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 Post subject: Steel Comparison of YXR7 and a few others
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:33 pm 
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My friend at the steel mill who has been introducing me to lots of blacksmiths, introduced this new steel that Hitachi came out with that is aimed at our little industry.
Before I go into the details here is a chemical composition comparison between the new steel called YXR7 and a few popular high end steels that they also sell and we know about.

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I'll come back and talk about this and I have a sample knife that I would like to pass around as well so we can all discuss it after checking it out.



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 Post subject: Re: Steel Comparison of YXR7 and a few others
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:05 pm 

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On paper it doesn't look notable. Likely very tough and chip resistant. But we all know that the steel is just one part of the equation.


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 Post subject: Re: Steel Comparison of YXR7 and a few others
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 4:00 pm 
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(Disclaimer: The following information is opinion and not to be considered fact) :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I think that looks pretty good actually. With a carbon content below .90 and fairly low chromium, this should have a nice fine grain to it. Tungsten and Vanadium don't really grow big grains when temp is controlled, and I like that the Tungsten and Vanadium are balanced. When it comes to carbides, I find that Tungsten produces a stiffer edge less prone to rolling whereas Vanadium will increase wear resistance but not do much for the rolling factor, hardness aside. Any steel with a lot of tungsten feels like it gets sharp faster because the edge stays straighter while sharpening. The tradeoff is this makes a knife chippy.

There's just enough chromium to make this much less reactive than your standard carbon. It will patina I'm sure, but it should be pretty mild.

I've never really paid attention to how Molybdenum affects a blade. For some reason I always overlook it and I know it plays a big part in some steels. The chart says it works the same as Tungsten while controlling grain. This should produce a stronger steel.

My opinion is that this should have a little less, or near, the wear resistance of VG-10 but have much better toughness and better sharpening properties. This is not stainless and will act more like a carbon. Expect it to take a fine edge. 15 degrees would be good for this stuff, not sure it would support crazy geometry. You need to get above 1 percent carbon to get a good edge below 15 degrees per side IMO, although at 62 rockwell I'm sure it might be a ringer.

Until we get some, it's all speculation! Hitachi has an incredible reputation, and I'm sure this is going to be a great little steel.

Purity and manufacturing process have just as much to do with steel as its composition. The fact that Hitachi is making this is why I think it's going to be good.



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 Post subject: Re: Steel Comparison of YXR7 and a few others
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 4:16 pm 
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Strange looking steel. Looks a bit like M2....which I know little to nothing about.



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 Post subject: Re: Steel Comparison of YXR7 and a few others
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:44 pm 

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 Post subject: Re: Steel Comparison of YXR7 and a few others
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:50 pm 

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This looks interesting. I love semi-stainless tool steels :mrgreen:

Are there other HSS that are commonly used in cutlery? (sorry if that is a stupid question)


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 Post subject: Re: Steel Comparison of YXR7 and a few others
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:39 pm 

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Definitely interesting. For whatever reason, I've found higher carbon content to produce a silkier edge, at least in the absence of other carbide forming materials. I.E. W#1 vs. W#2 done by the same smith where, correct me if I'm wrong, but the primary difference between the two steels is carbon content. It could also come down to how comfortable the smith is finding the right heat treat... Anyway, not a real steel geek, so completely open to being shot down here. Always interested in learning more here.



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 Post subject: Re: Steel Comparison of YXR7 and a few others
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:12 pm 
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How is YXR7 manufactured? Is it a conventional or PM steel?

I now have three knives (one gyuto, two EDC) with PM steel and think the process imparts improvements beyond just the chemical makeup. I'm sure heat treating plays a big part in the outcome, but it certainly can't hurt by starting with a steel that has smaller and more distributed carbides.



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 Post subject: Re: Steel Comparison of YXR7 and a few others
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 4:49 pm 
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Here is a little information from the steel mill that is responsible for cladding about half of the knives we offer. His nick name is Dr. O. He is responsible for introducing me to so many of
the new blacksmiths we have been offering of late. It's been a fantastic relationship for both of us. It also allows us to do stuff with new steel and choose the blacksmith that will make the knives up from scratch using their cladding and heat treatment.


"This is a kind of HSS and called as Matrix HSS. This matrix means most hard carbides
are formed in the matrix ( base of metal ) without being independent and appearing like
SLD in the picture ( you have introduced the photo of microstructure on your website ).

Attached please find a copy entitled Comparison of HAP40, ZDP189, AS & YXR7.
You can see that the basic hardness gets a little softer due to a little less Carbon,
Tungsten & Vanadium, while Molybdenum is a little bigger to increase the toughness, i.e.,
one of the basic purposes of this matrix form is to be tougher compared with existing
HSS, keeping sufficient hardness to have a sharp edge longer."



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 Post subject: Re: Steel Comparison of YXR7 and a few others
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 4:51 pm 
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I'm going to put away all our current knives at home and take this for a spin starting tonight. Once I'm done I'll pass it around if any of you are interested.



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