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Victorinox blades dulling quickly?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by sogflash, Aug 31, 2019.

  1. sogflash


    Aug 28, 2011
    Is it just me and my sharpening, or does Victorinox blades dull rather quickly?
  2. kamagong


    Jan 13, 2001
    Not just you. They're made from inexpensive steel at low hardness. You won't be winning any edge retention challenges with them.
    Fred Sanford and Jack Black like this.
  3. Depends what you're doing with them. If tasks are appropriate for the typical uses of such knives, like opening packages or slicing/dicing fruits veggies in the kitchen, a properly deburred edge at good geometry can keep doing such cutting for a while.

    I mention proper deburring, because such steels can form and hold onto very ductile & 'soft' burrs for a while after sharpening. If the burr isn't fully cleaned up, it'll fold over and make the edge 'dull' very quickly, even in light use.

    If you're doing a lot of cutting of very hard, abrasive or dirty materials (hard plastics, fiberglass, dirty cardboard, etc), then they will dull pretty fast. But then, most mainstream cutlery steels will also dull pretty quickly in such uses.
  4. Ramrodmb

    Ramrodmb Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    I've always thought they were on the soft side and edges short lived.
    David makes some good points.:thumbsup:
    Jack Black likes this.
  5. gaj999

    gaj999 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 25, 2004
    They lose their shaving edge quickly, but the blades are thin enough that they still cut fairly well. A couple of swipes on a stone is enough to put a shaving edge back on. You can lose a lot of blade in a hurry if your sharpening skills aren't up to par.
    WolfyW, Jody744 and Pomsbz like this.
  6. jackknife

    jackknife Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    The secret is don't polish the edges. I've used a corse edge from a silica stone or corse diamond hone and the edges last a lot longer. I haven't used a shaving edge for a long time now, as I fond for most field use, a real toothy edge works better on all kinds of cordage, fishing line, cloth, and food stuff. SAK steel works best toothy.
  7. Rich S

    Rich S

    Sep 23, 2005
    Vic SAKs are softer steel, made to sharpen easily on any surface. I've carried a Vic Tinker for years and only sharpened it a couple times. It gets used most every day for most everything.
    Bloefield and jmh33 like this.
  8. Very good point.^

    I've grown to really like the edge coming off a fine India stone (320-400), for my Vics and other similar knives. Victorinox's blades also respond very well to something like a Fine or EF diamond hone. Part of the reason I like using a diamond hone on such 'soft' steels is, burring issues are rendered almost moot with a very light touch on these hones. Nothing minimizes burrs better than a clean-cutting hone that works with minimal pressure (none better than diamond), especially on steels like these.

    I carry a Vic in my pocket everyday, using that for packages and opening boxes & such. And my favorites for fruits & veggies also include Victorinox paring knives and 8" chef's knife. They sharpen up beautifully for kitchen use, and don't need a lot of upkeep for such uses either.
  9. solphilos

    solphilos Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Oct 17, 2009
    I've also found this to be the case with other soft steels, including Tru Sharp. Folks could get more out of these steels if they let go of the obsession with a hair-popping edge and left it toothy instead. Those micro serrations left by a coarser stone last longer under use than a fine apex.
  10. drail


    Feb 23, 2008
    You pretty much have to decide if you want a blade for push cutting - or not. I also prefer the edge of a Vic off of a fine india with some tooth to it. Toothy are good. Do you wanna slice or push? It's kind of one or the other..... The only knives I put a polished fine edge on are my kitchen knives. They will push right on through a tomato.
    gaj999 likes this.
  11. gaj999

    gaj999 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 25, 2004
    Hadn't thought about it, but I don't polish edges on SAKs either, just a few swipes on a medium stone and I'm done.
    WolfyW likes this.
  12. jackknife

    jackknife Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    It is an obsession, and kind of a silly one at that for a day to day utilitarian pocket knife. That adge you get off an India stone or diamond home is very similar to the edge you will get off the bottom of a coffee mug, smooth stone out of a creek, or the old fashioned "carborundum" stone like we had in the Boy Scouts. A good all purpose working edge.

    Since very few of us are barbers, and the odds of having to shave with our knife is slim to none, a shaving edge is kind of silly, unless the whole act of sharpening in itself is your hobby. I've tried all kinds of mediums for the sharpening of knife blades, and found that a very good working edge is an easy thing to do with crude materials. IKEA soup bowls have a great ring on the bottom for meat carving edges, and any piece of broken flower pot will put an edge on that will slice right through jute twine and plastic blister packages.

    Then time I had to actually really use a knife a real life or death emergency, it was a toothy edge on the sheepdog blade of a well used Buck 301 stockman. It cut a seat belt in an upside down old Datsun B210 that was boring. The rough course edge sawed right through the nylon webbing just fine.

    Don't obsess. Life is too short.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  13. Der Verminator

    Der Verminator Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Aug 23, 2019
    Yes, they get dull quickly.

    That's normal for their level of steel.

