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rust vs soft edge

Feb 28, 1999
My experience in this knife stuff is pretty limited so I'm fishing for information. Since I live right on salt water, it rains most of the time, and the humidity averages about 80%, rust is literally in the air. Reading over the steel types it appears that for REALLY great edge retention, the best steels are NOT "stainless". I've always wound up with these cheezy blades which resited corrosion, but also resisted holding an edge. Even light use is followed by sharpening - you never just clean them up and put them away until next time or they're never sharp. How would one care for say a good tool steel in this environment without having it eaten up? While ss and edge are not literally mutually exclusive, am I correct that one compromises some edge holding to get some improvement in coorosion resistance? In the knife tests I read about guys whacking up a couple of 2x4s, shredding some nylon seat belts, doing in a pile of cardbourd boxes,and still having an edge on the blade. How well do those kinds of blades resist corrosion in my "water world" environment?
Get Sentry Solutions "Marine Tuff Cloth", it's available in the BladeForums Store, about 10 bucks. We use Tuff Cloth on the Uluchet and get very good protection from rust on D-2.

YES,it is sharp, just keep your fingers out of the way!

I own several carbon steel blades. They are easy to keep sharp and rust free. I use RIG (Rust Inhibitive Grease) on all my carbon steel blades. It's kind of like a well mannered cosmoline. Not sticky or smelly, and tons easier to clean up. You should be able to pick it up at a local gun shop. I tried blueing (with 44-40 from Brownells) a Shrade Sharpfinger that was given to me. It just stained the blade lightly in kind of a mottled pattern. No real blueing occured. But I do have to admit....no rust has been found since. (I use RIG on it too though!)
Check out David Boye's Dendritic Cobalt Basics.

Ron Knight

Yeah I'm crazy, but what do you want me to do about it
Jack --

Good news, there are stainless steels out there now that can hold an edge very well. BG-42 has very good edge holding. CPM's 420V is outstanding. The cobalt alloys like Boye Dendritic Cobalt and Talonite also hold an edge very well.

I have two cousins both on active duty in the Navy(both are SeaBees). For Xmas I gave them both fully-serrated Spyderco Military's and a container of Marine Tuff-Cloth. They never stop commending both the knives(excellent steel, CPM440V) and the Marine TuffCloth. Neither has had a single problem with rust or corossion and have raved about how long it holds an edge. These guys really beat on their knives. In fact the performance has been so good other guys in their units are looking to get similar setups. I have a Military but only use the standard Tuff-cloth on it. If I was in/around the water all the time I would definitely use the heavier-duty Marine version.
I really like coated tool steels. Look for a Teflon or Titanium coating. That way, you get a superb steel, with much better corrosion resistance than even stainless. Of course, the edge will rust, but that won't be important if you actually use your knife, as normal edge wear will be sufficient to keep the edge clear of rust.