I should also be asking. What brands on sandpaper are best?
I got a 40 pack 8x11 of variety grits from princess auto n sale for 10 bucks. They last about 2 mins of sharpening. Not even.
The 3m auto body ones. I got a few 5 packs, they seem to last longer but I only found them in 8x3 sheets. 5 for around $5..
I've seen klingspor mentioned before on here, should I start with that?
Gonna level with you, when it comes to sandpaper theres not really a difference in longevity between 'good' and 'best', especially when youre talking about tougher materials like wear-resistant tool steels. At best, youre talking about a difference of a few minutes. Worth noting though, there is a world of difference between 'okay-ish' and 'good'. As long as you stick with a decent name brand, 3m, Klingspor, etc, then theres not a whole lot of difference.
That out of the way, i recommend getting your hands on some Rhynowet Redline paper. It doesnt last any longer, but it does cut better longer. What i mean by that is a lot of brands have a linear degradation in how rapidly they degrade, that is to say if you were to put performance on a graph of time vs cutting, it would look like this \, with top left being the best it cuts when you start, and bottom right being the end of its life. In comparison, the rhynowet looks more like Į|. It cuts as great as it does at the start for its entire lifespan, right up until it doesnt
This is all just academic though, youre wasting time and money sharpening a steel like that entirely on sandpaper. Steels too tough, sandpaper only is great for simple carbon steels, but pm-v11 is supposed to be some tough stuff, its meant to resist abrasion. More it resists abrasion, the more abrasive you have to use, and itll eat through sandpaper pretty fast. Best bet would be to get a diamond plate for the lower grits, but keep using the sandpaper for the higher stuff. That way, you can use the diamond for the bulk of the work, then the sandpaper for the final polish. Best of both worlds. You can find diamond plates surprisingly cheap, if youre willing to take a chance on flatness. Something like these
. They cut well, but again, you take a chance of getting one thats not 100% flat. If you can swing it, grab a DMT duosharp in the coarse/fine grades, if not grab the ebay specials in 240 and 600 grits, then some 1000, 1500 and 2000 grit sandpaper