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Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:59 pm
...all of those steels mentioned tho...are taken from a Hitachi brochure.
Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:25 am
Powdered steels are great, I don't want anything I say to take away from that. I just don't prefer them over other steels.
Don't get me wrong, I still love my CPM154 Harners and I do love other knives that use powdered steels.....but....
For me, as a home cook, kitchen knife enthusiast, I prefer steels like 52100, Hitachi White, AEB-L....the very low alloy, pure steels. I find them easier to sharpen and they take a better edge. I don't care about how long a knife can hold it's edge...that's actually about the last thing I care about. Which is were a lot of the powdered steels excel. They are tougher, more abrasion resistant. That also makes them tougher to grind/sharpen IMHO.
Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:31 pm
Thanks. I enjoy the opportunity to hear your opinions on these things.
Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:21 pm
"For me, as a home cook, kitchen knife enthusiast, I prefer steels like 52100, Hitachi White, AEB-L....the very low alloy, pure steels. I find them easier to sharpen and they take a better edge. I don't care about how long a knife can hold it's edge...that's actually about the last thing I care about. Which is were a lot of the powdered steels excel. They are tougher, more abrasion resistant. That also makes them tougher to grind/sharpen IMHO."
I agree. Easy to sharpen and fine edge is good. I noticed such a difference between sharpening my blue steel knife and then sharpening the Henckel, on the same stone. It literally took forever to get the Henckel to ~ the same sharpness as the aogami knife. I like to quick strop and then get on with the fun stuff.
Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:53 pm
There is a pretty big conversation about powdered metals themselves.
And this is by NO MEANS a list to go off of, or anything, but more or less a generalized, opinionated view of powdered metals.
1st generation powdered metals still have relatively large carbides. The whole point of most 1st gen powdered metals was to be able to use ridiculously high amounts of carbon and chromium without making a knife that would shatter. So, essentially without the powdered process these steels would be either too brittle to use, or even too brittle to even quench in some cases. Without the powdered process these steels would be essentially impossible for practical use if at all. SG-2 is a prime example in my opinion.
2nd and 3rd generation powdered metals improved greatly on reducing the carbide size while greatly increasing the alloys. M390 and K390 are the shining examples of 3rd gen in my opinion.
The large carbides on a first gen powdered metal suffer from the dreaded carbide-fallout, resulting in a knife that looses that "off-the-stones" feeling rather fast, but then holds a 1k edge for a good long while. These steels can still be a bit chippy also.
3rd gen powdered metals don't suffer from carbide fallout, but they take a while to sharpen and don't necessarily always respond to stropping very well, not that this is any different for 1st gen.
I'm not sure, but I actually think that ZDP-189 is a 1st gen powdered metal (due to the time it came out). It's around 3% carbon, 20% Chromium, and some extra hardness. Without the powdered process I can tell you this steel would probably crack during quenching and if you did quench it, it would be brittle as glass. That being said, the one thing that sets ZDP apart from other powdered metals is the manufacturing process. I'm pretty sure they use a special type of gas atmosphere while processing it, preventing excessive carbon growth. I think Cowry-X is the same as well, and this is why these 2 steels are the 2 most expensive stainless steels on the market. Please take a grain of salt with what I said about the manufacturing process, there is still speculation as to how it's really made.
When I had some ZDP in my hands (Richmond ZDP) it took to my Glass Stones rather well, although it was a bit "skaty" on the stones, it abraded well. The carbides didn't seem to fall out so easy on ZDP, and held a 4k very well in my opinion, probably better than a lot of steels I've tried. It did very well on 8k also, but didn't have the knife long enough to play with it at any higher refinement. I like the whole mystery surrounding ZDP, I can say that some of the hype is warranted, I like it a lot.
About alloys: My thoughts on Tungsten in steel. Makes a harder edge, less likely to roll. Benefits are that during sharpening it seems to get wicked sharp in a different way as the edge will not roll nearly as much while you are sharpening, and it will take a steeper edge also. Cons are, like Mark said, a little more chippy, takes a little longer to sharpen. We're talking a couple of minutes at best if you know what you are doing. But, tungsten steels will take that steep "scary" edge, not to say White steel won't take a scary edge, you just need it a little bit harder to get that steepness, like above 62 in my opinion is really good. I don't care about chipping as much personally.
Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:59 pm
I've been wondering the same thing.
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