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Blade Steels - Have We Been Fleeced By Marketing?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by rogatsby, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I really like that LionSteel barlow. But frankly, I am quite content with a Vic SAK overall. I still occasionally carry other knives including ones labeled currently as "super steels", but I just don't need them and I like to be able to sharpen a folding knife in minutes.

    440C is still a very good steel as far as I'm concerned. I consider just what I do with a pocket knife and 440C is okay by me. As mentioned above I mostly carry a medium sized SAK that cost me $20. It does mostly everything I need to do with a pocket knife.

    Super steels are fun and I'm interested. But generally speaking on modern knives I am very comfortable with the middle grade steels overall and for slip joints, 1095 and Vics steel is fine for light use applications that I mostly have any more with any knife. The "big" super steel folder is always available should I desire to use it.

    I also agree that marketing relies heavily on impulse buys.... you have $100 to spend on a knife and you want the best choice you can find. Regardless, you will generally spend that $100 or a little more once you make the decision to buy. By the way, I really enjoy impulse buys with knives and gadgets in general. Adds some fun to the hobby.
     
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  2. scott.livesey

    scott.livesey

    Nov 10, 2011
    Based on what? There are no universal standards. An owner/maker can claim almost anything they want and no one can dispute the claims.
    the old sailor
     
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  3. David Richardson

    David Richardson Gold Member Gold Member

    359
    Nov 30, 2018
    Reviewer testing with salt water, one reviewer using LC200N in a sea kayak for months with no rust, all the anecdotal posts here, and my personal experience. I have an LC200N fishing knife that always gets put back into the sheath when wet. I can't say it won't ever rust. I can say it hasn't yet where every other steel I've used has rusted.

    I am aware of one example of LC200N showing a spot of rust. The last I heard Spyderco was researching it to try and figure out what happened. I have not heard of H1 rusting but I have also not tested it.

    If you're going to argue that H1 and LC200N aren't (essentially) rust proof I have to wonder if you haven't done the research or if you're being contrarian for the sake of it (aka trolling). I get that the burden of proof lies with those making the claim. The rust resistance of these steels has been demonstrated over and over.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  4. DeadboxHero

    DeadboxHero Triple B Handmade, Custom Knives Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 22, 2014
    Are you playing devils advocate or can you not perceive any differences yourself with Maxamet vs 420hc?
     
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  5. scott.livesey

    scott.livesey

    Nov 10, 2011
    What is thread about? Being fleeced by blade steel marketing. You or I can claim anything we want and no one can really dispute it because we test as we want. Never used Maxamet, S120V, Rex121 or 420HC knife blades. Maxamet and Rex121 made dandy drill bits and end mills. I prefer O1, 80CrV2, and 52100 for kitchen knives.
    the old sailor
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  6. scott.livesey

    scott.livesey

    Nov 10, 2011
    sorry, should not have included H1 or LC200N as they were designed as corrosion resistant steel.
    scott
     
  7. DeadboxHero

    DeadboxHero Triple B Handmade, Custom Knives Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 22, 2014
    Does your car get better gas mileage because you claim it does? Or is there fundamentals of how things work that makes it so?
     
  8. David Richardson

    David Richardson Gold Member Gold Member

    359
    Nov 30, 2018
    Np. Regarding the steels... Many testers show a significant retention difference between steels. Check out Cedric & Ada on youtube. His results show a range of edge retention for about 100 different steels with different edges and geometry. He's currently testing Spydero Mules so geometry can be removed as a variable (same geometry, different steels). No now we'll have the same geometry, same edge, same tester, same test. The only variables left are his consistency, the steel, and the heat treatment. Those Mules will get hardness tested so he'll be able to account for that as a variable as well.

    Jim Ankerson did edge testing for years and published his results. Several others have as well. There's little doubt that Maxamet and the other steels mentioned here have superior edge retention. So many testers reaching the same conclusions have to be on to something.

    If you haven't used Maxamet I don't see how (or why) you're challenging the claims. I'm not saying you should want Maxamet. I am saying it seems odd to challenge what is a very clearly demonstrated body of testing showing how it performs.

    I'm have more mundane steels in my kitchen knives as well. I also have S35vn. I prefer my White steel knife to my S35 because it has better geometry.
     
  9. It’s important to keep in mind that rustproof steels live up to their marketed advantages regardless of any secondary factors, which isn’t true of steels that tout superior edge retention. An H1 or LC200N blade will be rustproof independent of heat treat, grind, edge angle, blade shape, etc. Edge retention involves so many factors beyond the material, that the steel’s strengths may never be realized.
     
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  10. Rasmus80

    Rasmus80

    484
    Sep 21, 2011
    A YouTube'er can test and prove a steel to have superior edgereteition. And then deem that steel to be the best. But there is more to a knife than edge retention.

    In order for any steel to be the best steel, it has to perform well across the board of parameters used to evaluate how a steel performs in use.

