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What is your favorite knife steel?
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A recent thread inquired what was your favorite handle material.

In conjunction, I thought I might ask, what is your favorite steel when it comes to knives?


I have more knives made of different steels than knives of A2 steel, but it is probably my favorite.





Menefee #1 Fighter, A2



Menefee set, A2




Menefee Semi-skinner, A2




Menefee Pachecho, A2 with petrified Walrus dick shield




Nessmuk set by Dale Howe, A2




Nessmuk set by Gene Ingram, A2

ya!

GWB
 
Posts: 23752 | Location: Pearland, Tx,, USA | Registered: 10 September 2001Reply With Quote
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Geedubya
How many knives do you own?

Dave
 
Posts: 2086 | Location: Seattle Washington, USA | Registered: 19 January 2004Reply With Quote
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I've never stopped to count!

Pretty much the same as rifles, I'm just one away from being satisfied.

I can usually churn rifles for a profit, and unlike being a meth-head, that supports my addiction.

Now if I could just figure out how to do that with knives.

ya!


GWB
 
Posts: 23752 | Location: Pearland, Tx,, USA | Registered: 10 September 2001Reply With Quote
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Why do you like A2 best? Better edge? Better edge holding?

You and I have discussed this before, but my problem with A2 is simply that it will rust. If you are in a position or location to constantly maintain your knives, that’s one thing.

Where I hunt, after you field dress your game and quarter/bone-out, one is frequently facing a laborious task in getting the meat and head out. I never seem to want to take the time to get ever bit of blood off the blade.

Personally, the two knives that seem sharpest to me are made with D2, but they can rust also and it may be that the heat treating by the particular makers was particularly good. One of them is a Dozier. The other a Winston.
 
Posts: 7999 | Location: Oregon  | Registered: 03 June 2018Reply With Quote
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My other question is, have you ever forced a patina on your A2 knives. I think a patina may reduce the chance of rusting, but not sure of this.
 
Posts: 7999 | Location: Oregon  | Registered: 03 June 2018Reply With Quote
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As you know, I live in an area where the humidity is high and Air Conditioning is a must.

I keep my knives in my house. I usally carry several when I go to one of my leases. I hunt out of a camp where I have a camper to stay in. I always have either a can of Kroil or some Ballistol wipes. After I use a knife, whether at home or away I generally wash off with water and soap, then towel dry. I let the knife dry for a bit, then will wipe down both the scales and the blade with Kroil and here lately more with the Ballistol wipes and leave it overnight to dry before I put the knife up in the sheath.
If you notice all of the knives except the Ingram Kingfisher have been "etched" and that helps with the oxidation/patina. However, I like a patina, I think it gives the knife "character", and as I'm a user/collector, I'm not worried about the decrease in value by my usage.

Here is a Mike Williams forged knife, carbon steel.

I've used it quite a bit!



IIRC I paid Mike somewhere north of 7 Benjamins for the privilege of having it follow me home!







I use it and wipe it down. Skinned several critters, have not had to sharpen it yet!

You might invest in some of the Ballistol wipes, they are light and packable, and work.

ya!

GWB
 
Posts: 23752 | Location: Pearland, Tx,, USA | Registered: 10 September 2001Reply With Quote
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What is your favorite steel? It is probably the one you use the most. Habit has big sway with our perceptions.
Other than the "rust a little" vs."rust a lot" debate that never ends; in knife steels the usual best knife boils down to the heat treating of that blade.
Whether a factory doing 5000 blades a day; or a single guy shop doing 5 a week. It's the one who most centers the myriad problems of the process in that one individual blade that you are using that shapes your like or dislike of that Steel.
All knife steels that I am aware of have tolerance limits. Mostly 10% in the carbon steels I deal with. A 1.0 carbon blade can vary by .90 carbon to 1.10 carbon and all the rest of the good and bad things in the steel follow suit. Way changes the heat treat procedure. When you factor in the high end and the low end of that steel, the heat and cooling that is best for that alloy content at that time, it is amazing that we have a knife at all.
 
Posts: 350 | Location: oklahoma | Registered: 01 August 2006Reply With Quote
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My favorites are made with D2 steel but desgn, style and fit are the much more important reasons I have bought them.
 
Posts: 800 | Location: Missouri | Registered: 24 May 2002Reply With Quote
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When I switched from high carbon tool steel, I choose CPM154CM. The research I did indicated it had the things going for it I was looking for i.e. edge holding, resistance to chipping, stain resistance, ease of sharpening.

Lee
 
Posts: 569 | Location: Vancouver, WA | Registered: 28 June 2010Reply With Quote
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This from Phil Wilson


Re: Difference between CPM-154 and 154CM?


Postby Phil Wilson » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:00 am
Hi Captn, CPM 154 is the particle metallurgy version of 154CM. ATS-34 is pretty much the same thing only made in Japan. These grades were developed as bearing steels and could take higher temperatures with out hardness loss if tempered at the high end ( 975 F) Bob loveless used both 154CM and ATS 34 as well as a lot of custom makers early on. They are still great steels and I use them for fillet knives. Phil


https://www.spyderco.com/forum...iewtopic.php?t=75944


I have quite a few knives that are ATS-34, 154CM and 154CPM.

