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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/14/2005 4:26:29 PM EDT
Why is is that more knife makers do not make knives from carbon steeL? Is it because stainless is cheaper? easier to get or to make or what? I had my fill of stainless steel knives and I have found that for most utility purposes they are little better than paper weights. So why do knife makers continually pour out knife after knife made with poor metal to poor qualities and market it as the best thing since sliced bread?

It doesnt make a lot of sense to me.

Link Posted: 9/14/2005 4:35:39 PM EDT
(Team membership ran out?)


Cheaper and easier to work with I guess.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 7:21:29 PM EDT
(yeah it ran out.)
I guess thats the only reason I can think of.


Though I know i have seen a lot of stainless and regular steel knives with the same features for the same prices so you never know. Though IMHO no matter what designation they put on stainless steel or what super duper vanadium, case hardened hard ground, lazer sharpened stainless they use even if its forged in the fires of a perfectionist smithy and annointed with holy water by the pope himself it is STILL just stainless steel and still cant hold a candle to your basic 1095.
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 12:10:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By WolfAR15:
I had my fill of stainless steel knives and I have found that for most utility purposes they are little better than paper weights.



Ummm.......I think not! There are many stainless steels today that blow carbon steel right out of the water! They are tougher, don't rust and most importantly hold and edge longer.

Look at S30V, 440/20V, BG42, VG10, are just a few that stack up well or even better then Carbon.
Link Posted: 9/16/2005 11:39:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SkagSig40:

Originally Posted By WolfAR15:
I had my fill of stainless steel knives and I have found that for most utility purposes they are little better than paper weights.



Ummm.......I think not! There are many stainless steels today that blow carbon steel right out of the water! They are tougher, don't rust and most importantly hold and edge longer.

Look at S30V, 440/20V, BG42, VG10, are just a few that stack up well or even better then Carbon.



Skag, I would agree that those stainless steels probably have edge retention that is close to, or in some cases better, than the carbon steels, but I would not agree that they are tougher or even as tough. For pure toughness, L6, 5160, A2 and CPM3V are hard to surpass. For pure edge retention O1 or D2 are difficult to beat when properly heat treated. There is always a tradeoff between toughness and edge retention. The super stainless of today such as S30V, BG42 and some of the V series are superior to the traditional ATS-34 or 440C. The problem is that few production knives use the high-end stainless because of the cost of heat treatment. Most people base their judgement of stainless on production knives where the stainless of choice is one that can be heat treated cost effectively, not for the best toughness or edge retention. It is often inferior in quality or shortcuts are taken. This is where custom knives fit the bill. Unfortunately, many people refuse to pay the price for a top custom where the steel and heat treatment are matched to create a fabulous blade. Custom makers are not bound by the cost effective method of heat treatment and most continually strive to push the envelope.

Wolf - to answer your question, I believe it is as simple as a great many customers want knives that are inexpensive and that they do not have to care for. I think it is a simple supply and demand issue, hence, both factory and custom makers step in to fill the niche. I prefer carbon steels, but will make a stainless blade by request. As Skag notes, if you ever get a chance to work with a good blade made from S30V or BG42, you may change your mind. Crucible's new 154CM w/vanadium may be the cat's meow. Time will tell.
Link Posted: 9/16/2005 4:56:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Fox:

Originally Posted By SkagSig40:

Originally Posted By WolfAR15:
I had my fill of stainless steel knives and I have found that for most utility purposes they are little better than paper weights.



Ummm.......I think not! There are many stainless steels today that blow carbon steel right out of the water! They are tougher, don't rust and most importantly hold and edge longer.

Look at S30V, 440/20V, BG42, VG10, are just a few that stack up well or even better then Carbon.



Skag, I would agree that those stainless steels probably have edge retention that is close to, or in some cases better, than the carbon steels, but I would not agree that they are tougher or even as tough. For pure toughness, L6, 5160, A2 and CPM3V are hard to surpass. For pure edge retention O1 or D2 are difficult to beat when properly heat treated. There is always a tradeoff between toughness and edge retention. The super stainless of today such as S30V, BG42 and some of the V series are superior to the traditional ATS-34 or 440C. The problem is that few production knives use the high-end stainless because of the cost of heat treatment. Most people base their judgement of stainless on production knives where the stainless of choice is one that can be heat treated cost effectively, not for the best toughness or edge retention. It is often inferior in quality or shortcuts are taken. This is where custom knives fit the bill. Unfortunately, many people refuse to pay the price for a top custom where the steel and heat treatment are matched to create a fabulous blade. Custom makers are not bound by the cost effective method of heat treatment and most continually strive to push the envelope.

