Traditional folder blade steel

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by g123, Jan 4, 2021.

  1. g123


    Oct 25, 2009
    What traditional folder manufacturer (not custom) has the best stainless steel blades?

    I am a real fan of Case SS, but I would like to venture out.


  2. Lesknife

    Lesknife Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    Buck 420hc with Bos heat treat is best in 420 class steel. I have both Case ss and cv but they don’t hold an edge to my Buck knives in 420hc.
  3. rishma


    Jun 22, 2008
    I like SAK stainless. Maybe not the coolest traditional patterns but gosh they are useful and they take a nice edge.
    g123, Pomsbz and afishhunter like this.
  4. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    If D2 is stainless, Marbles and Rough Ryder both have a few.
    (My D2 Buck 112 S.K. Blades SFO, and Marbles MR431 don't patina that I've noticed.)
    Rough Ryder also has a medium 3 blade stockman, and I'm not sure what size 2 blade Trapper with 10V.
    On at least some of the 100 series, and I think some of the 500 series, Buck offers S30V in the Custom Shop.

    Some of the GEC branded GEC's (not the Northwoods, Northfield, or Farm and Field) have 440C, if you can find one.

    I don't know what Bear and Sons and other makers are using.
    Misplaced Hillbilly likes this.
  5. The Zieg

    The Zieg

    Jan 31, 2002
    This is spot on from my perspective. What companies use a steel close to Buck's 420HC?

    Lesknife likes this.
  6. Ernie1980

    Ernie1980 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 19, 2012
    There are some “modern” traditionals with m390, like our 2020 forum knife, but those are a little far off from Case. I really like the Queen d2 and GEC 440 blades if you are looking for an older pattern.
  7. Elgatodeacero

    Elgatodeacero Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 5, 2014
  8. ed_is_dead

    ed_is_dead Basic Member Basic Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    The first pic in the link for Albers shows the nail nick being milled in. Never knew how it was done!
    Beautiful knives from that company and all sold out it seems.
  9. Will Power

    Will Power Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    Opinel's Sandvik steel should not be overlooked, gets really sharp like all other Sandvik steels.

    Look out for a 2018 Forum Knife from Buck, the 154 steel is very satisfying indeed.
    rishma likes this.
  10. Omnius


    Apr 17, 2020
    They are quite expensive and can be hard to find, but Boker Solingen has a few trappers and barlows made from 440C steel. I think it is not yet released, but they should soon have N690 barlow with micarta handle. My local store says january/february of 2021.

    In the last couple of months I used Brother 1507. They make lockbacks and slipjoints with VG-10. Probably not fake, edge holding was between 14C28N and D2. Just stay away from 1503, too thick to cut anything.

    It is maybe not fully traditional, but check Manly Comrade or smaller Wasp. I got it because local stores don't have more traditional sodbusters and it was so good I used it for most of the last year. Cuts great, feels solid, strong spring with multiple stops. They have D2, CPM154 and S90V version for a good price. I got it from a local retailer so can't confirm, but I heard from a few people to buy them from a retailers and not directly from maker's site because currently there are long delays.

    You can also check Maserin Scout. It is sodbuster looking D2 with micarta. I was thinking about getting it, but eventually didn't because of international shipping.
  11. nickvnlr

    nickvnlr Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 23, 2014
    Any of the Italian shops using m390 or N690co.
  12. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    Queen D2 has been in my experience, basically stainless. Much better edge retention than case CV, and SS.

    GEC makes lovely knives. Their 440C should have much better edge retention than case stainless (which I find to be soft).

    Others have mentioned Lionsteel, they use much higher end steels, with lovely construction. A bit more expensive, but on par with GEC. Not quite as traditional as far as construction, but still lovely.

    I've found S&M file and wire in ATS34 to be better than Case steel for edge retention..
    Misplaced Hillbilly likes this.
  13. JB in SC

    JB in SC Basic Member Basic Member

    May 19, 2001
    Most makers use a fly cutter for nicks. It’s not as easy as it looks either...
  14. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    Grohmannseens to have pretty nice blades, but my knife is pretty thick behind the edge so It's not really something I can judge very well.
    It sharpens up great though, I think it's some kind of German something or other.
  15. nickvnlr

    nickvnlr Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 23, 2014
    Probably 4116.
  16. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    Sounds about right.
  17. ed_is_dead

    ed_is_dead Basic Member Basic Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    Im guessing to make the tapers uniform at either end might present a challenge.
    How were long pulls made in days past? Were they stamped in when hot or ground in some fashion?
  18. Chui

    Chui Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 10, 2012
    - not quite sure what version/type of stainless the Cyclops is, but these are great, well worth a look imho


    fonedork likes this.
  19. fonedork

    fonedork Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    It says 440C right on the tube in your first pic :)
    JohnDF likes this.
  20. JB in SC

    JB in SC Basic Member Basic Member

    May 19, 2001
    @Jack Black could tell you for sure how they were done by the Sheffield makers. I would venture to say most crescent nicks were stamped with dies using an arbor type press, but long pulls might have been file cut.

    There have been custom makers in the past that have stamped nicks before they acquired milling machines and many many have used Dremel type tools.

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