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Old 01-24-2008, 08:03 PM
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Premium Steel Problem



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Over the years I purchased two knives with cpm-s30v blades, one with an ats-34 blade, and one with a 154cm blade. All the blades have a bead blasted finish. I noticed that after food prep (especially peeling oranges) all of these blades stained.

By staining I mean that they seem to have a shiny area where the food made contact with the blade. At first it looked to me as if oil had gotten trapped in the rough bead blasted finish. However, the blades don't get clean either with alcohol or soap and water. (That should have worked had it been trapped oil or grease). Only metal polish restores (cleans) the blades.

My $25 Victorinox blade does not stain at all under similar usage. Furthermore, I do not notice significantly increased edge retention for the 'fancy' steels as compared to the Victorinox steel.

I should add that I enjoy my 'fancy' knives, and have no regrets about buying them. Does anyone have similar experience with the premium steels?
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:40 AM
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I have several knives in S30v including a Benchmade 210 Snoddy Activator,
a Buck Mayo Kaala and a Spydero Native, None of these have shown signs of staining or discoloration.....So far, as for edge retention and toughness they are among the best but changing edge geometry and sharpening takes quite some time and patience.

Ron
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:45 AM
cletus hungwell

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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartypants2 View Post
Over the years I purchased two knives with cpm-s30v blades, one with an ats-34 blade, and one with a 154cm blade. All the blades have a bead blasted finish. I noticed that after food prep (especially peeling oranges) all of these blades stained.

By staining I mean that they seem to have a shiny area where the food made contact with the blade. At first it looked to me as if oil had gotten trapped in the rough bead blasted finish. However, the blades don't get clean either with alcohol or soap and water. (That should have worked had it been trapped oil or grease). Only metal polish restores (cleans) the blades.

My $25 Victorinox blade does not stain at all under similar usage. Furthermore, I do not notice significantly increased edge retention for the 'fancy' steels as compared to the Victorinox steel.

I should add that I enjoy my 'fancy' knives, and have no regrets about buying them. Does anyone have similar experience with the premium steels?

the difference in the steels is the carbon and chromium contents.... the victorinox is basicly 420series, which has way more chromium and less carbon than the "super steels" you mention..... this allows for a much thinner and tougher blade to be ground, at the expense of wear resistence.....

i would venture to say what you're seein is oxidation from the acids in what you're cutting....

the lack of difference in edge retention points to the geometry of the grind for what you're cutting, and your use habits...

cletus
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:52 AM
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thanks for the responses

Gentlemen, thanks for your inputs. Some comments:

Ronsc says: "None of these have shown signs of staining or discoloration". Did you try peeling an orange with them?

Ronsc also says: "changing edge geometry and sharpening takes quite some time and patience."

I use an Accusharp handheld sharpener that is made up of two carbide elements in a V shape. You run the blade thru the V and it comes out sharp. I examine it under a 10x loop and notice that only the very edge of the blade is actually being sharpened. I run the knife thru until no light is reflected from the actual edge, and at that point consider it sharpened.

This takes very little time (5 minutes max) and seems to produce a good edge.
What is your method?

What I'm ultimately getting at is that I feel the premium steels are more hype than substance. Yes, perhaps lab tests show that s30v edges last 25% longer than 420HC edges. (So by using a premium steel, you can chop up 5 cardboard boxes instead of only four before the knife gets dull). But in real life, you pay a price in terms of staining, and they all have to be sharpened periodically anyway.

For example, a Buck Mayo TNT with S30v steel costs about $200, whereas a Buck Mayo Model 173 is about $60. The difference is in the blades. The TNT has s30V and the 173 has 420HC. My thought is that s30v steel can't be that much more expensive, and the price difference is largely due to the outsized, hyped up reputation of s30v steel.
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Old 01-25-2008, 11:47 AM
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Crucible's S30V is pretty nice. I've never had an issue with staining, but also don't have problems with D2 or CPM 3V (it only has 7.5% chromium). All of my blades are either hand finished or have a fairly fine brushed finish, none are bead blasted. I use a Sharpmaker or DMT diamond stone.
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Old 01-25-2008, 11:59 AM
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wellllllllllllllllll

i said it before , now days knife companies mostly sell pretty handles and so-so steel ( 420). for most folks that is fine.any steel will stain under the right circumstances.fruit with acids will stain some. i personally will buy nothing with 420 steel.
i like a carbon blade and stains do not bother me for i use my knives hard.heck i have been known to stick a blade in a apple or smear on some mustard to cause a petina cause it helps make it rust proof.some extra fine steel wool and it looks fine .. to me. i i have several knives i purchased used that were made by knife makers and some production ones and i can tell when sharpening them if the steel is any good or not. personally i believe the grind on the edge is just as important as the steel but i like a good thin edge with good steel.
david
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:18 PM
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Hi Newshooter04, You say: "i can tell when sharpening them if the steel is any good or not"
How can you tell?

