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Old October 11, 2002, 10:39 PM   #1
Join Date: February 17, 2002
Location: Tulsa, Ok
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Good Steel?

I am looking for new knives for many different applications. One knife for everyday carry and another to add to my combat load. Anyway, I have bought many knives but not an expert on steel. Please list for me types of good steel for a knife like 420 hd or ATS 34. Why is one any better than another? Thanks for your help.

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Old October 11, 2002, 11:55 PM   #2
Christopher II
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I'm a big fan of ordinary high-carbon tool steels. O1 is my favorite, although good blades can be easily made from A2, 1095, and 5160 (the #1 steel for swords.) I also hear good things about Crucible CPM-3V.

Damn few stainless steels will even come close to the toughness and edgeholding of a good carbon steel blade. They stay shiny, though.

I've made a few knives from O1 (Starrett No. 496, if you care) and found it very easy to work and forgiving to heat treat. I heat treat my knives almost glass-hard along the edge (Rc 62) and draw the temper down towards the spine (around Rc 56-57.) This makes for a very tough knife that can handle a lot of prying, poking, and chopping, but which has an edge that gets scary sharp and stays this way a long time.

Short version - look for a knife made of a high-carbon steel (not a high-carbon stainless steel) and query the manufacturer about their heat-treat process.

- Chris
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Old October 12, 2002, 06:31 AM   #3
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Check out this link:
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Old October 12, 2002, 01:36 PM   #4
Join Date: October 12, 2002
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If you like swords, check out The smith, Jim Hrisoulas, is a good friend of mine and has writted a few books on the subject. If you talk to him directly, get him to talk about historical sword designs. The guy is a fountain of information once you get him going.

Joe Gonzalez
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Old October 12, 2002, 05:30 PM   #5
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go post this on you will get all the info you need. Personally i would go with S30V for stainless and either L6 or D2 for carbon steel.
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Old October 13, 2002, 11:02 PM   #6
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Thank you for your replies. Great info.

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Old October 13, 2002, 11:07 PM   #7
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I'm selling a knife posted in the gear forum made of 52-100 steel. It's a high-carbon steel (not stainless) that is very tough and easy to sharpen.
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Old October 15, 2002, 09:07 AM   #8
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Check out this link.

My favorites? I'm partial to stainless just because of less maintenance and better appearance IMO. I like the following:

ATS-34/154 CM
CPM 440V

I've also been impressed by Cold Steel's Carbon V (whatever it is).

I would like to try a knife in D2.
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