But what is the best knife steel? Is blade steel a mystery to you? Is Crucible still just a play by Arthur Miller in your mind? Does Bohler-Uddeholm sound like a stinky cheese to you?
In a hurry? All you have to do is click to be taken to that section. When it comes to getting the job done there are four main factors that determine steel quality. The goal of many knife users is to find the best steel to fits their needs.
A knife with great edge retention will vaporize cardboard even after months of carry. Toughness is key on hard-use camp knives and fixed blades. Prioritize Corrosion Resistance if you take your knives to high humidity environments. Sharpenability is pretty self-explanatory, but softer steels can be touched up in the field on that big elk hunt.
A tough blade steel resists chips and total failure when subjected to beating, impact, twisting, and torsion. Tough blade steels are ideal for camping and hard-use.Aerosoft new york
Where a normal steel would chip, these knives can sustain intense batoning sessions, power through staples, and glide through steel strapping. Are you in a humid, wet, and salty environment? Do you frequently use your knife to meal prep acidic ingredients like citrus or tomatoes?
Certain steels are so good at resisting rust and corrosion that they can be left abused and salty without ill-effect. Carbon steels will pit and rust aggressively in wet environments if not properly cared for.
Knives prone to corrosion can be protected with a thin coat of mineral oil. Maybe one of the most frequently overlooked aspects of blade steel is sharpenability. Touching up certain steels with your sharpening stone is an easy, pain-free process whereas harder steels can make for an all-day affair to bring them back to sharp. Being able to field sharpen your knife can be the difference between life and death in the wilderness.
An easy to sharpen knife will generally not exhibit excellent edge retention. Heat treat, blade geometry, the job at hand, and the sharpening of the blade all play a massive role in the performance of the steel.However, this post has taken a little longer due to the sheer enormity of the subject.
Steel is arguably the most important aspect of a knife. The metal is what cuts and slices, without it or without good quality your knife will quickly blunt and become unusable. For the purposes of this article we will break down exactly what steel is. Then we will look at some of the most popular and general types of blade steel, this will be followed with some comparison graphs to show the ratings of each steel. Finally then we will round off this post looking at more specialised steels such as Damascus, and the CPM process.
There is an awful lot of really useful information to get through here so lets, get this show on the road. There is a common misconception that steel is a singular thing. There are thousands of different steel types, many of which have been invented or developed this side of the millennium making for continually strong and lighter metals.
Yes it can. If you leave it exposed to water, oxygen and even dirt, the steel will start to become covered in an iron oxide coating. There are ways of delaying and preventing this though.
Stainless steel is one example; although this can still rust it takes a lot longer due to the inclusion of Chromium. Other methods of reducing rust are blade coatings, these prevent oxygen from coming into contact with the blade and causing a reaction which sees the formation of rust.Toughness Test K390 vs Cruwear vs S110V
These five terms are the fundamental characteristics you will want to look for in your blade steel:. Some people know this as blade strength but hardness is the primary term.
M390 Knife Steel Overview
Toughness is the steels ability to resist damage like cracks or chips when being used in heavy duty applications. Therefore, this is very different to hardness, and in all likelihood not always though increased toughness means decreased hardness.
Abrasive wear comes from softer surfaces coming in contact with rougher ones. This leads to scratches and other scrapes forming on the blade. In steels of equal hardness, the steel with larger carbides wear resistant particles will typically resist wear better.
Therefore, you should look after your knife and clean it properly luckily there is a post for that. Unfortunately though most of the time increased corrosion resistance means decreased edge retention and quality.Pay close attention to the type of steel used in the blade and it will instantly give away the quality of that knife. Good steel spells out great knives. Elmax is generally new until when it became very popular. It was declared as the "best all-around knife steel" and it has also been called the "super steel" at some point.
This composition allows for the metal to have high wear resistance, high compressive strength, superior corrosion resistance, and very good dimensional stability, or the ability to retain its size and form even after taking abuse.
This steel is considered an upgraded version of stainless steel but acts in many ways like a carbon steel. It is the easiest of the super-steels to sharpen while maintaining a healthy resistance to rust.
Knife enthusiasts find these qualities very convenient and savvy so perhaps, it is the best steel for making knives? Or at least this is the best steel for true outdoor knives designed for heavy use? For example our Apocalypse by TRC?
Elmax is from Bohler-Uddeholm, previously European Uddeholm. This bad boy is called a "super steel" for a reason.Pi pool temp
It amazingly uses third generation powder metal technology which is then developed for knife blades. It exhibits excellent edge retention, corrosion resistance and very high hardness for excellent wear resistance.
Chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten are added to promote sharpness and outstanding edge retention. M hardens to HRC. Check our collection of M knives. But perfectly sharpened M will hold the edge and CUT perfectly for the longest time if maintained properly. November 17, As we enter the holiday season, your list might include the gift of a knife to a friend or loved one, especially one that you already know is interested in knives.
Of course, you need to remember certain things when getting your gift, including local laws around knife ownership and what knife best fits the needs of your recipient. Continue Reading. October 14, What exactly does this refer to and why would you pick that material? September 04, New threads and interesting conversations directly in your inbox.
Sign up now and get a daily summary of the latest forum activities! Discussion in ' The Kitchen Knife ' started by caztenOct 15, Log in or Sign up. Don't miss out on the latest from Kitchen Knife Forums! No, thanks. I don't want to subscribe. Kitchen Knife Forums. Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums by donating:.
Oct 15, 1. Joined: Jan 15, Messages: How do you guys feel about K for full sized kitchen knives? Ive read alot into CPM 10v and K Seems very popular as near the best edge and retention you can get, but not very tough.
Mostly used in smaller knives as much as I can tell. K is supposed to be a near equivalent but tougher as well. Anyone have experience with it? Oct 15, 2. HHH Knives. I actually have a couple blades in process in K I have been doing some testing and am impressed with the initial results. Its its everything they say it is. Im interested to hear if anyone else have worked with it. The specs are stupid good. I was considering a Pass around in K the beginning of next year so some guys and gals can test it in some real world use!
HHH KnivesOct 15, Oct 15, 3. Joined: Jul 3, Messages: I'd love an opportunity to give it a test in a pro kitchen! Oct 16, 4. Joined: Mar 10, Messages: 1,Spyderco Forums Skip to content. Search Advanced search. Quick links.
Forum rules. We can all read the ingredients from the steelchart but how do they compare in praxis? M4 is my favorite but I really starting to like K Neither one is very stainless. I cannot comment on toughness except to say that I have had no issue with either one.
SpyderEdgeForever wrote: Also, do you think a kangaroo would eat a bowl of spagetti with sauce if someone offered it to them? Can you feel a difference? I'm halfway ready to cough up for the bladehq m4 Millie. K has only patina'd for me whereas M4, I think, can actually rust. K holds an edge better, M4 should be tougher. I find K tough enough, in my uses, where I haven't needed or desired more, but I haven't sharpened it enough or done enough damage to know for sure.
The patina K takes kicks it a notch above, for me.
I have a couple of Millies already, just wasn't sure if I should get the m4 version. I ordered the Police 4 k already, it's just a matter of whether it will ever end. Marius " A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it " Rabindranath Tagore. But we need more k in the mix I suggest a sprint Lum tanto folder.
I do keep a light I mean, so light you cannot see it coat of Vaseline on mine that I wash off before eating apples. So far, all I have for discoloration is a light golden brass color that you have to look close to see.
The steel holds an edge for a looonng time, but I did not find it too difficult to bring back to high sharpness once a touch up was needed. K keeps an edge slightly longer with certain uses. It's a little more corrosion resistant and much less prone to pitting.
A little less tough and takes slightly longer to sharpen. They both take any type of edge you want from very coarse to polished, and perform well with all of them. There's very few steels I feel this way about but, I would be happy with either one as my only blade. However, the Police 4 is the the only K I've used.
I reprofiled it to 17dps and enjoy the way it sharpens and cuts. Hopefully the Seki sprints they are working on right now are K It is a fantastic steel.Accessories pulse oximeters
And YES!Edge retention testing is continuing, we have now tested 18 different steels, and four of those steels with multiple heat treatments. Come to Patreon if you want updates on testing as it is completed. I wrote about how powder metallurgy steel production works and the history of it in this article.Schools and education in savona
Rather than pouring liquid steel into a mold and letting it slowly cool, the liquid is passed through a gas spray which rapidly solidifies small particles, creating a steel powder. The ingot has a very small level of porosity, which is eliminated in the forging and rolling process.
The rapid cooling to produce powder rather than slow cooling to form an ingot leads to less segregation of alloy in the steel and a finer microstructure. The carbides white particles are finer and more uniform in the powder metallurgy version. Some of the major claims about differences in powder metallurgy production are related to impurities and inclusions, so we need to briefly introduce what those are before explaining further.
The most common types of inclusions in steel are sulfides compounds of sulfur and oxides compounds of oxygen. Sulfides are usually present in the form of manganese sulfide, as manganese is added intentionally to avoid iron sulfides. Iron sulfides melt at relatively low temperature, leading to liquid sulfides at forging temperatures, which makes hot rolling steel likely to fail. There are various methods used in an attempt to limit the oxide and sulfide content of steel though it is impossible to reduce it to zero.
