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High-Performance Blades Sharing ideas for getting the most out of our steel.

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Old 04-19-2018, 03:47 AM
Billy02 Billy02 is offline
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What are high-performance blades?

What are high-performance blades? are they used for home purpose or are they commercial use blades? kindly help thanks.
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:16 AM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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In today's world, all too often the verbiage "High-Performance Blades" is used as a catch phrase, or a sales pitch.
Right now the world if filled with so called "knifemakers" who have watched a couple of episodes of Forged In Fire, and are self made experts.

Now, more than anytime in my 30+ year career as a Bladesmith/Knifemaker, it is a buyer beware environment, simply because of all the upstarts we are now seeing.

I recently saw a Knifemaker website who was calling their knives "high performance", and in the same line stated that "All are blade are produced from high quality A36 hot rolled steel"........ for those who don't know, A36 steel is structural steel, that is basically the lowest grade of steel available, with no specific analysis requirement.
What does all that mean? It means that potential knife buyers need to do their homework to avoid being ripped off! In general, I would recommend sticking with Bladesmiths that are members of the ABS (American Bladesmith Society), and for the highest assurance of quality, stick with those individual who carry a JS (Journeyman Smith), or MS (Mastersmith) rating. I would also include those Makers who are members of the Knifemaker's Guild. Even sticking to those makers is no guarantee, but those makers are the ones who take knifemaking very serious.

Directly to your question.... "High-Performance" is nothing more than words. Those who truly produce "high performance" blades/knives generally don't advertise with those words, because the term is so often used as a sales pitch. As to where they are used? You can find true "high performance" blades in either environment. Once a person uses a true "high performance" knife, they quickly realize just how the market is flooded with sub-par blades.


"Every CHOICE has a CONSEQUENCE, and all your CONSEQUENCES are a result of your CHOICES."
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Old 04-19-2018, 11:15 AM
samuraistuart samuraistuart is offline
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Location: San Antonio Texas
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I agree with Ed, 99% of it.

On the knife maker who was using structural steel, they are actually carburizing it, giving it a hardened "shell" if you will. But still.....why?

To me a high performance blade is a custom knife that is tuned to the task it is meant to handle. What I mean by "tuned" is that the thickness of the blade is right, the overall grind is dialed in, the edge geometry is correct, and the heat treatment is not "industry standard", but rather changed for edged tools (and not bearings, for example, like with 52100. Or dies and stamps with D2 for example). The handle isn't too short, too long, doesn't rotate in the hand if/when chopping, etc etc

You can buy a nice hunting knife from a well known and respected knife company. It will have great steel, and probably a good HT too, but it always goes back to the geometry. I will not name the company, but I have a 3.5" hunter that is a full 3/16" thick. It does have a hollow grind, thank goodness, but even with the hollow grind, the edge is too thick, and 3/16" is WAAAY too thick for what I would call a "high performance hunter". I myself make what I would term a "high performance hunter" (same with kitchen knives), but I don't call them that....ever. They just.....are.
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Old 05-23-2018, 01:53 AM
Billy02 Billy02 is offline
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Ed, if you see this link, the spec part says high carbon steel, like it states 1090 and then i saw 1060 and 1045, what is with that, here have a look at this
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Old 01-01-2020, 01:30 PM
nipsip nipsip is offline
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6150 Steel

If you want to beat the ground and not worry. This is a good steel.
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:01 AM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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I would not use 1095 for any sword. It's just too high in carbon and have too much hardness and strength. I'd go to to a lower carbon steel, like the 6150 or 9260, and sacrifice some of the hardness and strength for a bit more toughness. However, I have no idea where to get either alloy. Some say the 80CrV2 is a tough steel that's not hard to heat treat and has good toughness. The New Jersey Steel Baron is trying to push it as a replacement for 5160, which would also be a good sword steel.


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