1. Week 43of the BladeForums.com Year of Giveaways is live! Enter to win a Spyderco C243PBK Edela + Misc Prize Pack

    Click here to enter the drawing for your chance to win a Spyderco Endela + Misc Prize Pack , Bladeforums.com swag or memberships!
    Be sure to read the rules before entering, and help us decide next week's giveaway by hitting the poll in that thread!

    Entries will close at 11:59PM Saturday, Oct 26 ; winners will be drawn on Sunday @ 5pm on our Youtube Channel: TheRealBladeForums. Bonus prizes will be given during the livestream!


    Questions? Comments? Post in the discussion thread here

San Mai laminated steel

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by AshesFall, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. AshesFall

    AshesFall

    91
    Jul 16, 2019
    I created this thread as a "possible debate", but mainly to be informational to anyone that was curious about laminated steel. To seek opinions and learn more myself. I've only been learning about knives for about a year now, so no, I'm not as knowledgeable as guys that have many many years of knowledge inside their cranium. I feel you get the wrong impression of me and I understand not everyone will like my style lol
     
  2. AshesFall

    AshesFall

    91
    Jul 16, 2019
    It's true they laminate it with softer steel panels to make the harder steel core tougher, which is the main point, but it's still possible to laminate an already tough steel even if it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense. Hence why I said in an up above post that 3v is already awesome on it's own and doesn't need laminated. Just fun to think about for some people I guess and I'll bet people would still buy it even if it makes no sense.
     
  3. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Actually, traditional Japanese swords had a harder outside steel layer folded around a softer/tougher inner core. NOVA had an excellent documentary on how they are made: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/samurai/swor-nf.html
     
    AshesFall likes this.
  4. AshesFall

    AshesFall

    91
    Jul 16, 2019
    Good info and thanks for the link.
     
  5. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    Bunch of different ways to do it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I think san mai is the coolest steel lamination for a blade!

    Wariha Tetsu is pretty much how this titanium multi-alloy katana blade is constructed:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    herisson, Alberta Ed, C-TAC and 5 others like this.
  6. Ourorboros

    Ourorboros

    278
    Jan 23, 2017
    Europeans didn't have consistently better steel until industrial times. The best steels were from Sweden, Spain, and I believe Austria, which had relatively pure iron sources. European metallurgy certainly didn't make sense until the scientific revolution. Of course better is compared to the previous steels, Japan is still considered a leader in steels, as is Sweden.
    The simple reason is again - energy source. With hotter fires you can purify your iron more, leading to less inclusions and problematic alloys. Europeans also had less efficient bellows, unlike Chinese push/pull bellows which lead to cooler fires.
    This is in fact why the Chinese did not pursue laminated steels more - they had purer iron, leading to less need for laminated steels. With pure iron, they could add set amount of charcoal (carbon) to iron, creating steels of different grades. Lamination went to Japan via Korea and taken to a much higher level.

    Having cruder steel is why, relatively speaking, European swords are considered more like sharp crowbars compared to Katanas.
     
  7. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013

    Bunch'a hearsay.
     
  8. Houlahound

    Houlahound

    252
    Aug 2, 2017
    That's my point, Europeans evolved metallurgy to the point of creating better steel. The old Japanese methods and materials were surpassed by European science. The Katana is literally a sharpened crow bar by design.
     
  9. marcinek

    marcinek

    Jan 9, 2007
    Why would people who know enough to know what 3V is, buy a laminated 3V steel if it made no sense?

    That is my point about your hypotheticals. They are artificial.

    You could laminate 3V with an outer coating of Kraft American Cheese Food Singles too...so what?

    Cheese laminate vs CS San Mai Showdown! :confused:
     
  10. Houlahound

    Houlahound

    252
    Aug 2, 2017
    Can we all agree it is part marketing and part practical and completely unnecessary .

    Buy one if you care to, pass on it if you don't.
     
    evilgreg likes this.
  11. Hurrul

    Hurrul Gold Member Gold Member

    198
    Aug 26, 2017
    How can this method of construction simultaneously be practical and unnecessary?

    I do agree that current marketing does lean on this method to sell products, like Shun kitchen knives for example.

