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Neito's new AN-58 Inox Steel

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by ritterdl69, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. ritterdl69


    Aug 4, 2012
    I have not seen any reviews of this steel yet.
    Since 2007 Miguel Neito has used a new steel called AN-58. I recently bought a knife made with this steel.
    My first impression was that this was was a glorified 420 steel. However, I noticed that the HRC was much higher than any 420 or 420 HC steel I have seen (58-60) I also noticed that it had an extremely complex composition, not to mention an extremely low pollution content.
    I used a low sharpening angle, and got a nice polished and very fine edge. This knife did not sharpen like ANY 420 steel I have ever seen. The steel wore away VERY slowly, but once I got the edges to meet it took an edge extremely well.
    I then tested the blade using the one substance that is the demise and bane of any sharp knife.... cardboard.
    After awhile I had quite an impressive pile of cardboard strips, more than I could produce even with the best 440c steel blades, and the blade was still extremely sharp.

    This steel is NOT a variation of 420 steel. It has similar carbon and Chrome content, but that's where the similarities end.
    This is a much better steel than that. I have not used it enough to tell exactly HOW good AN-58 really is yet, and beyond it's Vandium and Cobalt content suggesting that this steel is produced with allot of tender loving care, I have no clue as what's going on with it's impressively long list of added metals other than to say this is a rather complex steel that is most likely well worked.
    I think that this steel is most likely meant to be used with a low sharpening angle and well polished edge, kind of the opposite end of the spectrum than say VG-10.

    Has anyone else tested AN-58 steel?
    If so what kind of results have you gotten?
  2. J D Wijbenga

    J D Wijbenga Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 17, 1998
    Thank you for the information. Didn't know anything about this steel before.
  3. Allex


    Jun 29, 2007
    Neito or Nieto? I have a Nieto knife, Warfare 3, stamped w/ AN. 58 steel.
  4. ritterdl69


    Aug 4, 2012
    To Alex

    please excuse the typo...

    Have you had a chance to use it and test out the steel yet?
    If so, how would you rate it?
  5. Allex


    Jun 29, 2007
    I didn't use this knife much, I'd say that it is similar with 440C, but it's a very empirical statement :)
  6. ritterdl69


    Aug 4, 2012
    Dang it! Was hoping you might have had a chance to have used it more :D

    In some ways mine has been similar to my Boker 440c, but there have been times when it seems to have outperformed my Boker's 440c as well (in some ways by a considerable margin, in others by not as much), but it's way to early in my use of it to say that for certain. But prospects for it look good thus far.
    I do know Nieto was unsatisfied with 440c, that's no secret.
    Some poeple have suggested that Nieto's 440c didn't measure up that well in comparison to good quality 440c steels. But that's heresay.
    I never had the chance to try out Nieto's 440c personally.

    I'm guessing here (and this is only a guess) that Nieto wanted to upgrade, and given his past experience with 440c didn't care to try and produce his own so he developed a steel he felt would be better. He did after all suggest that it was the best steel he had tried of all the steels he has worked with over the years.

    SO! the big question that's on my mind is, is it better? and if so how much better?
    Here's to hoping someone else other than me is willing to give AN 58 a shot and see how it stacks up.
    If you do get a chance to really test it out definitely let me know.
  7. mete

    mete Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2003
  8. ritterdl69


    Aug 4, 2012
    Well, the Chrome and Carbon content are similar but that's where the similarities end. We need to remember that these charts say nothing of how much chrome is used to form carbides, or carbon for that matter. So if we look at carbide content, non carbide chrome and carbon content those numbers can change from steel to steel with similar Chrome and carbon listed, but with vary different end results.
    Probing deeper 420 has a typical HRC of 54 as opposed to 58-60. If you temper typical 420 steel to 58 HRC guess what happens? Chips and breaks will be coming post haste, irregaurdlles of what tempering process you use. Otherwise every cheap knife maker out there would make their 420's harder.
    420 steel doesn't CONSISTENTLY use trace elements the way this steel does. Nor can any 420 or 420HC steel take or retain an edge like this steel does. I havn't had mine for that long, but it outperforms it by such a wide margin I have no doubts about that even at this stage.

    I think in terms of these blades I think relating them to 420HC is a mistake, and we need to analyse AN-58 on it's own performance rather than place it with a steel that it really doesn't match (when looking at the whole package as opposed to just 2 elements) and one that it outperforms by a wide margin.
    Carbon and chrome are the first two elements typically looked at for good reason, grated. But you can't always rely on that alone, and I think this is a good example.
    (I for one did that at first, and almost wrote it off as glorified 420 myself)

    Now, when you say tougher but less wear resistant, are you speaking from personal experience? If so please do tell, thus far I'm the only one who has put it to ANY real test and I'm more accustomed to using a blade over a period of time as opposed to more measurable results. So I'm not the best person to do that I confess.
    I've noticed 440C is usually tempered to 56-58 HRC making AN-58 a bit harder as well.

