather strop with green compound on it will get me there, though. I am certainly guilty of over-sharpening and over-polishing edges on my pocket knives. I think that's a pitfall of loving to sharpen things. Once I began making knives I had to face the reality that a polished edge is not right in many cases, and almost never on a kitchen knife.