Recommendation? AITA - INFI/SR-101 for the billionth time.

Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
183
So, the deal basically is this. I have read a bah-jillion posts about INFI vs pick a steel.

With Busse's products, I have only purchased a few things from the exchange, specific offerings from here or the website, and grab bags.

In all those purchases, the only place I'd have come across SR-101 is in a grab bag. I'm not going to disclose how much I've spent on them, but strangely, I've only come across on SR-101 piece, which was a Mudd Mutt. It got kept and given to my mom because it's perfect for her cutting things like onions. She's 83 and doesn't have much hand strength left. The Mudd Mutt goes through them much easier for her than using something like a 8" chefs knife. I should say as well, that I only get her kitchen knives to a certain degree of sharpness. She has managed to almost lose a finger more than once when she's got really really sharp knives.

So, getting to my question... Right now, on the website, there are a couple SR-101 offerings of things that I think would be great, like the Mega Ratmandu, and the Mega Ratweiler. But, every time I go through all the threads from grab bags checking out what people got, it seems that everyone goes nuts about the INFI versions of those blades.

So, am I the ******** for having it stuck in my head that I shouldn't buy SR-101 because I've brainwashed myself about people drooling over Infiwielers and the likes?

I should just ignore the steel type and buy them if I want them right?

Anyone that's gotten this far, if you've picked either of those blades up, how would you compare the Mega versions to the original?

Last factor in this, I don't live in a climate that would make it hard to maintain a knife, I'm in Arizona. So, any steel coming from Busse would be just fine here for 1000 years with next to no care, unless you buried it in the garden.

I mean, I realize that I've created this question myself, because I own stuff in all kinds of different steels from different manufactures I've picked up over the years. But when you're talking about the difference between a $30 Buck and a $40 Buck in different steel. It's a bit different than plunking down $300 or $500 on ANY blade.

TL : DR - apparently I'm cheap and a prima donna.
 
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Warbow150

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
332
Buy the knife for the design, not the steel. SR101 (basically 52100) is great for knives. Takes a super edge and holds it well if properly heat treated, which Busse will be. It is more than tough enough for any reasonable knife use.
 

grizzle

Gold Member
Joined
May 8, 2016
Messages
345
I honestly like both a lot. Sr101 is absolutely no slouch and I have no problem with getting 99% the performance for 50% the price haha. Infi has a little mystique, and seems to hold its value a little better so thats usually where my dollar goes if I can swing it.

I think in small knives I actually like the sr101 better since im not banging on hard things as much. Even then, Im sure my skinny ratweiler will keep up with a infiweiler unless Im chopping through car doors and rocks.

In a kitchen, unless your cutting lots of bones or have a steel cutting board I see no reason to go with infi over sr101. Anyway, im done rambling. Sr101 is awsome, dont feel bad or like your getting "less" of a knife. still a busse-kin which we all know are top knotch at every level
 

elof_alv

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
3,185
SR-101 (proprietary heat treated 52100) will keep sharpness better/longer than INFI. That’s why there are some folks around here who prefer SR-101 for smaller, edc type knives.

INFI shines in abuse situations because it doesn’t chip, has better lateral strength and it’s easier to sharpen. And obviously there’s the corrosion resistance.

52100 is actually fairly popular choice for custom kitchen knives. It originally was developed for jet engine ball bearings so it is plenty tough and hard wearing
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2018
Messages
1,565
SR-101 (proprietary heat treated 52100) will keep sharpness better/longer than INFI. That’s why there are some folks around here who prefer SR-101 for smaller, edc type knives.

INFI shines in abuse situations because it doesn’t chip, has better lateral strength and it’s easier to sharpen. And obviously there’s the corrosion resistance.

52100 is actually fairly popular choice for custom kitchen knives. It originally was developed for jet engine ball bearings so it is plenty tough and hard wearing

What he said ^^^ In Arizona, I would go with SR-101 in a heartbeat. I'm in South Florida, where plastic rusts and I am somewhat forgetful with maintenance so I lean towards INFI.

