Solingen Steel

Oct 31, 2006
Greetings, Does anyone have any information on Solingen Steel. Some of the German knives list Solingen Steel blades, some stainless some carbon. How do you know what you are buying. Are they the best or just another sales pitch? Thanks, Hilltopper
Sales pitch, as long as it came out of Solingen (the German knife making capital) they can call it Solingen Steel. I suspect it is trying to capitalize on the reputation that knives made in Solingen had in the past (think early to mid 1900's).
Greetings, Thanks for the reply. That being said, does anyone know what steel is used in a Buck Creek or Hen and Rooster blades?
Solingen steel could be any of several steels, but the more common ones that I know about are 420HC in stainless and the DIN equivalent to AISI 1070 for the carbon steels. Boker has used quite a bit of 440C over the years. I've seen some tool type steels listed with certain knives. Common German slipjoints available nowadays are most likely either the 420HC or 1070. I have no idea how long they'll hold their edges, as I've never had the opportunity to subject any of my knives to severe enough useage to really get them that dull, but they sharpen up razor sharp and seem to cut well enough for me. From what I've experienced, the slipjoints with the carbon steel blades usually are ground thinner, so they cut better than the thicker blades on many other knives. May not be the case with all of the German knives, just the ones I've seen so far. I've always wanted to get ahold of a good Boker in 440C and see how the edges held up. The stag copperheads and big folding hunters they make in 440C are some beautiful knives.
I carried a Buck Creek trapper for about a year until I lost it. Pissed me off. Dad had given it to me for Christmas.

Unfortunately I can't give you much help on the steel since I only used this knife for light duty. (I always have other blades on me for rougher stuff.) The blades were ground from spine to edge with practically a zero edge bevel. They were so refreshingly thin at the edge compared to most slippies...
Back in the 50's and 60's most of the more interesting knives that I could afford were made of Solingen steel. During the Vietnam war Bo Randall even had some Solingen steel blades made for his military knives. Getting used to Solingen steel gave me a real negative attitude towards stainless steel. By comparison all stainess steel is brittle and takes a lousy edge. Nonstainless Solingen steel is very tough and takes a great edge. It doesn't dull inconveniently fast and is very easy to resharpen. It is a great choice for any knife with a fine thin point. With Solingen steel you may bend the point, but you will rarely break it.

For years I used a stockman with Solingen blades as my primary whittler. I could dig out complicated shapes with the points of the blades without worry of loosing a tip.