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Nitro V for hard use blades

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by Huntsman Knife Co., Jul 1, 2017.

  1. Huntsman Knife Co.

    Huntsman Knife Co. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 10, 2010
    Accidentally lost everything I posted while editing the image links :oops:

    Ill give a quick recap.

    I've used 52100 for years for my big blades but rust has always been an issue and I've been looking for an upgrade.

    I stumbled upon Nitro V which is a new steel from Aldo and decided to give it a try in my Fell Beast machetes. Nitro V is AEB-L that is modified with nitrogen and vanadium for greater toughness, edge holding, and stain resistance.

    The end result is one kick ass steel that is just as tough or tougher than similar carbon steels while being completely stainless. Its also a breeze to grind and is actually easier to grind than 52100.

    For testing I took a Fell Beast HT to 58-59 RC by Peter's with a spring temepered spine. Took the edge down to .018 before sharpening and the BTE thickness clocked in at .029 with an angle of about 20 degrees per side.

    I started by chopping some nasty hardwoods. Went through some downed trees and then went to work on a yellow Locust tree. Locust is extremely hard and will dull a chainsaw blade. The Nitro V survived all of the hard chopping with no edge damage and would still shave after.

    Next I got an old aluminum step ladder and chopped it up. I took 8-9 total chops and was able to completely chop through the material with one stroke. Zero edge damage and again it was still shaving sharp when done. Very impressive.

    Finally I did the good old flex test and took this thing to 90 degrees and back a few times. No deformation and returned true.

    I'll be sticking with Nitro V for my next runs. It has all the toughness and edge stability of its carbon counterparts while being stainless AND a breeze to grind:thumbsup: Did I mention its affordable? Theres nothing to not like about this material.


    Zero edge damage after 8-9 chops


    Yellow locust is some seriously nasty stuff. The machete could barley even bite into it.

    Blasting through some very gnarly downed hardwood.

    She can take a bend

    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
    shoegazer, BBW, Mr.SATism and 12 others like this.
  2. shinyedges

    shinyedges Unfaltering Love & Undeviating Will

    Jun 5, 2012
    Can't see the pics, photobucket charges for 3rd party pic abilities now.

    I am really interested to see the pics! I've been looking at your machetes for quite some time. I gotta get one.
  3. Huntsman Knife Co.

    Huntsman Knife Co. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 10, 2010
    Looks like photobucket just dug its own grave. Switching to Imgur real quick.
    GABaus and DeadboxHero like this.
  4. Dangerously


    Jan 8, 2013
  5. d762nato

    d762nato Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    Thanks for the heads up and like mentioned very impressive steel to say the least. It looks like it made one tough fell beast, Congrats.:thumbsup:
  6. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Sounds very much like Jerry Busse's INFI. I believe similar steels with nitrogen were used in tank armor. Tough stuff, indeed.
    neal70 likes this.
  7. jeepin

    jeepin Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 20, 2003

    The old infi. Jerry went cheap and got rid of the nitrogen.
  8. Huntsman Knife Co.

    Huntsman Knife Co. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 10, 2010
    Just wanted to give an update on the Nitro V. I've done more testing and snapped one in the vice.

    Here's a vid of some testing

    Here's my conclusions.

    Nitro V has top notch edge stability. I think its better than 52100 but unless you are pushing the edge to the very limit you probably would not be able to tell a difference. I chopped through copper pipe 3 or 4 times with no damage and then, nails and a cinderblock with pretty minimal damage. The edge is certainly stronger than the AEBL machete I tested at a similar hardness.

    The stain resistance is excellent. I think you could probably use this material as a dive knife. I never cleaned off the machete after testing and left tree sap all over the blade and let it sit in my disgustingly humid shop for several days. Zero rust. This is a maintenance free steel.

    The main difference you will find between Nitro V and traditional carbon steels like 52100 is what happens when you put them in a vice and bend them. When you get past 90-100 degrees Nitro V snap while 52100 will take a set. Aside from how they break in the vice, NITRO V is very similar to 52100. It has good toughness and could take being repeatedly beaten with a ball peen hammer and then flexed to 45+ degrees multiple times without issue. In real use, aside from the extra stain resistance you might not be able to tell a difference between Nitro V and 52100.

    I'm looking forward to testing Nitro V in the cold. Hopefully it will not suffer from cold embrittlement like many stainless steels do. In the mean time I will continue this line of blades with both steels. 52100 for the time tested classic and for extreme cold, and NITRO V for costal, tropical, and swampy places. :thumbsup:
    Mr.SATism, GABaus, neal70 and 3 others like this.
  9. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Always interesting to read about new steels. Look forward to its performance in real cold. Didn't note any problems at -40 in the Yukon (Tombstone Valley, caribou hunting a few years back) with our axes (chopping firewood) and knives (gutting caribou -- which were still warm) but didn't do any real torture tests.
  10. DeadboxHero


    Mar 22, 2014
    Damn fine work sir
  11. Bladegunner

    Bladegunner Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 28, 2016
    I think I will be ordering a large beast real soon. Just what I need to keep the landscaping in shape.
    Phixt likes this.
  12. Phixt


    May 28, 2016
    You read my mind.
  13. Hackenslash

    Hackenslash Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jul 25, 2014
    Thanks for sharing your experience with this new steel! It looks awesome!
  14. ShannonSteelLabs

    ShannonSteelLabs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 9, 2015
    Very interesting.
    Someone should test Nitro V and Z-finit. They both look to be super tough and impervious to rust.
    Great blade man! Glad that Peters can do the HT, been using them for all my knives.
    May have to test it out for a stainless machete! Im sure theres a market for tough stainless machetes somewhere. Keep up the great work!
  15. samuraistuart

    samuraistuart KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 21, 2006
    Nitro V is extremely close to 14c28n, which is Sandvick's "upgrade" to 13c26/AEB-L. Nitro V does have a little grain refining Vanadium added to that formula. Not enough vanadium or carbon to form vanadium carbides at all, just pin grain boundaries during HT. Looks to be a very good cutlery steel, one I would use on thin geometries and high hardness levels.
    ShannonSteelLabs and Brian77 like this.
  16. amikee


    Apr 24, 2014
    Your inbox is full.
  17. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Is there any updated info on cold weather use of Nitro-V in large blades?
  18. pyreaux

    pyreaux Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 9, 2015
    There were some heat treat protocol issues that cause nitrogen to come out of solution and create voids in the steels. I think Huntsman and others are waiting to get that sorted out.
  19. ShannonSteelLabs

    ShannonSteelLabs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 9, 2015
    The heat treat has been updated.
    @DeadboxHero told me the new austenizing temp is 1900. Should get 62-64HRC.

    Going to try the new heat treat protocol with some test knives.
    David Richardson and jeepin like this.
  20. DeadboxHero


    Mar 22, 2014
    At Bladeshow West NJSB brought the Metallurgist from Buderus to talk about Nitro V

    The new Austenizing temps if using a cryo.
    (Old temp was 1950f)

    1500f preheat/equalize for 15 min
    1900f austenizing for 10min
    Plate quench
    Cryo -300 or Subzero -130 for 1 hour

    David Richardson likes this.

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