To JB in SC: You say: "I use a Sharpmaker" What's that? Is there a website to see it?

I used to use diamond pads to sharpen all my knives. I was able to get a decent edge but there was really no control over the angle. I held the blade at what I considered to be about right and got a very decent edge.

But it bothered me that I couldn't control the angles very well, so I went over to the 'Accusharp' described earlier in this thread. It seems to work very well and was inexpensive ($10 on sale in the local hardware store).

When we go out to eat (not that frequently), I like to use my knife instead of the serrated piece of junk from the restaurant. Dinner is a lot more fun that way, but our friends sometimes notice and I expect that they wonder about my sanity! But I wouldn't consider that hard use.
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Old 01-26-2008, 03:04 PM
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The Sharpmaker is a Spyderco product, makes it pretty easy to put an edge on some of the harder steels. It's a very popular product, not as good as a knifemaker using a belt, but not bad at all. I use it for virtually all of my custom knives. It's pretty easy to maintain good angles with it, but some knives are not suited to the pre-determined angles. Shop around to find the best price. They do offer diamond stones, but they are very expensive and really not worth the extra cost unless you are changing edge geometry.

http://www.spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=77
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by smartypants2 View Post
Hi Newshooter04, You say: "i can tell when sharpening them if the steel is any good or not"
How can you tell?

To JB in SC: You say: "I use a Sharpmaker" What's that? Is there a website to see it?

I used to use diamond pads to sharpen all my knives. I was able to get a decent edge but there was really no control over the angle. I held the blade at what I considered to be about right and got a very decent edge.

But it bothered me that I couldn't control the angles very well, so I went over to the 'Accusharp' described earlier in this thread. It seems to work very well and was inexpensive ($10 on sale in the local hardware store).

When we go out to eat (not that frequently), I like to use my knife instead of the serrated piece of junk from the restaurant. Dinner is a lot more fun that way, but our friends sometimes notice and I expect that they wonder about my sanity! But I wouldn't consider that hard use.
raise the back of the blade 1/2 it's width.....that will give ya a good workin edge on properly thin ground knives.....and, will last a long time....

if you've got a pry bar instead of a cutter, try 1/4 or 1/3....

cletus
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:04 AM
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Nearly all of the metals in knife blades is "Stain Resistant", not truly stainless. Even Swiss Army Knife steel wll stain...Just pry off the caps on a car battery to check electrolyte levels, and watch the blade darken! I have blades of CPM S30V, VG10, 440HC, CPM S60V, and other "exotics", and they ALL will stain under the right (wrong?) circumstances.
Next Question: I only use carbide sharpeners on VERY DULL blades. They remove Lots of metal, and if the blade is run through without extreme care, you can get an almost serrated, uneven edge (blade hop?).
I carry a Fiskars (Gerber) X-shaped ceramic pocket sharpener. It has medium and fine grit rods that give a 40-degree edge just by pulling the blade through the notch.
I've seen them priced from $.99 to $2.99 at Cheaper Than Dirt, Sportsman's Guide, WalMart, etc.
They measure only 1.75 X 2.25 X 0.5" made of a tough, black polymer. Rapala, the fillet knife brand at WalMart, makes a similar one in red. Check the Fishing Aisle for these.
I also have the Lansky Diamond Hone Kit. It has a blade holder/guide, and rods which attach to the 0.5 X 4.0" "stones". It's easy to use and will give you 30, 35, 40, 45, or 50-degree edges, your choice.
Cost is around $65 for the Diamond kit, or about $40 for the Arkansas stone kit.

Have fun, and be careful. You can get a true Razor's Edge with any of the above.

Dennis

Last edited by MARINE/RVN; 02-05-2008 at 12:30 AM.
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