Why does Case get a pass on "surgical steel?"

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Case will simply use the steels and terminology that suits its primary target customers: collectors and the average Joe looking for a traditional user. They aren't seriously interested in penetrating any niche market that values the latest and greatest or most exotic blade material. If you're a collector, then you probably aren't going to subject your blades to any cutting stress more challenging than slicing newsprint or shaving arm hair. And if you're the average "Joe Blow from Kokomo" then you probably wouldn't benefit from, much less care to spend the bucks for, more than 420HC or 1085 steels anyway. If Case thought advertising the precise alloy composition or the actual steel's brand name would sell more knives, then they'd surely do it.
 
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...
Traditional guys also usually have simple tastes or demands and don't mind your good ol' easy to sharpen steels like 1095, 1075, 420hc, and whatever Victorinox uses.

and whatever Victorinox uses ... not true for me. I moved on for the most part because my SAK's always dulled too fast so, I never had a knife that really cut well in a SAK. Freshly sharpened, a SAK is a great knife for routine mundane cutting chores but, I don't sharpen it daily, twice weekly, etc. so, I never really had a knife that cut well on me when I needed it.
 
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Case seems to run their stainless a bit softer than Buck, similar to Swiss Army knives. Easy to sharpen, takes a very fine edge. Good enough for most folks (seriously afflicted knife nerds excepted:D).
 
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I have a couple of Parker Cutlery Company bowie knives, (both made in Sekei Japan during the early/mid 1980's), that have those "Surgical Steel" words stamped onto their blade's ricasso. The overall build quality of these factory production knives is surprisingly very good! It seems that the Parker Cut Co offerings ran the gamut, from a bit mickey mousey, to a bit of very decent quality. The way I look at it, (as a collector of such do-dads), is that the "Surgical Steel", (or Surgical Stainless/Surgical Stainless Steel), terminology is a part of knife history. There was simply a time when the types of stainless steels used for knives was very limited in scope, and those words were common and a part of that time frame. Case may be one of the few, if not the only reputable company today, still using the term "Surgical Steel". I think they may not have gotten the memo on the term having become obsolete ;) It's kind'a like a man having a mullet hairstyle today... Like, dude, you could get away with that a few decades ago, but now... Nope! ;)
I don't believe Case marks any of their blades as such, but I do believe they may still use it for some of their descriptions of their knives/steel.
 
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T.L.E. Sharp

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I was going to post this in "traditional" but figured i might get a biased view there, and would rather get a representative sampling of opinions.

We all crap all over every company that advertises that they use "surgical steel."
Yet Case, which is highly regarded touts their Tru-Sharp Surgical Steel, and we all go along with it. Do they get some kind of special dispensation? Or do people hate on Case also and I'm just unaware of it?

Assuming they do get a pass... why? Is case just too much of a sacred cow to butcher?

Do we actually know kind of steel the "Tru-Sharp Surgical Steel" is?

My Endura breaks down several cardboard boxes at a time, crafts tent stakes, cuts zip ties, etc. All without having time to sharpen it. So I want a steel that candle it all without needing more than basic field maintenance.

My Case knives, SAKs, etc. slice apples, cut twine and tape, open mail... Edge holding isn't really a concern. As long as it takes a decent edge, functions well and looks nice I'm good.

Don't underestimate Case's Tru-Sharp either. While I prefer the CV, I've spent many hours whittling with Tru-Sharp and never needed to touch it up. I wouldn't want to tackle a refrigerator box with it, but it handles normal tasks just fine.
 

