Grit vs. Microns – FineWoodworking

Relating to sharpening terminology, it might probably really feel like a secret language. You’ll usually hear people discuss “grit,” however not often do you hear anybody point out “microns.” There’s purpose behind this, and it’s principally about custom and ease of use.

Grit is basically a strategy to measure how coarse or high quality the abrasive particles in a sharpening stone are. The upper the grit quantity, the smaller or finer the particles. For instance, a 400-grit stone is superb for grinding away a lot of materials shortly, whereas an 8000-grit stone is ideal for getting that tremendous sharp, polished edge that may slice by wooden like butter.

This method has been round for a very long time and has turn into the go-to technique for a lot of industries, together with woodworking, metalworking, and culinary arts. It’s simple to know: the larger the quantity, the finer the end.

Microns, alternatively, are a unit of size from the metric system, one-millionth of a meter, to be exact. When used for abrasives, microns describe the precise dimension of the particles. So, a 30-micron particle is method greater than a 3-micron one. So as an alternative of utilizing a 1000, 4000 and 8000 grit stone, you could use a 15, 5, and 1 micron stone.

The grit system has turn into a normal as a result of it’s tried and true. Industries have developed and refined it over time, and it really works (kind of). The custom continues as a result of it’s a fast and simple method for customers to know what sort of edge they’ll get with a specific stone. Nonetheless, to my thoughts, the assertion {that a} greater quantity equals coarser grit makes extra sense than the assertion {that a} greater quantity signifies a smaller grit. It might be custom, but it surely makes much less sense to me.

The opposite bother with utilizing a grit system is completely different nations or elements of the world have varied techniques to measure grit dimension, which might make issues complicated. Completely different corporations additionally use different techniques of measurement for his or her stones. I as soon as used a 4000-grit stone that gave me a finer polish than my 8000-grit! The one correct strategy to know what you’re getting is to know the particle dimension in microns.

There are numerous charts that can assist translate from grit to microns with the intention to no less than be within the ballpark. Respected corporations may also provide the particle dimension of their abrasives; nonetheless, it could require an e mail to trace it down.

Grit dimension is just one issue when discussing how an abrasive will work when sharpening. There are different elements, however particle dimension is chief amongst them. There are tons of of sharpening stones and abrasives on the market, and it might probably appear formidable to suss out which of them to get. No less than for those who work with microns, you’ll know that you’re evaluating apples to apples as you wade by the ocean of merchandise.

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