In some cases higher sulfur levels are intentionally added because a high content of MnS leads to greater ease in machining at the cost of some toughness. Powder metallurgy is reported to lead to less detrimental effects of MnS, and the poor machinability of high wear resistance PM steels means that sometimes the tradeoff is worth it. Another impurity in steel apart from O and S is phosphorous Pthough it is not typically in the form of an inclusion so it is somewhat separate from the other two elements.
Phosphorous, however, tends to segregate to grain boundaries and to reduce toughness in steel. In the original process, the steel is poured into the tundish several times to make a whole batch of powder. However, during the re-pours it is possible for the slag to be pushed down into the liquid steel and through the atomization nozzle resulting in excess oxides in the final product.
Erasteel, maker of powder metallurgy ASP-series of steels and RWL34, produced a new powder metallurgy facility in the early s which was developed to have a larger tundish. A large tundish alone does not solve all of the problems because the steel can solidify while it sits in the tundish waiting to be atomized into powder.
So they also added graphite electrodes that keep the steel heated. A layer of conductive slag on the liquid steel surface allows the electrodes to heat the steel and offers some protection from the atmosphere. They also use argon gas stirring to maintain a consistent temperature. When Bohler-Uddeholm built their plant around they used a very similar process but instead of argon gas stirring they used electromagnetic stirring which is somewhat superior to argon stirring.
The B-U process also directly encapsulates the powder for the HIP process to avoid effects of handling powder, since sand and other impurities can end up in the powder, and the high surface area powder is prone to oxidation.
The finer powder size results from a reduced nozzle size for a slower atomization process which provides fine powder without requiring sieving. The heating of the tundish with electrodes allows the longer process to take place for the finer powder.
There is an email response from a Carpenter employee on the Spyderco forum  that provides some information on their powder metallurgy process. And while he says that they have the ability to produce powder under vacuum for very low oxygen content, he also states that the knife steels are produced in air like Crucible, Carpenter, and Bohler-Uddeholm.
Erasteel also has the facilities for producing powder under vacuum for specialty metals like titanium, but because of the higher cost and smaller batches this does not seem to have ever been used for knife steels that I have seen. I have done a series of comparisons between powder metallurgy steels from Crucible, Carpenter, Bohler, and Uddeholm to look at impurities, inclusions, and carbide size.
I have previously written about carbide size differences in this article on micrographs. In comparisons between various products there does not seem to be much difference in carbide size between different companies. And in looking at Bohler M and Crucible 20CV, which also have identical composition, the carbide size is very similar:. You may notice that the carbide size is more different between M and Vanadis 4 Extra than between 4V and Vanadis 4 Extra.It has characteristics of high hardness and excellent corrosion resistance.
Introduced and manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm, M is a powdered steel utilizing 3rd generation technology. In industrial applications, it is often used in screws, barrels, and in injection molding. It has minimal dimensional changes and is very resistant to vibrations and mechanical shock.
The chemical makeup is as follows:. The corrosion resistance is superior to C stainless and it has twice the cutting edge retention. This does make it more difficult to sharpen, though not as difficult as S90V, a close cousin. The reason for this is the fine grain size, small carbides, and superior cleanliness of the powder metallurgy PM microstructure.
M Steel falls into the general range of about 62 HRC.
It has a 3. The excellent cutting ability is due to the high flat grind on the blade. The handle scales are black G Micarta. Ergonomics of the Cutjack are just incredible. There is a finger groove on the handle that matches a choil just beyond it. This gives you the ability to lock into the choil and the finger groove at the same time, giving you unparalleled control and stability. The flipper, combined with the blades ball bearings allow a one-handed opening with just a slight flick of the wrist.
M390 Knife Steel Overview
It has a rock-solid lock up and zero sticking. This version of the Cutjack features an extended tang that curves beautifully into a cutout where a lanyard can be attached. Steel Will is an American company with the knives being made in Italy. Each Cutjack Urban model is boxed and individually serial numbered for the serious collector.
Bohler M is undoubtedly in a class all its own, being almost as corrosion resistant as H1. While the hard blade will require some owners to use a bit more elbow grease to sharpen than other stainless steels, the blade will keep that edge long after others have failed.
Many bladesmiths and large knife making companies are utilizing M more and more thanks to these characteristics.Rdo su mepa per laffidamento dei servizio di pulizia dei locali
The truth is, as always, the perfect knife steel is the one used in the knife you choose to carry. Author Recent Posts. Jeremy Dodd. Jeremy Dodd is a columnist for KnifeUp Magazine covering outdoor, tactical, hunting, and fishing topics.
Jeremy lives in Washington, Indiana. Latest posts by Jeremy Dodd see all.
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