Steel choice for making fillet knife. 3V?

Currawong

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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?

American and European custom makers would be the ones using those. Japanese makers only use R2,ZDP189, HAP40, SRS15, SRS13 for high end stainless from what I can see. Hattori uses Cowry-X but his stuff is hard to come by. If you are interested in the steels you mentioned I'd strongly suggest you hop over to Kitchen Knives Forum. The guys there can definitely direct you to those makers.
 
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Can we open up the discussion again on this? I am starting to research making a Fillet Knife. If some of you guys wouldn't mind giving your thoughts on what I have so far??

1) VG10 is "standard" for medium quality fillet knives. Is there a step up that won't break the bank?

2) Spyderco uses CPM-S35VN.. this doesn't seem like the best option.. is there flex to this?

3) AEB-L seems like the best option.. why aren't there more on the marketplace? Is it price? Functionality? I'm having a tough time grasping why there's not more AEB-L knives in GENERAL.. but I will keep it focused on fillet knives.

Any input would be appreciated 100%. Thank you!!!
 

Currawong

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AEB-L doesn't tend to be heat treated to high hardness, probably because what makes it stand out from other stainless steels is it's toughness, so you want to run it a bit soft to bring out it's best quality.

If you want to cut through larger bones without rolling the edge, you want a hard steel. (RC 62 or higher at a guess). So with large fish where you cut the bones AEB-L may not be the best performer if it's run soft because the edge might warp. If you ran AEB-L at RC 62 or higher to avoid that problem, it may no longer be the best stainless for the job.

But having a hard, thin edge can lead to chipping, so that's an argument in AEB-L's favor. However, you may end up spending some time steeling out rolls and warps in the edge when processing large fish.

I don't know a lot about it, but that's my guess as to why AEB-L isn't more common - the average fillet knife user isn't going to be spending a lot of time steeling their knife while fishing, so makers go for something with lower maintenance requirements. Also, AEB-L is stainless, but not extremely so. Around salt water this might be an issue for some people.
 
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AEB-L doesn't tend to be heat treated to high hardness, probably because what makes it stand out from other stainless steels is it's toughness, so you want to run it a bit soft to bring out it's best quality.

If you want to cut through larger bones without rolling the edge, you want a hard steel. (RC 62 or higher at a guess). So with large fish where you cut the bones AEB-L may not be the best performer if it's run soft because the edge might warp. If you ran AEB-L at RC 62 or higher to avoid that problem, it may no longer be the best stainless for the job.

But having a hard, thin edge can lead to chipping, so that's an argument in AEB-L's favor. However, you may end up spending some time steeling out rolls and warps in the edge when processing large fish.

I don't know a lot about it, but that's my guess as to why AEB-L isn't more common - the average fillet knife user isn't going to be spending a lot of time steeling their knife while fishing, so makers go for something with lower maintenance requirements. Also, AEB-L is stainless, but not extremely so. Around salt water this might be an issue for some people.

Wow. Thank you. That was extremely helpful and informative!!!!!!
 

afishhunter

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Best filet knife I ever had and used was a 1960's Rapalla.
I have no idea the steel used, but it held an edge long enough to clean a mess of bluegill, plus a baker's dozen crappie, a few black bass/LMB, catfish, and bullheads, for a fish fry that fed up to nine hungry big eaters. :)

It also made short work of small mouth bass, walleye, and pike/musky when they were in the catch, and carp and gar for the smoker.)

(It also made short work of small mouth bass, walleye, pike/musky when they were in the catch, and carp and gar for the smoker. (smoked carp and gar is much yummy))
 

Mecha

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Best filet knife I ever had and used was a 1960's Rapalla.
I have no idea the steel used, but it held an edge long enough to clean a mess of bluegill, plus a baker's dozen crappie, a few black bass/LMB, catfish, and bullheads, for a fish fry that fed up to nine hungry big eaters. :)

It also made short work of small mouth bass, walleye, and pike/musky when they were in the catch, and carp and gar for the smoker.)

(It also made short work of small mouth bass, walleye, pike/musky when they were in the catch, and carp and gar for the smoker. (smoked carp and gar is much yummy))

Rapala filet knives, the basic ones with wood handles, are some of the best fish knives I've ever used. Had a good time hanging out with the Rapala company's official filet knife guy at Blade Show in Atlanta a few years ago. I've dealt with countless Florida saltwater fish and gutted innumerable Pac NW salmon and other fish, and...I have no idea what steel OP should use! :D:eek:
 
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