Knife Blade Steels and Facts
440 Stainless Steel:
440(X) Stainless Steel:
a higher grade of cutlery steel, with more carbon, allowing for much better edge retention when properly heat-treated. It can be hardened to approximately Rockwell 58 hardness, making it one of the hardest stainless steels.
Available in four grades:
- Type 440A - has the least amount of carbon making this the most stain-resistant.
- Type 440B - slightly more carbon than 440A.
- Type 440C - has the greatest amount of carbon of the Type 440 variants. Strongest and considered more desirable in knifemaking than the Type 440A variant, except for diving or other salt-water applications. This variant is also more readily available than other variants of Type 440 .
- 440C can be heat treated to the highest hardness of any of the types of stainless.
- Type 440F - a free-machining variant. Contains the same high carbon content as Type 440C.
CrMo/CrMoV Series Stainless Steel
4Cr14MoV Stainless Steel:
- Similar to 420 S.S. about 0.4% carbon good for making kitchen knives.
7CR17MOV Stainless Steel:
- is a specially modified 440A stainless steel that contains more Vanadium than other steels. The benefits of Vanadium (V)
- Increases strength, wear resistance, and increases toughness the recommended hardness about 55/57 HRC.
8CR13MoV & 8CR14MoV Stainless Steel:
- Similar to AICHI AUS-8, an excellent value priced steel for its performance.
- AUS-8 (8A) is comparable to 440B with a carbon content close to 0.75%. AUS-8 is often used instead of 440C.
9Cr14MoV Stainless Steel:
- High carbon chrome martensitic stainless steel 9Cr14MoV
- 9Cr14MoV is low chrome content type of (9Cr18MoV / 440C Modified).
- 440B modified, a higher end Chinese stainless steel used mostly in high-end barbering scissors and surgical tools.
- Chemical composition % 9Cr14MoV
- C Si Mn P S Cr Mo V
- 0.85- 0.90 0.30- 0.60 0.30- 0.60 0.035 0.030 13.50- 14.00 0.20- 0.25 0.10- 0.15
9Cr18MoV Stainless Steel:
440C modified. Developed by jaktkit and Ahonest Changjiang in cooperation. Uses ESR technology and hot forging. This improves its work performance, especially toughness, and edge holding ability.
VG10 Stainless Steel:
VG-10 is a cutlery grade stainless steel originally produced in Japan. Now its being produced around the world. The name stands for V Gold 10 ("gold" meaning quality). It is a stainless steel with a high carbon content containing 1% Carbon, 15% Chromium, 1% Molybdenum, 0.2% Vanadium, 1.5% Cobalt, and 0.5% Manganese.
VG-10 was originally aimed at Japanese chefs, but also found its way into sports cutlery. Because of how well VG10 holds an edge and its ability to withstand rust, VG10 has became the most popular steel for professional chefs and cooking enthusiasts. VG10 also has an amazing ability to have designs created into the blade during temperament. If you are looking for a good knife, consider buying one with VG10. It would be expensive compared to lower end metals like 440 steel but it is well worth it. With VG10 you get the hardness of a carbon steel but the corrosion resistance of stainless. VG10 is considered the Gold Standard in Stainless Steel for Knife Making.
Carbon Steel vs Stainless Steel Knives:
Carbon steel is a popular choice for rough use knives. Carbon steel tends to be much tougher and much more durable, and easier to sharpen than stainless steel. They lack the chromium content of stainless steel, making them susceptible to corrosion. Thus proper care such as never let sit in water or store without coating with a thin layer of oil.
Carbon steels have less carbon than typical stainless steels do, but it is the main alloy element. They are more homogeneous than stainless and other high alloy steels, having carbide only in very small inclusions in the iron. The bulk material is harder than stainless, allowing them to hold a sharper and more acute edge without bending over in contact with hard materials. But they dull by abrasion quicker because they lack hard inclusions to take the friction. This also makes them quicker to sharpen. Carbon steel is well known to take a sharper edge than stainless.
Stainless steel generally has a higher chromium content than Carbon Steel and thus makes it more resistant to rust, staining and corrosion. This also keeps the knife looking new and aesthetically appealing to the majority of the population longer. Stainless Steel is generally not as hard as Carbon steel and it makes them more durable (less susceptible to edge chipping) These knives do not get as sharp as Carbon Steel nor does the edge last as long.
As with everything in life there is no one perfect solution. So which steel is best for you? The answer to that question depends on what features are really important to you and what negatives you are willing to deal with.
D2 Tool Steel:
The chemical content for D2 tool steel is 1.4 to 1.6 percent carbon, 0.60 manganese, 11.00 to 13.00 chromium, 0.30 nickel, 1.10 vanadium, and 0.70 to 1.20 molybdenum. it is called "semi-stainless", because of the lack of free Chromium in solution. While not as tough as premium carbon steels, it is much tougher than premium stainless steels. The primary use of this steel is for making stamping dies that cut steel pieces out of other softer steels. For a hard-use knife, this is probably numero uno. It’s rust-resistant, although it will stain. While the characteristics of the steel vary batch to batch it is known to produce a good to a great blanks depending on the individual batch of steel.
1084 Carbon Steel:
- 1084 is a high carbon steel and like all high carbon steels it can rust and will tarnish/patina if not properly taken care of.
- Many makes prefer it to other high carbon steels due ease of machining and shaping as well as it general purpose performance.
San Mai Damascus:
8CR14Mov Solid Core with 72 layers on each side of folded Nickle outside laminated to the core.
San Mai in the context of metal blade construction/metalwork, refers to a knife, blade or sword that has the hard steel hagane forming the blade's edge, and the stainless/nickle forming a jacket on both sides. It is also the term used to refer to the technique used to create these blades.
In stainless versions, this offers a practical and visible advantage of a superb cutting edge of modern Japanese knife steel, with a corrosion-resistant exterior.