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Top blade steels and why

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Jeremy D Bittler, Oct 3, 2019.

  1. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 29, 2019
    This is true but there is also a curve of diminishing return as you press upwards. When I talk about "decent budget knives", I'm talking about a sweet spot in the spectrum of quality versus cost. I'm talking about knives that cut well, hold a reasonable edge, have a nice action, and feel good in hand for closer to $50. Check out a Civivi, or a Bestech if you like D2.

    Forgive me if I missed anything here but is it right that you also want to hone your sharpening skills? Besides the obvious benefit of saving money, or not taking a huge hit if your knife gets dinged up or lost, these less expensive knives might be better learning tools. What is your sharpening experience? Do you have stones, or a guided system?
    David Mary and Natlek like this.
  2. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    I agreed with Chronovore, it's a good idea to learn to sharpen. Budget knives, are also a good idea. Spyderco 8Cr13Mov. Can't go wrong. For an unbeatable big budget knife, the Resilience is king. Tenacious if you want something big enough.
    Chronovore likes this.
  3. cistercian


    Apr 22, 2015
    Interesting. I strongly agree chipping sucks bigtime. For me so far, only Benchmade was trouble.
    I had similar experience with 154CM BTW, I hate it.
  4. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 29, 2019
    Spyderco makes a nice knife and can satisfy at a lot of different price ranges. If someone likes the style and opening with a spidey hole, it's an easy recommendation.

    People dump on 8Cr13Mov but I remember when that was a good standard for the $20-30 range. Lots of companies still use it at that price range. The problem is that more companies are offering better steels down into that range now. It's gotten harder to justify 8Cr13Mov, which only rates as a lukewarm "okay" in terms of edge retention and corrosion resistance. With inflation and considering cost over time, it's also gotten easier to compare knives that cost a little more up through the $50 mark.

    A still-standing benefit for 8Cr13Mov is that it's easy to sharpen. It's not a bad place to start if you want to learn. There are also a ton of different models and styles available in 8Cr13Mov. However, it would definitely be worth looking at knives in 12C27. In my experience, 12C27 outperforms 8Cr13Mov overall but is still easy to sharpen.
    David Mary likes this.
  5. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    I have a Ruike in 14C28N, which I understand it is supposed to be a stellar performer for the price point, but it is too thick behind the edge for my liking, and is a dedicated flipper with no thumb studs. I am not a big fan of flippers. I cut a wave into the blade, but between it and my steel will mini intrigue, flippers are growing on my a little, but not enough to carry and use yet. Just fiddle with now an again, or cut a little paper. But I think I'll mod the Ruike, thin out the blade and give the 14C28N a good go to dull and resharpen by hand so I can get a good feel for it.

    By the way, what is that knife in your forum avatar? It looks very attractive.
  6. Bellaru


    Sep 24, 2019
    People complain about sharpening knives but it’s part of the hobby and love for knives. I don’t want to do it every day but when I do I enjoy it. Make it a ritual and take pride in your work.
    crumpet8 and willc like this.
  7. WillB

    WillB Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    What do you recommend?
  8. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 29, 2019
    The knife in my profile pic is actually a $20 Kubey, the KU207. It looked pretty and for the price, I decided "what the heck". I've actually been surprised by the quality. The action was good and better since I got it cleaned up and put some decent lube in there. It's satisfying to flip open and it locks up solidly. The blade came sharp and the edge is holding up nicely to light use. Between that and some tests done on other Kubey models, I don't doubt the D2 stamp. The blade is slightly concave, which I like for some tasks. My only real complaint is the ergonomics, which aren't terrible but certainly suffer to achieve the attractive visual aesthetic of this knife. I'll eventually get a full review up.

    As far as sharpening, I've used stones in the past and it is valuable to learn free-hand. Unfortunately, I've got some nerve damage and I tend to lose feeling quickly keeping at angle now. I've almost saved up enough for a KME, which is supposed to help a lot with that. The barrier for guided systems seems to be cost. I'll be glad to talk more about it once I've had a chance to explore it.
    David Mary likes this.
  9. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Never heard of Kubey before now, but wow they have some nice looking designs. Thanks!
  10. Rykjeklut

    Rykjeklut Basic Member Basic Member

    May 23, 2018
    While that is normally correct, it isn't always the case.
    I've got a CRKT Fulcrum 2 that is such a pain in the ass to sharpen that I've given up on it. Why, I do not know. Probably the heat treat?

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