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A sharper blade cuts easier. On softer wood you may not notice, but on harder woods or wood with wild grain, the sharper the better.

A sharper blade on wild grain should have less tearout. Sarge240 has a bench build thread in the General Woodworking forum. He is using Doug Fir and had a lot of tearout issues.

I sent him a couple of planes which are sharpened to 2400 grit and he is getting much less tearout.

I know some folks sharpen to higher grit. As you said it depends on what works for each of us.
 
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