The "Ask Nathan a question" thread

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So this might have been asked before but does vanadis 4E not match up to d3V or is it a cost /availability issue? I was reading about the competition cutter and it had me wondering why haven't we seen a Chopper or field knife in V4E. I know BU steels aren't always easy to get and cost can be an issue too.
 

bluemax_1

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So this might have been asked before but does vanadis 4E not match up to d3V or is it a cost /availability issue? I was reading about the competition cutter and it had me wondering why haven't we seen a Chopper or field knife in V4E. I know BU steels aren't always easy to get and cost can be an issue too.
There HAVE been some CPKs other than the CC in 4V. The EDC and LC both have a small number out in the wild. They pop up For Sale on rare occasion.
 

WValtakis

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There HAVE been some CPKs other than the CC in 4V. The EDC and LC both have a small number out in the wild. They pop up For Sale on rare occasion.
Yup, the only two choppers I currently have are a Comp chopper and a 4v Light Chopper...I should probably get an EDC to round it out;)
 

Nathan the Machinist

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They're not 100% completely identical but they're close enough you'd never tell the difference. They are, for all intents and purposes the exact same alloy. The difference is that 4V is made in the USA by Crucible and V4E is made by BU in Europe. Crucible uses a 1st gen particle process and BU uses a 3rd gen. This sounds impressive, and when you see the difference in particle size you go wow! But take a step back. We're not doing MIM or sintering here. We're rolling it into a conventional sheet. The purpose of the particle process is to allow alloys that aren't otherwise possible because the ingredients have greatly different melting points and things like the yummy vanadium carbides are coming out of solution way before the iron starts the solidify. Or to reduce carbide size in high-carbide steels. 4V, V4E are moderate carbide volume fraction but contain a fair bit of vanadium which is very high temp. They benefit from the PM process, but for our application I don't think the finer powder size actually accomplishes anything and I can see ways where it might actually be counter productive.

So, while Jo is right, they're not "the same" (Jo is always right), they are pretty much identical for our purposes.
 

Nathan the Machinist

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So this might have been asked before but does vanadis 4E not match up to d3V or is it a cost /availability issue? I was reading about the competition cutter and it had me wondering why haven't we seen a Chopper or field knife in V4E. I know BU steels aren't always easy to get and cost can be an issue too.

We don't make decisions of this nature based on cost. The cost of the raw materials amounts to a rounding-error in the cost of making a knife and is simply added to the cost of the knife. Nobody minds spending an extra 10-20 bucks to get the good stuff. For example, when we do use a less expensive material (AEBL for example) we discount the difference from the price of the work, but nobody is buying an AEBL knife to save a few bucks, it's because they want the properties of AEBL such as ease of sharpening, "stainlessness" and world class fine edge stability over the wear resistance and toughness of 3V.

Availability can be an issue. But I'm pretty hardheaded and if I want something I usually find a way to get it.

The reason people buy our knives are because they stay sharp in rough use and the designs work well. Heat treat optimized 3V does this job very well and is the best all around material for our applications for most people. However, some people are willing to trade some durability and margin for error and corrosion resistance for improved strength in the thin sections used in applications like comp cutters. 4V performs well at HRC 64, and it has very good edge retention and edge stability, it just rusts easier and has more of a catastrophic failure mode than 3V. Most people prefer Delta 3V, so that's why we use it.
 

Nathan the Machinist

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Nathan,
Will the Notakatana have a purposeful design phase where the blade, geometry and overall form will be engineered toward some intended purpose?

I'm thinking of the effort into design and testing and tweaking on the K18 with the end goal in mind.

Or will it be like the Kephart with an emphasis of historical faithfulness?

The K18 was made to win KOD. A Notta-Katana wouldn't have any particular special purpose other than perhaps acts of indescribable violence. It certainly wouldn't be historically accurate. I'm not sure, it's just a concept at this point.
 

Lorien

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The K18 was made to win KOD. A Notta-Katana wouldn't have any particular special purpose other than perhaps acts of indescribable violence. It certainly wouldn't be historically accurate. I'm not sure, it's just a concept at this point.
I'm sure we could think of ways to describe the violence.
 
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