View Poll Results: What have you found to be true

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  • Stainless Steel is more difficult

    10 38.46%
  • Carbon Steel is more difficult

    0 0%
  • Total myth I find no disernable difference

    16 61.54%
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Thread: Stainless Steel vs Carbon Steel

  1. #1
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Question Stainless Steel vs Carbon Steel

    I am putting this in the advanced section because I want to eliminate the

    "I heard" responses, I am only interested in experienced opinions, people that can actually hone.. and have honed more then one or two of each

    So

    Do you find Stainless Steel harder /more difficult /or to take longer to hone, than a "Like" razor made of Carbon Steel

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    After having honed a henckels 472, in both the friodur and carbon versions, I found the friodur does take more time. These razors are essentially identical in size, shape, grind etc, and we're not damaged or chipped. Seems to be a pretty solid conclusion.

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    Previously lost, now "Pasturized" kaptain_zero's Avatar
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    I have not honed all that many Stainless blades vs Carbon, but the ones I have done behaved pretty much the same as the carbon steel ones.

    However, hard blades are hard blades.... if the RC is up... it's gonna take a while. (I have found that Henckels in particular, tend to be on the hard side)

    Now, if you were asking me which is more cantankerous to machine in the shop..... Well... I hate stainless.... the same goes for honing triggers on S&W stainless revolvers.... I just hate them... But I love those revolvers when I'm done!
    Last edited by kaptain_zero; 10-28-2016 at 09:25 PM.
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    I have honed a good few razors, some stainless, mainly carbon, but I have not found any difference that I have noticed. Even Iwasaki Tamahagane with its famed hard steel wasn't much difference than its carbon steel counterpart.

    Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert/ honemeister, I only hone for myself, so take my answer as my experience only.
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbignosekelly View Post
    I have honed a good few razors, some stainless, mainly carbon, but I have not found any difference that I have noticed. Even Iwasaki Tamahagane with its famed hard steel wasn't much difference than its carbon steel counterpart.

    Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert/ honemeister, I only hone for myself, so take my answer as my experience only.
    Tamahagane is carbon steel.

    Seems my experience with iwasaki tamahagane is exactly opposite. Using the chosera 1k with thick slurry, didn't even darken the slurry after several minutes of medium/heavy pressure. I have 2 western style, and they both behave this way.
    Last edited by prodigy; 10-28-2016 at 10:09 PM.

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    As a side note, up until this year I've done all my honing on synthetics, so I'm not sure if someone who hones on just naturals will have the same outcome....
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  13. #7
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    This is just IMHO, but I voted stainless is more difficult. I would qualify that to say, sometimes it is more difficult. When I was an ironworker I once worked at a job where we erected what was then the largest rotary cement kiln in the Southeastern United States. The kiln is up 50-60 feet IIRC, on pedestals and turns on rollers, to bake the cement as it proceeds through the kiln to the Clinker Cooler. Inside the kiln large scoops are welded to help stir the contents up as it turns. The scoops are made of stainless steel.

    The clinker cooler has a ceiling where the contents of the kiln (klinker) is emptied and the ceiling consists of perforated stainless steel plates with cool air blowing through that move to and fro, sifting the clinker according to the size of the material. The reason stainless is used in these applications is because it is abrasion resistant. Same reason machinists don't like working with it. It galls, is hard on cutting tools, and is, depending on the alloy, a little bit more difficult to hone.

    When stainless became very popular in pocket knives, back in the '60s, I learned to love the old high carbon steel Case XX pocket knives. Same reason the old pro barbers preferred the old Solingen dubl ducks, FWE and the like.

    That is not to say that stainless razors and/or pocket knives are not good, and are a lot more difficult, but IME, carbon is less work, by and large, than stainless. I'd also say that the alloys have come a long way in the past 40 years, though I still carry a carbon pocket knife. As kaptain_zero said, it depends on the hardness as much as the steel used.

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    I have only honed "1" stainless razor; it was very shiny, so I assume it was stainless.
    Until I hone my 2nd stainless razor, I will withhold my expert opinion.

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    That stainless and carbon are different to hone does not imply that one is more difficult than the other.

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    Just takes a little longer. It may seem like it's all in your head but it does :<0)
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