When I select multiple faces in edit mode and use Ctrl+F > Shade Smooth it smoothes the normals with all surrounding faces, regardless of whether they are smooth shaded or not.
Using a cylinder for an example, if I want to smooth shade only the lateral faces:
It smoothes the normals not only with each other but with the cap as well which creates this hideous result:
I would like it to look like this:
This makes this tool fairly useless since if I wanted everything smooth shaded I would just turn it on for the whole model.
The last example was created using the edge split modifier. Most of the time edge split works fine, but since it actually rips the edges it doesn't play nicely with other modifiers like bevel or subsurf.
So is there any way to smooth shade faces only with other smooth shaded faces without using the edge split modifier?