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Close to the Edge
Veritas offer a choice of blade for their custom planes: either O1 or PM-V11 steel. Lapping ensures all Veritas blades only require minimal honing of a micro-bevel before use.
O1 is a modern tool steel used extensively for woodworking tools. It sharpens easily and quickly resulting in an excellent, fine cutting edge. Veritas O1 blades are oil quenched, double tempered and hardened to HRC 58-60. These O1 blades offer excellent retention of a very fine edge.
PM-V11 is a powdered metal (PM) alloy; on a scale of 1 to 10, Veritas (V) rate this as 11. The constituent elements once mixed and molten undergo atomisation. This produces a fine powder. Under heat and pressure the powder turns into a solid metal billet. Processing a billet of PM-V11 is then as conventional as any other steel. The big difference is that Veritas have control of the composition, grain size and uniformity of the steel. As a result, they have complete command of its properties and performance. Hardened to HRC 61-63, PM-V11 steel has a fine, consistent structure. It provides significantly greater resistance to both impact and wear. It can take a keen edge and hold it at least twice as long before it needs sharpening. Once dull, the edge can be restored using water stones or other sharpening methods.