1. Welcome to the New & Improved BladeForums. New software info here. Please report problems in Tech Support, and read existing threads before posting! - Spark
  2. I've changed the default forum style to Flat Awesome based on feedback. Don't like it? Click here to change how the forums look Feedback on this is welcome here.

Stainless suggestions!

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by DannyDiablo, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. DannyDiablo

    DannyDiablo

    176
    Mar 18, 2008
    I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions as to what kind of stainless I should begin with. Up until now I have pretty much only worked with 1095 and would like to make a few out of stainless.. I don't HT on my own so that's not a huge issue.

    Thanks
    Dan
     
  2. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    What type of blade is it you will be making? That will make a big influence on what stainless you choose.
     
  3. Bufford

    Bufford Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2006
    I started out making my first stainless blades from 440C and I liked it. It cuts well on the bandsaw and a good grind on the grinder. I ended up buying a big load of it and have been using it for over 20years and do my own HT. I tried AT34 and had some HT issues and orange peel effect when mirror polishing, and worked with some A2 and have settled for 440C. 440C is very stain resistant. I remember early on working with 01 and I had just finished polishing a couple of hunters before embarking on a week of working midnights during a hot humid part of the summer. When I stepped into the shop a week later to my horror those knives had a coating of rust on them, and were full of pits after trying to buff it off. That event made me change to stainless, but I do still work with tool steels like 01 upon request.
     
  4. rustyrazor

    rustyrazor KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 13, 2011
    +1 for the 440c. it's not new, but it's still a solid steel that can produce some outstanding knives at a very reasonable price. I've used it for over 15 years as well (still do for a lot of my knives) and have been surprised with how well it works for most applications. it's Pretty tough, holds a decent edge and is very easy to maintain.
     
  5. DannyDiablo

    DannyDiablo

    176
    Mar 18, 2008
    Thanks for the input guys, I'm gonna give the 440c a try...Stacy I will be making small bird and trout knives and a few hunters...
     
  6. DannyDiablo

    DannyDiablo

    176
    Mar 18, 2008
    I know the feeling Bufford...I made a nice little trout knife out of 1095 not too long ago. I cleaned a trout with it, rinsed it and wiped it down good (or so I thought). The next day when i pulled it out it had stained quite a bit, I'm guessing from the blood but I figured its time to start making those out of some sort of stainless.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. AVigil

    AVigil knifemaker working the grind Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Platinum Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    You need to beat it to the punch and put a patina on it.
     
  8. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    I like CPM-S53VN for small and thin stainless blades. It comes in PG and as thin as .06". It will make a great Bird and Trout knife.
     
  9. Bufford

    Bufford Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2006
    Reminds me of the Imperial fixed blade hunter I bought long before I started knifemaking, about 30 years ago. It was new and had a beautiful mirror finish when I used it to spread mustard on food. Minutes later to my horror the blade was badly stained. Not long after the entire knife had a good patina. I still have that knife and use it in the kitchen and it holds a good edge.
     
  10. DannyDiablo

    DannyDiablo

    176
    Mar 18, 2008
    you are right avigil..And Stacy, is 440c ok to use for a smaller style knife like the one in the photo..or i guess my question is will cpm-s53vn be better?
     
  11. tim37a

    tim37a

    602
    May 18, 2010
    CPM S35VN is far superior to 440C. In the quantities we use, the cost differential is insignificant. At least I think so.
     
  12. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    440C is a good steel. I have no problem with it for knives. I prefer S35VN because it makes a better knife. Tougher, harder, better edge.
     
  13. parbajtor

    parbajtor

    Nov 24, 2010
    If you're not doing the HT anyway, why not go the whole hog and try a stainless damascus?
    It'd lift the knife into the next price bracket if your aim is to sell.
    Just a thought.
     
  14. tim37a

    tim37a

    602
    May 18, 2010
    How does stainless damascus compare with S35VN with respect to edge holding, corrosion resistence, toughness, etc?
     
  15. parbajtor

    parbajtor

    Nov 24, 2010
    Depends on what steels were used in the damascus.........:D Damasteel uses RWL34 and PMC27


    Oh yes, the Heat treatment, edge geometry and microstructure of the steel may also have something to with it. ;)

    On microstructure;
    I have a Zackerty Serrata (Investment cast 440C). If you mirror polish the edges the edge holding is abysmal. Profile the edge with a medium or coarse DMT and the edge holding is fantastic. It cuts like a buzzsaw, seemingly forever. The more you use it, the sharper it seems to get. How would you compare the edge holding on that to S35VN?

    on edge geometry;
    I got 2 spyderco mules, one in Elmax one in Cruwear. With the factory edges the Cruwear edge lasted a lot longer than the Elmax and I was a bit disappointed with the Elmax. Now I've put 19 degree angles on both, the Elmax now outcuts the Cruwear. I just need to find the optimum angle for the Cruwear before I can even start to compare edgeholding.

    Do I have to explain how HT can affect performance? What type of steel contributes about 50% of how well a knife performs. Here's a choice of 5 HT regimes for Damasteel each giving vastly different results. http://damasteel.com/?page_id=192. PS: Those HT regimes each carry different levels of corrosion resistance as well.

    I'd say it's vastly more important to get the right person to do the HT (and match it to the intended use) than it is to worry about the particular steel used.
     
  16. DannyDiablo

    DannyDiablo

    176
    Mar 18, 2008
    Thanks for all of the input.. I'm going to try the s35vn and see how I do!!
     

Share This Page