Your EDC knife is as good as the steel from which it is made. When the knife steel is of high quality, then the knife will be sharp, it will keep the sharpening good and will not break just like that. But if the quality of steel leaves much to be desired, then such knives get dull quickly and break at the most inopportune moment.
Considering that there is a huge amount knife steels, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages, it becomes much more difficult to choose a suitable knife, which requires a more detailed study of the issue. Therefore, we will talk about several of the most popular materials that are most often used in the manufacture of knives for EDC.
What should I pay attention to in the first place?
- Hardness and durability. Or rather, the balance of these two qualities. You do not need a blade that can bend under load, as well as no material that can lose some of its properties over time.
- Acuity and ability to keep sharpening. The knife must be sharp and must remain sharp as long as possible. And while you should be able to sharpen it. That is, again, the balance of two qualities. Which is largely determined by the amount of carbon in the steel.
- Corrosion Resistance. Knives from ordinary steel need special care and maintenance. With stainless steel products, the situation is much easier, but they can also rust if they do not receive adequate attention. Elements like chromium and vanadium reduce the rate of rusting. knife steel, so pay attention to this.
There are a huge number of different types of materials, depending solely on the manufacturer. As a rule, the name of the steel partially displays its composition, facilitating orientation. But this is not always the case. And if the manufacturer is silent about the name of the material, then this is definitely a reason to change your mind to buy this tool.
And now the 10 most effective examples good knife steel.
1. 1095 carbon steel
1095 carbon steel is a typical example of ordinary steel with a carbon content of 0.95 percent. This allows you to get a hard blade, which holds the cutting edge perfectly. But rusts without proper care. So pay special attention to lubrication and storage conditions. In addition, the knives of 1095 steel are usually thick, because the only way to avoid excessive fragility of the blade.
2. D2 tool steel
This material is used to make large industrial tools used for cutting and stamping products from softer steel. Therefore, tool steel D2 is characterized by increased strength and wear resistance. And much less prone to rusting. That’s just such heavy and durable knives is extremely difficult to sharpen without special equipment.
This slightly old-fashioned high carbon stainless knife steel, from which classical hunting and gentleman’s knives were made. The 420HC is not as durable as some of the other materials on our list, but it is great for daily intensive use. Moreover, such knives are extremely easy to sharpen. And almost about the unpolished bottom of a ceramic plate.
4. Sandvik 12C27 / Sandvik 14C18N
Knife steel with an average carbon content (0.6 percent), which also has a large admixture of chromium. Blades of this material are characterized by high wear resistance and rust resistance. Due to its relatively low carbon content, Sandvik 12C27 may have problems with severity, but proper processing and suitable tools allow it to be solved. And Sandvik 14C18N just has a lot of carbon, so it keeps a bit better.
One of the most common options, because it provides a fairly high performance at a relatively low price. The name 8Cr13MoV displays the composition – 0.8 percent carbon and 13 chromium. It is universal knife steel, perfect for budget knives. Normally holds sharpening, relatively durable, does not rust. There are other variations, but they, due to the smaller amount of carbon, are worse able to stay sharp.
It is stainless knife steel with especially strong crystal structure and high content of chrome. In principle, there is as much carbon in steel 440C as in 1095, but a higher chromium content makes it resistant to corrosion. And since this is alloyed steel, it is also less brittle than 1095, and its wear resistance will be higher. Therefore, it is great for folding knives, not differing massiveness and dimensions.
The properties are almost identical to stainless steel 440C, only contains much more vanadium in its composition. The material itself is beautiful, but the quality of the knives largely depends on the quality of the forging and the temperature treatment. If you buy a knife made of steel AUS-8, then make sure that the manufacturer understands the topic. Such knives as easily sharpened, and rather quickly blunt, so regularly update the cutting edge to avoid problems.
Further development of the 440C idea. Due to the addition of molybdenum, it was possible to achieve even greater strength and retention efficiency of sharpening than other types of stainless steel. Such knives are even fairly easy to sharpen, which makes 154CM knife steel an almost perfect choice as a material for EDC knife.
VG-10 – high quality knife steel with a high carbon content, which is usually used for the most expensive kitchen knives. And if you add to this more and excellent rust resistance … In short, it is quite expensive material, but it is worth the money.
10. CPM-S30V / CPM-S35VN
This steel, despite its highest qualities, is extremely difficult to manufacture due to the use of vanadium carbides. But it’s worth it – the steel CPM-S30V and CPM-S35VN, like no other, know how to keep sharpening. Therefore, they are most often used in the most expensive and high-quality knives.
Original article – The Beginner’s Guide to EDC Knife Blade Steels