As Mike mentioned, its the heat treat.

ya!


GWB
 
Posts: 23752 | Location: Pearland, Tx,, USA | Registered: 10 September 2001Reply With Quote
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I have a couple of knives from 15 years ago that are ats34. Never noticed a damn of difference from the so-called super steels.

Gator, who posts on here recommended a spiderco with I think SV110. I bought one. It does seem to hold an edge well.

All that said, I’ve concluded that a very thin blade in high carbon steel makes the best cutting edge.
 
Posts: 7999 | Location: Oregon  | Registered: 03 June 2018Reply With Quote
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Because inquiring minds want to know, here's Crucible's explanation of Particle Metallurgy Crucible Particle Metallurgy CPM

I'm also in total agreement with Mike and GWB that heat treatment can make or break (sometimes literally) a knife.

Lee

 
Posts: 569 | Location: Vancouver, WA | Registered: 28 June 2010Reply With Quote
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Some are, but I am not an Elmax fan. Seems it's hard to get the heat treat right. I've a couple that were not done right. No wayt to get an edge.

1095 if not done right is a bummer! I've a couple by famous makers that won't take an edge.

Some folks trash 440 B & C, but various makers seem to make it work.

IIRC, Randall's are 440B at 54 to 56 Rc



I've skint' a number of critters with this Randall, and have not yet to sharpen it.


I've knives of 3V




D2



154 CM



S30V







They all work.

The blade design and "toothi-ness of the grind taken with the heat treat seem to me to make more difference when skinning that steel type.

The thing about the stainless steels, is that the resist a patina or discoloration.

ya!

GWB
 
Posts: 23752 | Location: Pearland, Tx,, USA | Registered: 10 September 2001Reply With Quote
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Another thing IMHO that makes a difference is the grind and "toothiness that the maker puts on a blade.

Here is one that I have used and abused the schitt out of for the last 3 or 4 years. IIRC, I've touched it up once on the top edge of my driver's side window glass.

I tell folks I have a "beer lease and a "Deer lease". At both leases, I'm typically "strapped" from the time I put on my pants in the AM till I crash at night! I may use this knive 20 times a day, cutting open corn sacks, duck tape, electrical tape, opening sealed plastic packages, spreading peanut butter or cutting up a taco











Glock G20 SF in 10 MM and my Fisk/Whitewater Collaberation knife in S30V.



I got this one directly from Jerry. He was kind enough to personally put a convex grind on it before he sent it to me.





It ain't a pretty knife any more!





and it only cost two Benjamins





But It's gone thru hell and back.














ya!

GWB
 
Posts: 23752 | Location: Pearland, Tx,, USA | Registered: 10 September 2001Reply With Quote
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Interesting comment, GW, about toothiness. I have never seen knife makers discus this issue. Just like a serrated edge, these minuscule teeth allow the knife to “snag” and start the slice on the object
 
Posts: 7999 | Location: Oregon  | Registered: 03 June 2018Reply With Quote
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Very, very nice knives, Todd Very classy. I presume that the patina becomes a protective coat
 
Posts: 7999 | Location: Oregon  | Registered: 03 June 2018Reply With Quote
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Hunting knives ...............S30V
Chef, paring, santuko..........AUS8A cryo ( 440 B class).
Filleting............nothing good enough corrosion resistance to salt water etc that doesn't hurt when I lose it after cleaning fish on the rocks.
 
Posts: 493 | Registered: 01 September 2010Reply With Quote
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To be particular , before HT you should know what you have .Spheroidized ? small ,medium, large spheres ? Then you can do the best HT.
I like the micro serrated edge on my CPM steels.
Patina doesn't offer much corrosion resistance.
BTW when hunting I take a simple carboard sheath to use after using my knife , until I'm in a better place to properly clan the knife. Putting a dirty knife in a sheath invites corrosion.
 
Posts: 7636 | Registered: 10 October 2002Reply With Quote
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I don't know one designation of steel from another but I know which knives that I like, so if you know what type of steel each has, then you'll know the type of steel involved. The most recent knife is a von Gruff Trinity thumb notch skinner. I haven't used it on an animal yet although I bumped the blade and got a cut. I'm quite pleased with it and plan on getting a few more from him. For kitchen and household use I prefer Wusthof, Russell and F.Dick brands. For animals I like the old Oregon Gerber, Randall and Ruana. I like a steel that holds an edge but can be renewed/lined with a few swipes on a steel.
 
Posts: 1421 | Location: WA St, USA | Registered: 28 August 2016Reply With Quote
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Me too.

I'm not really into which steel is which concerning knives but I tend to like something that takes a fine edge and is easy to retouch. Carbon steel is my favorite. All steel need to be touched up when doing a lot of game processing regardless of their claims otherwise.