    As far as the translation goes, well, I didn't translate it so I'm not sure why they said it that way.
    You are right about giving some more info and references in terms of technical data, my apologies.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
  9. chiral.grolim

    chiral.grolim Universal Kydex Sheath Extension Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 2, 2008
    Just so you are aware, Buck tempers 420HC to 58 Rc without an abundance of chipping. Standard variations of 420 and 420HC (high carbon) are not the same steel - which version of 420 are we comparing AN-58 to?
  10. ritterdl69


    Aug 4, 2012
    Well, for starters I'm not comparing it to any 420 per se. 420 or 420HC. I think 440c is a better standard to compare this steel to actualy.
    Buck does indeed list their version of 420 HC as being "up to" 58 I see.
    Blades of that hardness normaly sharpen quite differently. The 420HC Bucks I've had wear away on the sharpening stone way to fast and dull way to fast.
    For that reason I never imagined any of them would ever be hardened that much. Quite honestly I doubt very many of them are 58, and fall under the "up to" catagory.
    I find it odd that Buck doesn't list a minimum HRC.
    I've had a few of them, they are cheap to buy, and pretty durable. Easy to get if you find you are in need of a pocket knife of a certain size.
    They are not a bad knife.
    In any event I can't say NO 420HC is ever hardened to 58 I guess.

    Still, the 420HC Buck is WAY outperformed by this blade and is a poor comparison.
    Although I have to admit, IF you got a 420HC that's been tested at 58 HRC it COULD change it's performance a bit if it retains enough of the other desireable properties and doesn't become to brittle. But the margin is so wide that for the buck 420HC to get close enough to be a suitable comparison at 58 is an awfully long long shot.
    Especaily since they already chip a bit to much.

    420 has a carbon content of >= .5% where as 420HC gets listed as .4% -.5%, (taken from the same source, which is similar to every other source I have seen)
    So... I guess 420 HC is basicaly 420 just on the upper end of the 420 carbon spectrum. I'm not sure what you are asking about by asking for a distinction between the two?
    It's valuable info so you know that it's .4% to .5% as oppossed to maybe just.3% maybe.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  11. Lagrangian


    Jun 25, 2011
    It seems that Puma IP makes some knives in AN-58.


    If I understand correctly, Puma IP is a German company, and recently schmalhaus (stschmalhaus on YouTube) reviewed or gave-away two Puma knives. But I don't remember what steel they were made from. Maybe you could ask schmalhaus if he's tried any knives with AN-58?
  12. hardheart


    Sep 19, 2001
  13. chiral.grolim

    chiral.grolim Universal Kydex Sheath Extension Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 2, 2008
    Steel: AN-58 420HC INOX
    (C) 0.45 0.45 0.52
    (V) 0.015 0.18 —
    (Mo) 0.01 0.6 0.5
    (Cr) 13.51 13 15
    (Mn) 0.49 0.8 0.45
    (Ni) 0.12 0.5 —
    (Cu) 0.08 — —
    (Si) 0.34 0.6 0.6
    (P) 0.017 — —
    (S) 0.003 — —
    Typical Hardness
    58 - 60 55 - 58 56

    I can't get this chart to appear as I desire, but these values show the similarity between the steels 420HC, INOX (X55CrMo14), and Nieto's AN-58. I'd expect the higher alloy content of 420HC to lend it better performance in edge-retention, but if AN-58 is 60 Rc vs 420HC <58, that could tip the scales in Nieto's favor. *shrug* A controlled test would have to be run.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  14. ritterdl69


    Aug 4, 2012
    Puma IP is a branch of Puma that contracts out to "select" knife makers in Spain.
    Given the fact that allot, if not all the Puma IP (do not confuse Puma IP with Puma or Puma Tec) knives have AN-58 steel, and AN-58 is a Propietary steel, I think it's obvious exactly who that "select" Spainish Knife maker is.
    Nieto is known for doing very nice handcrafted work, and mine certainly fits that bill. It deff looks like Nieto's work.
    I'll look for that reveiw though.
  15. ritterdl69


    Aug 4, 2012
    Dang it! Now you are going to make me do work!:eek:

    I can give it a shot, but I'de probably make it a 3 way shoot out as oppose to just AN-58 with 420HC to make it worth my while.
    One of the reasons I bought the knife was because I lost about half my knives when I moved. Including my Boker and Puma.
    I originaly thought to buy a 440 (a or c) Blade from either Puma or Boker to replace, but saw this and thought it was interesting and decided to give it a shot.
    SO! I will probably settle for a 440A Remington blade from the early 90's as the 3rd Blade in the test.
    Another 420HC from buck is easily replaced, dropping $40 and dropping $200-300 are two different things.
    On a side note I think if I do buy another German steel blade I'll go for the Cronduir 30 and try that out rather than another 440.

    I'll see what I can do
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  16. zuluninja

    zuluninja boricua grinder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 25, 2009
    any updates to this testing? I have 2 nieto knives in AN-58 and am curious as to the results.

    Of course, I also have to use them more often and draw some conclusions on my own :D

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