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So many knife steels

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by frogfurr, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Member

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    You want another can of worms? "Stainless" can be very not stainless, because it's not just the % of chromium in the alloy that matters, but the amount of free chromium vs. chromium that forms chromium carbide during heat treat, since chromium carbide doesn't contribute to corrosion resistance.
     
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  2. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    Correct. That's what I was trying to get at with my comments about D2 not being stainless even though it seems to have enough chrome in it to qualify. You said it much more concisely.
     
  3. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    And that, my friends, is what makes it all PFM for me. "Dammit, Jim! I'm a lawyer, not a metallurgist."
     
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  4. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    If one uses the KISS rule, it'll be OK. I suggest staying with knives made in the USA, Japan, Taiwan, and you're gonna get a decent Knife with good steel. Avoid China if you want something truly reliable and corrosion resistant. But I use cheep China knives for rough applications when I don't care what happens to them.
     
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  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    That used to be a good rule of thumb until Kizer, WE, Reate, Artisan came along. They produce quality knives and now WE has taken a lesson from Spyderco introducing the Byrd value line and have started their own value line of knives under Civivi label. If you stay with the known quantities you get a known quality.
     
  6. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    More than a few of those Artisan knives have caught my eye, but I've not tried one yet, hso. Generally, the KISS rule is a safe bet. But there are exceptions, I'll admit.
     
  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    KISS in this case can be boiled down to, "Buy from known quality makers". In the past few years "quality makers" has expanded dramatically to include Italy's LionSteel and Fox, China's Kizer, WE, and Artisan.
     
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  8. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I have been real satisfied with M390 that LionSteel uses. Takes a great edge, retains it, and cuts really well. I have been real pleased with S30V that Benchmade uses in their folders.

    It is very hard for a regular person to really decide what is "better" as there are so many variables involved in the various steels.

    Yes, there are some really well made Chinese knives now.
     
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  9. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    5D5C6E8C-66F3-4D12-A314-47851CD0E690.jpeg I know Chinese quality has improved, but I've been bit a few times by some of their "stainless" that has proven otherwise.

    On the other hand, I have a 45 year old Swedish Mora stainless fishing knife that was literally used hard and put away wet for years, then left on the boat in a salt water environment, and has yet to rust. It also holds a nice edge for a long time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  10. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    And for reasons beyond just getting a good knife steel. Just using a premium steel doesn't guarantee a good knife will result--there are lots of ways to screw up a knife in the design/manufacturing process.

    A quality maker is in the business of making good knives and standing behind them, and that applies not only to picking a good steel, but also heat treating it correctly, designing the knife well, manufacturing it without cutting corners, etc.
     
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  11. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    Except for the handle material, the Mora design hasn't changed much in 45 years. Cool!
     
  12. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    I always try for S35VN if available, the Spyderco H1 for marine

    These are all S35VN:

    20190302_190323 (1).jpg 20190612_215528.jpg
     
  13. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    I'm with you SharpDog. S35VN holds an edge very well. Just needs a stropping once or twice per month and good to go. This one gets moderately used.
    20181013_194408.jpg
     
  14. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Very interesting fishing report, thanks!

    I can see where that would be a tough environment for knives.
     
  15. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Darn straight, the Chinese are making some very good knives. And the prices are reasonable, if you shop for them.

    This knife is right now, on ebay, $35.00 delivered. It has D2 blades, an excellent blade profile, liner lock and a flipper.

    Jpetu14.jpg

    If you have to have S35VN and titanium handles, this is the knife to get. Today the price is $88.30 delivered, usually it is around $100.00 I can't tell much of a difference between D2 and S35VN. Both take a good edge, both cut well as both are the same length and profile. The big difference is the handle materials. I think titanium is cool. It used to be that only Astronauts had things made out of titanium. I think that was because Communist Russia was the major supplier and any titanium that made it out of that country had to be smuggled out.

    I would rather have had a handle without the decorative coastal harbor pattern. I carry a knife between the pants and the waist, and this grinds a bit on my baby soft cheeks. For G10 handles I smooth the grip next to the buttocks with sandpaper. There are some folding knives where the G10 handles are closer to a wood rasp than a handle, and it took a metal file to knock off the sharp edges. Think about how you carry the things.

    fVrG0gU.jpg

    Post Script:

    Spats McGee helped identify the pattern on the handle. I thought it was a port, but if you point the blade up, the pattern is much more sinister!!!

    Thanks Spats :thumbup:
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  16. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    That's not one of the "trusted manufacturers". I've gotten some of the good looking chibay stuff and the quality isn't that of Kizer, WE, Reate do they're not recommended. If you want to go lower price, but stay with trusted manufacturers give the Civivis a look instead of the unknowns. https://www.knifecenter.com/brand/917/CIVIVI-Knives
     
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  17. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    I find D2 is a bit easier to sharpen, and the S35VN seems to need sharpening less frequently. Again, I don't work my knives hard, like on a farm...
     
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  18. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I have a number of CH knives. Good, tight, fit and finish, hard steels that require a diamond hone. I have been happy with what I purchased, and that is what counts with me and my money. I have found CH knives under other brand names, so that tells me, they are more than a small company.

    I have Kizer's too. Great knives.

    veyd5kL.jpg
     
  19. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    There are 1,500 knife manufacturers in their cutlery center alone serving every price point.
     
  20. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    We live in great times.:)
     
  21. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    An additional thought about “stainless steel”... I was taught years ago to bring a magnet with me when buying stainless fasteners (screws, bolts, and associated hardware) for any marine installation... The ones we wanted were non-magnetic - the magnetic ones, although probably stronger... would rust much quicker. To make things interesting the bins we scooped from usually had a mix of fasteners - all labeled "stainless" but not all of them non-magnetic...

    One other bit of trivia that's important if you find yourself using stainless nuts with nylon inserts ("locking nuts") since they heat up a stainless bolt so badly - you don't dare use power drivers with them since they'll tend to freeze up on you - before coming to the point where your fastener has the items being secured is in position... Put simply stainless fasteners are pretty soft stuff compared to ordinary fasteners...
     
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  22. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    That is true. Austenitic stainless alloys (austenitic stainless is non-magnetic) tend to be more rust resistant. They can be used in knives, but probably mostly in applications where corrosion resistance is a very high priority (e.g. dive knives) since edge-holding properties will tend to be inferior.
    My guess is that stainless steel fasteners are not commonly made from the same alloys used commonly in knives. I also suspect that they are heat-treated for different hardness/toughness figures. In other words, it can be really misleading to take that kind of experience and assume that the same conclusion can be applied when comparing stainless steel knives to knives made with "ordinary" steels.
     
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