Wolf - to answer your question, I believe it is as simple as a great many customers want knives that are inexpensive and that they do not have to care for. I think it is a simple supply and demand issue, hence, both factory and custom makers step in to fill the niche. I prefer carbon steels, but will make a stainless blade by request. As Skag notes, if you ever get a chance to work with a good blade made from S30V or BG42, you may change your mind. Crucible's new 154CM w/vanadium may be the cat's meow. Time will tell.



And the original Fox bestows his knowledge onto us.
Link Posted: 9/16/2005 8:51:51 PM EDT
which high carbon steels are known for their sheer toughness overall and which for the best edge retention? I know 1095 is your basic steel and D2 is supposed to be extremely hard, damascus steel IIRC is overlapped layers of steel but other than that Im not all that knowledgable about steels. Reason I am asking is I want to buy a knife that can be used equally well as a combat knife (god forbid I should ever be in a situation like that) hunting knife and utility knife. Bascially I reckon I need the best marriage between hardness and edge retention. what would you recommend?
Link Posted: 9/16/2005 8:53:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FOX-:

And the original Fox bestows his knowledge onto us.



I hope none of my IM's to you ever went to him instead by accident.


Link Posted: 9/16/2005 9:13:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By WolfAR15:

Originally Posted By FOX-:

And the original Fox bestows his knowledge onto us.



I hope none of my IM's to you ever went to him instead by accident.





Link Posted: 9/16/2005 10:15:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By WolfAR15:
which high carbon steels are known for their sheer toughness overall and which for the best edge retention? I know 1095 is your basic steel and D2 is supposed to be extremely hard, damascus steel IIRC is overlapped layers of steel but other than that Im not all that knowledgable about steels. Reason I am asking is I want to buy a knife that can be used equally well as a combat knife (god forbid I should ever be in a situation like that) hunting knife and utility knife. Bascially I reckon I need the best marriage between hardness and edge retention. what would you recommend?



S30V is a newer stainless steel that many pocket knives and fixed blades use. It has the toughness of A2 carbon steel(which is pretty tough, tougher then 1095) and even better edge retention. That would be a good one to look at if you want a stainless blade which is good if you will get the knife wet, bloody and dirty for a while. BG42 is another top steel and good old 440C is great! I have a Randall #14 made in 440C that holds a great edge and takes a beating with no problem.

If you only want Carbon there are many that will do well being tough and hold a great edge. 1095 has always been a good steel and has been proven decade after decade. A2, 01, 0170-6 and 5160 are very good steels. 5160 is very flexable and holds a great edge and arguabley could be one of the toughest steels to be had. All carbon steels rust faster then stainless so you have to care for them more often.

Link Posted: 9/17/2005 9:03:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SkagSig40:

Originally Posted By WolfAR15:
which high carbon steels are known for their sheer toughness overall and which for the best edge retention? I know 1095 is your basic steel and D2 is supposed to be extremely hard, damascus steel IIRC is overlapped layers of steel but other than that Im not all that knowledgable about steels. Reason I am asking is I want to buy a knife that can be used equally well as a combat knife (god forbid I should ever be in a situation like that) hunting knife and utility knife. Bascially I reckon I need the best marriage between hardness and edge retention. what would you recommend?



S30V is a newer stainless steel that many pocket knives and fixed blades use. It has the toughness of A2 carbon steel(which is pretty tough, tougher then 1095) and even better edge retention. That would be a good one to look at if you want a stainless blade which is good if you will get the knife wet, bloody and dirty for a while. BG42 is another top steel and good old 440C is great! I have a Randall #14 made in 440C that holds a great edge and takes a beating with no problem.

If you only want Carbon there are many that will do well being tough and hold a great edge. 1095 has always been a good steel and has been proven decade after decade. A2, 01, 0170-6 and 5160 are very good steels. 5160 is very flexable and holds a great edge and arguabley could be one of the toughest steels to be had. All carbon steels rust faster then stainless so you have to care for them more often.




Skag is right on here. If I were to rate steels based strictly on toughness, read that as the ability to withstand impact, the list would probably fall roughly in this order:

L6, 5160, CPM3V, A2, S30V, O1, D2 and a few others. For pure edge retention then the plain carbon steels really shine, in particular 1095 and 1084.

Once again we are back to the toughness/edge retention trade off. There is no single knife that is designed to do all tasks well. Blade steel, geometry, thickness and overall design all play major roles for a given knife's task. Just like you would not use vice grips to remove the head bolts on your car's engine, you would not want to use a fighter to butcher a few deer or cows. Use the correct tool for the job, as the saying goes. While I would not recommend 1095 for a survival knife, it has certainly worked well for the Ka-Bar style of blades for the last 65 years and many Marines and soldiers still swear by it. Unless one is spending time pushing a knife to the limit for purposes not intended for a blade, then most of the time the exercise is moot.

