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Gordon Clark




Location: Purcellville, VA
Joined: 28 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2005 9:01 am    Post subject: Advantages/disadvantages of specialty knife steel         Reply with quote

I'm wondering about the advantages and disadvantages of the very high carbon stainless knife steels (D3, D4, CPM steels...) used for modern high dollar knives compared to the types of non-stainless high carbon steels that are used for historical reproductions. These specialty steels often have carbon content over 2%, at more than double the carbon content of the steels like 1075, 6150, 5160). Even the reproduction custom makers seem to use things like W1 at around 1%. I assume that carbon content is not the whole story, but that is a big difference. Do the "new" steels have a real performance advantage (for knives - not swords) other things held equal? Is it a myth that non-stainless steels can be sharper than stainless?

Gordon


Last edited by Gordon Clark on Thu 14 Jul, 2005 5:48 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Ken Jay




Location: Portland Oregon
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 141

PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2005 11:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The newer super stainless steels won't rust under normal circumstances and may be heat treated to higher RC levels for better edge holding (will be more difficult to sharpen). That's about it. Better is perhaps subjective. A good carbon steel knife works just fine for most apps.
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