    The good news is they sharpen up nicely to a good edge in about 30 seconds.

    They are not made for rough use.......save your edge for peeling apples and use a Buck for cutting cardboard.
    Storm 8593 likes this.
  14. Pomsbz


    Jul 31, 2015
    I do keep mine polished-ish (1000 grit plus strop), I require clean cuts through food packaging rather than tearing. Makes working with the bag (pouring) and closing with a clip afterwards far harder otherwise and due to disability my fingers can't open that kind of packaging. In addition I prefer push cuts to slicing and when I cut myself a sharp blade is so much less painful and cleaner/quicker to heal from. :D

    I've found that although it doesn't retain the hair popping edge for very long the superb geometry means that it will keep cutting far longer than you will imagine. I had my doubts about the SAK steel and decided to try an experiment to see if I would cope with it. I bought a new 93mm SAK, sharpened it up to hair popping and then just used it. For a month. Kitchen (its first task was cleaning and preparing a large pastrami, a task that blunted an Opinel identically sharpened which I did a 2nd pastrami with!), EDC, work, days off, the full package. It was still cutting paper cleanly and easily a month later. I've never had that with a pocket knife, never requiring any touch up over a month of good use. I've had CPM154 & M390 slipjoints with thin blades, they didn't keep cutting the way the SAK did and does. The only one that came close was a D2 with an incredibly thin full (to the edge) FFG and that one didn't like salty meat or salami, would pit from the salt.

    I became a convert from that day on and now SAK's (I have a few :)) are my EDC and pretty much only carry. So easy to sharpen, I can strop it on my trouser leg, keeps on cutting far beyond losing that fine edge, very stainless, costs very little and has reliable and predictable F&F far beyond anything else I've experienced elsewhere. Most of all, I don't have to think about it. It's a tool, you buy it, use it, rely on it, do occasional maintenance and nothing else necessary. It just works. End of story. I like that in a tool.
  15. jackknife

    jackknife Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Hmm, I guess my 84mm tinker didn't get the memo.

    My sister in law ordered a large sofa online. Since I'm retired I offered to baby sit and wait for the delivery at her place. It came and they dropped it off, but they said delivery didn't include unpacking. So theres this very large sofa totally cocooned in heavy duty cardboard and packing tape. It took me over an hour to unwrap it, and a lot cutting through the heavy wall cardboard. At one point the blade started to drag badly, and I thought it needed sharpening. On close inspection, the edge was coated with the glue from the cardboard and packing tape. I had a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my pocket and I used that to clean the the glue off the blade. Alcohol is a good solvent.

    I got the sofa unpacked and then I had big 4'X8' sheets of cardboard to break down for her recycle bin. Again, it took a while to slice it all up and the tinker kept on going. By the time it was all over, I had spent two hours cutting on cardboard and the SAK was still sharp. Not shaving sharp, but very serviceable.

    I guess it's like other sayings; it never rains in Southern California, the check is in the mail, a .22 is little better than a sharp stick, and SAK's don't hold an edge.:rolleyes:

    You need to make sure Victorinox gets the memo.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
  16. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    Never noticed this, but I don't do a lot of heavy cutting with them.
    Even at work most cutting is more the tape on the boxes than the cardboard itself.
  17. gaj999

    gaj999 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 25, 2004
    I use shaving sharp to decide when to stop sharpening. If it won't shave arm hair, I keep at it. Once it shaves, I'm done unless I'm trying for tree-topping or hair-whittling sharp for some reason. Sometimes it's fun to do. Mostly it's not. Even freehand on a coarse stone, shaving sharp isn't at all difficult.

    This is huge. Thick-ground edges and thick spines are a real pet peeve of mine. Traditionals are usually better than moderns in that department, and although certain mass producers do appear to put warranty costs above cutting performance, V'nox doesn't. I like that.
    Pomsbz and redsparrow like this.
  18. Frailer

    Frailer Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 25, 2009
    The blades of Victorinox knives are hardened to around 56 Rc, which they have deemed appropriate for everyday tasks while remaining easy to sharpen. Yes, this is softer than many modern knives.

    For my part I like them this way. One of the jobs I had during college was cutting steaks for a popular restaurant, and the preferred knife for this task was a 10” Forschner (Victorinox) butcher knife. Its handiest feature was that a minute or two on a corundum stone at the beginning of a shift and a few touch ups on a steel would get you through a couple hundred pounds of sirloin roasts.

    Since those days I’ve valued ease of sharpening over edge-holding (within reason). There is no place in my life for “supersteels.”

    With that said, I can understand why others might want a knife they can use for weeks or months without sharpening.

    Ain’t diversity great?
  19. redsparrow

    redsparrow Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 3, 2014
    This guy test Vic steel vs. rope and is quite surprised.
    0lds, Pomsbz and jacksterp like this.
  20. jacksterp

    jacksterp Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    At one time this guy was on this forum quite often. I'd recognize that kitchen anywhere.
    redsparrow likes this.

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