Steel Materials
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| Simple Steel Notes |
ALL carbon steel used is heat treated, double drawn.

For those that "know" steels, the name of the steel will answer, and maybe open many questions. Please feel free to contact me on any of my knife steel's history i.e. heat treatment, cryogenic, etc.

For those who know little about cutlery steel, I have done a “down home” understandable rating for steel, which will leave you knowing “How good of a steel is in this knife?"

By carving pine, cedar, hemlock, spruce, and pine knot for hours on end, I can list how many hours I can carve, before a steel edge looses it's “bristling” sharp edge. There are other properties sought out by many than just hardness, but this is the most often asked question about steel in a knife. These numbers of hours I can use to help you know how long a knife will hold a good sharp edge. There are many other considerations like resistance to abrasion, for which carving is good, staining less, and toughness to bending. By using my own hand, it's as “Honest Injun” as I can be. These are most of the steels I use to carve, and I seek out the best in the business for fixed blade knives.
Steel Chart
The least effective steel listed is still a pretty good steel, used in a lot of popular knives. There are no "trash" steels in my knives, such as those which one may buy for $15 in everyday stores.

Bluing option only available on Carbon Steel (but not M2). Done in the simple manner of rubbing on several coats of an instant gun blue liquid.

"There is nothing that some man will not make a little worse and sell a little cheaper and those who consider his price are this man's lawful prey."
Words by John Ruskin

| Detailed Steel Notes |

There are many other good steels available which fit into the parameters of those I've listed below and we will use any of them upon request.

Please Note: I am not a metallurgist, but this is a fairly accurate layman's understanding of the steels.

| Carbon Steels |
A popular steel because it is less finicky to sharpen. Carbon steel needs to be kept dry and oiled. It will rust if left wet. Carbon does eventually stain with age but most people do not care and in fact some prefer it over a shiny finish - so bluing is an option. A hap hazard sharpening job on carbon steel is more likely to cut well, than on stainless. Why? Stainless steel, which contains more chromium, tends to make the steel molecularly slick, which does not induce cutting as well as carbon steel.

Carbon steel used is a high grade cutlery steel. It is closely controlled for chemical purity. The blades are blanked paralleled to the rolling direction so the steel grain flows along the blade. The heat treatment process has resulted from decades of experience. This steel has a much better bite on materials, for cutting, that any of the stainless steels, and also tends to continue cutting longer after the edge is less than bristling sharp. It is common for this steel to be able to bend 40 to 60 degrees before it will break. Most master blade smiths prefer this steel and consider its maintenance like that of a gun. A light coating of oil should be applied occasionally and necessary if the knife is stored for a long period.

1095 • Many companies advertise it as their very best steel. For us it is our cheapest & lowest grade.

01 • is a high grade tool steel

D2 • is a higher grade tool steel.

M2 • is the highest grade tool steel and the hardest steel anyone uses (which are very few).*

Stainless Steels • i.e. "Stains Less" They still stain, but much less than carbon. Stainless Steel has to have at least 12% chromium CHR which is an element that does not rust but in itself has poor edge attaining qualities. For the last 40 years the steel industries have been trying to include a high enough chromium content to stain less but to combine it with the right other elements to create alloys that will produce an edge like carbon steel.

440C • There are about 10 stainless steels that other manufacturers base their knives on which are inferior to our most economical stainless - which is 440C. Years ago steel manufacturers found that adding carbon to a chromium based steel could be done to achieve both stain resistance and edge attaining/holding qualities. The steel attained that "cutty" feel when using a knife. Not too many years ago this was the best stainless steel available to knife makers and manufacturers throughout the world. This was known as surgical steel and is what is used in today's operating rooms.

Also, there have been many 400 series steels produced to cheapen manufacturing process. One well known impostor is 420J, which is probably the worst steel found on any knife today. Found and which should be used in show knives (wall hangers) only. Although one can find some well known brand knives using this steel for working knives.

ATS34 + CM154 • Next higher grade of stainless CM154 was invented by Crucible (US). Hitachi (Japan) soon followed suit, practically duplicating it in ATS34. These steels have increased the carbon content as well as molybdenum and other elements to produce a harder stronger steel. This steel had indeed improved upon 440C. Although it is slightly less stain resistant. This steel is probably the best cost/performance choice of all the steels.

S30V • Our 3rd choice of stainless was developed by Crucible. If a Knifemaker is willing to do some 500% more work (which it requires in every step of the way), it is the finest steel in a stainless knife. The secret to S30V, in part, was the addition of molybdenum and carbon. There are some other recent additions to the stainless line, but S30V seems to continue to be hailed as the current best.*

*Since writing this, steel manufacturers have invented so many new steels to compete with these, my old statements will surely and rightly be argued. Still though, these steels I mention remain the flagships of the "best".
Damascus Malcoms Stealth

| Damascus Steel |

Damascus steel is a hot-forged steel used in Middle Eastern swordmaking from about 1100 to 1700 AD. Damascus swords were of legendary sharpness and strength, and were apocryphally claimed to be able to cut through lesser quality European swords and even rock. The technique used to create original Damascus steel is now a matter of historical conjecture. Many raw materials and the metalsmiths' recipes are no longer available. The foundation for Damascus Steel is Wootz Steel, which originated in India and Sri Lanka and later spread to Persia. From the 3rd century to 17th century, India was shipping steel ingots to the Middle East for use in Damascus Steel.

The general term "Damascus" refers to metal with a visible grain pattern, sometimes with a texture. Modern Damascus is a lamination of folded steels selected with cosmetic qualities, with grinding and polishing specifically to expose the layers. True Damascus patterns are formed when carbon trace elements form visible swirls in the steel mix. These elements change properties when the steel is work hardened (forged), creating the patterns.

Damascus Thunderbolt Chasemuck
Damascus Super Chef
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