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A2 Steel

Discussion in 'Fiddleback Forge Knives' started by thurin, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. NoFair


    Jun 30, 2006
    I've noticed that O1 stains easier, but no other real differences. A2 goes mostly grey, O1 takes on a whole lot of different hues. Both sharpen up easily and the only issue I've had with edge stability is with an A2 Bark River Northstar (one of the first) which had a very very thin zero convex grind (no issues after I ground it a bit thicker).

    Given a choice of the same knife with optimal heat treat, the same grind etc. I'd go for A2 since it does corrode a bit less, especially after a patina has formed.
  2. chavez556

    chavez556 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 10, 2011
    I love A2.

    I get mine heat treated at Bos. With a nice cryo treatment it's a top pick of mine for small to medium fixed blades.

  3. wildmanh

    wildmanh Part time Leather Bender/Sheath maker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 9, 2000
    I have a Fiddleback and a Fletcher in 0-1 and a Bark River in A2. The BRK hasn't seen as much use as my Fiddleback, but more then my Fletcher. . .

    Did some Carving with my BRK when I first got it. Lost the shaving sharp edge about the same as other knives that I tested at the same time, but held an almost shaving sharp edge for quite a while. Couldn't touch it up with a stone. Could have been my technique. Recently I tried to sharpen it on my strops. It regained the shaving sharp edge really quickly.

    A2, O-1, it's all good as long as the maker does their part with the heat treat. And we know that Andy does. :)
    varga49 likes this.
  4. Kirkwood

    Kirkwood Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Wow!! Andy wasn't joking about the flashier spalting. This is just about perfect. :D

  5. FeralGentleman

    FeralGentleman Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 13, 2013
    That HB won't last long
  6. +ulfberh+


    Apr 11, 2014
    can't wait to see more examples of the A2 spalting.
  7. bear71

    bear71 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 17, 2013
    I remember this thread and thought I'd bump it in light of the current use of A2. Andy's comments in post #5 are interesting and it looks like 4/15/16 was the first friday sale to offer no O1 knives - got to admit it seems longer ago than that. Been using some of my O1 Fiddlebacks lately and while I love the patina they achieve the slight superiority in corrosion resistance of A2 helps here in the Philippines.
    Bmurray and SA Condor like this.
  8. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator

    Oct 19, 2005
    Neat to read this thread again. Its funny how my opinion has changed since we started using A2. I love it best now. I find it easier to grind straight lines on A2. Neither steel ever had any edge issues. We haven't fixed any edge failures I can remember offhand. And I think the corrosion resistance is understated. I think there is a big difference between 01 and A2 in that category.
    Oyster and schmittie like this.
  9. mackie22


    Jul 11, 2014
    My first post here.

    I have spent many pleasant hours over the last few days browsing through the posts on this forum, especially Fiddlebacks and Food (what a great topic). I was surprised that I did not come across much detailed discussion of steel. It is after all the main ingredient of a knife.

    I am pleased to see that Andy (if I may call you that) has changed his opinion on O1 vs. A2 steel. IMHO there is a big difference with A2 being better in every way. I hesitated in the past to buy Fiddlebacks because I thought why do I want to pay that much for a knife made of O1?

    I have many knives in A2 and have been happy with all. It is a dream to sharpen, holds an edge relatively well and doesn't rust as readily as O1.

    I prefer the smaller knives (a Hiking Buddy is a large knife to me) and would like to see some models offered in one of the super stainless steels like CPM 154 or Elmax (I find S35VN too hard to sharpen). Sadly however the biggest drawback to the super steels is that they would probably add $20 to $50 to the price.

    Meanwhile A2 is more than satisfactory to me and I will not hesitate to buy a Fiddleback made of A2.
    VANCE, Bmurray, Oyster and 1 other person like this.
  10. wildmanh

    wildmanh Part time Leather Bender/Sheath maker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 9, 2000
    Nice to see A2 being used more these days.
    Fiddleback and Bmurray like this.
  11. Bmurray

    Bmurray Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2012
    Check out the Cummings one. All made of AEB-L
    varga49 likes this.

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