Reply by live4ever

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Posted on How do you hone in between sharpening sessions?

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983 posts in 3005 days

#1 posted 11-17-2012 03:50 AM


Thanks for typing all that out. Your second post in particular was very informative for me since it went beyond the usual A2/O1 info a woodworker picks up on the internet. I’m trained as an engineer with a decent amount of materials science background, so I appreciate your explanation. It’s probably the most compelling case against A2 that I’ve read.

However, I was under the impression that A2 plane irons lasted longer than O1 for the average woodworker, not just in ASTM-based testing. I certainly haven’t done a head-to-head comparison, but I believe there are folks who have (for example taking a set number of swipes with each plane iron on a common wood) and then either imaging the edge under high magnification or subjectively measuring the sharpness. Again, I haven’t done a test like this myself, but it seems like it’s common knowledge that A2 survives paring (of a plane iron) or chopping (as in a chisel) better than O1? Veritas has images from their testing of PM-V11 ( and I’d agree that A2 and O1 weren’t THAT much different from one another, both in wear testing and in impact resistance. The wear testing was done by paring MDF, so it’s not a very “real-world” test.

I can certainly buy your argument that the downsides of A2 (e.g. harder to sharpen) outweigh the minimal wear resistance gains.

That all being said, I suppose your point (correct me if I’m wrong) is that were I using O1 instead of A2, I might have an easier time freehanding my blades and not feel the need to use a jig?

And finally, what are your thoughts on PM-V11?

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

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