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Thread: Which blade material type?

  1. #1
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    Which blade material type?

    When buying new handplanes and the like, which blade material type should a person get? A2 or O1?

    This might have been covered before I can't remember.

    If it matters I use the scary sharp method for sharpening.
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

    Rule of thumb is if you donít know what tool to buy next, then you probably donít need it yet.

  2. #2
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    O-1 sharpens easier - particularly using sandpaper or stones (not diamonds)

    A-2, being harder, will wear stones (and you! ) out faster, and responds well to diamonds.

    A-2 will stay a little bit sharper a little bit longer.

    My personal preference is for O-1.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  3. #3
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    thanks Jim
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

    Rule of thumb is if you donít know what tool to buy next, then you probably donít need it yet.

  4. #4
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    I've been using A2 mostly and haven't had problems sharpening it on Shapton stones. The claim is that it holds an edge longer. I've never done a test to verify so I don't really know.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  5. #5
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    I use both - can't notice any practical difference either in use or sharpening. Maybe if i were working swirly grained exotic iron wood i could tell, but i'm pretty much a domestic hardwoods kind of guy.
    Either one is a dramitic improvement over the thin stock blades on most iron bench planes.

  6. #6
    Most of the blades on my planes are original Stanley issue and I don't know what those are, probably something like O1. I have a couple Hock O1 I like really well. Two planes, the Veritas snazzy little block plane and the Veritas medium shoulder plane, have A2 blades. They're a little more difficult to sharpen on my crappy King stones but they take a really good edge (as good as O1) and I think last a little longer.

    I'm switching to diamonds and sharpening just won't be a factor anymore.

    Both A2 and O1 respond well to regular stropping, as do my chisels (Berg, Hirsch and Matsumura white steel).

  7. #7
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    I use mostly A2, so not a lot of personal experience with O1. A2 is a little harder material, so it will last little longer/harder to sharpen. The selling point I've heard for O1 was that it really excelled at angles below 25 degrees because of the ease of sharpening. A2 might be a little brittle for that low of an angle? I only have bevel up planes and regular bench chisels, so don't have any tools I sharpen lower than 25, haven't got to test it out yet.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the info all. I went with the O-1
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

    Rule of thumb is if you donít know what tool to buy next, then you probably donít need it yet.

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