Worst 3 Steels - Never Buy!

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midnight flyer

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That fella was dressed, caped, and butchered with 420hc before most of the folks on this forum were born. Seems pretty adequate to me.

Toss me in with you guys. Way back in the time before time, say... 1969, I had the great luck of buying a Buck 119 in 440c. I had been carrying knives for years at that point, all carbon steel, and it was the devil's own work getting an edge on that Buck knife with its fancy stainless steel. But in the end, it really upped my sharpening skills as I HAD TO learn to how to maintain and edge angle or I was just scraping metal off the edge. I was completely taken with that knife (which Buck later changed the steel to 420hc) as once I got it sharp it held the edge for a long time and on my old Arkansas stones, it was easy to maintain. That knife was my only sheath knife for about 15 years, and it hunted, camped, hiked, fished, and even did camp cooking. I never took sharpening gear into the field as I didn't need to.

My buddies all got Buck 110s when we went into construction trades, which was 420hc, and the same knives served out on the job site quite well, and then did all the other activities mentioned above. None of us could afford more than a knife or two so we chose carefully. On the job, I carried CASE or Boker carbon steel that needed oiling quite frequently to keep from rusting. Once I got some money together, I bought a Browning folding hunter (their answer to the Buck 110) and it was again in 440c.

It seems that yesterday's steels are looked at with pity or disdain. For me, some of them served and continue to serve quite well out on the job site and other activities. I remember thinking that all knife steel development would probably stop once I tried knives with 440c because I had two different knives from two different manufacturers made from it, and I couldn't imagine better performance. Now look at the BF group; some seem to need M390, S110V, etc., to open letters, cut an apple, half a sandwich, or use in the local park under some contrived conditions to show how "tough" their knives and steels are.

For anyone that appreciates the newer steels (like me with my S110V, S35, etc.) I think it adds to the fun of having a nice knife. But to toss out the older steels as trash or junk shows a real lack of experience and savvy. There is a reason that 440c, 1095, 5160, 1084 and so many others have been around in heavy use for more than 50 years.

Robert
 

trevitrace

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One of my favorite big knives is in 5160.

Incurs impact with knots, squirrelly grain or the occasional glanced blow in stride with nary a ding that requires more than a few minutes of 'fixing'.
 

Makael

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Toss me in with you guys. Way back in the time before time, say... 1969, I had the great luck of buying a Buck 119 in 440c. I had been carrying knives for years at that point, all carbon steel, and it was the devil's own work getting an edge on that Buck knife with its fancy stainless steel. But in the end, it really upped my sharpening skills as I HAD TO learn to how to maintain and edge angle or I was just scraping metal off the edge. I was completely taken with that knife (which Buck later changed the steel to 420hc) as once I got it sharp it held the edge for a long time and on my old Arkansas stones, it was easy to maintain. That knife was my only sheath knife for about 15 years, and it hunted, camped, hiked, fished, and even did camp cooking. I never took sharpening gear into the field as I didn't need to.

My buddies all got Buck 110s when we went into construction trades, which was 420hc, and the same knives served out on the job site quite well, and then did all the other activities mentioned above. None of us could afford more than a knife or two so we chose carefully. On the job, I carried CASE or Boker carbon steel that needed oiling quite frequently to keep from rusting. Once I got some money together, I bought a Browning folding hunter (their answer to the Buck 110) and it was again in 440c.

It seems that yesterday's steels are looked at with pity or disdain. For me, some of them served and continue to serve quite well out on the job site and other activities. I remember thinking that all knife steel development would probably stop once I tried knives with 440c because I had two different knives from two different manufacturers made from it, and I couldn't imagine better performance. Now look at the BF group; some seem to need M390, S110V, etc., to open letters, cut an apple, half a sandwich, or use in the local park under some contrived conditions to show how "tough" their knives and steels are.

For anyone that appreciates the newer steels (like me with my S110V, S35, etc.) I think it adds to the fun of having a nice knife. But to toss out the older steels as trash or junk shows a real lack of experience and savvy. There is a reason that 440c, 1095, 5160, 1084 and so many others have been around in heavy use for more than 50 years.

Robert
I totally agree.
 
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I don't really have problems with steels, at the end it really deend on the type of blade and use...

However I had some many bad experience with 440C that I stay away from the 440* steels.

Any other can be fine, depending on what I want to do with the knife.
 

l1ranger

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we can't make our opinions facts, no matter how many others may agree with it.

best/worst anything is subjective
 

19-3ben

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we can't make our opinions facts, no matter how many others may agree with it.

best/worst anything is subjective

Among my colleagues, this is a quote that comes up pretty often.

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
-John Adams

As for this thread, steels, etc... shinyedges shinyedges pretty much covered it.

