Lhotak Knives
Feb 12, 1999
hello out there, i need help!
i designed my own knife and want it now to be made, but i want a "virtually" stainless knife. i guess i go for a titanium blade, and that's the point. i saw on the "american cutting edge inc" site blades out of pure tungsten carbide. would pure tungsten carbide make a good blade, or should i go for a tungsten carbide edge, or something totally different. the knife will be used for all cutting tasks.
any suggestion are appreciated
thanks in advance
A knife blade made of tungsten carbide would be very brittle ... be careful not to breathe on it....

Titanium isn't just virtually stainless; it can't rust at all because it isn't steel. The same goes for Talonite and ceramic.

440A is a stainless steel and thus not totally immune to rust, but it is very rust resistant, and edgeholding is not all that bad if it's heat-treated right -- edgeholding is not as good as 440B or 440C but it's more stain resistant. Depending on how corrosive an environment you're planning to use it in and what you'll be using the knife for 440A might fill your needs better than the non-steels, and it also costs less.

For some purposes you might even be well served by 420-J2, the stuff really cheap stainless steel knives are made of -- for instance, if you need to keep a knife in a corrosive environment but won't be using it often. They're usually labeled "surgical stainless" or simply "stainless steel" and although edgeholding is not great they're even more rust resistant than 440A.

-Cougar Allen :{)
If you are going for a using knife, stay away from titanium. It is one of those mystical things. It is light, strong, corrosion resistant, will wear out drill bits and saw blades and can take an extremely sharp edge. It just can't hold an edge?!?!?! Someone needs to fix that. The Benchmade titanium CQC-7 had a carbide coated edge. It wasn't a razor, but it would cut. I don't know how long the caoting will last under hard use.
Well, I don't know much about Tungsten Carbite but my uneducated guess is, they would be brittle as already mentioned and besides that very hard to sharpen. As you can see, the blades from Americancuttingedge are disposable and not intended to be resharpened. Besides that they are very small and the price of the material used is not too significant. I highly doubt that you could get a decent blade of that material.
Titanium is fairly soft and only the Beta alloy suitable for blades. Mission Knives could sell you some blanks but who is going to make a blade out of it? My guess is you wouldn't find anybody.
If you really want a true stainless steel knife, go with Stellite/Talonite. For a fixed blade I would recommend Rob Simonich, for a folder Kit Carson (but he does fixed blades also).
It is my understanding that titanium alloys are weaker than steel. Titanium is only stronger per pound, not per cubic inch. But a pound of Ti occupies much more space than a pound of steel.

What I mean is if you make two knives, one steel and one titanium, with the same dimensions. The steel knife would be stronger. However, you can make the titanium knife significantly thicker and still have a lighter blade.

If memory serves, Mission Knives said something about a special heat treat on their titanium blades that makes theirs especially strong. But you'll have to ask them about it.
If you are willing to grind the blade yourself, Boye Knives is selling 1/8"x1-1/4"x10" dendritic cobalt bar stock for $75.00 + $6.00 s/h in the Aug. issue of Blade mag/rag. I've read that this stuff out performs the 440c version which I have and this stuff (440c dendritic)just keeps cutting and cutting and cutting... it's on pg. 118 if you wanna check it out.
Good Luck!
As far as the strength of titanium compared to steel, I recall and article which discussed the S&W 342 Ti Centennial revolver.

The cylinder has the same dimensions as the steel version, but according to the article the cylinder is much stronger. S&W did a test on the 342 Ti where they screwed on a solid steel barrel blank and fired ten rounds of .38 Special without any damage to the Ti cylinder. Try that with a steel cylinder and it would be in pieces.


Material toughness is difficult to define. Titanium may be better at absorbing shock. But lateral strength on a blade shaped object, hardened for cutting? Not so fast.

[This message has been edited by tallwingedgoat (edited 12 July 1999).]
thanks for all the help.
does anyone one where rob simonich is, i tried to contact him by e-mail but get no response until now.
after all i guess i go for talonite or the beta alloy ti, what does make the better knife?

If I remember, Rob either just got married, or is getting married soon, so may be out of the shop for a week(or 3)

Don't forget to pay your taxes...they eventually become my knives:)