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Nitro V for hard use blades

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

  1. mete

    mete Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Clarify please. What are the suggested tempers ? If you expect eta carbides you will have to temper at 300-400 F. You should also expect some differences in hardness and toughness between cryo and subzero ??
  2. samuraistuart

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

    Dec 21, 2006
    I think if Hunter were to chime in on this thread, there would be some clarification about what is going on with Nitro V in these hard use impact blades. And it has nothing to do with a "new" or "better" heat treatment.
  3. Huntsman Knife Co.

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

    Sep 10, 2010
    I'll chime in here and give an update.

    I think I was the first person to use Nitro V for big, hard use blades when I decided to try a new steel for my Fell Beast line of machetes. I wanted something stainless. I have used AEB-l in the past and was really impressed by its performance. I was about to buy some for the run but was sold on Nitro V by NJSB.

    Ill start by saying this, the AEB-l class of steels are AWESOME. I think they're the future of blade steels. When done right they have perfect qualities for knife steels including truly impressive toughness.

    So I got some Nitro V, used the AEB-l HT and tested the hell out of the blades. I broke 3 in torture testing before selling the production run.

    Nitro V did really great in almost all the testing. It had top notch edge stability. I made a video posted on here of me chopping through cinder blocks and copper pipe etc.. all of that is real. The testing went great.

    Except for one thing. When I put the blades in a vice and did the flex test, instead of bending like AEB-l or 52100, the Nitro V blades snapped. I was concerned but after talking to some people we decided that bending a blade past 90 degrees in a vice isnt something a customer will ever do and since the rest of the testing went well I went ahead with the production run.

    No issues until a year later when 2 blade broke during routine use. What I discovered in my investigations was the formation of concentrated nitride inclusions. You can see them when you break a blade and let it corrode a bit.

    When I contacted NJSB they told me there were indeed nitride inclusions but that they were a result of HT and the HT had been updated. They offered to replace my bad Nitro V blanks with 52100. Unfortunatly the 52100 was bad too so now they are replacing them with 3V.

    Ok so back to Nitro V. Here is my take. I only had one batch of this stuff and it was likely the very first batch. I personally think I got steel with inclusions in it and the inclusions were not from HT. Over the past year I firmly believe they have improved the HT and improved the qualities of the steel, but I think the batch I got simply had inclusions from the Mill.

    I believe this because the 52100 replacement blanks I recieved Were 100% cut from bad steel. NJSB confirmed that the mill had accidentally sent out a slag filled portion of the 52100 sheet that is normally thrown away and I had unfortunatley gotten a bad sheet.

    But the issues with my batches of 52100 and Nitro V were very similar- visible inclsuions that cause the steel to shatter when bent in a vice. I dont think thats a HT issue. I think i may have simply gotten a first off the mill slag filled sheet of steel that the mill should have scraped.

    My big thing with steel selection is that its time tested and proven. nitro V has only been out a year. NJSB should make some test videos and show what the steel can do with the new HT. There has been an undeniable cracking issue with the steel and I think the ball is in their court to prove that Nitro V is good stuff and or that the HT is fixed. And on paper, it really really should be a fantastic steel.

    Thats alot of text so I will summarize below.

    All new steels go through some growing pains where HT is being figured out and tweaks are made. I would personally reommend just sticking with AEB-l for big impact blades because it is so time tested and proven.

    For a kitchen knife or similar that does not see impact, Nitro V is probably fine but I would personally use a steel like AEB-l that been around for decades.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  4. ShannonSteelLabs

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

    Sep 9, 2015
    I'm just hoping that my chunk that's leftover is still good. Made a few knives for customers. No issues so far.

    Hoping to use it more for some budget knives and kitchen stuff.

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