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H1 steel? "100% corrosion resistant"?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by shootist16, Jan 19, 2003.

  1. shootist16

    shootist16 knife law moderator Moderator

    Dec 25, 1998
    I have a friend that river rafts. I am looking for a river knife for him. I came across the Benchmade 100SH2O. It is basically a Nimravus with a modified sheepsfoot blade.

    From the Benchmade site "NEW! A reality of performance fueled by the incessant exposure to liquid assets in an otherwise dry world for some. • H1 steel is impervious to the elements and 100-percent corrosion resistant. • Blade design is sharp enough to cut, yet blunt enough to be predictable. Partial serrations ravage rope or fibrous materials with ease. • Handle slabs are machine sculpted to provide sufficient grip without overcrowding of space. • Sheath design escalates performance to optimum levels with a unique three-point secure system and lash-tab clip attachment. • Get out, get wet and release the amphibious urge!"

    100% corrosion resistant? :confused: :confused:

    Does anyone have any experience with it? If it is 100% corrosion resistant it may make fpr a good river knife. I wonder how edge holding is?

  2. Mitchell Knives

    Mitchell Knives Knifemaker Moderator

    May 21, 2000
    Funny, I was just going to post about this knife too. I SCUBA dive a lot, and am looking for a good dive knife. I've never even heard of H1 steel, but I'm curious to see how it performs.

    If it can take a good edge, hold it for a decent amount of time and be "100% corrosion resistant", I'll defiently get one.

    Has anyone had a chance to play with this knife yet?
  3. Thom Lambert

    Thom Lambert

    Nov 18, 2002
    ....I posted earlier about some testing I have been doing on the 100H2O. I haven't been able to get it to rust, or discolor at all. Basically, I have been storing it wet, in the sheath, in a waterproof bag (to keep the humidity high) for about 3 weeks now. Periodic checks show no rust or discoloration. I haven't tried it with salt water, since my interests are for whitewater paddlers.

    The knife is sharp...not as sharp as some other blades I have in 440C, but sharper than most other "dive knives" I have tested. So far, it cuts rope as easily as anything, except for a Spyderco rescue (which rusts far easier)and the Benchmade rescue hook (ditto). The H1 steel doesn't take a polish (stropping) as well as 440C, but can be resharpened easily enough (I use Arkansas stones mostly) I haven't tried re-sharpening the serrations yet.

    One of the biggest plusses is the sheath. It has the best blade retention that I have found. Whitewater paddlers are constantly losing knives worn on the outside of a PFD. The Benchmade sheath has a locking toggle that will not release the blade until disengaged. It seems fairly bomb-proof (it will support my weight without releasing), but still easy to disengage one-handed.

    Personally, I would look at the resuce hook as well. You can mount the hook's sheath on top of the 100H2O sheath for quick access. The hook is a way safer, very fast way to cut rope. Plus, it opens beer!

  4. Greymoor


    Dec 12, 2002
    I believe that all steels will rust. Some are however very resistant to corrosion. Under use, (Surface scratches, dings, whatever), the blade may show discoloration if it is not maintained. Thom keep us appraised to how your testing goes. It will be interesting to see how resistant this knife is. :)
  5. WrayH

    WrayH Accumulator

    Mar 23, 2001
    I was unable to find any specific information on H-1 steel on Benchmade's website. I did, however, find the following specifics for H-1 in the steel chart in their 2003 catalog that I received from them a couple of weeks ago:

    00.120 % - C
    14.200 % - Cr
    01.000 % - Mn
    01.000 % - Mo
    06.800 % - Ni
    00.015 % - Phosphorous
    03.500 % - Si
    00.001 % - Sulphur

    Rc - 58-60

    Though it appears in the steel chart there is no further information that I could find other than that which appears in their general description of the knife quoted in the original post in this thread.
  6. rdangerer


    May 26, 2000
    Thanks WrayH for the compositional info.

    I couldn't find a thing on H1 on the web other than it's a "Chromium based Hot Work (H) Steel". (postscript: this turned out to be an inaccurate association with Hot Work steel... see below)

    From Benchmade's site:

    That 2nd paragraph sounds like it was lifted from a foreign translation into English.

    Anybody found out anything else about H1?

    As to edgeholding, as long as the stuff gets to Rc58-60 as per Benchmade's specs on the 100SH2O, I'd guess it should hold an edge about like any other simple stainless (420HC, 440B,) that can attain Rc58-60.
  7. mete

    mete Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    There is confusion here with tool steels .The H series tool steels are not stainless (5% cr)and they start with H10, H11 etc. There is no H1 tool steel. If the composition listed by WrayH is correct then the steel is definitely austenitic(not heat treatable) not martensitic(heat treatable). It is obviously hardened by cold rolling , the aging I am not sure of. Corrosion resistance will be better than martensitic grades.
  8. rdangerer


    May 26, 2000
    Mete, thanks for clarifying. That explains why I saw multiple charts that started with H10 and went upward.

    While we have a metallurgist involved (Mete), can you comment on how you think hardness achieved by cold rolling to Rc58-60 would hold up cutting-wise compared to hardness achieved through heat treating martensitic steel?

