Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:52 am
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jasonkierce wrote:Where is a good resource to learn the chemical compositions of the various knife steels? It seems that it would be helpful for me to understand more of the chemistry behind the steels...
Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:02 pm
Knife Fanatic wrote:A softer knife will not take a steep edge, but they can take a refined edge. This has nothing to do with stainless or carbon, hardness alone will give you the ability to take a steep edge. Alloys like Tungsten can help this also.
The more chromium a knife has, the less refined of an edge it can take because of carbide growth. Generally, chromium carbides are big. You can hit a sweet-spot of chromium to carbon, and AEB-L is the best example, as well as 440B, but chromium will also cause a knife to get chippy if you take the hardness above 59 or so because the carbides continue to grow the longer the steel soaks at critical temp while being treated. This is where powdered metals really shine.
Almost every single Wusthof and Henckel is made from NON-powdered, high-chromium stainless, meaning it has to be soft in order not to chip, not to mention the carbides are fairly large. Hence why you can't take most German knives past 2,000 grit or 15 degrees.
Japanese knives, on the other hand, tend to be made from carbon steel with little-to-no chromium, allowing the grain to remain fine and toughness to remain even at higher hardness. (aka 61+). Also, it seems more Japanese knives use powdered metal when they do use stainless, which is why even most stainless Japanese knives are harder than their European counterparts.
Super high-purity non-stainless steel can also be hardened extra points without becoming chippy. We just tend to call those steels "Swedish."
Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:37 pm
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