Yes carbon steel must be maintained compared to stainless but who cares? Apparently no body takes care of their equipment anymore. At least those that complain about they're knife rusting.

Some of my factory favorites are Helle and my old 1970's vintage Schrade Scrimshaw knife I bought new.


Roger
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I'm a trophy hunter - until something better comes along.

*we band of 45-70ers*
 
Posts: 2604 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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I've thought about this topic at length and, as we grow or age, take your pick, my thoughts have changed. For years my pick was S30V, but with use I have slowly come around to 52100, preferably in a knife by Rick Dunkerley. The only real problem with 52100 is it has little corrosion resistance and is subject to discoloring or even rusting if neglected after use. In a using knife, I don't mind some patina, and 52100, which used to be kind of rare, but is used by many these days, seems to hold a superior edge. Some years ago, I had Mr. Dunkerley make a pair of 52100 hunters for a graduation gift to myself and my son, Adam and they have been absolutely superb. OTOH, I had a camp knife and hunter pair made by David Winston, his first use of S30V, I believe, which is really fine. A tough call but 52100 seems the best.


xxxxxxxxxx
When considering US based operations of guides/outfitters, check and see if they are NRA members. If not, why support someone who doesn't support us? Consider spending your money elsewhere.

NEVER, EVER book a hunt with BLAIR WORLDWIDE HUNTING or JEFF BLAIR.

I have come to understand that in hunting, the goal is not the goal but the process.
 
Posts: 17099 | Location: Texas USA | Registered: 07 May 2001Reply With Quote
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10/4 on all the things you say about 52100.

Maybe not my favorite, but.........




a sweet little number by Ray Kirk





Semi-skinner, 52100 and Buffalo Horn, Gary Music, Music made knives



One by Tim Olt that displays the discoloration you described






52100 and Buffalo Horn





Two more by Ray Kirk along with a Ariel Salaverria (Argentina) damascus blade.

.


and a couple folders by John Lloyd







ya!

GWB
 
Posts: 23752 | Location: Pearland, Tx,, USA | Registered: 10 September 2001Reply With Quote
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[/IMG]


As noted above, I am not familiar with the various steels, but I really like this one may by vonGruff of New Zealand.
 
Posts: 1421 | Location: WA St, USA | Registered: 28 August 2016Reply With Quote
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I know what I like and what I don't but I'm not smart/educated enough to know why.

Y'all are light years ahead of me but I surely love knives and especially love the picture-rich threads like this.

Thanks GW, just-a and others.

Zeke
 
Posts: 1981 | Registered: 27 October 2011Reply With Quote
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GW
That hast to be your "Town Hat" under that fighting knife and pistola.
I just can't see you wearing it out on the lease killing piggies.



Don't limit your challenges . . .
Challenge your limits


 
Posts: 4141 | Location: TN USA | Registered: 17 March 2002Reply With Quote
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I like CPM S30V, BG42 Timkin, Cpm 154CM, D2 in about that order on my hunting knives. I have had A2 and S3VCPM also. My knives are by Lum, Norris,Cris Reeve but I mostly use two Bob Lum customs. I also have a James Rodebaugh Damascus that is a Bowie and too pretty to use.
 
Posts: 107 | Location: kamiah idaho | Registered: 16 April 2006Reply With Quote
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CRF, I haven’t heard Bob Lum’s name In ages. He made beautiful knives. His attention to detail was remarkable.

Much disappointment that I don’t have any Lum knives. I gave one to a friend and lost another on a New Mexico elk hunt. I believe that he used ats 34.

I think that it’s been about ten years since he passed away.
 
Posts: 7999 | Location: Oregon  | Registered: 03 June 2018Reply With Quote
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Shrodinger, Bob was a master at detail and a great guy. I had him make a drop point hunter in Bg42 and another for my wife in CPM 154cm. I also have a drop point hunter he made in ATS34. They are our go to knives for hunting and butchering. They all take a great edge and hold it. I used to live in Portland. We miss Bob much. Only the good die young. I think that it has been about 10 years since his passing.
 
Posts: 107 | Location: kamiah idaho | Registered: 16 April 2006Reply With Quote
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I don't know shit about knives, but if I outlive him I'd sure like to go to GW's estate sale.


"If you’re innocent why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”- Donald Trump
 
Posts: 6836 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: 09 December 2007Reply With Quote
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Had two Lums,

now just this one!





Bob Lum Tanto/Spyderco collaboration.





ya!


GWB
 
Posts: 23752 | Location: Pearland, Tx,, USA | Registered: 10 September 2001Reply With Quote
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For steel I'm pretty boring. I've tried a few different ones but keep coming back to O-1. Nothing fancy it just works. One I won't use again is D2. I'd like to try 52100 though. I couldn't post a picture photobucket is holding everything hostage.


Yes it's cocked, and it has bullets too!!!
 
Posts: 582 | Location: Apache Junction, AZ | Registered: 08 August 2003Reply With Quote
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I like A2, D2, O1. Packy
 
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