    Take for instance INFI steel. Busse has used this steel for close to two decades now, and it is a solid steel choice, when wanting a steel, that performs well across the board.
    Jerry Busse did his part to market INFI as the best steel there is, and has a solid customer base now. Notice how Jerry Busse doesn't really do anything to market INFI anymore. His customers does that for him.
    I am not claiming INFI to be the best steel there is. I have no idea, which steel is the best there is.

    My point is, that there are steeltypes out there, which are solid choices, but not new and innovative by any stretch.

    Just because some super steel is proved to have super edgeretention, it does not mean that it now beats all other steeltypes in day to day use.
     
  11. scott.livesey

    scott.livesey

    Nov 10, 2011
    I never singled out Maxamet or any other steel. I simply said other than CATRA, there is no Industry Standard edge retention test. How well a steel cuts sandpaper or cardboard or old carpet does not mean it is the best blade steel, it simply means it cuts these materials well.

    the old sailor
     
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  12. aue123

    aue123 Gold Member Gold Member

    154
    Jul 10, 2018
    I felt like I got fleeced when my PM2 in s110v arrived this morning and the blade grind at the tip was so bad it looked like the blade was bent.. itll take me months to get that thing straightened. I didn't know spyderco did chisel grinds.
     
  13. Mo2

    Mo2

    Apr 8, 2016
    Infi is not the best or well rounded. Its a8mod with a good heat treatment. It's very high toughness but not as good as say 5160. But edge retention is not good and most of those knives are too thick behind the edge cause they are for chopping. I'd say it's good at one thing.

    Its not good across the board. But it's fairly good at chopping. I hit a rock pretty hard with my Infi chopper and it was a fairly small chip. I was surprised it wasn't bigger chip.

    Edit: https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/the-composition-of-infi-and-what-it-means.1619871/
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  14. Mo2

    Mo2

    Apr 8, 2016
    I think what your trying to say is, a normal person isn't able to test anything to see the difference in real world scenario.
     
  15. scott.livesey

    scott.livesey

    Nov 10, 2011
    That works. Then company X comes out with a knife made with "MiniMet" that has better CATRA scores than knives made with Maxamet. Now we have a new 'steel of the hour' and a new marketing blitz.
    the old sailor
     
  16. Mo2

    Mo2

    Apr 8, 2016
    Truth be told, the steels arnt made for knives. Usually the knife industry doesn't buy enough steel to be as profitable as the main markets they make the steel for. Ie factories cutting huge things like plastic molds, car doors, stamping tools and molds etc. Various things in the industry.

    And they don't always provide catra or charpy tests and if they do its not for knives usually. Again, for the industry that it's targeted for.

    S30v, S35vn etc were made specifically for knives and developed with crk but also used and marketed for other industries too.

    Knives are getting more popular as time goes on. There was a knife recession a few years ago. Seems like now anyone who can draw a knife gets one made.
     
  17. Applecider3

    Applecider3 Gold Member Gold Member

    212
    Feb 4, 2019
    I’ve religiously rinsed gear exposed to salt environments, only to find that after a year stored in a coastal climate garage, the steel knives pliers and even tackle boxes are hopelessly rusted.
     
  18. Rasmus80

    Rasmus80

    484
    Sep 21, 2011
    You speak as if you are stating your opinion as fact. It's not. Just your opinion.

    You didn't hear me say that INFI is the best steel. Jerry Busse did his part to market INFI as the best steel for his knives, and it worked. Many people bought in to the marketing, and in my opinion, INFI is a good steel type across the board. Good enough for Jerry Busse not to change his choice of steel type for many many years. (Staying out of the whole discussion wether INFI it self, has been tweaked over the years)

    One could argue, that Jerry Busse was kind of a instigator for the whole steel craze. Because for a long while, he did do a lot to get customers to buy into INFI, and made a big effort to showcase the merits of INFI in order to make his company stand out.
    When more and more customers started to see steel type as the most important aspect of knife-construction, other companies started to follow suit, and market specific steel types, in order to gain an edge over other companies.

    In time, most of us realise, that steel choice is secondary to many other factors. As stated by others in this thread, how the steel is treated and ground matters more than steel choice. Unless you want your knife to be very good, at one specific task. Then you may be able to find a steel type, which caters to that specific task.
     
  19. Mo2

    Mo2

    Apr 8, 2016
    Alot of what I said wasn't opinion at all but truth. Fanboys will be fanboys. I ended up trying the hype and found out first hand it was all hype.
     
  20. scott.livesey

    scott.livesey

    Nov 10, 2011
    Lots of steel that shows "knife" in usage goes into blades that turn bulls into bologna, tires into mulch, or pollock into fake crab. Last time I sat and figured, consumer cutlery was about 10% of total 'knife steel' output. Stuff like Rex121 or Maxamet are hybrid steels meant to bridge HS steel and carbide machine tools(drill bits, broaches, mills, that sorta stuff). Rex121 and Maxamet are not available to small scale knifemakers.
    Steel maker won't release catra tests, the knife maker would. All part of marketing hype. If a knife company tomorrow released a blade with laser cutting geometry made of O1 or 52100, would anyone even bother to review it? Maybe if they called the steel 100MnCrW4 it might get more notice.
    scott
     
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