Steel choice for making fillet knife. 3V?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Loren Jones, Oct 9, 2020.

  1. Loren Jones

    Loren Jones

    91
    Jun 26, 2019
    Thanks everyone. It seems like most are of the opinion than my 3V idea is ill conceived.

    I think I'll go with AEB-L since it's cheap and easily available and should be pretty easy on the maintenance side of things. If it seems to not perform well enough I'll try something else. Just getting started in this stock removal knife making hobby so I do appreciate the guidance.
     
  2. KenHash

    KenHash

    Sep 11, 2014
    Having cleaned countless fish of various sizes and species, I think you shouldn't worry so much about "chippiness". While I have seen and experienced chipping with bones in meat, fish bones are nowhere as hard. In fact I've never heard of a fish fillet knife "chipping" even low end knives of unknown stainless.
     
    skyhorse likes this.
  3. Richard338

    Richard338 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 3, 2005
    You might want to check out the makers shoptalk subforum here. Lots of advice and encouragement. One of the sticky posts over there is a good search feature to find old building threads.
     
    Loren Jones likes this.
  4. Loren Jones

    Loren Jones

    91
    Jun 26, 2019
    That is true of my dad’s crappy fillet knives too. I’ve not had to take chips out of any of them that I recall. But those are cheap no name stainless with very soft steel that deforms.
    I’ve never had fro take chips out of my cheaper kitchen knives either. But my VG10 Japanese knives are 61 tend to chip. The only pocket knife blade I’ve had to sharpen a chip out of was benchmade S30. I’m relatively novice but that experience and perspective is what made me want to avoid harder higher end stainless steels with lower toughness. I may be wrong about that perspective. Perhaps M390 or S35 or XHP would be fine but this is why I was concerned they wouldn’t be.
     
  5. KenHash

    KenHash

    Sep 11, 2014
    I am of the opinion that "one" of the reasons that we don't hear about chipping in fish fillet knives is that the design calls for a thin blade with flexibility. This, combined with the soft nature of fish bones not only doesn't result in much, if any, chipping but also doesn't require an extremely hard steel. Another reason could also be that we don't see fillet knives made with "harder" steels. IMHO, a thin western fillet knife doesn't "need" any stainless harder than a Krupp 4116 or variant, or Aus6/Aus8 all at 57/58 HRC.

    Many years ago there was a Knife company in New Jersey called Jet-Aer Corp who had knives made in Seki Japan and branded G96. While the fixed blades were nothing notable, the blue handled fillet knives gained some attention as having very good blades. Some were even speculating that it may have been ATS-34.

    https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/go-to-fillet-knife.1670342/

    I have chipped VG1, VG10 and even SG2 on my outdoor fixed blades. And I have repaired chips on many VG10 kitchen knives. So I am familiar with the nature of these steels. Haven't chipped my BM S30v Grip yet but thanks for the heads up. Was planning on going from 20 to 15 degrees anyway so if I have to take out a chip, that would be the time.
     
  6. Coiloil37

    Coiloil37

    60
    Dec 2, 2013
    I’ve got two fillet knives that are used on saltwater fish up to about 100lbs. Some I carve around the rib cage and some I cut through the ribs.
    My Phil Wilson in CPM 154 has cleaned a few thousand lbs of fish and never lost an edge or chipped and it’s cut through some serious (fish) ribs. The fact it can handle the cutting it does being as thin as he grinds them is amazing. It’s an absolute weapon when the kill tank is full and some work needs to be done.
    My other knife is a brand many would recognise, it’s certainly not cheap and made of S35vn. It’s cleaned it’s share of fish as well but it will chip. I’ve got a picture on my phone with over two dozen chips after cleaning two small (5lb) tusk fish.

    OP, if you can heat treat like Mr Wilson I would highly recommend CPM 154.
     
    Loren Jones likes this.
  7. Currawong

    Currawong Platinum Member Platinum Member

    May 19, 2012
    I ordered an M390 fillet knife from a custom maker for a friend, and it chipped on a fish that was only a few pounds. Heat treat by Peters. Might have been an aberration - he says it hasn't happened again.

