Thank you Larrin

Joined
Jul 23, 2007
Messages
3,816
I just want to say thanks to Larrin for bringing some science to the blade community.

I have learned so much from his posts and I hope he continues debunking some common steel myths...

I would love to see more testing on knives that many people consider like crap such as 440A or 420hc... we might be surprised
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2015
Messages
6,975
HERE, HERE :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
I would love to see more testing on knives that many people consider like crap such as 440A or 420hc... we might be surprised
I'm glad you said that. One of my fairly recent joys (super inexspensive but I love the thinness and ergos) are my two . . . yes I bought two of them . . . Outdoor Edge knives. I modded one obviously.
I didn't need to sharpen them and the edges have held up OK.
I don't me OK for crap, I mean as long as I don't cut dirty challenging stuff they hold an edge !
(doesn't mean I didn't drool over my K390 I bought soon after).
IMG_5945.JPG

I just checked and Ankerson included 440C and 420HC in his initial categorizing (before testing) but didn't include it in his later 400 grit edge rope cutting.

Probably would have made the softer S30V knives look bad. :D
Category 7
VG-10
S30V (58.5)
AUS-8A
SG-2
5160 (55)
13C26N
X-15
440C (Big Chris)

Category 8
H-1
420 HC (Buck 110)

ACTUAL TEST = No 440C or 420HC
Dozier D2 - 220 - Dozier K2
ELMAX - 220 - Mule - 58.5 RC
VG-10 - 160 - Stretch
AUS-8A - 160 - Recon 1
12c27 MOD - 120 - Opinel #8 - .012" behind the edge
XC90 - 80 - Opinel #8 - .012" behind the edge
 
Last edited:

chiral.grolim

Universal Kydex Sheath Extension
Joined
Dec 2, 2008
Messages
6,422
HERE, HERE :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I'm glad you said that. One of my fairly recent joys (super inexspensive but I love the thinness and ergos) are my two . . . yes I bought two of them . . . Outdoor Edge knives. I modded one obviously.
I didn't need to sharpen them and the edges have held up OK.
I don't me OK for crap, I mean as long as I don't cut dirty challenging stuff they hold an edge !
(doesn't mean I didn't drool over my K390 I bought soon after).
View attachment 1216131

I just checked and Ankerson included 440C and 420HC in his initial categorizing (before testing) but didn't include it in his later 400 grit edge rope cutting.

Probably would have made the softer S30V knives look bad. :D


ACTUAL TEST = No 440C or 420HC
440C is very similar to VG10
420HC is very similar to 12C27mod
 

Larrin

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
Messages
4,282
One wildcard is that 12C27M, AEB-L, etc. are made by Uddeholm and Sandvik and both companies have excellent processing. 420, 420HC, and 440A could be made by anyone and therefore the microstructure may not be as uniform. For example, the X50Cr15MoV we tested had large carbides in it and the toughness suffered because of it. That’s one of the mainstream steels we have tested; it’s used in many European knives.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2007
Messages
3,816
One wildcard is that 12C27M, AEB-L, etc. are made by Uddeholm and Sandvik and both companies have excellent processing. 420, 420HC, and 440A could be made by anyone and therefore the microstructure may not be as uniform. For example, the X50Cr15MoV we tested had large carbides in it and the toughness suffered because of it. That’s one of the mainstream steels we have tested; it’s used in many European knives.

That makes alot of sense.
I did test a large chopper by ontario knives in 420hc and it was quite tough... then again it would probably be difficult to break a 0.25 inch thick blade made with any type of steel
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
2,337
it's sad in a way that it took this long to get a knife knut who's also a metallurgist to focus & share info on this relatively small segment of the steel market...
it's funny, but I think Larrin could have (should have) earned a phd just for the work he's shared here & his website... it genuinely has added to the body of knowledge in knife steels & properties (I'm thinking specifically about his 53 page threadnaught https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/call-for-charpy-toughness-samples.1548360/ & his other work in researching and collecting & relating info & samples)

it's definitely put the body of knowledge into the minds of more laymen than just about anyone else in the past (at least that I know of)

I know he'll prolly be the consummate scholar and argue with me about standing on the shoulders of giants, which ofc is also true ; ) I'm still ecstatic he does what he does
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Messages
25,986
it's funny, but I think Larrin could have (should have) earned a phd just for the work he's shared here & his website...
Um....no.

He my be knowledgeable and might have a PhD, but when the day comes that Phds are handed out in the way you describe, don't trust them.
 

FortyTwoBlades

Baryonyx walkeri
Dealer / Materials Provider
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
24,442
That makes alot of sense.
I did test a large chopper by ontario knives in 420hc and it was quite tough... then again it would probably be difficult to break a 0.25 inch thick blade made with any type of steel

Condor's 420HC machetes hold up quite nicely as well, and they're quite thin. Once in a while they'd get the heat treatment wonky and end up with brittle blades, but in all properly processed examples you could chop through frozen knots with blades that were only around 2.5mm thick.

As far as 440A goes, Kershaw used to do a lot of knives in it, and they had the best 440A I've ever used. I think part of the issue is that a lot of times by the time that corners get cut on steel choice, a lot else has been cut, too, and so it doesn't end up getting processed properly or sourced from good producers. In the case of the older Kershaws they actually heat treated the stuff well, and it held up quite nicely for a steel in its class, both in edge retention and toughness. Certainly there were still lots of steels that outclassed it in certain respects, but it was no slouch at all.
 

Larrin

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
Messages
4,282
The website is a fun hobby but not PhD worthy. The PhD was a lot of work, wonderful and grueling working with the excellent steel metallurgist professors at the Colorado School of Mines. They certainly weren't easy on me with the PhD qualifying exam and the thesis defense. Very rewarding in the end though. I learned a lot about conducting research, analysis, writing, presenting, etc.
 
Top