If you insist on a single knife for multiple tasks, then 5160, A2 and O1 are hard to beat for a combination of toughness and edge retention. They are inexpensive and easy to heat treat, although A2 is an air tempered steel that requires an accurate furnace and controls. For more information, check out Crucible's excellent site.
Link Posted: 9/17/2005 5:43:39 PM EDT
thanx guys, yall have been extremely helpful.
Link Posted: 9/17/2005 9:43:12 PM EDT
Fox, I always forget about L6! I have never had the pleasure of using it but from what I have read it is a pretty mean steel. It is not to common it seems. I'll have to pick up a blade of L6 some day and try it out.
Link Posted: 9/18/2005 8:17:42 AM EDT
Nothing really comes close to L6 in the toughness department, unless you get into the shock steels, such as S7 and S5 (jack hammers, etc.), but then you give up a tremendous amount of edge retention. L6 was used for decades as saw blade material for all kinds of mill work, metal and wood. The only way to find L6 in a using knife is probably the custom route. I know of no commercial manufacturers that use it. I made some L6/1095 Damascus awhile back and that was some tough steel and very difficult to work even when soft. It also had some great edge retention.

There is a good story about L6 from one of the famous makers, Hrisoulas or Fogg, I think. Some guys working in the arctic, Prudhoe, I believe, had tried many blades from many makers and every one of them broke at some point during the winter. They came to one of the guys with the problem and he recommended L6. The next season the knife was used as hard as they could and it never broke or chipped. Howard Clark makes his swords from L6 and they are amazing. Kevin Cashen makes his Damascus from L6/O1, some pretty incredible steel.
Link Posted: 9/18/2005 9:15:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Fox:
Nothing really comes close to L6 in the toughness department, unless you get into the shock steels, such as S7 and S5 (jack hammers, etc.), but then you give up a tremendous amount of edge retention. L6 was used for decades as saw blade material for all kinds of mill work, metal and wood. The only way to find L6 in a using knife is probably the custom route. I know of no commercial manufacturers that use it. I made some L6/1095 Damascus awhile back and that was some tough steel and very difficult to work even when soft. It also had some great edge retention.

There is a good story about L6 from one of the famous makers, Hrisoulas or Fogg, I think. Some guys working in the arctic, Prudhoe, I believe, had tried many blades from many makers and every one of them broke at some point during the winter. They came to one of the guys with the problem and he recommended L6. The next season the knife was used as hard as they could and it never broke or chipped. Howard Clark makes his swords from L6 and they are amazing. Kevin Cashen makes his Damascus from L6/O1, some pretty incredible steel.



Fox can you reccomend a maker that uses L6 and makes a using knife under $500? Thanks!
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:52:21 AM EDT
Skag, IM'd ya.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 11:11:44 PM EDT
Got it and back at ya!
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 6:22:17 AM EDT
Tagged... I am a morron compared to you all but I wanted to build a knife... too many tools to learn to use and foolish me thought making a knife might be a good skill builder.... Not that I know where to buy blanks the right size for making knives or what kind of knife I would want to make...

Still, have mill need metal runs through my brain at times...
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:11:18 AM EDT
QB, my tutorial here in this section can help you with a lot. If you have other specific questions, please let me know and I will try to help.
Link Posted: 9/22/2005 4:02:42 PM EDT
OTOH lets say that instead of using one knife for multiple tasks you instead used 1 knife for each task. What would be the best steel for each knife type? I would need a knife for skinning/butchering game, a knife for fighting and killing and a knife for utility/camping etc. such as cutting rope, using as a pry bar etc.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 8:08:10 AM EDT
For maximum utility, I would use, in roughly this order:

Game = O1, 52100, D2, 1095, 1084 (ATS-34, 154CM or 440C in stainless)
Fighting = L6, 5160, CPM3V, A2 & O1 (S30V or 154CM in stainless)
Camp knife = L6, 5160, W2, CPM3V
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 6:37:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Fox:
For maximum utility, I would use, in roughly this order:

Game = O1, 52100, D2, 1095, 1084 (ATS-34, 154CM or 440C in stainless)
Fighting = L6, 5160, CPM3V, A2 & O1 (S30V or 154CM in stainless)
Camp knife = L6, 5160, W2, CPM3V



Wow, Thanx alot you have been very helpful. Now my shopping will be made much easier.
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