    However, I have laminated kitchen blades from Japanese makers that have been constructing tools in this manner for centuries and the practical benefit is that the blade should be more resilient since the core steel is hardened quite high (commonly in the 62 to 64+ hrc range), is very thin at the edge and thus can't take much lateral strain or knocking around through out years of use in a kitchen environment.

    Also, some outer laminates will be stainless and serve a practical purpose to resist corrosion of the often, non stainless core steel. VG-10 is popular in kitchen knives, is quite stainless and likely you could get away with out a laminate for rust protection, but you would still have a very thin piece of high hardness steel exposed to the potential rigors of a kitchen environment.

    I think laminate steel construction might be unneeded for some steels - AEB-L, 19C27, R2 are examples that will often show up in Japanese cutlery with out being laminates. Likely there are others that could start out as thin stock that is then taken down to very acute edge angles, and does not need the support of a tougher steel supporting the sides of the harder core steel.

    I guess I answered my earlier question - sometimes it's practical depending on the steel, corrosion issues, and hardness, sometimes it's more marketing than anything else.
     
    AshesFall likes this.
  12. AshesFall

    AshesFall

    91
    Jul 16, 2019
    Great info and thanks. That's a beautiful katana btw.
     
    Mecha likes this.
  13. AshesFall

    AshesFall

    91
    Jul 16, 2019
    Maybe because people buy things everyday that make absolutely no sense. Maybe because marketing and the "cool factor" they advertise still does this to sell certain products and it actually works. If the marketing is smart people will buy anything.

    Well my "so called" "Artificial Hypotheticals" must be amusing you somewhat right? Hence your interest in commenting on them? lol. I'm actually just a curious minded person who is just learning through different opinions. I have a curiosity, I ask opinions and learn from it no matter how "artificial" it may seem to others.

    Cheese laminated 3v vs CS San Mai? Now you're talking! That's actually a good artificial hypothetical that I haven't even thought of! Can somebody do a knife vs knife test on this please? I'm putting my money on the cheese laminated 3v lol
     
  14. jlauffer

    jlauffer Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    Surprised CS hasn't showed up yet to tell us to cease and desist using the term San Mai:rolleyes::D
     
    Mecha and AshesFall like this.
  15. DeadboxHero

    DeadboxHero

    Mar 22, 2014
    A steel can be plenty tough without the need to San Mai. Thin San Mai will be prone to bending and staying bent. The cool factor is a stainless jacket on carbon steel. At the end of day, I'd be more concerned with other factors and variables than chasing advantages and disadvantages with San Mai.
    Geometry is the biggest factor for durability anyways.
     
    AshesFall likes this.
  16. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    I'm not sure you would gain much by doing cpm3v laminated.

    It is already very tough, and while not stainless, has been pretty rust resistant in my uses.



    To OP, I have owned and used a San mai Trailmaster. In years of chopping ir served well. No complaints. But at the price point, I'm not sure I would not just buy a custom, or several other brands.

    I was not a big fan of the krayton handle. Ir definitely softened over time. They may use something different now.

    I had a Busse with resiprine C handle material and found it to be superior. Much tougher than the Trailmaster handle.

    I wish now, that I had handled it in stacked leather, rather than selling the Trailmaster.

    I really enjoy the look of the Fallkniven stacked leather handles.
     
    AshesFall likes this.
  17. C-TAC

    C-TAC Gold Member Gold Member

    150
    May 21, 2013
    I have two SOG Vulcans. One is all VG-10 with black coating, the other is satin VG-10 San Mai. Should the all VG-10 version be superior to the San Mai? The cutting edges are identical, but you get a lot more VG-10 with the first one. Shouldn't that make it better?
    Maybe for SOG it's just a cool looking, cost saving process.
     
  18. C-TAC

    C-TAC Gold Member Gold Member

    150
    May 21, 2013
    Is there a way to make the line between core and cladding more visible? It's faint on my SOG, but very prominent on my Mcusta.
     
  19. AshesFall

    AshesFall

    91
    Jul 16, 2019
    I don't mind the krayton handles too much, they're grippy enough, but I could see years of hard use wearing them down. I do agree a stacked leather handle would look real nice though and I actually might take this into consideration someday.
     
  20. d762nato

    d762nato Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    While I do like the leather handled knives with a passion the Fallkniven Thermorun handles seem to be tougher/harder and very gripy. I think the leather may be slicker though when its all said and done.
     
    AshesFall likes this.

Share This Page