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H1 steel, what's the catch?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by NetshadeX, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. David Mary

    David Mary Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    My experience is with a jumpmaster serrated I modded to plain edge, an aqua salt that I did the same to, and a Schempp Rock. I found H1 steel very tough when I tested the toughness of an Aqua Salt, alongside 8Cr13MoV, 1095, and SR101. All four of these were tested by batoning through a nail. As I recall (this was over a year ago) the only one that did not cut the nail in half was the 8Cr13MoV (byrd rescue), which received the most damage, a nice big roll. 1095 (pakistani blank) and SR101 (Ratmandu) cut the nail in half, and had minor damage, with noticeable light reflecting from the blade. They sharpened out easily enough. H1 cut the nail in half, and had such minor damage that it was at first not visible to me, and I had to use the finger nail test to find it. Very impressive.

    Otherwise, I agree, it cannot rust, it scratches very easily, it takes an amazingly sharp edge easily, loses it quickly, but gains it back even more quickly.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
    studio and spoonrobot like this.
  2. Dingle1911


    Nov 28, 2005
    I agree based on my experience with a PE ARK. H1 doed not rust, even after salt water immersion. The blade is pretty scratch, but it lives in the sheath with salt water and sand so I expect scratches. With the sharpmaker rods I can get a great edge, but I also loose that edge quickly. I would not want H1 to be my only steel, but I am glad it exists to fill an important role.
  3. spoonrobot


    May 1, 2004
    Have you posted pictures of these mods anywhere? Or was there a thread about your testing? H1 is an interesting steel to me and I'd love to read about what you tested and found out.

    Main reason I posted is I've been trying to track down a PE Atlantic Salt and have considered getting a serrated one and modding it to PE so was curious how it went for you.
  4. David Mary

    David Mary Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    @spoonrobot I wasn't very active on the forum at the time, and did not make a thread. The post above is just about all I can tell you.
  5. Comeuppance

    Comeuppance Fixed Blade EDC Emisssary

    Jan 12, 2013
    Man, now I guess I need to get a serrated Pacific Salt or something. Maybe a hawkbill model.

    It’s time to offload some dead weight anyway.
  6. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    They make lots of different options. I like the Pacific salt fully serrated. It gets carried a lot.
    jux t likes this.
  7. marrenmiller

    marrenmiller Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 6, 2017
    A plain edged H1 knife does not appreciably work harden from sharpening. And there are some valid questions to be asked as to how much the work hardening actually effects the hardness of the serrations. Cutting and grinding operations normally don't work harden more than a very thin layer of steel under the work area.
  8. marrenmiller

    marrenmiller Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 6, 2017
    I have a Pacific Salt in H1, fully serrated. It's okay.

    As far as I can tell, the only significant benefit to H1 is that, within the scope of usage a knife could reasonably see, the steel can't rust. It's supposedly fairly tough too, though I'm not in the best position to speak to that.

    Otherwise, it's got poor edge holding in plain edged form, and benefits from having serrations to get good edge holding ability. I don't like serrations as I find they make cutting most things I normally cut more difficult, and I don't believe most of the work hardening/magical property claims regarding H1. I think there are plenty of steels out there that would hold a great edge when in serrated form as well.
  9. 115Italian


    Nov 13, 2015
    Blade hardness doesn’t directly relate to edge retention.
  10. Yimes

    Yimes Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2018
  11. spoonrobot


    May 1, 2004
    No prob, thanks for the response. Interesting nonetheless.
    David Mary likes this.

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