Super steels, and do we really need them?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Popsickle, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. singularity35


    Mar 1, 2010
    I think there are two threads on the front page of needing supersteels. I posted on the other thread some time ago when I needed to cut dirty and abrasive materials on an almost daily basis. I had a different answer then. Now that my interests and activities have changed, my answer has become different. :)
    danbot and Popsickle like this.
  2. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    For a time I wondered 'why' about them. Now, I have more experience using S60V & S90V and know there is a place for them in cutlery. And I'm not talking toward a specialized use. Just processing a lot of fish or a bull elk would merit their use. As well as many other environments. Plus, us using them (though some of it is in vogue) pushes the whole industry forward. I love 440C and ats-34 but I don't want to camp there and not move forward in my knife making. I mean think of it,--
    what if we still only had rotary phones? Ha, many here can't even imagine that. Still, the example fits. DM
  3. Goosey


    Mar 19, 2012
    As long as it has steel of reasonable quality, the design of the knife is what matters most, IMO.
    Blacplastik and DeadboxHero like this.
  4. GIRLYmann


    Nov 7, 2005
    Wow! A really good question.
    And yeah, expensive folders are not for everyone.
    I fully agree that over built products are overkill for the most part.
    Would like to think that pushing the tech&specs
    Is the agenda of the high order of purist enlightened knife geeks.
    No harm in that, if it suits your pocket or fat purse.
    Someone once said, that the proof is in the pudding.
    Guess I'ld take the manufacturers word for it that
    cutting performance is somewhat better with "super steels".
    Yup, blade geometry is pretty important too, btw.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  5. Fanglekai


    Jan 7, 2007
    "Super steel" doesn't have a set meaning. It's a marketing phrase to sell more knives. Same goes for "surgical steel", "tactical", and the multitudinous other terms and phrases.

    As for high alloy, high carbide fraction steels, they are useful in certain applications. They're not universally better than low alloy, low carbide fraction steels. There is always a tradeoff when it comes to mechanical properties. Why would anyone use S125V for a sashimi knife? It wouldn't make sense for the application.

    Having the thinnest geometry that won't fail will provide the best cutting performance for any given steel. The alloy and heat treatment determine what the limits are for stable geometry. The tasks that need to be performed should determine what mechanical properties are needed and that should be considered when choosing the steel for those tasks.
    Chris "Anagarika" likes this.
  6. halden.doerge

    halden.doerge I'll Sharpen Your Knife Gold Member

    Aug 17, 2014
    Good use of the word multitudinous.
    Lapedog likes this.
  7. emjay4248

    emjay4248 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 8, 2016
    I have 2 category's of knives, Users and collectable. Users is self explanatory and collectables consists of knives that I enjoy looking at and has the prestige of being a real member of the knife world. It is much easier to converse about knives and steels when you own them.
    Their is an expression in Yiddish that is best suited for the collectables He likes to Kvell and look at his accomplishments. This refers to a person reaching a place in their life monetarily where they could buy an expensive painting' hang it, take a chair and sit back and just look at it for hours, this is Kvelling. I consider the the metallurgy, choice of colors and ergonomic design to be very artful and also hold on to their value.
    I have 8 PM2's I only use 2 but I enjoy them very much. Many knives that are manufactured today are similar to the horsepower wars between the car makers. Lets see who can design a wacky design in an exotic steel that is totally non functional knife.
    Some of us buy the knives to carry only, others like to collect and some of us like to do both.
    Lapedog likes this.
  8. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    The rotary phone example fits from my point of view and I like it. Been reading a book where almost everyone carries around a digital personal manager that can access a large data base from anywhere via satellites. (But there is an element of ultimate control involved... Big Brother type thing.) It started with electronic address books, replaced by cell phones and moving to cell phone control of many ordinary functions. In fact life pretty much revolves around the concept from communication, device control, to complex analysis in the novel. I think this is where we're headed and the better steels (aka super steels) are where the cutlery industry is headed for medium to high grade knives. I think there will always be a market for the "cheap stuff", but I think the "cheap stuff" will get better over time.
  9. silverds


    Jul 8, 2015
    I would have preferred "plethora" so that a Three Amigos joke could be injected. Oh well...

    Edit: I mean ah hell!
  10. Blacplastik


    Sep 7, 2017
    When is Kershaw and CRKT ever going to change from 8cr to something better.
    Like the designs of a lot of there knives but want VG10 for the steel.
    Mo2 likes this.
  11. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    They won't. Nor will they make better quality tier of knives.
    palonej likes this.
  12. silverds


    Jul 8, 2015
    Kershaw has ZT for that. CRKT though, should have a premium brand, I think. It's about time, no? Call it CRKC maybe. Columbia River Knife and Collectible, I dunno...something.
    Pomsbz likes this.
  13. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    They would be smart and work with we knives to make a mid tier brand.
  14. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    That would change a lot of people's perceptions of CRKT. The steel thing is hard since their knives are made in China. But a premium line could be made else where perhaps.
  15. silverds


    Jul 8, 2015
    There are a few premium brands already in made China. WE and Kizer come immediately to mind. As @Mo2 suggested, they could work with WE Knives who has multiple models with S35VN and others with M390 steel. Where there's a will....
    Pomsbz and Mo2 like this.
  16. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    E641D654-2649-4BF8-9945-30B744FE28BE.jpeg We need them, and we have them. Life is good.
    Mo2, palonej, chumaman and 3 others like this.
  17. 19-3ben


    Jul 27, 2015
    When I first got into knives, I was still baffled by people blowing over $100 on a knife, and had the attitude of "those suckers who are paying all this money for super steels..." Really, I was just ignorant.

    Then I got into super steels. I got a few, realized the benefits and the drawbacks that come with them.

    I'm now back to older steels and "yesterday's super steels." Most of my collection is 1095, 1075, D2, VG10, 154CM.. etc... Now I CHOOSE not to seek out super steels, but I do it from a position of experience and knowing what I need and what I don't. That said, i don't run away from certain super steels either. I just take it all in stride and don't get caught up in the hubbub of either side.
    Chris "Anagarika" likes this.
  18. DeadboxHero

    DeadboxHero Triple B Handmade, Custom Knives Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 22, 2014
    Wat! Look at those!

    How much those cost?
  19. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    Less than they’re worth, more than I can afford.
    palonej likes this.
  20. GermanyChris


    Feb 18, 2015
    I have a made in Taiwan AUS 8 CRKT

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