Jerry is literally a scientist and has developed the best knife steels on the market. The heat treat done on Busse knives is second to none. You can probably find plenty of info on Busse steels from another scientist, Cliff Stamp, with a search of this site or Google. Interesting stuff but you can quickly lose a couple of hours (days?) reading his reports.
 

Twoody

Basic Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
Messages
249
Ill kick that horse one more time.. exactly as the stated reasons above. Sr101 holds a great edge is stong as you could realistically need for everything, i have lots of both steels and my current edc 24/7 is sr101. It sees the baton daily and hits hard knots, staples slams through into roadbase and rocks beneath and edge is still pristine! ONLY care is from the old leather belt i strop it with.. if you have a comp finish give it a vinegar bath or force a patina and shell be good to go.
 

Twoody

Basic Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
Messages
249
Infis NOT a hype .. but people do tend to catch the "bug" lol BTW my edc is a mega swamp warden and i also regularly go between my mega ratweiler and AR9.5 ... both steels hit hard. I am a bit of a sucker for those mega tri grinds though !!
 

dogboye

Gold Member
Joined
Nov 23, 1999
Messages
6,283
Read (or at least scanned pretty closely) through all the replies so far. I have a slightly different take. For the most part (with some extreme exceptions), the only thing INFI has over SR101 is it is regularly available naked. I HATE blade coatings. LOATHE them. I have YET to pick up ANY blade from ANY manufacturer with a coated blade, OF ANY KIND, if I can get it naked, EXCEPT with Busse, where the naked versions are more expensive than the coated. And I HATE stripping blades. LOATHE it. ESPECIALLY INFI, which sometimes has the most stubborn crust underneath the coating that it will literally rust while you watch (if you are just a leetle patient). I have yet to run across SR101 that has that crust, so I'm not AS loathe to strip SR101.

Now, the EXTREME exception: toughness. INFI is tougher than decade old horsehide turned into rawhide. I'm the guy that accidentally ran over his BB13 with a John Deere. It messed the blade up. But it messed up the riding mower deck even worse. Both were still usable... but the deck needed new blades. I COULD have sharpened out the dings in the BB13, but Jerry generously offered to take care of it. THAT is some kind of magic warranty. So, I try to regularly give Jerry my money. Yeah, it IS just because I feel I need to pay him back for his generously taking care of my BB13. ;) But seriously, he keeps coming out with designs that I am able to generate a need for.

Either steel is the best you can get. And I say that after having used 3V (not from Jerry, but elsewhere). INFI is expensive, but from a company like Busse.... it's just darn well worth it.
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
183
Read (or at least scanned pretty closely) through all the replies so far. I have a slightly different take. For the most part (with some extreme exceptions), the only thing INFI has over SR101 is it is regularly available naked. I HATE blade coatings. LOATHE them. I have YET to pick up ANY blade from ANY manufacturer with a coated blade, OF ANY KIND, if I can get it naked, EXCEPT with Busse, where the naked versions are more expensive than the coated. And I HATE stripping blades. LOATHE it. ESPECIALLY INFI, which sometimes has the most stubborn crust underneath the coating that it will literally rust while you watch (if you are just a leetle patient). I have yet to run across SR101 that has that crust, so I'm not AS loathe to strip SR101.

Now, the EXTREME exception: toughness. INFI is tougher than decade old horsehide turned into rawhide. I'm the guy that accidentally ran over his BB13 with a John Deere. It messed the blade up. But it messed up the riding mower deck even worse. Both were still usable... but the deck needed new blades. I COULD have sharpened out the dings in the BB13, but Jerry generously offered to take care of it. THAT is some kind of magic warranty. So, I try to regularly give Jerry my money. Yeah, it IS just because I feel I need to pay him back for his generously taking care of my BB13. ;) But seriously, he keeps coming out with designs that I am able to generate a need for.

Either steel is the best you can get. And I say that after having used 3V (not from Jerry, but elsewhere). INFI is expensive, but from a company like Busse.... it's just darn well worth it.
Holy crap! The Lawnmower guy in my thread. /bow

I feel honored. I've heard the story for years.

Only reason I even posted this is I'm somewhere north of 25 blades and only one SR-101 and a small one. I realize it's not a losing bet either way. I too really dislike coated blades and the only ones I have are from grab bags.
 

dogboye

Gold Member
Joined
Nov 23, 1999
Messages
6,283
Holy crap! The Lawnmower guy in my thread. /bow

I feel honored. I've heard the story for years.