22-rimfire

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I have a couple of Parker Cutlery Company bowie knives, (both made in Sekei Japan during the early/mid 1980's), that have those "Surgical Steel" words stamped onto their blade's ricasso. The overall build quality of these factory production knives is surprisingly very good! It seems that the Parker Cut Co offerings ran the gamut, from a bit mickey mousey, to a bit of very decent quality. The way I look at it, (as a collector of such do-dads), is that the "Surgical Steel", (or Surgical Stainless/Surgical Stainless Steel), terminology is a part of knife history. There was simply a time when the types of stainless steels used for knives was very limited in scope, and those words were common and a part of that time frame. Case may be one of the few, if not the only reputable company today, still using the term "Surgical Steel".
Much like Rosfrei, and "German Steel" on my recent Hen & Rooster small Stockman. I'll have to dig out a couple Parker's I own and take a look at them. They were made in Japan. If Jim Parker was alive today, those same knives would be manufactured in China just like Frost, Rough Rider, and so forth. It is a part of knife history. Doesn't bother me as long as the manufacturer is honest about things.
 

afishhunter

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its a traditional knife, that was the steel that was used. Besides its heat treatment not steel,
if you ate a bad meal would you blame the ingredients or the cook?
Both.
I'd blame the bad ingredients, and I'd blame the cook for using those bad ingredients.

(I'd probably never return to that restaurant, and would advise everyone I knew to avoid it as well. Same as I do for any other company and/or product.)

EDIT: In the case of a restaurant serving bad/spoiled food, I'd probably sic the health department on them, too.
 
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We can also go back to the days before stainless steels were common, or even available, where it was uncommon for any knife to have anything stamped onto them regarding the actual steel used for the blade, although some companies may have made up names like "super steel" to promote their knives as being of higher quality. It makes sense that when stainless steel became more common, using the term "Surgical Steel" may have sounded better to many folks over just the word(s) "Stainless" or "Stainless Steel". Of course today, it's become more and more common to see the markings on the blade be the actual steel being used to make it. I think it's cool to read and see the evolvement of all of this. As a self proclaimed collector of knives and other do-dads, I surely don't mind seeing older knives with the "Surgical Steel" designation. Again, it's just another part of knife history. Seeing the term stamped on a blade of a current day made knife, is a different story for me. I then think cheap in every sense of the word. I do not think that of all such marked older knives, although some certainly are as well (cheap in every sense) ☺
 
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Case gets bashed more for their fit and finish than their steel choices.
Agreed. Brand new Trapper out of the box, and the main blade wobbled side to side like a drunken sailor. Fastest return I ever had. With that said I would like to have a perfect Case Trapper one day.
 
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As we all know on the forum, heat treat is is important as steel composition. I do want to know what the steel is, Case has not made it a secret. I also want to know what people think of it which would tell me about the heat treat. That's why I read the forum.

Case makes a good knife, albeit a little pricey for what it is. If I had anything I would say bad about that it's that they make beany baby knives. Many, slightly different, knives to appeal to people who collect Case knives. Still a good company.
 

DeadboxHero

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Both.
I'd blame the bad ingredients, and I'd blame the cook for using those bad ingredients.

(I'd probably never return to that restaurant, and would advise everyone I knew to avoid it as well. Same as I do for any other company and/or product.)

EDIT: In the case of a restaurant serving bad/spoiled food, I'd probably sic the health department on them, too.
haha brutal.
 
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The term "surgical steel" refers to any steel that is corrosion resistant. It can be a very good steel or a Pakistani mystery steel. Using the word "surgical" implies that it is of a high quality, but it's quality can be from an inch to a mile. Nose rings made of "surgical steel" sell for $25 & up. The same item sold as mere steel might bring $3-$5.
 

Pilsner

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The phrase ‘surgical steel’ is no different from any other archaic marketing blarney. It used to be used extensively, to denote that this steel is also used to manufacture scalpels, lancets, etc. What that really means is that the steel was highly corrosion resistant, as mentioned above, and very easily sharpened. Typically scalpels were not disposed of after surgery, but disinfected, sterilised and sharpened. In reality, steel used for such instruments was relatively soft by today’s standards, and Case using the term is just another feather in their olde worlde schtick cap. It is a throwback, nothing more.
 
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Some people may need or believe they need a stout tough folder that they can thrash on and demand some form of modern super steel, traditional slipjoints however only usually see menial daily cutting tasks which this Steel is just fine for.
Traditional guys also usually have simple tastes or demands and don't mind your good ol' easy to sharpen steels like 1095, 1075, 420hc, and whatever Victorinox uses.
If that's the case the price should be less than what it is.
 
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