Sharpening A-2 Steel

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Forum topic by TheWoodenOyster posted 10-24-2013 05:57 PM 716 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1275 posts in 1355 days

10-24-2013 05:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane

Hey guys,

I ran across some A-2 IBC Pinnacle blades for nearly half off on woodcraft’s website and I am thinking about snagging a 2” and a 2 3/8” before the sale ends. I only have one concern: I know from reading up on O-1 and A-2 steel that O-1 supposedly takes a keener edge. ( I also know about the sharpening time difference, but I am not too concerned about that). What I am wondering is whether or not I will really be able to tell a difference between the so called “keener edge” that O-1 will take versus the edge that A-2 will take. I know we have all read about the difference, but is there really a difference to the naked eye and the hand? I would be using the blades for finish planing, so they need to be ultra smooth. Any of you plane gurus out there have an opinion on this? I’d love to hear from someone who has personal experience of a high quality O-1 finish next to a high quality A-2 finish. I sort of feel like I am splitting hairs here, but I don’t want to invest in an expensive blade and then be not so pleased with the finish it leaves.



-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

4 replies so far

View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3068 days

#1 posted 10-24-2013 07:28 PM

I bought one of those sets. I didn’t find the iron difficult to
sharpen. I have not yet assessed how well the edge
holds up. The finish it makes is just as nice as any
iron honed accurately to a given level of polish.

I got the set for Lie Nielsen, so the iron and chipbreaker
are each 1/8” thick. The chipbreaker is exceptionally
well made.

View paratrooper34's profile


865 posts in 2372 days

#2 posted 10-24-2013 08:02 PM

Dave, I have A2 and O-1 blades and I find no difference in edge finish. They polish up equally with the only noticeable difference being edge retention. I use A2 blades in the shoot board planes that I have. They definitely hold an edge longer.

-- Mike

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1275 posts in 1355 days

#3 posted 10-25-2013 12:21 AM

Awesome. Thanks for the input guys

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View bobasaurus's profile


2587 posts in 2604 days

#4 posted 10-25-2013 04:00 PM

They both get to the same sharpness in my tests. A2 will hold the edge longer and be a little harder to sharpen (a non-issue if you’re using waterstones that expose sharp particles constantly or diamond stones, but oil stones may be a little slower).

-- Allen, Colorado

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