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Case Steel

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by TedderX, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. TedderX


    Feb 8, 2017
    1. What year did Case start producing TruSharp Surgical Steel?

    2. Did they do it across the board of their products or only a couple to feel out the market for them?

    3. Did they use Chrome Vanadium before they started using SS or did they switch to CV at the same time?
  2. Old Hunter

    Old Hunter Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    Case used carbon steel (they now refer to it as CV) for many years on most of their products. They did use stainless before WW-II but in limited amounts - fishing knives, etc. In the mid 1960's case began offering "regular" pocketknives in stainless as an option (Stockman patterns, Jacks, etc.) As more and more customers switched to buying knives made of stainless steel Case offered more and more patterns in stainless. Today stainless makes up the majority of the steel blades Case offers. OH
  3. r redden

    r redden Gold Member Gold Member

    May 23, 2015
    Since you have so many questions concerning Case I thought these links may be helpful to you. First is to Case College on the Case website you can also reach the Case Collectors Club from there http://www.wrcase.com/case_college/
    Next is to the Case Forum on AAPK

    There are also some great books available on Case.
    Knife collecting is fun but there is quite a bit of research work involved as we try to learn about the knives and their manufacturers. I still find myself getting a question on my mind and several hours even days later I'm still digging to find answers. This is particularly true of the old companies NYKC, Schrade Camillus and such.

    As far as Case Blade Steel here are some threads on the subject.

    Wikipedia also has some info on Case Steel.

    Good Luck.:thumbup:
  4. Modoc ED

    Modoc ED Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2010
  5. YellowSwiss


    Sep 28, 2015
    Thanks for all the links fellas! Gotta say, I am getting back into Case Knives more than ever! I have my VG10, ATS-34 etc steel blades, but really...have not been disappointed in Case SS blades. Not surprising, me being a SAK Guy. The research is very appreciated!
  6. MadMaximus


    Feb 26, 2014
    I just wish they'd use more CV. It really takes a nice edge in my experience.
  7. r redden

    r redden Gold Member Gold Member

    May 23, 2015

    I'm an old guy that has never been a hard use knife person. I was a linesman and part time builder before I retired. Those days were my most abusive towards knives from scoring and striping wire and cable to scoring and cutting drywall and roofing shingles. Buck and Case were my go to knives and they would get dull and need sharpening but that was no problem I could get them like razors sitting in my chair watching TV. To my knowledge there were no "super steels" back then and nobody I knew even talked about the type of steel that was used for the blade in their knife and back then it seemed everybody had a knife in their pocket. I first started buying and using Case knives over 50 years ago and their blades have never failed me. I have bought and sold many modern knives with "super steel" blades in the last 10 years and for me none of them could do anything I needed a knife for that I couldn't use a Case Traditional Pocketknife for. I still have a Kershaw Blur with an Elmax steel blade because I like the knife not because of the blade steel.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
  8. supratentorial


    Dec 19, 2006
    I think the earliest use of stainless by Case was in the 1920s. Most folks wanted carbon steel for their knives and stainless was just used on a few patterns. Some of the early 1900s Case Bros advertisements called their carbon steel "razor steel". As OH described, Case's use stainless changed over time. The type of stainless steel has undoubtedly changed a couple times over the 100 years. There was an "SSP" line, for example. I'm not sure when Case first started using the term "Tru-Sharp" but if I recall correctly that term was in use during the 1980s.
    filedog likes this.
  9. supratentorial


    Dec 19, 2006
    Lots of good references linked. I took a look at Steve's book (I think Ed recommended it to you in another topic) and there's several pages of discussion about steel. According to the book, a dramatic change in favor of stainless happened in 1981. Here's an excerpt.

    "Newsletter from June 1981:
    Several patterns of pocket knives that now have Chrome
    Vanadium blades will be changed to Tru-Sharp™ Surgical
    Steel. The patterns that will be changed are: SR 62027, 63027,
    63033, A62033, 92033, A6208, A62009 1/2, A6235 1/2,
    A62042, 92042, 92042R, SR6220, SR6225 1/2, SR6347 1/2,
    SR6244, 6344, 22087, 62087, 23087, 03244, and 03244R. The
    transition will be gradual and may not be seen on the market
    for a few months."

    Here are the numbers for the book
    ISBN-13: 978-1-4402-0238-4
    ISBN-10: 1-4402-0238-9
    filedog likes this.
  10. r redden

    r redden Gold Member Gold Member

    May 23, 2015
    I do not have that book Jake thanks for the info on it I hope to have one on it's way by the end of the day. ;)
  11. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    Usually yes, but I have a Texas Jack and a Yellow D Pen in cv that really take a poor edge and hold it as long as you can hold your breath. Always been puzzled by this. No such probs with Böker carbon, GEC,Queen or Opinel&other Euro knives, nor with CASE's ss.:confused:
  12. Bugdoc

    Bugdoc Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 29, 2016
    Perhaps a poorly tempered batch of steel?
  13. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    I suppose it must be, but they are different years (I think...) Very puzzling, to say the least.
  14. MarkPinTx


    Aug 21, 2003
    Just an historic note on stainless steel that partially explains its use in cutlery. Martensitic (temperable) stainless was first patented by various entities in the first couple of decades of the 20th century. It was another couple of decades, ie WWII, before decent stainless cutlery steel became available.

    In other words, stainless steel was unsuitable for cutlery, for the most part, until about WWII. Customer and manufacturer preferences thus dictated carbon steels for most knives.

    Queen was one of the first makers to widely use stainless in their knives, to the point that they called it "Queen Steel" in part to avoid the stigma attached to stainless steel.
  15. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    I was under the impression that Case uses 420HC for their stainless blades. I prefer their carbon/vanadium steel.
  16. Buzzbait

    Buzzbait Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 25, 2001
    Case's CV is pretty soft in comparison to most other manufacturer's carbon steel. Not exactly my cup of tea. To get decent performance out of it, I have to sharpen it differently than my normal traditional knives. I sharpen it at a 40 degree inclusive angle, instead of my normal 30 degrees, and I don't polish the edge much at all. The toothier the edge is, the longer it seems to last.
    filedog likes this.
  17. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    There is a 2009 thread that discusses this in more detail: http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/638422-Case-CV-steel

    Tony Bose said: I've tested recent Case CV blades that were 59 RC.

    Don Hanson said: That's interesting, Tony. I think in batch heat treating, especially with an oil quench steel, you could get hardness anywhere from 54Rc to 59Rc. But I could be wrong.
  18. Buzzbait

    Buzzbait Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 25, 2001
    Interesting. From sharpening a lot of CV, I'd guestimate the hardness to be 3 or 4 points below GEC's 1095. SMKW lists the hardness of Case's CV as being between 52 and 54. I personally would have guessed an average of around 55.
  19. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    I do this with all my Case knives in order to get them to perform a tad better.

    The old timey traditional sharpening angle was 22 1/2 degrees per side, according to the paperwork which came with my Lansky "Crock Stick" sharpener which I purchased some decades ago. (Early 80's, I think.)

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