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  #1  
Old 03-14-2017, 02:43 PM
mr.HC mr.HC is offline
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how many steel types

Being that I am selling my knives for hunting, fishing, camping and just plain working knives I was wondering how many different types of steel I may need to have in order to supply someone a really good quality knife blade, as of now I use 440c for my fillets knives, cpm154 and d2 for my hunting knives, and 01 for fillets, hunting, camping and all around. ARE their any that would truly outperform the steels I have chosen for a specific task.

Thanks, Carl
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:04 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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For the most part those are very good steels. I'd substitute S30V or S35VN for the D2 as I find them much more reliable and they will out perform D2 if given the proper heat treatment. I'm sure you'll get plenty of suggestions for alternatives but the steels you have listed will not be easily out classed when all things are considered ...


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Old 03-14-2017, 10:13 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is online now
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Ray is right, I would just keep it simple and though I haven't HT S30V or S35VN they are better than D2 even if you don't quite squeeze the best out of them. I sent some S30V out and I am certain the production line methods were not squeezing out the best, but these are some great filet knives. I have a CPM S35VN blade I'm testing for another knifemaker and he did squeeze the best out of it. Cut a lot of cardboard, I do mean lots just sitting and watching TV at my leather station. I use it to cut leather too as it just doesn't dull. Well it did go dull, but only after chopping through a hickory axe handle and about 20 feet of cardboard. If it were smaller it would be my EDC. D2 is good, but not S30V good and D2 is easier to screw up, I HT it in a machine shop and learned the best way to make a knife with it. After using this S30V for filet knives I don't think I'll ever make a filet out of O1 again unless someone wants a dark blued blade.

I would drop D2 in a flat minute for one of these "super" steels if I had an oven and if I move to NM with my son I will probably get one. There isn't that much of a price difference between them either. I didn't make those filet knives out of D2, but as I said I chose the S30V flat bar for a reason. Damon, another maker here had made a butcher knife with it and had it sent to Peters HT. The quality of the blade and the difficulty Damon had getting some of his grinder scratches out of it using sandpaper I put diamond compound in convinced me to use it. Diamond compound is pretty quick removing scratches and it took Damon quite a while to get those scratches out.

BTW I live in an apt Carl and have grinders on a cart to take outside and as its -5 wind chill right now I don't think I'll be going outside to grind. Cramps my style not being able to go to my shop and work when I feel like it as I have no shop.

Just my opinion Carl, but I'd learn a few steels very well like the 440C and 01 for certain and to save money I wouldn't buy precision ground either because I have no idea what it is supposed to do to make a knife better. I mean I am going to grind it anyway so why pay someone to do it first? Am open to reasons why I should prefer it, but for the life of me I do not recall ever reading or hearing anything that said I should pay extra to have my steel ground flat before I get it.

Happy heat treating Carl. Hope I didn't bore you as I'm kind of bored tonight too. Dtec made the S35VN knife btw.
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:50 PM
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TexasJack TexasJack is offline
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The late Bob Engnath had a really good page full of descriptions of different knife steels. It may be a little dated now, but it's still active: Engnath - Knife Manual

Look on the left side of the page and click on "Steel".


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Old 03-15-2017, 07:19 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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I would agree s35vn is a great steel...its my knife that jim is testing. It is absolutely a great steel I love it. But its a lil different in how I heat treat it....I don't know if your heat treating your self or sending it out. From what I understand a lot of the HT places either plate or oil quench wich is not what I do that way it wont come out as good as it can if your doing it yourself send me a message and ill tell ya how I do it. but when its done right its a incredible steel
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:37 AM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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Since this is a conversation, I'll give my 2 cents.

I would pick one or two steels based on suggestions above and really learn how to make a great blade from them. People will buy your knives because they are YOUR knives and the design is pleasing and workmanship is good. At least that's what I've found.

And hopefully your knife is a little better than the mass produced knife.

My own experience is they care little about what kind of steel, as long as it sharpens reasonably easily and holds a good edge. Of course someone may prefer stainless over carbon or vice-versa but could care less what KIND of stainless or carbon.

Knifemakers worry or care a lot more over types (and hype) than the average Joe just wanting a good knife.

At least that's been my experience, being relatively new at all this.


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Old 03-15-2017, 08:45 AM
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Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
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I think of steels like guns.

When the gun cannot keep up with the demands I place on it, I'll buy a higher performance gun for that task, but until my skills exceed the capabilities of my $500 pistol or $600 rifle, I see no need to spend over a grand.