Only reason I even posted this is I'm somewhere north of 25 blades and only one SR-101 and a small one. I realize it's not a losing bet either way. I too really dislike coated blades and the only ones I have are from grab bags.
Didn't realize I was famous. :D

Hey.... be stupid enough, and you can get famous, too. But I wouldn't recommend it. ;) I got off lucky. Extremely lucky.
 

dogboye

Gold Member
Joined
Nov 23, 1999
Messages
6,283
Just went back and read the Deere thread again. Kinda makes me tear up, in several ways, several times. It provided people some good amusement. But it still has the photos in it. I can tell you I don't, and never will, doubt the strength and toughness of INFI. And Res-C, for that matter.

A Riddle of Steel
 

bikerector

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Nov 16, 2016
Messages
5,360
SR-101 (proprietary heat treated 52100) will keep sharpness better/longer than INFI. That’s why there are some folks around here who prefer SR-101 for smaller, edc type knives.

INFI shines in abuse situations because it doesn’t chip, has better lateral strength and it’s easier to sharpen. And obviously there’s the corrosion resistance.

52100 is actually fairly popular choice for custom kitchen knives. It originally was developed for jet engine ball bearings so it is plenty tough and hard wearing

^This.

I actually prefer SR-101 for all of my Busse and kin unless I really want the stain-resistance. There was a post about a guy who used a swamp rat (I think it was a battle rat) to cut his way out of an over-turned truck on sand dunes and the lack of damage was pretty impressive, but there was damage. I'm usually not real hard on knives and the added toughness of infi just isn't really needed most of the time, even when using the knife as a chopper like the SYKCO 1311 (amazing knife by the way).

If something looks great but it's only in SR-101, be happy that you'll be saving money and getting most of the same performance from the knife. Personally, I also like the patina that comes with SR-101 in a user knife too.

As a side note, has your mom tried using the plastic/kevlar cutting gloves? They're pretty inexpensive and I've found they work quite well. Get one with nitrile on the palm side and will work well for food.
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
183
^This.

I actually prefer SR-101 for all of my Busse and kin unless I really want the stain-resistance. There was a post about a guy who used a swamp rat (I think it was a battle rat) to cut his way out of an over-turned truck on sand dunes and the lack of damage was pretty impressive, but there was damage. I'm usually not real hard on knives and the added toughness of infi just isn't really needed most of the time, even when using the knife as a chopper like the SYKCO 1311 (amazing knife by the way).

If something looks great but it's only in SR-101, be happy that you'll be saving money and getting most of the same performance from the knife. Personally, I also like the patina that comes with SR-101 in a user knife too.

As a side note, has your mom tried using the plastic/kevlar cutting gloves? They're pretty inexpensive and I've found they work quite well. Get one with nitrile on the palm side and will work well for food.
While I appreciate the suggestion, I can't get her to take her meds right. Safety gear is an entirely impossible proposition. Of course, unless it is her yelling at me like I'm still a little kid. Dementia is a horrible thing.
 

bikerector

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Nov 16, 2016
Messages
5,360
While I appreciate the suggestion, I can't get her to take her meds right. Safety gear is an entirely impossible proposition. Of course, unless it is her yelling at me like I'm still a little kid. Dementia is a horrible thing.

I'm sorry to hear that is the situation, it's a rough road and kudos to you for working through it with you mom. Hopefully the rest of the comments were more useful.
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2010
Messages
2,744
Just did a count, have 20 Busse and kin with the following breakdown:

1 in A2
5 in INFI
14 in SR-101

Love me some INFI, but the value you get from SR-101 is undeniable. Plus some of my favorite designs have only been offered in it.
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2018
Messages
1,565
Just did a count, have 20 Busse and kin with the following breakdown:

1 in A2
5 in INFI
14 in SR-101

Love me some INFI, but the value you get from SR-101 is undeniable. Plus some of my favorite designs have only been offered in it.
Nate knows steel and he's not just an admirer. He beats them like they beg to be beaten!
 
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