That said, I'm not entirely sure that I understand the whole point of the thread. It seems the OP is trying to create a false dichotomy in which there are "good steels" and "bad steels." I don't see any reason why the entire steel world with hundreds of knife steels should be divided into two arbitrary categories. They are all steels, and some are better than others at certain things. 5160 isn't as good at 440c at corrosion resistance, but if I got a 10" chopping knife, 5160 would be a much better choice than 440c. All steels are a trade off, and whether a steel is "good" for its purpose is a function of what you are doing with that knife, and where you are willing to make compromises.
 
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Worst for me

Sleipner. Rusts. Even under the handle. too high maintenance
D2. Rusts
Cts bd1. Not enough edge retention
 

whp

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Among my colleagues, this is a quote that comes up pretty often.



As for this thread, steels, etc... shinyedges shinyedges pretty much covered it.

That said, I'm not entirely sure that I understand the whole point of the thread. It seems the OP is trying to create a false dichotomy in which there are "good steels" and "bad steels." I don't see any reason why the entire steel world with hundreds of knife steels should be divided into two arbitrary categories. They are all steels, and some are better than others at certain things. 5160 isn't as good at 440c at corrosion resistance, but if I got a 10" chopping knife, 5160 would be a much better choice than 440c. All steels are a trade off, and whether a steel is "good" for its purpose is a function of what you are doing with that knife, and where you are willing to make compromises.

I don t think the op was trying to cause an argument.
I have to agree with 19-3ben. Many of the steels on the original list can be useful for certain purposes and certain budgets. There is no perfect steel, all seem to be compromises.
Although there may be some correlation, I don t think the number of posts on this forum proves or disproves expertise in knives. There are people on this forum with fewer posts and much more knowledge than I. What many of us have in common is enthusiasm.
I continue to learn as I visit.
 
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That said, I'm not entirely sure that I understand the whole point of the thread. It seems the OP is trying to create a false dichotomy in which there are "good steels" and "bad steels."

This thread reveled that people will buy anything.

Did you say the same thing in the thread "Top 3 Steels" ?
 
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I don t think the op was trying to cause an argument.
I have to agree with 19-3ben. Many of the steels on the original list can be useful for certain purposes and certain budgets. There is no perfect steel, all seem to be compromises.
Although there may be some correlation, I don t think the number of posts on this forum proves or disproves expertise in knives. There are people on this forum with fewer posts and much more knowledge than I. What many of us have in common is enthusiasm.
I continue to learn as I visit.

I did not expect the reactions and personal attacks, that's for sure.
 
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19-3ben

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This thread reveled that people will buy anything.

Did you say the same thing in the thread "Top 3 Steels" ?

I didn't respond at all to the "top 3 steels" thread. I don't have a top 3.

I have steels I prefer for certain purposes, but I put blade shape, ergos, etc... far ahead of the steel used for most of my considerations. You're talking to a guy who, right now, has two knives in his pocket. A Benchmade with S30v (North Fork), and a Vic Pioneer, with... whatever the heck the Swiss use in the SAK. I like them both, and how much I like both knives has almost nothing to do with the steel the each use.
 

shinyedges

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I did not expect the reactions and personal attacks, that's for sure.
Again with the personal attacks claim... Where were you personally attacked again? Otherwise your lying.

You accused me of "personal attacks" which is horse manure. Show me the personal attack???
 

herisson

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This thread reveled that people will buy anything.

Did you say the same thing in the thread "Top 3 Steels" ?

No, people will buy what steel matches their needs... and that's smart. I can admit that "alphabet soup steels" starting with "3" may not be the best choice, but at least these are very affordable knives : may suit your use or not. I am actually happy with most of the cheapos you mentioned (8Cr13Mov, 1.4116, 420HC included) because they work damn well for my uses. Better than that, some of them surprised me by their edge holding ability while still being easy/peasy to strope back to hair shaving sharp. What can one wish more ?
 

herisson

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I didn't respond at all to the "top 3 steels" thread. I don't have a top 3.

I have steels I prefer for certain purposes, but I put blade shape, ergos, etc... far ahead of the steel used for most of my considerations. You're talking to a guy who, right now, has two knives in his pocket. A Benchmade with S30v (North Fork), and a Vic Pioneer, with... whatever the heck the Swiss use in the SAK. I like them both, and how much I like both knives has almost nothing to do with the steel the each use.
420HC. I believe it has been said in some thread here. They are not vocal about it, because it's not a marketing point. Case's SS is also 420HC (and it behaves on the sharpener like Vic's steel). 420HC is a nice steel : very rust resistant, easy to sharpen. Good choice for a pocket knife. I back it up with the millions of Vic and Case knives doing their job all over the world.
 
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