I tend to think of steels the same way.
Show me a knife that if made from CPM154, 440C, 154 CM, or ATS-34 would fail, that would not fail if made from one of the new 'wonder steels'


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Old 03-15-2017, 09:38 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is online now
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Like I've said, I made filet knives and S30V will hold an edge a lot longer than any other steel. But that's a filet knife that has to cut through bones and scales.
Why use a .38 Special when a .357 doesn't cost much more? We were talking about replacing D2 not 440C. I see no reason whatsoever to use D2 with S30V available as I said above.
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:02 AM
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Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
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Because .38 has much less recoil!

My statement was for general steel use philosophy.
I've never used D2 nor have I been asked to. I have some S30V, but I cant remember if I've used any.

I had a client recently ask for one of my push daggers in CPM3V. It's a cool steel that he was familiar with from a high end factory folder. I explained that the dagger is 1/4" thick and about 4" long and that I could make it out of any stainless alloy and the differences would likely never be discernible. The shortest bar I could get of the appropriate dimensions was 18" and it cost $145. We settled on CPM154 for his knife.


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Old 03-15-2017, 10:31 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Adrew you have a point yes blades I have made from 440c can do any task a blade from s35vn can do BUT ill tell you right now if the s35vn is HT ed right the edge will deffinitly stay sharp longer than the 440c....But if your going to HT your own blades it is best to pick one and perfect the HT (wich takes some time a spec sheet is a good starting point but I always alter things when learning a new steel) But you should deffinitly perfect one before going to another. Wich is why I only use 440c and s35vn and still in experimental stages with 154cm...I can do 1084 but don't very often. But MRHC are you HT ing your own blades? or sending them out? that could change the whole situation
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:55 AM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmontg View Post
Why use a .38 Special when a .357 doesn't cost much more?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Garrett View Post
Because .38 has much less recoil!
Less recoil, less noise, less fire out of barrel to ruin night vision, typically smaller and lighter weight "launchers" available, +P ammo is pretty hot stuff, and still cheaper than .357 ammo.... and at self defense distance it's doubtful the recipient of what is exiting out of the barrel can tell much difference.

Kinda like the difference between getting cut on 440C or 1095.


Which reminds me BTW, am I the only one with an almost perpetual bandaid on my finger(s)?


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Old 03-15-2017, 12:18 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Nobody's mentioned the fact that you can have the versatility of access to the more powerful .357 ammo but load with .38 if you have a .357 My little Centennial isn't any larger than a .38 but can handle the heavier ammo if that's what is available/required. Admittedly, that's wasteful with a 2" barrel but having options is not a bad thing...


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Old 03-15-2017, 12:19 PM
mr.HC mr.HC is offline
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Thanks for the replies guys, my paragon oven is on its way so after my batch of 440c comes back from Peters heat treat the rest will be heat treated by me, I understand it will be a big learning curve but I cannot wait to jump right in and mess things up. I have decided to drop the d2 and replace it with s35vn, as Jim had said the price difference is minimal, but the quality of what can be made is much better. I also agree with WNC Goater about potential buyers, BUT I still want quality steel because I believe it to be a huge selling point, not that the gun analogy don't make sense but you are not comparing apples to apples, sure one has more recoil and bigger bullets than the other but they are different size guns, compare filet knife to filet knife with the blades the same size and i can see where one steel would be better than another, and that IS what i am looking for.

Just so you all know, and i am sure you all do, but that's the reason i joined this site over the others, knowledge, wisdom, and the willingness to help others.

Carl
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:30 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is online now
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I used to hunt with pistols and have a 6" barreled .357 and it will hit a coyote at 100 yards easily. But it will take .38 loads as well. I used to have a .357 Maximum and at 200 meters was still going fast enough to kill a boar with a 180 grain bullet. Great round for a rifle, but they never made a lever action for it, too bad.

Last edited by jimmontg; 03-15-2017 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 03-15-2017, 01:05 PM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Rogers View Post
Nobody's mentioned the fact that you can have the versatility of access to the more powerful .357 ammo but load with .38 if you have a .357 My little Centennial isn't any larger than a .38 but can handle the heavier ammo if that's what is available/required. Admittedly, that's wasteful with a 2" barrel but having options is not a bad thing...
I have a Ruger SP101 in .357 with a 2" barrel. Even though heavy for a little snubnose, with full blown .357's it's a bit "snappy" even though I'm sure some unburned powder is blown out the barrel. Rarely do I carry it but when I do it's loaded with .38 spl. +P.
S&W makes some titanium framed .357's, little pocket snub nose. Nope. I had a snubnose aluminum framed S&W Airweight that I sold. (Helped me buy my KMG) I usually carry a lightweight Ruger LCR which has the nylon frame. With +P loads it's a bit snappy too. But I don't spend a lot of time with it at the range for fun.


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