    I've got another custom fillet in AEB-L and haven't had any problems:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. GatorFlash1

    GatorFlash1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2012
    I would not bother making one, there are lots of good ones out there that cost less than you can make one for,

    I have a couple different sizes of the Swiss Army Victorinox Fibrox filet knives. The cost is decent and the feel of the flexible knife is perfect for fileting. It is commercial grade knife. I also like the Spyderco Waterway filet knife but the cost is much higher. Here is some info and videos about these great filet knives.

    https://www.swissarmy.com/us/en/Products/Cutlery/Chef's-Knives/Fibrox®-Pro-Filleting-Knife-Flexible/p/5.3763.20







    https://spyderco.com/catalog/details/FB43G/Waterway/1207
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
    Loren Jones likes this.
  9. E.D.C.

    E.D.C. Gold Member Gold Member

    387
    Nov 7, 2016

    I seem to remember Phil Wilson messing around with 3V in some fillet designs, in the recent past.
     
  10. skyhorse

    skyhorse Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    I've never actually seen one.
     
  11. E.D.C.

    E.D.C. Gold Member Gold Member

    387
    Nov 7, 2016

    I've never seen one in person either.


    I can't think of a good reason why it wouldn't work just fine though.
     
  12. shqxk

    shqxk

    Mar 26, 2012
    CPM-154.
     
    skyhorse likes this.
  13. Loren Jones

    Loren Jones

    91
    Jun 26, 2019
    I think you’re right that most fillet knives are of softer steel. But the link above explains why hardness and flexibility are not related. I’m sure that softer tougher easier to sharpen steel has been the standard on cheaper fillet knives because at least it’s fairly reliable and easy to bring back to life in the middle of doing some work. But I’m hopeful of making something that will have better performance.

    I don’t plan to buy anymore VG10 kitchen knives. I’m just not impressed and it’s funny that it’s pretty much the standard steel for moderate high end kitchen knives.

    In fairness my BM S30V mini grip only chipped when I dropped it. When I sharpened the chip out I did take it to 15 dps on my hapstone and my son has been using it for EDC while he works as a grounds guy at a country club and it’s held up very well.

     
  14. Loren Jones

    Loren Jones

    91
    Jun 26, 2019
    Interesting info. I hadn’t much considered CPM154 but perhaps I should.

     
    nsm likes this.
  15. Loren Jones

    Loren Jones

    91
    Jun 26, 2019
    That was my worry on high alloy stainless knives. Anecdotes aren’t evidence but they do lack toughness by the data. Thanks for the post. I think AEB-L still looks like an extremely good option.

     
  16. Loren Jones

    Loren Jones

    91
    Jun 26, 2019
    The Dubrow knives are definitely great everyday workhorse knives. I just bought my nephew A whole set of them for breaking down elk, venison, bison.

    Does Spyderco make an actual fillet knife. I mean if there is a better quality fillet knife available than what one can commonly find I may consider that over making one.
    Perhaps I need to check out Phil Wilson.

     
  17. GatorFlash1

    GatorFlash1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2012
    Spyder makes a filet knife, see the previous video with the guy fileting tuna.
     
  18. Loren Jones

    Loren Jones

    91
    Jun 26, 2019
    Yeah. I’m thinking more in terms of a thin flexible blade.
     
  19. KenHash

    KenHash

    Sep 11, 2014
    VG10 is indeed pretty much the "standard" for "medium range" kitchen knives marketed everywhere and as a result are found everywhere, including those made in china with the Chinese equivalent of VG10. However, "high end" knives are either all powder steels or using the Hitachi Yasugi paper carbon steels. But these are pursued by professionals and enthusiasts.
    Thanks vm for the info on the BM.
     
  20. Loren Jones

    Loren Jones

    91
    Jun 26, 2019
    I haven’t found where to buy any kitchen knives made with what a knife enthusiast would consider a higher end steel with the exception of the occasional zdp189 or the Japanese carbon steels (of which at least one performed poorly in knife steel nerds testing).

    any suggestions on where one would buy an M390 or even S30v or S90 etc etc kitchen knife?

     

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