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exotic steels by Japanese craftsmen

Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:53 pm

I'm curious if the rising popularity or pervasiveness in exotic / non-traditional steels being used by Japanese bladesmiths is a function of catering to the Western market or something else? The powdered tool steels are what initially come to mind, but not necessarily limited to that discussion.

Re: exotic steels by Japanese craftsmen

Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:53 pm

Here is a link you might want to check out regarding knife steels.


http://www.thetruthaboutknives.com/2013 ... de-steels/

Re: exotic steels by Japanese craftsmen

Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:18 am

Phyllisco,

I'm having a hard time seeing a correlation between the contents of that article and my question. What am I missing?

Re: exotic steels by Japanese craftsmen

Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:06 am

Snipes,

I think you answered your own question. Most Japanese artisans seem to have their comfort zone wrt materials and specialize in one or two steels. They likely move into the PMs because of Western demand and there are yen to be made.

Some of the materials (HAP40 Damascus for example) is bought pre-made in sheets and the maker merely needs to shape and sharpen. A far cry from hunched over a fire.

Cheers,

Rick

Re: exotic steels by Japanese craftsmen

Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:11 am

I agree with Rick more like supply and demand Westerners want Edge Retention and are always searching for more so they are starting to conform to those standards instead of using the more traditional steels since there is coin to be made in the west

Re: exotic steels by Japanese craftsmen

Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:17 am

That said at least some of those steels (like ZDP or Cowry) are developed in Japan. So if they are innovating for the Western market they are doing it on both sides: raw materials and finished products.

Re: exotic steels by Japanese craftsmen

Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:04 am

I assume two things are at play:
1) Progress: PM is available and increasingly cost effective so it is entering the market in the west and everywhere.
2) I assume there is similar interest in PM steels in Japan as there is here. The western market is not a vast untapped pool of demand for high end cutlery...I know because look at the crap most people think are good knives.

Re: exotic steels by Japanese craftsmen

Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:42 pm

cedarhouse wrote:I assume two things are at play:
1) Progress: PM is available and increasingly cost effective so it is entering the market in the west and everywhere.
2) I assume there is similar interest in PM steels in Japan as there is here. The western market is not a vast untapped pool of demand for high end cutlery...I know because look at the crap most people think are good knives.



It's your second assumption that caused me to ask the question. I don't recall seeing many of the traditional Japanese knife styles being listed using these new steels. I've started seeing some of the AS stuff and maybe I'm missing the others, but the majority of what I see is focused around gyutos and pettys. I would have expected the same thing Cedar, but I just don't seem to be seeing it.
Last edited by snipes on Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: exotic steels by Japanese craftsmen

Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:45 pm

Snipes,
There was a method here..My post helped you get some answers right?
Thanks guys for helping Snipes out.

Re: exotic steels by Japanese craftsmen

Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:59 pm

Phillysco,
I'm still unclear about your method. You posted a link about different steel types and how to respond to "which one is best?". I still don't see the correlation to original question, but I appreciate you weighing in and attempting to help me. The goal of the post was to hopefully generate conversation about things other than knife prices and which one is best.
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