In my experience, the Chinese do it better!

It’s my personal favorite! Good eye!

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Yeah that Bestech is very expensive for such a small and target useless knife. But I’ve paid more for less useful and i collect what i like to look at, not use. I never use my pretty safe queens. That task is for all the cheapies.

Although I’m not a knife collector or enthusiast, I do have a few decent pocket folders to maintain. So curiously, if I were to shop for a new pocket folder with a 3.00" to 3.25" blade, what Rockwell Scale hardness, or range of hardness would be best for both edge retention and ease of sharpening? Or is such a consideration to simplistic?

I wish i could help there. I use my knives so never that I’ve never needed to sharpen anything other than my kitchen Cutlery.

@BeyondTheBox Stunning collection there, thanks for sharing! Impressive composition of the pictures too.

In general: the higher on the Rockwell Scale the better the edge retention and the harder the knife is to sharpen.
Beyond 59 is definitely a pain to sharpen, IMHO.

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The general rule is what @Valynor stated. The super steels that people love are generally harder to sharpen because of the higher percentage of the harder carbides in them. This is not directly tied to hardness. There is another parameter called machineability that is more closely tied to ease of sharpening. So you really need to look at the properties of the steel in total to figure it out. There are some steels that harden to ,say, 61, that can be easier to sharpen than those at 59.

There are several high carbon steels that are easy to sharpen, but you lose edge retention, rust resistance and in many cases hardness.

Here is an article that is sort of an overview:

Here is another. It is long and detailed, but if you get through it, you can answer your own question. If you want to just see what he says about ease of sharpening, scroll down a long way, almost to the end.

But, if you get the proper sharpening equipment, even the super steel (high hardness, high carbide, high chromium Stainless) steels are not that difficult to sharpen. It is only a matter of degrees.

So it is a tradeoff, like so much in life. You need to pick your compromises. Certainly hardness is a consideration, but not the only one. Sorry about the length of this, but unfortunately, what seems to be a simple question, just does not have a simple answer.