    Also, normally I'd guess 0.12% Carbon would not be enough to allow any martensitic heat treat... but then again, regular old cheapie 420 has 0.15% and it'll at least get sorta hard, mid 50's I believe. So Mete, what is the tipoff to us non-metallurgist types that H1 can't possibly be martensitic?
  9. Keith Montgomery

    Keith Montgomery

    May 9, 2000
  10. rdangerer


    May 26, 2000
    Sure enough... they've added H1 and a few others since I copied to a spreadsheet last:

    Hatachi Blue Super Steel
    X-15 TN
  11. Keith Montgomery

    Keith Montgomery

    May 9, 2000
    H-1 has the telltale chemical makeup of austenitic steel. It is low carbon, high chromium (though not as high as one might expect), high manganese and also has nitrogen. When you see steel with this kind of makeup, it is austenitic.
  12. spyken

    spyken Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 29, 2002
    I have to disagree with that, respectfully. The knife is nice but the sheath can and will release the blade with a hard tug. That's unless the piece my friend showed me was defective. If you look at the retaining device (it's just a piece of plastic), I don't think it will support a full body weight.

    And H1 does discolour/surface rust in saltwater, though a lot less than VG10 or ATS34. I would still rinse it in fresh water after use, wipe dry and use a tuf cloth on it.

    That said, I think the knife is one of the nicest looking paddling knives in the market.
  13. mete

    mete Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    It's the nickel ,6.8% ,that is the biggest clue that it is austenitic because nickel is an alloying element that is a strong austenite stabilizer.As far as wear resistance a good stainless knife steel such as 154cm has carbides that are a major part of edge retention.So edge retention of H1 I would assume would be similar to 420.
  14. ROBB


    Nov 14, 1999
    Was'nt Boker also advertizing a very rust resistant steel.I forgot the name.Maybe its the same?
  15. rdangerer


    May 26, 2000
    Thanks Mete.
  16. rdangerer


    May 26, 2000
    Boker is using some stuff called "X15".
    I haven't done any searches on X15 to learn much more yet. Nor have I used the stuff.

    X15 TN composition Courtesy of Spyderco:
    C = 0.42%
    Cr = 15.55%
    Mn = 0.46%
    Moly = 1.7%
    Ni = 0.3%
    V = 0.29%
    N = 0.21%

    So it looks like a Martensitic chrome-moly steel, with a bit of Vanadium as a grain refiner (not really enough to say "high vanadium for carbide formation"), and a good dose of Nitrogen, almost twice as much as INFI. The moly content is less than half of ATS-34, but would be enough to contribute to molybdenum carbide formation.

    To put things in perspective, the chemical composition of S30V follows:

    C = 1.45%
    Cr = 14.00%
    Mn = 0.00% (?)
    Moly = 2.00%
    Ni = 0.00%
    V = 4.00%
    N = 0.20%
  17. VampyreWolf


    Feb 12, 2001
    I'd have to find the post again for 100% certainty on my facts, but Sal posted about a month or so ago on his latest test. SS Delica done with H-1 for blade and pins(can't remember lock). That was holding up well in q-fog and use, which is why they are going to offer it in the future.
  18. Sal Glesser

    Sal Glesser Moderator Moderator

    Dec 27, 1998
    H-1 is a Japanese steel so the "H" designations for a USA steel would not correlate.

    We've done extensive testing with H-1 for the past year plus. We were disappointd that Benchmade beat us to the market with H-1, but I have to give them credit for doing their homework. The steel is a break through in corrosion resistance. It is another "nitrogen added" steel like CPM-S30V, X15Tn and Infi. It is a precipitation hardening steel. Spyderco has at least one model (Delica) coming out this year made with H-1.

    In "Q-Fog" testing, H-1 ranked with Cobalt based materials such as Talonite, Dendritic cobalt and stellite 6K. There was NO rust. Much better than even 440C.

    Edge testing indicates cutting ability comparable to AUS-6 / AUS-8. Edge retention was not as good as Talontite or Dendritic Cobalt but was certainly acceptable for a good working knife. Cost is much less than Cobalt based materials.

    I can't speak for Benchmade's design or sheath (wouldn't be proper), but I believe the design is based on Allen's and he is a very good designer.

  19. Keith Montgomery

    Keith Montgomery

    May 9, 2000
    6.8% is actually quite low of a nickel content for an austenitic steel. 8% and up is more the norm. .12% to .15% carbon is also a little on the high end. 16% is also considered to be the minimum for chromium content. In this steel the fact that it also has nitrogen and a fairly high percentage of manganese supports the rather marginal percentages of nickel, chromium and carbon to make this an austenitic steel.

    I agree that the edge holding of H-1 is probably not great, but for a dive knife it will hold up at least as well as the other steels used for this application. I do wonder why it is being used by Spyderco for knives like the Delica where I would think VG-10 has all the corrosion resistance that would normally be required. What say you Sal?
  20. rdangerer


    May 26, 2000
    Great... Sal, thanks for shedding some researched-light on this.

    Now I have to go look up what "precipitation hardening" actually means, as opposed to "quench hardening" that we knifeknuts are more accustomed to hearing about. Here is the first def'n I found:
    Hopefully one of the metallurgists will see this thread (or Sal?) and describe how this "precipitation hardening" material is actually hardened/treated. It sounds like they can take a bar or sheet of this stuff, simply heat it and get the hardening precipitates to form and increase strength and hardness. I.e., no quench required.

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