I'm curious, has anyone had opportunity to work with Hitachi's YXR7 or the HAP72? Apparently Rockstead has prototyped a HAP72 blade with a final HRC of 70, but they claim they were also able to get a fair amount toughness out of it as well, despite the fact that this steel is literally at the top of the chart regarding strength and wear resistance. About 2.1 Carbon and 9.5 Cobalt among other alloys, but Cobalt is the starring alloy in the film. I also found at least one bladesmith offering the HAP72 in a chef's knife.
$1200 - $2000 for a production folding knife. Gotta love a company like Rockstead that has figured out how to wring out every drop of performance from some of Hitachi's most coveted proprietary steels. I guess if you can figure out heat treating and edge geometry enough to produce blades that will make 290+ cuts through 1" hemp rope and still slice magazine paper with abandon, you've done something right. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PRgRLZ_bdI
. They're fun videos if you haven't watched them already.
Rockstead claims that most users need only to strop their edges for months on end when it comes to their YXR7 or ZDP 189, but at some point the steel's got to hit the stone and that ultra expensive mirror finish will be compromised. Of course they figure most users will just send it back to Rockstead for sharpening, but that would take all the fun out of it! -Josh