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A2 as a blade steel

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by miden, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. miden

    miden Gold Member Gold Member

    757
    Sep 9, 2005
    Hi guys, I will not dare to open the old can of worms by comparing different steels - I just ask can you please tell me the pros and cons of A2 as a blade steel?
    I am thinking particularly of large blades vs smaller, for instance, folders.
    Thanks,

    Mike
     
  2. TheOTBalisong

    TheOTBalisong

    288
    Jun 28, 2012
    A2, in my experiences with it, and with my very limited metallurgical knowledge,

    I see it as a nice all-around steel, I prefer 01 to work with, but A2 is pretty much the same place in quality.
    I've only had one knife in A2 and it's held up for a few years now.
    Being a borderline Stainless, it resists corrosion with no problem, just clean it up after use.
    I can't tell ya much about comparing larger and smaller blades, for the reason I've only had one in A2.
    Also, 01 is more easily available in different sizes if your referring to knife making.
     
  3. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    A2 is a great cutlery steel -- Mike Stewart has used it in many of his superb Bark River line of knives. Highly stain resistant, very tough, takes a fine edge. It takes a bit longer to sharpen than carbon steel, but no more so than any of today's higher end steels like D2, S30V, etc (using diamond hones).
     
  4. David Sharp

    David Sharp

    954
    May 23, 2008
  5. SBuzek

    SBuzek KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 7, 2006
    Cons..will rust if not maintained.
    Other that that it's a good knife steel.3/16" makes a good hard use knife if H/Ted properly.

    Stan
     
  6. Danbo

    Danbo Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 28, 1999
    Properly heat treated A2 will be as good of a blade as any of us need.
     
  7. JBS TOOLMAKER

    JBS TOOLMAKER

    May 4, 2009
    It's my go to for non stainless. I have used it for everything, skinners, choppers. Heat treat it according to use.
     
  8. JParanee

    JParanee Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 23, 2006
    Danbo knows :)
     
  9. daizee

    daizee KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 30, 2009
    I like A2 a lot, but it's nowhere near stainless. more so than O1 and the simpler steels, sure.
    My cousin has a paring knife in A2 and it's all kinds of patina'd. She's pretty good about cleaning it (stern lecture on delivery, well-received).
    My mom has the same blade in 154CM, and she's an abuser. It sits for weeks covered in lime juice and she has occasionally put it through the dishwasher. There are only minor marks on the tang, and I'm not sure from which... (she recently got a stern lecture on the dishwasher too... not so well received)
     
  10. Dan Pierson

    Dan Pierson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 24, 2003
    My favorite non-stainless. It's possible, not at all certain, but possible that my O1 blades
    hold and edge a little bit better but the ease of HT with plate quench is a big plus for A2.
     
  11. miden

    miden Gold Member Gold Member

    757
    Sep 9, 2005
    Guys, thank you very much for your replies and observations, it is good news.
    Thanks,

    Mike
     
  12. Brian.Evans

    Brian.Evans KnifeMaker-EDC Knife Specialist Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2011
    Really Dan? I was under the impression A2 held a bit better of an edge. I'd be interested to hear more about it, specifically what hardness and geometries were used, for reference later.
     
  13. Dan Pierson

    Dan Pierson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 24, 2003
    That was poorly phrased. I meant to point out that A2 was very comparable to O1 not that
    either was better for kitchen use. My O1 blades are older and neither the number of knives
    nor my process control over the time I've made them is enough for me to determine which
    is better. They're both very good steels.

    Also, I don't cryo my A2 and that means that they're not quite as hard as they could be.
     

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