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Thread: DLC Coating: What is it?

  1. #1

    Question DLC Coating: What is it?


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    Makers like Remington, Kershaw, MOD and Blade-Tech use a coating called DLC on their tactical knives.

    What is it?
    What does it feel like? (smooth, rubbery, coarse, slippery...)
    How scratch-resistant is it?

  2. #2
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    Never used it myself, but supposedly it's the toughest stuff out there. I've always had bad luck with coatings (except for my MIA teflon M16). It's a matte black and it isn't rough, but it's not a super smooth surface either.

  3. #3
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    Can I list a comment about it?
    The coating is a kind of Titanium coating. Maybe 'Diamond Like Carbon'. The black colored and almost 2~4 micron thickness. And it's developed for the rolling tools like drills and endmills to protact their surface.
    The surface is no rubbery and slippery moreover even a little coarse.
    Of course it's very storng against scratches But somewhat weak from moisture like water. Because the machine spray the titanium and carbon the minute partcles to the surface of steel in the cylinder. So between partcle and partcle has some micron cracks. Through these cracks the moisture and steel act each other and the rust rises.
    And one thing, It's so high price to do it. But very valuable coating.

  4. #4
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    DDR uses it too. Here's my latest GH that has been DLC coated. I don't think it feels different, I got it done to hopefully prevent some scratching.


  5. #5
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    Bodycote Thermal Processing, inc. developed a coating called Tungsten DLC. It stands for Diamond Like Coating. It can be either flat finished or polished. The Kershaw Boron Leek and Boron Chive are POLISHED Tungsten DLC, instead of the flat-finished Tungsten coating seen on the Kershaw Blur, Spec Bump, Offset, etc. Supposedly, the TungstenDLC is almost as hard/scratch-resistant as diamonds, hence the name. The Flat finish feels kinda like a chalk board to me, but is very durable. I won't say that it is scratch proof, but it is close. The Polished Tungsten DLC is even more scratch resistant, but feels as glossy as it looks.

    My Boron Leek is my absolute favorite knife. Though it can be somewhat slippery when wet, the polished coating is almost friction-less and makes cutting easier.

    In the first pic, the Leek at the top has a polished DLC handle, and the ZT 0200 and the Spec Bump have flat finished Tungsten DLC blades. THe second pic is of my boron leek with polished blade and handle.




    My Boron Leek is the best kitchen utility knife I have ever owned. The thin and sharp blade with the friction-less coating will make quick work of fruits, veggies, and meats.


    Now I gotta go watch the second half of the Giants game.

  6. #6
    DLC - amorph Carbon coating - matte
    BC - Boron Carbide coating - gloss - different animal
    TiNi - Titanium Nitrid coating - matte
    TiAlNi - Titanium Aluminium Nitride - gloss

    DLS - softest among them, but still pretty hard and scratch resistant. I prefer BC - hardest and beautiest. Unfortunately, it is not widely awailable any more.

    Google it, you may find a lot of interesting information.

    Thanks, Vassili.

    P.S. BC is so polished that it take finger marks easy and it damage the look. Otherwise it is prettyest coating I know - I have Black Chive.
    Last edited by nozh2002; 12-10-2006 at 04:46 PM.

  7. #7
    Oilman and GiantsFan - Did either of you send in the knife/blade to be coated? or did it come from the Manuf that way?

    Also, if you did send it in;
    - What were the requirements? Costs? Delv Time Frame?

    Thanks

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozh2002 View Post
    DLC - amorph Carbon coating - matte
    BC - Boron Carbide coating - gloss - different animal
    TiNi - Titanium Nitrid coating - matte
    TiAlNi - Titanium Aluminium Nitride - gloss

    DLS - softest among them, but still pretty hard and scratch resistant. I prefer BC - hardest and beautiest. Unfortunately, it is not widely awailable any more.

    Google it, you may find a lot of interesting information.

    Thanks, Vassili.

    P.S. BC is so polished that it take finger marks easy and it damage the look. Otherwise it is prettyest coating I know - I have Black Chive.
    Kershaw uses Bodycote to coat their knives, and Bodycote Inc. doesn't use Boron Carbide anymore. All of the so called "Boron" Chives are really polished Tungsten DLC, according to Bodycote and Kershaw. The older Boron Leeks and Chives that are truly Boron Carbide look a little Blacker than the newer "Boron" Chives, which have a very slight brownish tint.

    P.S. Bodycote is one of my customers here in Fort Worth. My company services their cranes and hoists.

  9. #9
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    darrel at bodycote at one time would do individual knives but now its bulk only, 100 IIRC, the DLC is probably the best coating available and works pretty well but it does still scratch/scuff.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbillenigma View Post
    Oilman and GiantsFan - Did either of you send in the knife/blade to be coated? or did it come from the Manuf that way?

    Also, if you did send it in;
    - What were the requirements? Costs? Delv Time Frame?

    Thanks
    My GH was originally finished in polished Ti but I sent it back to Darrel to DLC coat it which does not happen in house. I was given a time frame of about a month give or take a little and it ran me around $100 IIRC. I don't know if there were other reqs as Darrel handled it all.

  11. #11
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    We here at Blade-Tech are having a secondary process done with the coating on all of our new Extreme knives that makes the DLC coating last longer, more corrosion resistant and you can stick it through sheet metal without it scratching. I used to not be a big fan of DLC coated blades, but these new blades that we are making have restored my faith.

  12. #12
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    i would have to see a coating that wouldnt scuff/scratch to believe it, no offense shavin.

  13. #13
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    Wow. Very impressive.

    The thing about coatings is that...it seems unfair to require that they be unscratched when the hardened blade steel underneath would be scratched anyway. I don't really expect them to be more scratch resistant than steel.

    But I'm not sticking my knives through car hoods very often--Benchmade's coatings come off in just cardboard. Sheesh.

    But if you want a coating that will be unscratched by anything but what would normally scratch the blade (it will NOT rub off, minus sandpaper)...try TiAlNi....

  14. #14
    This is really a very interesting thread! I would like to suggest you cast a glance at the following link: http://www.tincoat.net/coatings/. From the various coatings provided there if I were to propose one that would be the Alpha(TM) Coating.

  15. #15
    I like the specs on that alpha coating. Looks great, too. Nice glossy silvery yellow.

    Of course, it wouldn't work for anything tactical. But I like shiny stuff too.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIFU1A View Post
    i would have to see a coating that wouldnt scuff/scratch to believe it, no offense shavin.
    The coating can scuff. However, it takes a lot to do so and it's nowhere near as easily scuffed or scratched. The process costs 25% more per blade but we were very impressed when one of our employees put the tip of one of the blades through a piece of sheet metal and it did not scratch one bit. This stuff is very strong. I dull 120 grit belts edging these coated blades.

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